Things Fall Apart

My glasses broke.

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I’ve had them for almost 10 years, so I suppose it was time for a change. I was hoping the change would be due to me finding amazing new frames, not me being rendered blind because of a missing screw and the surprising ineffectiveness of Krazy Glue. Regardless, it is time for me to get a new pair and possibly a new look. Of course, the idea of this makes me uncomfortable for several reasons:

1. I have an enormous noggin, to the point where a friend gave me the nickname Melon Head. It is hard to find frames that actually fit my wide face without the arms getting bent outwards. When I bought my beloved (now-broken) Diors all those years ago, the girl who sold them to me outright laughed in exasperation at how many pairs I had to try on before we found something that worked. This gives me very little hope for my next pair. I do have contact lenses that I’m using at the moment, but they don’t hide the circles under my eyes the way that a good pair of spectacles can.

2. I am straight up crap at change. (I suppose, statistically, that this means I am crap at 75% of my life.) If I initiate a change, be it glasses or career or parenting approach or what have you, there’s so much fear, second-guessing, blame-shifting, and excuse making that goes along with it. If, heaven forbid, a change is imposed upon me, even if it’s good, I get livid at the lack of control I have over the situation. Yeah, I got issues.

3. I bought these glasses when I still felt young. In 2008, I had no children, was barely in my 30s, and my prescription was probably not as strong as it is now. (I’m overdue for a change, I know.) When I walked into the office wearing them for the first time, my equally young coworkers adequately oohed and aahed, envied the “student” discount I received, approved of my newfound love for subtle bling, and made me feel uncharacteristically trendy. I know it’s dumb, but in a way, giving this pair up seems like surrendering the last vestiges of my youth.

4. Glasses are expensive.

I realize I’m creating a big deal out of something that isn’t life-changing. Some people’s mid-life crises involve buying a new sports car. Maybe mine is just some new frames. If I stop and get some perspective, I know that I still have my health, an awesome family, the means to pay the bills, and better friends than I deserve. I shouldn’t equate what I wear on my face with my identity or my age. It’s just glasses, not a limb.

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I may find that a new pair of frames is exactly what I need to embrace my 40s (which I assume is better than blindly grabbing for them). New glasses could represent a new outlook, new beginnings, new experiences, a new attitude.

I hope this still rings true when I’m looking at life through progressive lenses.

The New 30

bdayy

I just turned 40.

Maybe it’s a big deal, maybe it’s just a number. I’m feeling pretty good about it, except for one thing-

I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

I ask my kids this question sometimes, hoping the answer is “a doctor” or “accountant” or anything that leads to financial security and them moving out of the house one day. The last time I asked, Thing 1 said “Michael Jackson”, and Thing 2 ignored the question completely, opting instead to painfully squirm his way out of my straight-jacket embrace. (I let him go, mostly because he accidentally elbowed me in the bladder, but I’m pretty sure he was going to say “brain surgeon.”)

I’ve taken personality tests, hoping that I fit into a category that was easy to define and easier to employ. Apparently I am everything and nothing, introverted and extroverted, right in the gray area of the Meyers-Briggs test. I have a friend who’s a psychologist, and even she said she couldn’t figure me out. Psychologically, I am plasma.

Many of my fellow parents have gone back to school for event planning, interior design, nursing, or even med school (!!), which is incredibly admirable. The problem is there’s nothing I’m interested in enough, that I’m aware of, for which I’d be willing to suffer through another degree.

I’ve made lists of my interests and strengths, and have sought advice from people much wiser and more experienced than me, all of which led to the following conclusions:

  • As a freelance English editor, I already get paid to watch TV shows and movies, and I don’t find it particularly gratifying.
  • Sudoku solving isn’t a career.
  • Neither is annoying my husband. Or my kids.
  • Crochet can only be lucrative if I actually finish something.
  • I can’t charge people for praying for them.
  • I’d have to master more than just the corpse pose to teach yoga.
  • Snark is hard to monetize.

So I guess I’m writing this until I figure out what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. If it helps you in any way at all, this will have been more than worth it. At the very least, I hope that reading about my awkward blundering through adulthood makes you feel better about your own journey.

🙂