It figures, I decide I’m not going to write in my blog and then all these ideas for posts start popping into my head. Good thing it’s my blog where I get to change my mind I suppose. I imagine I should not have been so final on the blog but it felt done at the moment, that I needed a break, a hiatus but well, here I am again. However, I do want to take my posts into a more positive direction.
Wednesday night was teh honors ceremony for my graduating college class. Being 46, of course I was one of the five oldest students receiving honors awards which at first made me a bit uncomfortable but when I saw I wasn’t the only older student there, I relaxed and focused on the ceremony. When my oldest daughter graduated college in 2014, I remember sitting in the enormous hall watching all these young people get their degrees. At the time, I felt a sense of envy that they had their whole lives ahead of them but mostly I think I felt disappointed in myself for not finishing college.
As I was waiting for the ceremony to conclude as I was one of the first up to receive my award, I thought back to that day and how I felt. Here was another group of young people with their whole lives ahead of them and me half-way through my life (if I am fortunate of course). This time however, I did not feel envy or a sense of quiet sadness about my own life. I didn’t sit and think of the dreams I thought I had lost out on or had given up too soon. No, over the past few years, I have sorted out this and that over my life and have embraced what my life is today rather than worry about the past so much.
What I did notice was that I didn’t envy these kids because I had worked hard for years to be where I am today. Not that I didn’t make a few wrong turns (ahem two bad marriage choices) and make some mistakes but I kept going. I turned my victim mentality into a mentality of action. I had to make my life what I wanted it to be or at least try. Though someone who is 80 may look at me and see someone who is a bit foolish because they have lived almost twice my lifetime, I embrace the life wisdom I’ve learned over the years. Though people always try to tell you things, sometimes we have to be stubborn and bull-headed where we have to just get knocked around on our own.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had that wisdom in our early 20’s? But maybe it would make us play things too safe. I took risks in my 20’s that I’m hesitant to take today which in essence means my life story wouldn’t be so rich and colorful. I’d been downright boring. I suppose each decade or period in our life has a purpose. I would not want to go back to being in my early 20’s except for being in better physical shape or not having quite the health concerns you have when your older, but this is probably the trade off for having wisdom. Not that I don’t still do stupid things or make mistakes but usually they are much more minor than before.
I like the age I am now. I am comfortable being 46, I own my age and am not afraid to tell people how old I am nor do I lie about my age. I would not want to go back and start over again at 20 or so. I still have work to do on myself, but you know what? I actually like who I am. Sure, I have days where I feel fat and ugly (I swear it’s hormonal) but mostly, I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’m not going to apologize for who I am as a person anymore as I’ve spent enough of my life doing so. If someone doesn’t like something about me, well then that’s their business. Life is too short to worry about it.
My husband and I were recently talking before he bought his new (to him) car last week. We had been weighing the pros and cons of buying a new car, the financial aspect and so on. His current car, a 2013 Malibu, already had over 90k miles on it and while it was nice, it wasn’t really what he wanted to be driving. He had recently finished a year long grueling training program for his new job. A good chunk of the last year had been spent away from home doing training seminar after training seminar because his job is highly regulated and very specific where it requires, well at least a year of training. When he completed the training, he got a significant and well-deserved raise as his reward for completing this difficult year.
As we mulled it over, we both decided he should go buy what he really wanted and had been wanting since we met eight years ago. A Cadillac. A one-year certified model would cost us almost the same as a new car like his Malibu anyway and though his gas mileage would drop some costing us more in gas, he would have all wheel drive which would be safer for his over 1 hour commute to work. But most of all, it was something he really wanted and well you only live once right? YOLO bitches… While it felt like bit of an extravagance, it makes him happy and that’s all that matters. He’s worked hard for years, going to college, working jobs until he has reached this salary point in his life that affords him nice things.
So no, I don’t want to start all over again. We have a very comfortable life and we can do most of the things we enjoy. While we aren’t wealthy, we are very fortunate. For me, I always have to stop my “survival” mode of thinking after years of barely scraping by, in other words, I tend to be cheap. I am also finding out that my goals and the things I enjoy have changed with time. We both have agreed, we need to enjoy ourselves more.
Who knows how many days we have left on this earth? Might as well buy the Cadillac if you can.