Forty-four (?!?) years ago today, I was born. I am filled with melancholy on my birthday. So much of my life behind me . . . is it all downhill from here? I know, sounds so pitiful. Life has been shaken up and hurled against the wall lately, and I’m still trying to make sense of it all and get to higher ground. Getting there, but it’s a process, and I guess a milestone like my birthday is an opportunity to reflect, and so I’m having these feelings today.
Anyway, on a lighter note, I thought I’d put together a list of forty-four things about me, some meaningful, some trivial and silly. Take it for what it’s worth.
1. Ben & Jerry’s makes the best ice cream in the world. Hands down.
2. Red is a wonderful color. The best.
3. If you can make me laugh, you’re in.
4. Motherhood isn’t like I thought it would be. Surprise, surprise.
5. Motherhood has shown me some things about myself that I don’t necessarily like very much.
6. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve learned to like myself. (I know, that seems a funny thing to say on the heels of #5; there are things I don’t like about myself, but all in all, I think I’m a pretty good apple.)
7. Marriage is hard. Even when you’re married to your best friend.
8. Sometimes you just gotta say, “What the fuck.”
9. It is amazing to me that with the vast amount of things science answers, there are so many archaic, strange notions that people still cling to, which have no evidence to back them up. It drives me crazy, and I tend to have a visceral reaction to this phenomenon.
10. Finn is my favorite. Just kidding. Really, Kevin is. Okay, seriously, of course I love all of my children, but I also identify with each one differently and share a slightly different relationship with each one, and because of this, some of those relationships are fraught with more conflict than others.
11. I can hardly bear the idea of any of my kids moving far away some day.
12. I certainly don’t feel middle-aged in my head.
13. Chips. The only way to not eat them is to not have them around. Same for ice cream. And cookies.
14. My perfect meal: calamari to start, accompanied by a lemon drop martini; filet mignon, medium rare with mashed potatoes and braised spinach, accompanied by another lemon drop. I’m good to go.
15. Also, “steak” and “well done” should not be used in the same sentence. It’s criminal to cook a steak all the way through.
16. A girl needs her girlfriends. Seriously, my girlfriends make my life so much richer. I love you guys (you know who you are!).
17. There is nothing more wondrous than feeling a baby grow and move inside you, and nothing more absolutely awe-inspiring than watching a baby make its way into the world.
18. Life is too short for shitty relationships. That is not to say that relationships worth hanging onto don’t take work, but a cost-benefit analysis must be made of every relationship. If a relationship – whether it be with a friend or family member – brings more pain, turmoil, and/or angst than comfort and joy, it’s just not worth it. Cut it loose.
19. I have an appetite for reading that will never be sated. Unfortunately, I also have an appetite for buying books, rather than borrowing them from the library. Which can be costly.
20. I deeply admire people who write well. I am fascinated by writing as a craft.
21. I love words. I love looking up words and finding ways to use them.
22. I love Starbucks and Starbucks loves me. I know this because they send me coupons for free drinks occasionally. So what if I have to spend a fortune to “earn” those coupons?
23. I might get another tattoo some day.
24. So oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key. Okay, so I stole that from the Eagles. They speak the truth, man.
25. Speaking of music, I can only appreciate music that moves me, makes me feel something. None of this contemporary, manufactured, over-processed, soulless shit.
26. I don’t get Lady Gaga. I really don’t. Or Katy Perry.
27. I’ve never been a fan of country/western music, but I have to admit that The Dixie Chicks are growing on me, thanks to my three girls.
28. I think I’m pretty reflective and introspective, and therefore realistic and honest about my shortcomings.
29. I have 105 months of breast feeding behind me between all my kids. Yes sir, that’s 8.75 years of nursing in my lifetime. Yes, I’m proud, and yes, I’m bragging. My boobs have seen better days, but it’s been worth it. And fortunately, my husband isn’t a boob man.
30. I’m an extremely loyal person in relationships based on respect, honesty and genuine affection.
31. But I can hold a grudge with the best of them.
32. Probably nothing turns me off more than narcissism, people who refuse to be held accountable, and people who can’t/won’t find constructive ways to deal with their problems.
33. Okay, I’m judgmental. I admit it.
34. I am proud of my kids for their accomplishments and achievements, but I’m more interested in their happiness.
35. I wish I could dance, but I’ve never had any rhythm or very much grace.
36. I recently changed the political party to which I wish to be affiliated on my voter registration to Independent.
37. I wonder if my mother is thinking about me today.
38. I wouldn’t go back to my teens or twenties for all the money in the world. My thirties, though? Maybe.
39. I think that big, extravagant weddings are a big, extravagant waste of money. I will encourage my kids to elope or have very low-key weddings. The wedding certainly doesn’t influence how successful the marriage will be! Better to spend that money on more useful things.
40. I also hope my kids live with their future spouses before getting married. Let’s be honest: you don’t really know somebody – and therefore have any inkling if you’re compatible – until you live with them for a while.
41. My very first celebrity crush was Andy Gibb, when I was probably 10. Over the years, he has been followed by: David Lee Roth, Jimmy Smits, and Steve Burns. I’ve kind of developed a thing for Jon Stewart lately.
42. If I had my druthers, I’d choose pie over cake, and ice cream over pie or cake.
43. I have high hopes.
44. Looking back on all the years of my life, I see a lot of twists and turns, tragedy and sadness. I think I am more grateful than bitter, though – not for the things that have caused me heartache, but for the ways in which all the events of my life have helped me grow and learn.