I’m just a few weeks shy of a milestone birthday. I won’t tell you which, but it rhymes with Lordy. And Morty. You can probably figure it out.
Lots of people feel angst around their birthday, as the candles on the cake become more of a fire hazard; but I’ve never minded the slow climb of numbers on the age chart. Better than the alternative, right? Besides, age is just a number and I’ve felt old AF for a while now. It didn’t take turning the big 4-0 to do that.
Somewhere between partying my way through my twenties and changing diapers in my thirties, I became old and tired — but in the good way. In the IDGAF kind of way. In a life’s too short for BS kind of way.
There comes a point in every person’s life when you realize you’re either too old or too tired to deal with nonsense — and it’s one of the most liberating feelings in the world. Though it often coincides with aging, it actually has less to do with the number of candles on your cake than it has to do with self-acceptance, confidence, and comfort in one’s own skin. It’s about the realization that life is, indeed, short and we spend far too much time and energy on things that just do not matter. It’s about embracing the IDGAF attitude, whenever it comes.
Here are just a few of the things I’ve realized I’m either too old or tired to deal with:
It seems like everywhere I look someone is evangelizing some new diet.
Paleo. Atkins. South Beach. And let’s not forget the gluten-free, non-GMO, all-organic, spend an entire paycheck at Whole Foods diet. Oh, and what about the no-carb, sugar-free diet? That will be a big NO THANK YOU from me. All the nopes in the Nope Bucket. You will have to pry the starchy carbs from my cold dead hands, and don’t even mention the word sugar-free because a life without Reese’s peanut butter cups or cookie dough is not a life worth living.
2. Fake stuff.
You know that feeling you get in your gut telling you something — or more like someone — just doesn’t seem “real?” Well, along with the wrinkles on my forehead and the bags under my eyes, I’ve learned to sniff out inauthenticity like a hound dog – and I’m running the other way. I’ve got no time or energy for fake people, fake cheese, or lying liars who lie on social media. I spend way too much time guessing about that mystery stain on the couch and that weird smell coming from the back of my minivan to deal with anything other than the real deal.
Breaking up fights between my kids over the fidget spinner or who’s turn it is with the Xbox is all the drama I can handle these days. I don’t have any ounce of energy to deal with PTA drama, gossip, or social media nastiness.
4. Mean people.
There’s enough ugliness in the world without subjecting myself to meanness. Be kind … or else.
5. Reading books I hate.
At any given time, I have a stack of books 18 inches high waiting to be read. I used to struggle through books I knew I “should” like, only to feel confused, disappointed, and frustrated that I’d just spent three weeks slogging through a swamp of words just to stay in the literary loop.
But this isn’t high school English class. There’s no test, no pop quiz. I don’t need to wade through Pride and Prejudice if I don’t want to. You can’t make me. (Same goes for anything Hemingway.)
6. Waiting for dessert.
There are a lot of things that suck about being an adult, but eating all our veggies before we get dessert isn’t one of them. If I want to eat cookie dough for dinner or a gigantic bowl of Lucky Charms for dinner, that’s my prerogative. (But I’m still going to make my kids eat a couple bites of their broccoli before they can grab a treat, because … come on.)
7. Second-guessing myself.
A few years ago, a wildly popular book by JoJo Moyes hit the shelves. We read it for our neighborhood bookclub. People sung its praises all over social media. It was made into a movie, natch. Everywhere I turned people were swooning over this book, but I absolutely hated it. To me, the writing was just meh, and the whole book seemed incredibly ableist.
For a while, I worried that something was wrong with me. Am I not enough of a romantic? Am I a book snob? Am I reading too much into things? But you know what? My opinions are valid, and differences are good.
Social media likes to show us all the things we’re missing — concerts, girls’ nights out, trendy new restaurants — but you know what? I’m old. I’m tired. And if it’s not worth putting on a bra for, I don’t want to be there.
Which brings me to …
9. Uncomfortable clothes.
Long gone are the days of squeezing into too-tight jeans and wearing 3-inch stiletto heels. These days, it’s all about comfort. Leggings. T-shirts. Cardigans. Jeans with a waistband high enough to hold everything in without making me feel like I’ve been stuffed into a sausage casing. And there ain’t no way I’m wearing a bra after 6:00 PM on a weeknight, thankyouverymuch.
There are a lot of things to bemoan about getting older — wrinkles, weak bladders, and age spots are just a few. But there are far more things to celebrate about getting older, not the least of which is the ability to say “I’m too old and tired to care about that stuff.”