Do you have or know a little girl? There’s a brand new line of dolls out there, and I’m giving one away with my Hot Locks giveaway!
First off, I’d like to remind everyone that I’m not actually OLD. I’m only 34 (yes, I had to do the math), and the wee ones haven’t learned ages and counting well enough to determine that I’m ancient yet. We’ll forget what I thought about 34 when I was 17 and imagined what it would be like to feel like such an old lady when I was twice as old as I was then.
However, I will admit that there are certain benefits to the very slow and slight bit of aging that I’ve done so far. We don’t think about them too often, but every once in awhile, we need to remind ourselves and celebrate what we’ve accomplished.
My Top Ten Things I Like About Being A (VERY) Little Older:
10) I don’t have to study for tests anymore. While I know this isn’t the case for everyone, I’m finished with school. I don’t have any more pop quizzes, any more studying textbooks and taking notes and praying that I’m studying the right thing. No more staying up all night panicking that I’m not retaining the information and that the test the next day is going to be a disaster. As much as I enjoyed school, I’m really glad that I’m done with the exams and tests.
9) Acne is a thing of the past. That isn’t to say that I don’t have a bit of a breakout every now and again, but they’re becoming more and more infrequent. And even when they occur, they’re nothing like the daily horrors that I experienced as a teen – that of course I blew way out of proportion. There’s no agonizing or freaking out even when they do occur, since I know they’ll be gone soon.
8) I care less and less what the general public thinks of me. And I don’t mean this in a negative way where I do things selfishly and in a who-cares-about-the-rest-of-the-world way. I mean that I’m more comfortable in my skin. I’m not embarrassed to have forgotten something and have to go back for it. I’m ok if I make a mistake or do something silly. I can make a fool of myself doing something I enjoy and not care because it brings me joy. And learning to do that is probably one of the things I’m most proud about doing.
7) My schedule is (more) my own. While I can’t control everything, I choose what I will and won’t be involved in more so than when I was younger. I choose my priorities, for the most part. And I can negotiate with others, when necessary, to help carry my load. For example, a friend of mine with a broken foot called me today asking if I could help get her somewhere. I was able to have my husband take the wee ones to a prior commitment and help her out. And those are the things that make me happy.
6) I don’t need more friends. Do you remember high school (and beyond, sometimes) when there was the big worry about who was popular and who wasn’t, who your friends were and how to get more or different friends. Now? I like my friends. I welcome new friends, but I’m perfectly fine with who my friends are. I’m content with them, and that’s a really great feeling.
5) I can deal with confrontation better. I’ve never liked confrontation. I don’t like it now, either, but I can deal with it. It doesn’t give me the anxiety that it used to. I can see it for the constructive values that it has and not take it personally when it’s directed at me. I don’t dread those phone calls that I should make requesting change or telling someone or something that they didn’t do a good enough job for what I need. Oh, and I can tell my mom things aren’t ok when they aren’t rather than swallowing it and resenting her. I can do it – in a respectful manner – and it works out. That adds so much more peace to my life.
4) I see the beauty more. When younger, I followed what I was taught – that there are certain standards of beauty in people and nature. I was afraid of many things that didn’t conform to that standard, and I avoided many of them. Not the proudest moments in my life, I’ll admit. And now? Now I see the beauty in the unique and the different. I can admire it for what it adds to life and enjoy it. I’ve experienced and seen things and met and become friends with people I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
3) I’m learning to say no. My mom raised me to be a perfectionist and to be almost a martyr, taking on anything and everything that people asked in the effort to please other people. While I enjoy doing things now for the sake of doing them, I don’t always have to say yes. I said no to being on the board of a local charity that was being formed because I didn’t have the time. I said no to a choir practice when I needed a break. I said no to working on the gala at my new school because I’m burned out from those kinds of fund raising. And you know what? It feels good to pick and choose what I want to do rather than trying to do it all.
2) My memory bank is getting more and more full of wonderful moments. I love looking back at something in my life and smiling. I remember the last minute trip I took to Germany to visit a friend of mine shortly after college, and while I mentally shake my head at myself, I remember the fun of exploring a small town in Germany where I was the only person who spoke English (and I don’t know German) and accidentally discovering a really cool taxidermy museum. I think about the clubs I formed as a kid – the Moss Garden Kids Club and the Junkyard Kid Gang to name two – and giggle about our activities and dues and notes we took. I look back to the days the wee ones were born, to the first time I drove a car, to the ski trip in college, to my disaster making flan the first time, and they all give me warm fuzzies inside. Every year and every day brings me more memories to treasure. And I’m now wise enough to hold them close to my heart.
1) I know what I don’t know. When I was younger, I thought I knew it all. I suspect that many of us fall into the same camp. I was full of myself, but I was also secretly hiding that I didn’t know it all for fear that someone might think less of me for not knowing something. Now? I know what I don’t know, and I am perfectly ok with asking for help when I need it. Having a real sense of what I do and don’t know means that I actually make fewer mistakes because I make fewer wrong assumptions. It’s removed so much stress from my life.
So what do you like about the ever so slow and subtle aging process? What positive changes have you discovered?