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.

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