Holy crap. I am really middle-aged.
Another birthday is on the horizon, and it marks the beginning of the slide toward 50. I look in the mirror and don’t see me so much anymore as I do my mother. And tonight, our blog community was posed the question, “What is something you’ve given up but wish you still did?”
One thing I know for sure. It’s not the piano.
Really, the first thing that popped into my mind after a shortlist of the things I haven’t given up but should, like chocolate and Starbucks, was the fact I rarely get in front of a camera anymore. And I swore when I was younger I wasn’t going to be like that.
It’s not vanity. At least I don’t think it is. It’s not as if I spend a bunch of time in front of the mirror. It’s more of a mental thing—I was always the one making goofy faces to hide my own feelings of inadequacy about my looks, acting silly to perhaps cover up a lower self-esteem. And now? In my 40s? Well, it’s just not appropriate, right? Because now, I don’t want to be THAT mom. The one who looks like she’s trying too hard to be younger, the one who gets the eye roll from her kids.
So here’s the chance to confront it—have I just grown up, out of a silly immature phase and into the prim and proper of adulthood, or am I repressing my silly gene, the one that made me most comfortable on my most awkward of days?
I miss being silly (and there are some people that would argue this is bullshit, and I am in fact still silly) — and it comes out on occasion. Just this weekend, in fact, I had my 13-year-old daughter singing Kenny Rogers out loud along with me. “She Believes in Me” is killer. KILLER.
But I keep the really silly at bay—no more Halloween costumes, no more overt displays of love and affection in public, never ever calling in sick to work to play hooky and nothing but sensible meals at sensible times. Ice cream at breakfast? Heresy!
I do. I miss being silly. It isn’t just an awkward phase of growing up. Silly is my soul. When I was younger, silly was a friend finder. How could you not like the girl willing to go on a dryer ride? (You know, if she didn’t suffer a concussion first.) I think for me, the Muppets’ Animal is in fact, my spirit animal. I shouldn’t be afraid to cut loose just a little more often.
Maybe it’s time to eschew the embarrassment of silly and embrace the wholehearted joy that comes from enjoying life more when a little levity is added to the everyday. This epiphany is likely to have Mr. Litzy a little nervous, and the kids wondering if I’m going to start rolling down the car windows before I start blaring the Bee Gees, but they’ll have a happier wife and mom. Just try not smiling while singing “Jive Talking.” Not possible.
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I am also on Facebook, being sillier and trolling for friends. And if you are looking for something good to read, here are a few of my reviews:
Want to see what my blogging buddies wished they hadn’t given up? Read about it here.
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