Some realizations sneak up on you slowly — you look back & can’t quite pinpoint the “when” or “where”…they just happen over time. And then there are moments when awareness hits you like a bolt of lightning.
⚡️⚡️November 24, 2019 ⚡️⚡️
That’s the exact day I realized a sad, inevitable fact: I’m getting old.
It was 8:09 p.m. & I had just laid down for bed (yes, yes, I know…that should’ve been Clue #1). I turned on the American Music Awards. I saw the first presenter & wondered “hmm, who’s that?” (It was one of the “Lil” somethings…) Then he introduced an act I’d never heard of and she began “singing” in a way that seems to be the new style — a seemingly intentional off-tune whisper/slurring (“whurring”?) that really just seems more like talking.
Can we just agree it’s talking?
And the outfit…I just can’t. (Or couldn’t, I should say.)
“Who are these people and what kind of noise is this?! They call this music?! I don’t get it! What the heck is going on?!”
⚡️⚡️ And that’s when it hit me ⚡️ ⚡️
👵🏻 👵🏻 👵🏻 I’m getting old. 👵🏻 👵🏻 👵🏻
Not in the chronological age sense so much, but cool-factor wise. (Mostly evidenced by the fact that I just used the term “cool-factor”.)
Turning 40 here shortly, the fact that I’m aging hasn’t escaped me; I just always saw myself as the type that would change with the times — stay trendy & current. Not be a “Karen” or “Boomer” as the younger generation would say.
And what’s worse is that, in the same moment I realized I’m failing at being cool, trendy, & plugged-in, I also realized I have zero urge to try to do so.
“Wow”, I thought, “so this is how it happens.”
Generation after generation, we think we’ll be different than the one before us. We think our music really WAS the best and they’re all wrong. We scratch our heads trying to relate to a style of clothing that’s the complete opposite of what we grew up agreeing was cool (read: super high-waisted shorts. FACT: they are NOT flattering). And we somehow think we’ll be the generation that always evolves & is forever cool. We won’t stay stuck in our old ways like our parents did.
But the thing I’m realizing is that hanging on to the way of life you’ve always loved in favor of being in the good graces of the current trendsetters…it’s a natural thing that happens and it’s probably a good sign. Not trying so hard (or, in my case, not trying at all ) just means you’re relaxing into life.
It’s not about condemning the new as much as just letting go of trying to be something you’re not. You realize life is short, energy & time are precious, and spending it trying to keep up just feels — well — pointless, really. If you happen to authentically love the new stuff, great. But if you don’t, that’s okay, too.
Now I realize when my parents listened to Heart instead of Paula Abdul (good call by the way) and watched old Elvis movies instead of the new releases, they probably listened/watched those things for one very simple reason: it’s what they liked! Why waste time on anything else?
It also likely made them reminisce about an earlier time…a simpler time…as all generations do. I think that’s one thing all generations have in common: a yearning as we grow older for a time that was simply uncomplicated.
So, in that spirit, here are some admissions that I just need to shout from the rooftops, now that I’m owning being old & massively uncool:
*I miss having a moderate number of channels to choose from. Notice I didn’t say 3, but I also didn’t say 20,000 — somewhere in between would be great. Hashtag option overwhelm. It’s TV for cryin’ out loud — this shouldn’t be complicated.
*I miss anticipation. Waiting for a letter in the mail from someone I miss. Having to be home at a certain day/time so I don’t miss my favorite show. Disney movies in The Vault, not just hanging out all willy-nilly. Having everything at our fingertips seemed so alluring, but now it just feels like I miss having something to look forward to.
*Ok, I’m gonna say it. I HATE how “Boomer” (my parents/grandparents generation) is becoming a sort of derogatory word. Yes, those in the Baby Boomer generation may have grown out of touch on certain things as they’ve gotten older but they are no different than any other generation in that respect. And, speaking of respect, they deserve some. As do you, young Millennials & Gen Z’ers. Aren’t we all woke enough to drop the hate?
I’m sure like every generation before, those younger than me will likely read this and roll their eyes & shake their heads at my lameness. But it’s ok. I probably would have, too. That’s the one cool thing left about me — I don’t need to get you to love & respect you.
(P.S. My apologies to all the actual Karens reading this, because we all need to stop dragging your name through the mud. WE LOVE YOU, KAREN! 🤘)
Can I share a little truth about myself? I am not naturally a super happy person. My default setting, from as far back as I can remember, has always been a bit serious & somber.
Look at me here—that little face says it all, doesn’t it? Happy to have the BEST parents & most loving home life a Kindergartner could ask for, yet also busy contemplating the world’s problems & how I might solve them. This was the year my mom found me barefoot one day because I gave my shoes away to a girl who said she needed them. My naturally bleeding heart has given me empathy, but it’s made me feel everything more heavily, too.
At times, too heavily.
These last few months have been rough for my hometown of Stuart, Florida. For those that aren’t local, I’ll sum Stuart up this way: it’s a happy little seaside town (like, officially--Coastal Living ranked it #1 in 2016) that is small enough to retain its charm and character, but developed enough to have plenty to do on a Saturday night. It’s the kind of town you’re too cool to settle in at 18 but lures you back in when you’re building a family of your own and have grown to appreciate its simplicity.
We grow and develop but stay firmly connected to our history. We’re family, friends, and fishing; boat rides, beach walks, and barbeques. It’s where almost everybody knows your name (perfect!) and you’re rarely stuck in traffic (well, at least in the “off-season”).
I love my hometown, and that’s why the past few months have been so hard.
My 25 year-old self never would’ve guessed I’d say this as I approach 40 and the highest weight I’ve ever been (pregnancy excluded), but I've truly never felt more comfortable in my own skin. I’m not technically overweight, I just have the kind of not-so-perfect body you might expect a busy teacher & mom to have: a decent set of love handles, thighs that rub together a bit, underarms that wave a little when I do, and, when I look down toward my stomach while in a plank, well…
it’s just not good.
Yet that extra "me" somehow still feels lighter to carry than the mental load I lugged around back when keeping it off was my biggest priority--fixating over calories and a certain number on the scale, imposing consequences on myself if I ate "too much" or skipped a workout. I couldn't keep up with that today if I tried, and I don’t care to. These days, if my cholesterol's good, my blood pressure's in check, & I can keep up with my five year-old and share an ice cream with him, too--then we're all good.
We have a few mutual friends, you and I. So every now & then I see the two of you as I’m scrolling through social media and I stop.
I observe the big smiles, the perfect lighting, the fit bodies clad in coordinating outfits. And, for a second, I buy into the perfection. I see what everyone else sees.
But then I wonder.
If you've stumbled across this post finding yourself in the thick of it--
in a mess you can't imagine finding your way out of,
off-track in seemingly every area of your life,
at a depth you can't imagine rising above...
~ b r e a t h e. You have that. Start there.
~ know you're not alone. We've all been there at some point in our lives.
~harness whatever little faith & willpower you've got left in you & sort out what's within your control & what to give over to God. What's not within your control--hand it over. (And know that you're not somehow doing the whole faith thing wrong if it feels uncomfortable or even painful doing so.)
I'm Krissy & I'm so thankful you're here. Teacher-Mom life is rewarding but it's tough--we need fuel (& each other) to keep going. I hope this is a place you can go that feels like caffeine for the soul--uplifting & highly addictive ;) Check out the categories below and, if you like what you read, subscribe to make sure you always have good Sunday morning reading to go with your coffee :)