I always thought that being hyper-responsible was going to give me a leg-up in life. For the past 20 years (give or take…), I've kind of reveled in that because it was easier to define myself by things I thought made me somehow seem more grown-up. But what I found out was that defining myself by things I thought other people wanted me to be can make a person pretty unhappy.
This past year has been so defining for me! I've learned that I spent so much time trying to be perfect, I missed out on some great stuff. I was once offered the opportunity to be a guide on the Gaully River in West Virginia. I turned it down because I thought it was too irresponsible. Full-time climber? Nope - I had a career to pursue! Music? Only classical, jazz and American Musical Theatre. The rest of that stuff makes a racket! Pop music?? I only listen to NPR. I could go on - but why?
But I'm happy to report that I'm making up for all the years I spent being hyper-responsible. No - I'm not going sell my house and hit the road, but I am going to try to loosen up a bit. Here are a few things I figured out this year.
- Top 40 music is fun – damn that Beyonce got some pipes!
- NPR is boring. Seriously. Boring. And if I ever hear Daniel Shore give another drab dissertation, I am going to happily roll my eyes and yell BOOOOORING.
- It’s ok to read the entertainment section before the real news.
- It's ok to be late every so often. The world won’t end.
- I don't HAVE to work 60 hour weeks. Really. I don't.
- It's ok - even good - to let other people be responsible for the important things like bills.
- I don't have to finish Anna Karenina if I don't want to. Damn, I don’t even need to read ANY Russian authors if I don’t want to! Woo hoo – what a relief!
This year, that list is going to grown. And I am going to be a happier, healthier me and get a life!