I turned 51 on Wednesday. It was a much quieter birthday than last year; rather than spend my day on a plane headed for paradise I spent much of my day on the couch watching “90 Day Fiance.” Yes, seriously.
Anyway, at my age I have a mental list of general life grievances that is growing just like it’s supposed to as we get older. I thought I’d make a list (not all-inclusive; that’s impossible) here so that when I’m still definitely blogging in ten years I can look back at 61 and think to myself, “Oh dear; I was so adorable back then!” Here are just a few things that are bugging me lately:
When I put a drink on top of a coaster next to the couch and think to myself, “Don’t spill it” and then that’s exactly what I do. Accidentally, of course. Then I curse loudly and run to the kitchen to get something to help me clean it up. Does this happen often? No. Not enough to worry about; just a little clumsy for some reason. Perhaps I should stop overthinking how I place my drinks.
When people leave the lockers open at the little gym where I’m a member. (The lockers are out in the public area so we can toss our purses and workout bags in there; there’s no actual locker room.) It literally takes half of a second and a small arm movement to swing the door closed. I don’t understand why that’s so hard for some people. Clean up your mess!
When I let someone go in front of me in traffic and there is no friendly acknowledgment of the good deed. I fully accept that this is probably more of a Midwestern thing and here I am in the Southeast, but it still bugs me if they can’t even do that quick nod of the head. I don’t even need a full wave and smile! I will continue being a nice person, though.
When people feel the need to comment on social media posts just to make it about themselves or to give advice that wasn’t necessarily requested. I am a serial “liker” but I am very good at asking whether my input is actually needed, valuable, or helpful and then scrolling myself away if the answer is “no.”
When people stop walking at the very end of an aisle at the grocery store, in the middle. I also don’t like when they stop well inside the aisle, halfway from either end…but that’s not nearly as much of a crime in my eyes as pushing the cart at normal speed, getting ready to make the turn towards another aisle, and stopping short to check the list or answer a text. (In fact, I had an idea to solve this problem back in February.)
Also grocery-store-traffic-jam related: when people pull up next to the cart of someone they have just run into and with whom they want to catch up, blocking everyone else’s shopping progress. Hey, I love running into friends in random places, but I try not to be in the way. In fact, I ran into my friend Kellye in the produce department on Wednesday!
Get off my lawn! Am I right? Maybe don’t answer that.
Of course, at my advanced age I know it’s a really good idea to balance the good with the bad, so I should list some things that are making me very happy lately. That’s easy! In no particular order:
When my friends make the time to text or call me to say hello and check in as much as I do with them. Having supportive friends is the best. Shout out to my friend Vikki, who absolutely hates talking on the phone so much that when I called her about a year ago, she answered with “What are you doooooing????” and so we only only only text…she called me on Wednesday to wish me a Happy Birthday (and also possibly give me a mild heart attack.)
When Jim and I have moments of “uncontrollable, can’t breathe, I-have-to-wipe-the-tears-away” laughter, especially the times when something that isn’t even that funny brings it all on.
When people who work in retail or customer service go above and beyond, not really by doing something extra for me but mainly just by being kind, attentive, and conversational. One of my favorite examples is the saying “I appreciate ‘cha!” which is very common here, and never fails to make me smile when it’s called out after me as I am leaving a business.
When people share on social media about how they are actually taking action to change the things that bother them about the world or our country or their community, rather than just screaming into the void by retweeting or calling out something they feel is wrong. President Obama spoke brilliantly (as usual) about the Call Out Culture that has become prevalent; it’s worth a watch.
When I see parents out in public taking advantage of teachable moments with their little kids, who are paying close attention and responding to mom and/or dad. It’s so sweet.
When people leave unused coupons near their corresponding products in the grocery store: I like that type of pay-it-forward. It’s so easy!
That Facebook Group commercial featuring the Basset Hounds. I stop what I’m doing whenever I hear the song so I can watch. The three that are shown running in slow motion over the sand dunes kills me dead, every time.
Having a few grievances here and there is totally fine as long as I continue to count my blessings and find joy in the little things: it’s that balance of optimism and positivity with a twist of realism. That’s a life goal right there. I think 51 is going to be just fine.