Monday, November 11, 2013

Manifesto for 40 - November 11, 2013

This piece originally appeared at but it was edited and also they don't believe in the serial comma so I am reposting it here the way I want it to appear because this is my blog.

My 40th birthday is this week. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that soon I will be an age that as a kid I clearly remember thinking was “old”—yet I don’t feel old at all. It doesn’t actually matter how I feel, though. It’s happening and alas, there’s nothing I can do to stop it. All I can do is embrace it as thoroughly and as happily as I can manage.

Interestingly, what am I finding as I move into this next phase of my life is this: My tolerance for bullshit is dwindling…dwindling…nearly gone.

In the past, I’d let stress about inconsequential things eat away at me. Mostly regarding situations that happened on the Internet—someone breaking rules in a forum, someone leaving a nasty comment on an otherwise interesting article, someone spreading misinformation or half-truths of some sort—but in relation to things that happened offline as well.

But now? Now that I’m hitting the big four-oh? Now I say FUCK ALL OF THAT. Life is too short and too full of things that matter, good and bad, to get wrapped up in these petty concerns. I have big plans – plans to get over all of the nonsense and move right on to the things that matter, the things that are important, and the things that I can really change. For example…

There’s a comment on an article on the Internet that is ignorant or spreading misinformation? Close the browser, go for a run, drink a glass of water, do something other than sit on my ass on my comfy couch and get worked up about something that either does not matter or that I truly do not have the power to change.

Someone on the Internet is breaking the rules somehow, with self promotion or referral links or simple asshattery in a safe zone? I’m not a moderator anywhere online at the moment, so it’s time to step away from the computer completely if I’m upset about something as inconsequential as this. Maybe I should read one of those hundreds of books around my house, maybe?

I’m keeping someone in my life who always makes me feel bad about myself? It’s time to reevaluate that relationship and possibly take a break so that all parties involved can regroup. But spending energy trying to fix an energy leak? I don’t really have time for that right now.

A project I really want to start – business or hobby - is making me whine like my six-year-old daughter whines? No. I need to figure out how to make things happen now, rather than wasting time on the what ifs and the fears. I have to stop worrying about potential failures and just make things happen. At this point in my life, a Greek chorus of cheerleaders isn’t going to appear from the mists to sing a song of the stupidity in my ideas. Either my ideas are sound and will work or they’re not and I’ll try something else.

It’s not easy to let things go but it feels like it’s time, both because of the calendar and because of how I’m feeling. I’m raising a child with a disability. I’m a freelancer married to a freelancer. I’m figuring out big things like where religion fits into my life and whether or not we’ll buy a house. If a jerk in another state wants to feel special by asserting himself anonymously online or if someone makes me feel 2 feet tall, it’s time to raise a glass in that general direction and move on by.

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