I read an aritcle recently on the 15 Things Every Woman Should Do By 40 – hard to believe that this is something that can be so generalized, but…it’s a good piece. Let’s see how I’m measuring up:
Change careers at least once.
-I’ve got this one right under control. While I’ve worked primarily in Education, I did spend some time working in the Legal field, which I LOOOOOVED. As well, I’ve had tremedous variety in my Education career, so it seems like I have changed careers, which has been tremendously good for me. Variety is the spice of life, and I’m a girl who thrives on change and movement. Woohoo!
Do something “crazy.”
-Well, well….needless to say I have excelled in this area!!! Much of what I have done in life has been tiptoeing a fine line between a great idea and batshit insane. Thankfully, nothing too traumatic has happened as a result of my eccentricities, but…I have never met a crazy idea or a challenge that I don’t love. I am all about grand gestures, and while I’ve never really received one myself, I have done more than one for others – and it feels great. I think that doing crazy things feels AMAZING, it makes you feel alive, and brings the sparkles from the bottom of your toes to the tip of your nose. AWESOME.
Live within our means.
-Ah, not my strongest point, I will admit. I have caviar taste, and a Kraft Dinner budget – for realz. (**DISCLAIMER: When I use the z on realz, you know I’m serious) I spend money frivolously, I do things for other people, I’m always giving stuff to others – because it brings ME joy. I know that I need to smarten up, become more prudent with my spending, and do a much better job of planning for my retirement, but….sometimes girls just wanna have fun.
Learn to be comfortable in our own skin.
-I am certain that I will never have this one licked 110%, but holy hell am I ever getting close. I never imagined that I could be as at ease with myself as I am…but I am. I’ve pretty much arrived at a place where I look at myself in the mirror, and instead of being full of self-loathing, I think, “Eh, not bad for an old bag”…And I go about my day…no fuss, no muss. I wore a dress yesterday that was fitted, sexy as all hell – and instead of feeling uncomfortable and squirmy in my sexpot frock all day, I strutted around like the friggin’ boss that I am. Would I look better in the dress if I was 25 lbs lighter? Of course. Do I care? Hell no. I don’t give a shit what somebody else thinks of my body or my appearance – I think I’m awesome, and anybody who doesn’t can just bugger off. These two quotes are everything to me:
-I work really hard at this one, because it matters to me. I care about my appearance, I never go out anywhere looking shlebby, you’d be hard-pressed to ever find me in pants, even…I dress like someone from the Mad Men era. I’ve often got heels on my feet – and, if they aren’t heels, they are very elaborate sandals. My makeup is always done, my hair is always done…I make the effort – not because I’m trying to impress anyone, but for me. I feel better when I look better – and when I feel good, there ain’t no stopping me!;-)
Chase a dream.
-A lot of my dreams in life have come true – I have a beautiful daughter, a job that I (mostly) love, a home that makes me really happy, a book that I have written….I’ve got a lot going for me. I chased all of those dreams and made them happen. The great thing is, though, that for each one that got crossed off the list, I added another 3. The day I stop dreaming will be the day I die, folks – dreams are what keep us alive. Without them, we are directionless, sailboats tossing in the breeze. Dreams not only give you wings, they provide you with an anchor, a guiding light to find your way. Go on and chase them….what have you got to lose?
Visit another country.
-I love this one – and I have certainly visited some countries. I love to travel, I’ve been loads of great places, but I am nowhere near done seeing the things that I need to see in this world. My ‘must see’ list of places is very long, and my greatest hope in life is that I live long enough to see them. I want to keep visiting the furthest corners of the earth, I want to see things that I’ve never seen before, I want to taste the local food, and meet some fascinating people. You learn so much about a place by walking in its dirt and breathing its air – I love it.
Step out of our comfort zone.
-My adventures have taken me so far out of my comfort zone, and it has been great. I love the feelings of uncertainty, the not knowing what to do or where to go….I had to have someone teach me how to write a check in the post office in England, for goodness sakes! Clearly, I do alright out of my comfort zone – I love the exhileration that you feel when faced with a completely unfamiliar challenge, yet you somehow manage to muddle your way through and figure it out. It’s magic!
Find a cause.
-I support the Alzheimer’s Society – always have, always will. I wish I could do more for them, for they are carrying out very important work. I have hope.
Make and live by a “soul mate wish list.”
-I have always had a soul mate wish list – and, surprisingly, it has changed very little as I have grown up. However, I have not always lived by it – I have made appallingly bad choices in men over the years, settling right left and center, because I felt that I wasn’t worth having the good stuff that I desperately wanted. I always felt like damaged goods….and nobody wants those. Thankfully, I am working my way past this, and am doing a whole lot better on sticking with what it is that I want, and not accepting the deal breakers that I see.
Learn not to settle.
-This is part and parcel with the last point I made – I have settled and settled, over and over again, like it was my damn job. Stupid girl….such a waste of time. I finally have discovered the remedy to this situation and actively work to correct it every day, but…this is a tough one. I have some regrets in this department, and I really wish I didn’t. Oh well.
-I’ve started over more than once in my lifetime, and I kind of love it. I love a new beginning, I love the new car smell that seems to waft out from my pores when I’m embarking on something new. Love. It. I suppose that I also really dig the opportunity to reinvent myself, to try out slightly different personas, and see if I can maybe become someone a little different. (Just so you know, my attempts at reinvention always fail – I’m a jackass through and through, it is what it is, and I am what I am. I think I’m okay with that.)
Love with complete abandon.
-I am pretty good with this one, too – when I do anything, I do it up BIG. Go big or go home is my favorite motto. No lie. When I care for someone, I care for them 110%, I have no concept of indifference whatsoever. I find myself naturally drawn to like-minded individuals. People who love without restrictions, who dance like no one’s watching (and really don’t care if anyone is watching, truth be told), who do everything they do with their hat in their hands and their hearts on their sleeves….these are my kind of people. I try to live my life that way – and I want to be with people who do as well. I don’t have time for half-assers. (not a word, but it bloody well should be)
Tell someone exactly how you feel.
-I usually don’t have problems telling people how I feel about things…I’m a fairly open book. The funniest thing is that even when I try to be mysterious and hold back, every thought/feeling is written all over my face – so I’m telling the world how I feel anyway! I’m also a big believer in sharing the truth of what you feel – and I try to live by that idea. Always. I think that the world would be a much simpler, more beautiful place if we could all just be honest about what we think and feel. It’d end a lot of drama, friends!! Let’s try it!!
Write your story…a story. Just write!
-This is what Pretty Thing is all about, my darlings…I’m writing my story down and sharing it with you. I think through a lot of issues while writing about my life on this blog, and many a problem has been worked out through the simple act of updating you on what’s shaking with me. So….thanks! Your participation in this venture, your belief in me, and your interaction has meant so much – thank you.
So…..while I’m not 100% on track with meeting all of these targets, I think that I am doing pretty damn okay. Whew!! Yaaaa me!!!! How’d you do, friends?