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Posts Tagged ‘lists’

When I was younger – think, about 7 years old or so – I remember taking an acting workshop. Nothing fancy, just a short class one summer at the local community center, most likely. (Mama can fill in the details.)

The point is, I remember one exercise where we had to come up with a character. We had to decide the age, sex, career, mannerisms, etc. of this persona that we were going to portray. When the teachers (who were probably in their early 20s) came around and asked me about my character, I told them, “I’m a middle-aged woman.

So about how old do you think that is?” one of them asked me.

Oh, you know, 30,” I responded, nonchalantly.

I don’t remember the teachers’ reactions, but I have to imagine that it was either a laugh, a groan, or somewhere in between.

I’ve thought about that character exercise a lot in the past few months, for one very specific reason. And that’s because today, according to my younger self, I have officially become middle-aged.

And I’m surprisingly okay with that.

I loved my 20s – a lot of good things happened. But, as with any decade, there were also a number of shitty things, too – things that I’m not sad to leave behind.

I’ve never really been one for dwelling on the past. I do love old stories, and can get nostalgic with the best of them, but more often than not, I focus on what’s ahead.

So in that spirit, I decided it was time for the birthday list to make a comeback – a little 30 for 30 of the non-ESPN variety.

It’s an ambitious list, but it’s worth a shot. I just hope my newly middle-aged body is able to keep up.

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Yes, ma’am

I’m sure by now you’ve seen the Buzzfeed lists on signs you’re almost 30, and signs “you’re too old for this crap.

Maybe they resonated with you, like they did me.

I, for one, love NCIS, appreciate Aerosoles, and really do want to graduate to West Elm.

But I would add one more thing to the list of signs you’re getting older – or, at least one that makes you feel older.

Getting ma’am-ed.

I’ve gotten it from TSA before, and probably on other occasions, but it never registered as a reflection of my age – just a general courtesy. Everyone was getting ma’am-ed.

This past Friday, though, it was just me.

I was at one of Husband’s baseball games, retrieving foul balls in between cheering and yelling, and chatting with the ump every now and then. And this ump, he seemed to be around my own age, maybe a little bit older. 

But when I tossed him back one of the foul balls, he caught it and said, “Thanks, m-, uh, ma’am.

I must have looked surprised, because he immediately followed it up with an (unnecessary) apology.

I brushed it off and told him not to worry, and immediately became more aware of all my laugh lines and other wrinkles.

Not really. (Kind of.)

Actually, I realized that it didn’t really bother me. Sure, it was a little bit of a surprise to get ma’am-ed by someone roughly my own age, but it happens.

And I’m sure it was more out of courtesy than because my laugh lines have taken over my face. Right?

Right?

I’m almost positive.

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Sneak attack

I feel like my birthday just snuck up on me this year.

Usually I’m prepared. Usually I’ve evaluated my old birthday list, and I’m ready with a whole new set of goals.

This year I’m running on Nepali time, where everything is delayed for, well, however long it takes.

I don’t have a new list.

I barely remember what’s on my old list.

And part of me kind of doesn’t care.

(The other part, of course, is still the same old OCD Elizabeth and wants to make a new list.)

Maybe I’ll come up with a new set of goals. Maybe I’ll even revisit the old ones.

Or maybe I’ll just celebrate my birthday this year by listening to some of my favorite Nepali songs on repeat and dancing at my desk.

My boys would be so proud.

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I’ve recently begun to feel that presidential campaigns and Election Day are going the way of Black Friday.

1) They both get earlier and earlier every year.

Sure, Election Day remains on the same schedule (as does Black Friday), but the preparation starts years in advance (or days, in the case of the sales). In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the (unofficial) campaign for 2016 started about half an hour after the results are announced tonight. And half an hour is generous.

2) They bring out the worst in people.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a wave of Black Friday shoppers descend on one of the more popular sales of the day. Supplies are limited and these shoppers don’t mess around. There can be elbowing, shoving, and some definite boxing out. All on minimal sleep.

Leading up to an election, the elbowing, shoving, and boxing out is (usually) all verbal. I’m sure that people still have rational discussions about the merits of each candidate, but you wouldn’t know it from Facebook. I’ll be glad when status updates get back to sports, food, weddings, and babies.

3) Expect long lines and cold weather.

The lead time gets longer and longer, but that doesn’t make the lines any shorter, or the November weather any warmer on the day of. You could spend just as long outside waiting to vote for president as you could to buy a new winter coat. And the coat might last longer.

(No, that’s not an election prediction.)

4) There are lots of promises to get you in the door.

All of those circulars that you get in the mail promise the best sale you’ve ever seen on devices you didn’t know you needed until then. But you don’t see the fine print until you’re checking out. (Buy 1, get 2 free only applies if I get here before 5am?! I have to revamp my whole strategy!)

Naturally, there have been plenty of election promises this time around. And though I can’t fully judge if it’s any different from past years, I know that the fine print is just right around the corner.

5) Both days should be celebrated/concluded with a big glass of wine.

Or choose another beverage of your choice, but seriously, celebrate. The way things are going, there won’t be a lot of down time before the next one.

Election Day does beat Black Friday on sticker distribution.

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As per my 27 list, I’ve been at the yoga studio a lot more often recently, and thus feel compelled to share some of my observations. Especially when I start to notice the same types of people over and over.

