Saturday, November 28, 2015

Things I've learned as I become old

They say that with age comes wisdom, and I don't know if that is true or not. What I do know is that I've come to recognize some things as truths to me.

They might not be your truths, but they are mine.

Me, as Freddy
5. There is no movie I absolutely have to see in the theaters.

There are movies I'd like to see on the big screen. I love going to movies, so for me, paying to go is all about the experience I have when I'm there. The big bucket of popcorn (white cheddar cheese sprinkles, please) and the surround speakers... It is an experience.

That said, movies release to Netflix four months after their theatrical debut. They release to DVD in about three months... and sometimes those numbers fluctuate. Mostly, I can wait three months. Sometimes I don't want to, but still... I CAN wait and will wait for most movies since I can sit in my pjs and have taco night with my kids rather than going to a theater where I'm not even allowed to play Candy Crush during the slow parts of the film.

4. There is no piece of new technology that I have to have.

My sis & me at Christmas in the 80s
Arguably, if I lost my arm and they came up with a new arm device, I might actually have to have the device. But the new Apple or Android phone? Yeah, you've got to be kidding. I'm not paying five or six hundred dollars for a phone that I fully recognize that I'm going to drop the minute I try to get in my car. I'm an author, so my paycheck fluctuates a LOT, but say I was making minimum wage in my current home state (Ohio) which is $8.10 an hour. (Note: If I went out to get a job today, I'd likely be making just that for at least a while...) The new iPhone 6s Plus (with 128GB!) is currently available

Assuming I work about 40hrs a week, that's a week and a half for a phone I won't be able to find when I need it. For something I'm going to drop on the ground. For something I don't actually NEED, but I might just want.  Nope, nope, nope.
for $499 so we're going to round that to $500 to make the math easier for me to do. At minimum wage, I'd have to work sixty-two hours to afford an iPhone... plus the contract or however I wanted to activate the phone.

3. If my kids don't get a pile of presents as tall as them, they will not think I don't love them.

Cranky little me
I can't buy their love, and although my logical brain recognizes this fact... I kind of want to recapture every year that magical look of wonder they used to get when they were little. I tend to get a little panicky around the holidays because I ask them to make me a list and WHO CAN AFFORD ALL THESE THINGS?!

But my kids are cool as hell, so they sometimes get that look when I take them to a new place. They get that look in a museum (which usually has free admission) and they get that look when we're all hanging out and laughing.

So nothing I put under our tree is going to give them the pleasure that my time, my willingness to be in the present with them, and my love will give them.

Me and Aunt Lee
2. I can fix almost anything, but I can't fix dead.

I can't talk to my Aunt Lee again, no matter how many times I want to call her. I can't get another hug from her or smell the uniquely Aunt Lee smell ever again. I can remember her. I can tell my kids about her... But she is gone.

And I really loved her face. She wasn't classically beautiful or anything, just incredibly lovely to me.

With that knowledge, I can realize that I need to spend time with the people I love today, because I don't know if they or I will be here tomorrow.

1. And it doesn't matter how I look.

Me & my niece
Also a reflection because of Aunt Lee... I realize that it doesn't matter what I wear. It doesn't matter what makeup I put on my face or what fancy beauty techniques I use...

To those that matter, they will see me as lovely because they love me. To those that don't matter... they won't see me regardless of what I wear. I read once that most people are too concerned about what they look like to even worry about what you look like... and I've found that to be mostly true. Sure, maybe job interviews or other professional situations are the exception--since the goal is to make a good impression--but for regular day to day life? It doesn't matter.

The ones that love me will be happy to see me. They missed me, they want to be near me, and what is on the outside? That's not the important part.

My little niece loves me very much, but probably not as much as I loved Aunt Lee. She runs into my arms and gives me snuggles and tells me all the wonders of her world. I adore her, but she doesn't care if I brushed my hair. She doesn't care if what I'm wearing is name brand... she sometimes cares about my nails, but only because she wants to polish them.

Love doesn't care how you look. And if it does? I don't think that is love.

Just some random thoughts I was having today, so I thought I'd share them with you all.
mama virg

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