Growing Older & Wiser

9 Jun

If you’re interested in my rants about consumerism and all that jazz, I’ve posted a couple things here. One is about Jennifer buying single-purpose desert bowls, which are still on the dining room table wrapped in newspaper in a plastic sack since she brought them home on Friday. She calls them desert bowls, I call it superfluous clutter. But I shouldn’t get into it here. <sigh>

* * *


Jennifer spent–I don’t even know–like six hours working in the yard yesterday. So that means I spent a little bit of time feeling guilty about not working in the yard. Here’s my contribution: I emptied the electric lawn mower’s grass bag one time and pushed the mower into the garage. And, boy, did that wipe me out! But here are some of the things I did while she gardened.

  • Wrestled with the girls in the yard
  • Played “Monkey in the Middle” with the girls
  • Did yoga while the girls hung out with me on the floor
  • Walked with the girls to the Route 66 Festival.
  • Walked with the girls to pick up our pizzas at Dewey’s
  • Watched half of Rise of the Guardians with the girls
  • Walked the dogs with the girls (3 times)

What do you think: Are my nagging feelings of guilt justified? Am I lazy?

Consider that I normally mow and trim the yard. Consider that she enjoys working in the yard; consider that I generally don’t.

I’m always asking myself: What’s most important in life? What are my values? I think everyone should do this at least once a month. If I were to compare my list to Jennifer’s, we’d probably have a couple shared values, but for the most part they’d differ wildly. Maybe she values conformity, attractiveness, and diligence. You can look at that and understand why she’d want our yard to look as good as or better than our neighbors.

Some of the values that jump out for me are playfulness, nonconformity, and simplicity.

I used to be pretty hard on myself, thinking I was somehow defective for what I believed in. Like I’m different from you so I’m messed up. Living like that is tough. And it’s insane. What I’ve learned is to not compare myself to others (as much).

My dad used to make me feel guilty because I didn’t like (or see the point in) waxing my car. It’s obvious to me now that our values weren’t aligned on car care. Back then I felt defective, like it was a Capital T Truth: your supposed to wax your car every month or you’re irresponsible! Where are all those cars I saw him waxing from, say, 1975 to 1992?

We become the sum of what are priorities are. If you value wealth, abundance, competition, intensity, and ambition, you’re probably climbing the corporate ladder and living in a large house. You’re also nothing like me.

The time has come to stop apologizing for what we are and what we will never be. It’s such a goddam thrill to grow into this understanding. It’s also cool to find something positive about aging.

Youth is wasted on the young; I kind of get that now.


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