40 weeks from today I turn 40. I grew a human baby in 40 weeks so I figure I can gestate an adult woman in that time frame too. It’s not that I don’t act like a grown up or even that I’m freaking out about middle age, I just don’t want to waste time anymore. I don’t want to fast forward twenty years and still be saying that I really want to try stand-up paddle boarding. Or that I’m going to do a mud run. Or that I’m finally going to cook something from the French Laundry cookbook or that one I have about organ meat or the one on authentic Mexican cuisine. I’m not saying that my life has been one long 39 year yawn. But I’ll be honest, I would be happier if I were doing more.
So what’s been stopping me? What stops any of us? We all have our reasons. We have our reasons to do something or to not do something and usually those reasons are a complete load of garbage. Here’s an example of me spoon-feeding myself garbage:
Me, seeing a Groupon for kayak rentals: Ooh! I should get this! I’ve been wanting to do this!
Also Me: Ugh. I am so tired. And if I don’t do laundry Saturday AND grocery shopping AND clean the bathrooms, my whole week is going to be a wreck.
Me: Yeah, you’re right. I don’t have time for that. (Sighs, laments lack of time, spends twenty minutes watching Facebook videos of a pair of hands making cookie stuffed cookies and about 4 things with refrigerated biscuit dough)
Little do I know that Also Me is scheming to only fold half the laundry because she wants to get lost in a Narcos binge while the kiddo is napping and the bathrooms are not going to get cleaned and I should have just gone kayaking after all.
Look, I like my house clean. I like having my to do list all checked off, but my to do list is a variation on the same mind-numbing theme every week and holy shit, I’m not getting any younger. Is this what the next 40 years will look like?
Maybe I AM freaking out about middle age a little.
Here’s what my list looks like every week:
To Do (in addition to full-time job)
Meal plan and then order pizza at least once during the week because I’m too tired to cook.
Grocery shop at 3 different grocery stores so I get the best price and then waste money by ordering pizza.
Do Laundry but watch TV while folding clothes so it takes 3 times as long.
Clean up a mess I didn’t make and will have to clean up again tomorrow and the day after that.
Pay bills and have crippling anxiety about paying for college and orthondontia.
Workout or just put workout clothes on and run errands.
Plan a social event that I don’t have time for and costs too much money and that I will spend way too much time finding a reason to cancel.
Oof. If that sounds familiar, let’s be friends.
So here’s my new plan. I have 40 weeks until I turn 40 and I am going to put something new on my list each week that doesn’t make me want to get in my car and drive away from life or drink an entire bottle of wine before 3:00 on Tuesday. This list is not a bucket list…although I probably should put “make a bucket list” on my list. It is about inserting more of the things that I care about into my life. I’m also going to scissor kick Also Me in the face every time that wet blanket tries to sabotage my plans. And I’m sharing my list with you because public shame is a big personal motivator. Take a look at what’s first on my list, check out my entire to do list, and follow my progress on Instagram and Facebook. I still don’t understand Snapchat but it is on my to do list because I’m tired of my friends calling me Grandma.