Maybe it’s an aging thing, but every year on my birthday I find myself in a state of reflection. This year is no different in that regard, but my perception has changed notably from years past.
This year, it seems, I’ve found my footing in life. Maybe it’s odd that it’s taken me 33 years, but here I am—I’m odd.
Over the past year I came to an important realization—I am one with the honey badger—I don’t give a shit. OK, maybe that’s a little too crass. What I mean to says is, I have adopted a carefree life style, and I’ve never been happier.
Let me explain a little more thoroughly.
It started with my writing. It’s hard to be authentic if you are holding back your real thoughts. When I first started writing again, I found myself editing my thoughts and opinions, worried what everyone would think. This took so much away from what I really wanted to say. From who I am. So, I made the conscious decision to stop. I put it all out there–wrote from the heart, and while it was terrifying, the world didn’t explode.
It was liberating, like not wearing a bra, but better.
Of course I’ve gotten criticism on everything from my parenting choices, to my affinity for swearing—sorry, Grandma—but, these are all parts of who I am. I’m more comfortable with myself today than I have ever been before, and I’m not ashamed of a single ounce of this glorious, hot mess.
I no longer care if my house is clean, or if there are scuffs along my baseboards. I don’t rush to tidy up when unexpected company is on the way. There are toys everywhere. If you pop by on a Tuesday, you will find heaps of laundry, dishes and God knows what else littering my home. But, I don’t care. I clean on Sunday—once a week. If you want to see it clean, come by then. And bring a casserole, I’ve been cooking less too.
I no longer spend my evenings straightening and sorting, only to have it destroyed the moment I’m done.
Instead, I sit down on the sofa, I read books to my kids, and I talk to my husband. I find this to be a much more constructive and relaxing use of my time.
Life is short, after all. I don’t want to waste time adjusting throw pillows or needlessly vacuuming the rug. Throw pillows are stupid, and most members of this family have peed on that rug.
I’ve relaxed when it comes to my kids too. I don’t care if they have another pack of fruit snacks. They are human super-balls, and get plenty of exercise. An extra snack won’t hurt them. I will gladly pass those bad boys out and start another episode of Paw Patrol, if it brings them joy and gives me thirty minutes of peace. I’ll make it rain fruit snacks.
I’m not obsessed with their diet, or their screen time.
I do my best to help them learn healthy eating habits, but at the end of the day, they are two and four, and they love mac and cheese. Most of our meals look similar to a hostage negotiation, and they normally end up eating weird kid food. What matters is, they eat.
On the flip-side of that, I don’t care if your kid only eats GMO-free soy beans, and doesn’t even know what a television is. Fine by me, because it doesn’t affect my life whatsoever. You do you, momma. I’m OK with our parenting differences, and I fully believe we can both raise happy, healthy kids. (Sanctimommies, please hold all comments until the end.)
I don’t care about your politics, your religion or how you spend your weekends. That’s none of my business, and I certainly wasn’t put on this earth to judge anyone. I’ve got my hands full just trying to take care of myself and my band of miniature curmudgeons.
My family is beautiful, happy and healthy. I am profoundly grateful for every moment of this life and I will not be bothered with irrelevant nonsense.
I will spend every moment striving to be a better person than I was yesterday. I will practice kindness and compassion, and I will teach my kids to do the same.
The most amazing part of all of this is, when I acknowledged what I don’t care about, it magnified what is truly important to me. It allowed me to focus on what really matters, and going forward I will devote my time and attention to that, and nothing more.
I stand with the honey badger.