Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The List of Things We Care About.

One of the things I find most liberating about life after 40 is that the list of things I truly care about has gotten significantly shorter.   I care about my family.  I care about my closest friends.  And I care about living an ethical life.  But the rest of the stuff – that stuff I cared about in my 20s and 30s – that stuff just isn’t as important to me anymore.  Like the latest handbag from Gucci or Fendi or Lanvin or Prada, or whether to wear skinny or flared this season.  I don’t have the latest and greatest in fashion anymore.  My taste has changed.  But more important, my priorities have changed.  I have kids now.  And a husband and dogs.  The days of spending my weekends shopping and getting treatments are gone.  Those were the days of “me”.  And now I have a future.  And a “we”.  And it isn’t just that I’m being “good” or cautious.  It is that I truly care less about these things. 

So here we are at the start of a new year.  I’m in a far away city in a fluffy bed with too many pillows and no husband and so my sleep is limited and my mind drifts to things far too sentimental.  In acknowledgment of those things, here is my list of the shit that matters:
It    * It matters most to me that I’m a good wife.
             *   It matters deeply that I’m a good step – that I take the time to figure out who those little aliens           living in my house are and that I help them through life to the best of my ability.
·           * It matters that I’m a good friend.
·           * It matters that I’m good at my job and that, in a ruthless business, I do my job in as ethical and kind a manner as possible. 
·          *  It matters that I live an honest life.
·           * It matters that I create a world in which those I love are surrounded by interesting conversation and good food. 
·          * It matters that my dogs are well- loved and that the vermin in the canyon stay outside. 
·          * It matters that I never lose sight of the value of an excellent piece of chocolate. 

When I really think about it – when I have a quiet moment and can calm the spinny voices that scream and shout for attention and acknowledgement and new shoes and a better handbag and more power and fancier invites  - when I step back and acknowledge that those voices are not really what matters – not really what brings me happiness – when I really think about it, the short short list of my 40s is manageable and easily accomplished and sometimes just boils down to the right piece of cake for dessert.


Susan Erickson said...

Isn't wisdom fabulous...understanding what is really important in life is the biggest release of stress...nothing better than having your priorities straight!

That's Not My Age said...

Hear hear! And hello 43rd year, I've just found your blog and I love your list - I love the fact that as you get older things do become simpler and you ditch the stuff and nonsense for the things that really matter. I'm now feeling more than a little superficial about my recent blog post (s)! Better treat myself to a slice of cake, then.

What's in a name... said...

Though Iam still in my 30s and have another 6yrs to go till I reach the 40s but I totally agree with you, after I had my 2sons my priorities have changed and your list is in some ways similar to mine...I don't have any pets yet so..I guess more than age it has to do with one's own family..

Anonymous said...

Funny that "those things" like Prada etc. don't matter any more. It seems like we spent most of Saturday at Hermes, YSL and Bottega searching for the "perfect" wallet. Sig Other

Mrs L. said...

What I MEANT to say is that those things matter LESS than they used to. But I still do like a nice wallet! And of course I love my Sig Other most of all!