My wife and I are partners in all things, including domestic duties. I do the things she hates (grocery shopping) and she does the things I hate (laundry). This results in my choosing what we eat and her choosing what I wear.
I’m very fortunate to be an old married guy who is WAAAY more concerned with being comfortable than with looking good. This morning, however, I felt a rare pang of self consciousness as I noticed I am wearing a khaki shirt with gray shorts…
Somewhere in my head, my thirteen year old self returned to ask, “Do these really match? Do I look like a guy who can’t dress himself?” It’s at moments like these where I take a pause, step outside myself, return to being my true self, and realize that I’m being ridiculous. I remember that nobody other than me gives a damn one way or the other what color my pants are.
I do the same thing with our home. I am not at all concerned with how the place looks until someone other than my closest family enters it. Then suddenly, I am embarrassed and ashamed of how it looks. This loss of perspective is the residual from a time in my life in which appearances were inexplicably important.
My favorite thing about getting older is that there is a progressively shorter list of things I worry about and a progressively longer list of things I enjoy and yet: Insecurities are like zucchini in August; you can never really get rid of the damned things entirely.
Once I regain a healthy outlook, I remember that our friends didn’t come to see the house. They came to see people who don’t make dusting a priority. They’re not judging me for it. I am.
When I do unnecessary shit like this to myself, I see it as being the best kind of hypocrite. I don’t treat others this way, so why then do I do it to me?
<sigh> because I’m still a work in progress and even on my best days I can still manage to get weirded out by things that just don’t matter at all.
I’ve been blessed to learn from a lot of folks who are older than I. The best of them refer to their 50s, 60s, and 70s as the “fuck it” years. Things that used to be very important to them no longer are. Vanity is usually at the top of that list. Eliminating these concerns makes room for more passion, purpose, and a helluva lot more fun.