Here are birthday thoughts from a writer who appreciates the value of time, experience, and self-education.
The Cool Thing About Getting Older
Yes, yes, I know, wrinkles and weight gain and closer to death, blah blah blah. But see here’s the thing: I’m so much smarter, calmer and flat-out hotter than I was ten years ago. No joke.
I love having more life experience. I think back in horror to a time when I had the enthusiasm for writing, but no real idea how to do it. Do it well, anyway. I thought nice handwriting was for ‘grownups’, and my idea of good chocolate was Cadbury milk chocolate or those little chocolate advent calendars, full of sugar and additives I can’t pronounce. Drinking tea was only something people did on TV. My beverage of choice was actually milk, and not just any milk. Skim milk (le gasp!).
Getting older means I know myself better and what’s important. As a kid, it was my dream to write a novel. I remember writing stories and getting praise from my teacher and parents. Then I grew into my teens and early twenties, and, of course, became smarter than everyone, including myself. That dream of writing became a distant thing of the past, or a vague goal for the future. My main objectives in life were to be super-hot, get a super-hot boyfriend/husband, and to show off how ‘grown-up’ I was by buying Things (like shoes, and electronics I didn’t really need, and the latest home decorating trends that grew old within a month). They were all nice things, of course, but keeping up with the Jones does more for your ego than real sense of self-worth.
Fortunately, having survived this Thing Phase I can now get down to what’s important, which are the people I care about, and spending my talents meaningfully. I should note, however, that even though, looking back, the Thing Phase seems shallow, I definitely came out of it with some good stuff. Important stuff even, like a house, and a better idea how to spend my money with purpose and frugality. I’ve built up equity, and settled into a lifestyle I can afford.
All of this means that today I can occasionally indulge in things I really love, like good quality chocolate, and teapots, and luscious fountain pens. I can buy books, both for pleasure and learning. My house has a lovely little writing space I’ve set up, which is a source of joy and creativity for me every day. These things were not options in my early 20’s.
And, The Not So Cool Things
Weight stays on easier. There is no way around this truth. My body is getting less efficient and more prone to succumbing to illnesses and laziness. Well, laziness is kind of more a choice, but… you know.
I also care less what other people think. This is a good thing usually, but sometimes I worry about getting too set in my ways and become one of those crazy old ladies who are always cursing the newer generations (sometimes literally) and not caring about offending others. The older I get, the less tolerant I become of certain things. I just want to throw out the rules and do whatever I want, regardless of how crazy or rude I appear.
Bras, for example. They suck, but they’re a necessary evil to protect the eyes of innocent bystanders. While I find myself liking more and more the idea of just ‘free-boobing’, I know that it would be generally looked down upon. As I’ve said, I’m not 20 years old any more, and my boobs aren’t either. The day is coming, however, when that little scale of Things You Don’t Do In Public vs mammary-comfort tips tips in favour of breaking the girls out of boob-jail permanently. It draws nearer with each birthday I have.
Elise’s Top 10 List of Loves
Moving on from that lovely image of me as a crazy old bat, I have a list. I love lists. Like, a lot! As a freshly-minted 34-year-old, I thought it would appropriate to share a list of what I’m really into right now. It will be interesting this time next year to look back and compare.
Amélie. I started watching it when I was 19, and the parent of a guy I was watching it with walking in on one of the only two ‘naughty’ scenes in the movie. Awkward. So we turned it off. Fast forward to three months ago, I decided to give it another try, and absolutely loved it! If you haven’t watched this classic, please, please do!
“#SundayFunday” by MAGIC!. There’s no story or deeper meaning for this, it’s just fun and makes me happy.
“My Paleo Patisserie: An Artisan Approach to Grain Free Baking” by Jenni Hulet. Mr. Judd and I have food sensitivities, and have found the Paleo diet to work best for us. I still miss delightful baked goods though, so I got this book. It’s so beautiful! I’ve tried a few recipes and they truly have an artisanal feel. Plus they turned out very well, so there’s that.
Brandon Sanderson. He is my Jedi master of writing.
To write a novel in this spring (see my update on Spacekittens) and one during Nanowrimo.
Testing all the sample inks form Goulet Pens, which I ordered as part of my birthday present.
It’s a tough call since there are so many people I love, but today I have to give a shout-out to Finnegan, the loyal golden retriever who’s been by my side (literally) for nine years.
The tiny myrtle plant I just got from Blondies Gift & Garden Centre here in Medicine Hat. C’mon little guy, grow up big and strong! I should name it. Any ideas for names?
Lindt Madagascar Dark Chocolate (70%). I get mine from Safeway.
- Guilty Pleasure:
Playing games on my phone while I’m on the toilet. What? Don’t tell me you don’t, because you know you do. Or have at least wanted to.
Right! So, if you’ve made it through this post without clicking the window closed in disgust, I thank you sincerely for coming by, and hope you’ll join me next week. I’ll be talking about Penpalling, and how to get started. Ah, penpalling! Oh, and on Fridays I give updates on my noveling efforts and life in general, so stop by for those too.
P.S. My editor has informed me that penpalling is not actually a word, but I say, “it is now!”