From the 1900s

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vintage tv

Please be patient with me. I’m from the 1900s. Accordingly, I have first-hand knowledge of both long-distance telephone call charges AND using encyclopedias at the actual library like a pilgrim. I am old. I also remember when Netflix movies came in the mail so I’m practically prehistoric.

Child

On the other hand, at least once each day I feel like an absolute child who cannot possibly be grown because there is so much I still don’t know.

I’m still nervous when turning on the interior lights in a car because my mother had somehow convinced me that this is so dangerous and illegal that the car will immediately veer off the road. If we survived we were, at the very least, looking at doing hard time at the federal level.

It is also an absolute fact that if I keep making that weird expression my face will freeze that way. Swallowing gum will take decades to digest and swallowing watermelon seeds will cause one to grow inside my digestive system. I know I could Google it to clarify my actual risk, but I am not going to let the internet — which is like, what, 30 years old, call all my grandmothers liars.

Sitting close to the TV ruins your eyes. I am the poster child for this horrible warning. I often sit too close to the television AND I have terrible vision. Sorry guys. I ruined it for everyone. I’m probably why we can’t have nice things.

It’s okay. I like being old. Whatever age I currently am (I keep forgetting) is probably my favorite. Sure, I could do without the need for expensive orthopedic footwear and the permanent crick in my neck but otherwise, I’m happy.

Do

Now that I am in my 50s I am really enjoying getting to know myself again. I have discovered so many new hobbies such as:

• Going home.

• Staying home.

• Going to bed early.

• Birds — when did they get so fascinating?

• Folding towels and tee shirts in thirds. No, I have never worked retail. I just know we can’t go folding things all willy nilly like some sort of closet rebels.

• Organizing, decluttering and donating things to thrift stores.

• Going to estate sales and thrift stores to buy more things.

• Dreaming about being able to eat anything I want and have normal blood glucose readings and stay skinny. This daydream takes up an inordinate amount of my time. I am shallow. I own it.

• I also enjoy stretching out the skin on my forehead to see what I would look like if I had Botox. See “I am shallow” above.

Don’t

On the other hand I have found it freeing to realize that if good fences make good neighbors, then, metaphorically, good boundaries make for an excellent life.

A perk of adulthood is not having to do (some) things you really don’t want to do. As it turns out, I kind of am “the boss of me.”

My “no fly list” includes but is not limited to:

• Social activities more than once every 7-10 business days.

• Spending time with people I don’t like

• Wearing high heels. See also: cheap shoes

• Finishing movies, television programs and yes, even books (gasp!) that I don’t like. It’s okay to quit discretionary activities we don’t enjoy.

I’m too old to worry about who likes me and who dislikes me. I have more important things to do. If you like me, I like you. If you support me, I support you. If you hate me, I don’t care. As the saying goes, you can be the ripest, sweetest and best peach in the bunch, and some people just hate peaches, or, at the very least, prefer pears. It isn’t personal. I’m sure you — and I — are delightful.

I make time for friendships that are built on mutual love and respect with people we can be REAL with. Life is not all sunshine and roses. Friendships can buoy our hopes and dreams as well as the hysterical things we do that MUST be shared with people we can trust with our secrets.

The new me understands that health is something I can no longer take for granted. Since being diagnosed as a diabetic a year ago, I have started to take my health seriously. My body is no longer just “along for the ride.” My body IS the ride.

On that note, sometimes the hardest part of adulthood seems to me to be deciding what to have for dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. It’s endless people. Why did we have more childhood coverage about the perils of quicksand than the perils of meal planning?

They say 40 is the new 30 and 50 the new 40. I say that since hitting my 50s, 9 p.m. is the new midnight.

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