Commentary

My Better Half

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Rachel Birdsell

At 43, I’m at a stage in my life where I have the first half of my life over with and the last half to look forward to — at least I hope I’ll have a second half.

The first half was what I like to think of as my learning period. It was filled with making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. I spent my time worrying about what others thought of me and trying to play by their rules rather than playing by mine. I am looking forward to the second half of my life now that I’m more comfortable in my own skin. Here is a list of things I’ve vowed to do and not do in the next half of my life. I hope you can adopt a few of these.

I will never have flooring that will require people to take off their shoes before they can walk on it.

I won’t be embarrassed if company comes over and there’s dust on the bookshelves.

I’ll be OK with not digging whatever music is popular.

“Old” will always be 10 years older than I am.

I will spend more time just being.

I won’t have to have the latest computer, television or gadget.

I’ll wear comfortable shoes more often than not.

I will speak my mind more readily without fearing what others may think.

I will be kinder to myself.

I will be kinder to others.

I will ignore the people who aren’t worth paying attention to.

I will laugh hysterically when I think about how I used to consider 30 as old.

I will feed the birds more often and watch them eat more often.

I will be at peace with needing two sets of eyeglasses.

I won’t mind telling people that I think a lot of the classic books are boring. “Wuthering Heights” nearly drove me insane, and “The Scarlet Letter” was insufferable.

I will look forward to gaining more wisdom.

I won’t argue with people on the Internet, because it’s like winning the world’s ugliest person contest — you may win, but you’re still ugly.

I won’t worry if my butt looks big in those jeans, because I know it does.

I’ll wear brighter colors and outrageous hats.

I’ll be today who I want to be tomorrow.

I will confess to whoever wants to know that I’ve watched all 12 seasons of “Murder, She Wrote” more than once.

I’ll be at peace with the realization that there are things that I’m not proficient at and never will be.

I’ll learn a second language no matter how many years it takes.

I won’t try to do it all, and will refuse to feel less of a woman because I don’t.

I’ll be choosier about who and what I allow in my life.

I will be more positive than negative, but will still have a couple of pinches of cynicism in me.

I will travel more, even if it’s just taking a mental trip by reading books about other countries.

I will stop worrying about things I can’t change, and will change the things I can.

I will have more adventures.

I’ll take the side roads more than I will the highways.

I will read until my fingers are sore from turning the pages.

I won’t yell at the neighbor kids to get off my damn lawn.

Most importantly, I will have as much fun as I can cram into the rest of my life.

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Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer, artist and opinionator. She’d love to hear from you at rabirdsell@gmail.com

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