Eat It With a Straw

I just got my second pair of glasses a couple of days ago. I think this thing of getting old really suits me. Instead of feeling old when I’m at the computer, wearing my reading glasses, I feel like this sophisticated lawyer’s secretary, that has the week in a tight schedule and has promptly prepared all her outfits to wear in each week-day, one weekend in advance. Or, then again, maybe I’m just seeing too much of “The Good Wife” and getting old.

How is it for the person who just crossed that barrier to old age? Is there such a thing? Do you wake up one morning and the person staring at you from the bathroom mirror doesn’t look like someone you know anymore? Is it a sad moment or a relief? I mean, it can be the time when you can stop worrying so much or trying so hard to control how you look or how everyone else sees you.

There’s this veil around seniority that allows the old lady with two odd socks to walk down the street unnoticed. There’s this excuse for doing wrong things and saying whatever comes to mind, and the self-forgiveness from not remembering that you’ve said them in the first place. I’m sure some peace of mind comes out of it. I refuse to think forgetting is all bad.

It is said, that when you are on your death-bed, most of the things you worry about now will not cross your mind then. Deconstructing my habitual thoughts and puzzling them back again, helps me figure out what really matters to me, exclusively. So I invented this exercise: Take out everything that relates to your work, family, friends and pets, and tell me what is the thing you treasure most in your life.

If you think about it, the answer leaves only you and your most personal things. Probably the ones that existed before you got a job or a serious relationship. Or maybe opens up the door to what you can only do alone. Pushing it further, maybe it’s that secret you have…

Now that you know what is the most important thing in your life, when it relates to only you, answer this: is it something you would think about in your death-bed? I think we should try to be like the old lady with a memory deficit once in a while. We should wear odd socks, pretend we have short memory, and make some noise when we’re eating soup — why not? Maybe it tastes better that way.

I bet it would make wonders to our self-esteem; the motto being Pretending to be Old Really Makes You Young. It’s not about Not Caring anymore, it’s about caring about the important things. Because think about it; caring takes out too much energy compared to the amount of energy you have allocated for each day.

Imagine this: something happened, you have a problem. There’s the energy for caring about what just happened while you first think about it. Then the energy you use trying to fix it. The energy to share the story with other people. And finally the energy it takes to recover. All that energy, all that time. Why can’t we just fix it (or delegate) and forget about it? Why do we have to go over it inwards and outwards for it to truly leave our mind?

If the soup is too hot, lets just eat it with a straw and pretend we’re a happy old lady, blissfully unaware of her surroundings.

And forgetting can be such a bliss. I wish I could forget that I need reading glasses…

Unpretentious 12 hours

If you were a character from a TV-Series, who would you be? If you could live in a parallel world when you went to sleep, where you didn’t need sleep at all; if it were normal for everyone to have two lives intertwined, 12 hours here and 12 hours there, where else would you be?

Only one TV-Series truly broke my heart when it was cancelled: Men in Trees. The producers tried to tie some loose ends and give a sense of closure in the last episode, but Marin’s path remained open to me. My imagination urges me to continue her story since then. Tucked between my sheets at night, I stumble over reality and get myself lost in an Alaskan city where time ticks by at a much slower pace and nobody cares what I do for a living, when I plan to have kids or where I’m moving to next. (Wait, nobody cares already, but me.)

My Alaskan dream is not paradise, but someplace much less pretentious. Like Marin, I’m a writer — I write from the heart, my english is perfect and I ride my bicycle when I need to clear my thoughts — life’s uncomplicated like that. In that parallel life, I don’t need anything else but what I already have; I don’t need super powers, I don’t even need to sleep. Sleep’s a waste. But most of all, I don’t have to think about myself. My mind is clear to wonder and listen to everyone else and I think in a way that would be the best super power of all. No needs, no pressures, no disappointments, just an open and stable path where I’d know where I stand, because the Welcome Home mat would always be laying over the same porch, and I would always receive mail at the same address, and I could plan my whole future from that porch, sitting on a rocking chair, sipping a cup of warm herbal tea, watching the sun rise, planning how to start the next paragraph on my book… at least for those 12 hours each day.

But maybe, the book I’d be writing would be this story, the one I’m living now. Where girl meets boy, falls in love and decides to spend the rest of her life following him around, unbound to any zip code, coin or cardboard signs. And for 12 hours each day, that life would seem amazing.