I am turning the corner to 40. I truly can’t believe it. At times the things that are behind me and are no longer possible is staggering. I will never be young and thin. Not ever. I never will nuzzle a baby that is mine. But I really can’t think of a third. And that is OK. There are lots of things still possible in life, and lots of joy I have had. As I face the second 1/2 (like Maude it is over for me at 80), I am focusing on making myself 4 things: Simple, Pretty, Healthy, Interesting. Simplifying has been difficult. I am trying to cut the noise so I can get down to the aesthete of life that is most important to me. I want to leave this world being known for a few things, like all the great women I have known and know. My mom forever will be for me soft, warm, unwaveringly kind, the best at setting tables – better than Martha, a wonderful writer, quietly funny, with sparkling amethysts and peridots.
Right now I think I will be remembered for my irreverence, skill at work, and… well, I am not sure. The dream of simplification is that I can strip away the unliked, the unnecessary, and the untenable to bring into focus who I am.
I have taken the following steps to simplify:
1. Planning a weekly menu.
2. Stopping the yo-yo between vegan and omnivore. I am a mostly vegetarian. It is sad to let go of the Vegan part of who I am forever – but it falls under the untenable category.
3. No TV, no video games.
4. Limiting my wardrobe… 10 outfits rotated.
5. Wearing the same jewelry every day – my wedding ring, a silver locket. This one is the hardest because I have had lots of pride in my ability to accessorize – but it is unnecessary. I am not sure what to do yet with the scads of costume jewelry I have. For now they sit in a drawer, not bothering me.
6. Limiting trying new products. I have stuff I like. I don’t have to try a new perfume or a new energy bar. It is unnecessary, and sometimes unliked.
7. Wearing my hair curly. I have used a hair dryer TWICE this year, maybe only once last year. It is simpler. J’hate blow drying my hair.
I have a long way to go. My list of dumb addictions and related lingering accoutrement is long, and almost every closet in my house is a mess. But by 50 I should have it figured out for sure. But I am not going to push for 41 – because lots of unnecessary pressure is not part of a simpler life.