1) The Stereotype

Before I started doing yoga, I attributed it as a practice best left to hippies and crunchy-granola types. Not in a bad way, but in a I’m-too-Type-A-to-meditate kind of way. I’ve since realized that everyone has their own way of practicing – even us Type A-ers – but it still makes me giggle (on the inside) when I hear someone behind me talking about how they camped out at a Bob Dylan concert and it was so wonderful and soulful.

2) The Competitor

Yoga is not a competition. In fact, every instructor I’ve ever had emphasizes that it’s a personal practice, and that you should focus on what your body can do, not what everyone around you can do. The Competitor hears that and thinks, you clearly don’t know me and how I operate. I can say this because I fall squarely into this category. Sure, I want to focus on my own practice, but if the girl next to me is trying a bind, you bet your ass I’m going to give it a shot.

That is, until I wobble and fall. A Weeble, I am not.

3) The Underdressed Yogi

I suppose that if you’re comfortable, then it doesn’t count as underdressed. But when I look up from my downward dog and I’m staring directly at butt cheek, it’s a little disconcerting. And I find myself wishing that the UY would wear spandex that’s just a teensy bit longer.

Also disconcerting? When that spandex rides up in the front and you’re standing directly across from the UY. But there’s one in every class.

4) The Dude

No generalizations about guys that do yoga. Just an observation that I see a lot more gentlemen in my classes now than I did five years ago. I’m impressed. And also jealous when they’re far more flexible than I am.

5) The Picture-Perfect Yogi

The Picture-Perfect Yogi isn’t defined by how well he or she does yoga, but by how prepared they look for the class. That is to say, I’m not passing judgment on their practice, by any means. But there’s always one who is decked out head-to-toe in the latest yoga clothing (likely from lululemon*), with a brand new mat, and a perfect slip-proof towel to match. If the PPY is new to yoga, at least they look the part. If they’re seasoned and adept at the poses, then you can bet there’s a Competitor close by, eyeing not only the binds, but also the clothes.

Damn that PPY.

My observations are clearly colored by the fact that I am undoubtedly a Competitor (even as I know that that’s not what yoga is all about). But help me out – who have I left off the list? Or, if you’ve never been, who do you imagine I’ve left off?

*Again, no judgment. Just another minor case of jealousy, since I want everything in the store.

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Don’t act like you weren’t expecting this. You know how I love me a list.

If the 26 list had several items requiring attitude adjustment (letting go of grudges, judging less), 27 is a little more concrete.

So, as I march into my late-20s, I want to:

1) Get married!

2) Go to Phillies spring training in Clearwater.

3) Learn to drive stick. My younger cousin tried to teach me once. It wasn’t pretty. I don’t think I’ll be able to convince him to give me another shot.

4) Make my own creme brulee. (I already own the blowtorch!)

5) Run Boston (which will also mean fundraising, because try as I might, I’m not qualifying).

6) Stop talking about doing more yoga and actually DO more yoga. Let’s aim for once a week.

7) Read more. Last year I set the bar at 10 books, and finished 18. So let’s go for 30 this year. With my new Kindle Fire I’m unstoppable!

8 ) Try a new recipe every other week.

9) Travel somewhere new, even if it’s a neighborhood in DC I’ve never been to before. Though I would like to branch out a little more than that.

10) Create a bucket list. I’m honestly not sure why I haven’t done that yet.

11) Learn to fear the ocean less.

12) Eat dimsum. It just sounds fun.

13) Get involved with the youth program at church. For all the work I do with camp, you’d think I could do a little more locally.

14) Visit the Statue of Liberty. I was sick the day of the middle school class trip and I’ve never made up for it. Maybe we could even throw Ellis Island on there for good measure!

15) Replace my computer. My trusty MacBook is 5 1/2 years old and the hard drive has crashed twice. It’s time.

16) Host a seder.

17) Learn to make challah from scratch. (Do you notice the trend of food goals?)

18) Visit at least one new state.

19) Finish all the “thank you” notes within 2 months of the wedding.

20) Set a new half marathon PR.

21) Take a bike ride out to Mount Vernon.

22) See all the Oscar nominations for Best Picture (before the Oscars).

23) Get involved in international volunteer work.

24) Volunteer at a race.

25) Explore my career options. (Yes, this is intentionally vague.)

26) Give blood. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you have to wait a year after getting a tattoo, so I should be eligible in May 2013.)

27) Set a new 10k PR.

I suppose this list could be summed up in three words: food, running, travel.

And I see nothing wrong with that.

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I didn’t do quite so well on the birthday list this year.

I’m proud of a few things, but others, like I mentioned, are a little harder to measure.

For instance, I don’t think I’ve turned into a bridezilla (#19), but would anyone really tell me if I had?

On the positive side, I have…

…planned the better part of my wedding (#5).

…kept track of restaurants, even if I haven’t made it to all of them on my list (#21).

…taken more pride in my personal appearance (#25). I still sometimes leave the apartment with wet hair, but I also bought some hot rollers and can now leave home with sexy curls. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

…minimized job complaints (#26). Maybe because I’m happier at work, or maybe because there’s only one person who truly gets my goat, but complaints are down significantly.

I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t make the time for a Duck Tour (#13) or a DC United game (part of #24), but hopefully I’ll get to those by the end of the summer.

So I’m 18/26 with just the weekend to go. Not the best completion rate.

I do, however, still have about 72 hours to get my Duck Tour, stop judging and grudging (for real!), play golf, go to 4 different restaurants, and check out DC United.

Totally doable, right?

Right?

Okay. Maybe just the driving range, then.

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