The Serenity I Have(n’t Really) Found

They say that as you grow older, you also grow in self-knowledge, which leads, in turn, to self-acceptance and eventual serenity. (Or senility, which is sort of serene.)

I can’t wait. Self-acceptance? Serenity? Sign me up. Too bad I have to do all that learning about myself first. That sounds unpleasant.

Not that I haven’t experienced some growth already. I can fairly safely say that I have learned to accept certain truths about myself. Oh, not the big ones–I’m still in deep denial about anything that matters. But I have come to terms with the little unpleasant realities. And that’s a start, right?

Here are the shortcomings I have already–even in these tender years–learned to accept in myself:

1. I can’t wear eyeliner. I don’t know if the problem is my lack of skill at applying it, or simply that my buggy eyes can’t absorb a lot of make-up, but any attempt to outline them just looks WRONG. I surrender: Zooey, you can have my eye pencils.

2. I have a serious potato chip addiction. There. I said it.

4. I’m a lousy housekeeper.  Take today: there was an empty edamame shell on the floor between my husband’s office and our bedroom. I don’t know how it got there–hitchhiked on a passing dog?–but there it is. I’ve passed it by a dozen times today, but I have not–yet–picked it up. I just don’t see any rush.

6. I eat a lot of kale and spinach and accept that I am likely to be identified by strangers as The Woman with Something Stuck in Her Teeth.

7. I will never choose style over comfort. Which is why I look the way I do. But that’s not going to change, no matter how disgusted my teenage daughter becomes with me.

9. I like to eat.  I spent a lot of my young adult years hoping I would suddenly become one of those skinny girls who can nibble a few crumbs and then declare themselves full, but when I descend on a plate of food, I don’t resurface until it’s empty. Some of us are born picky poodles and some of us are greedy yellow labs and there’s no fighting nature.

10. I suck at math. (If you don’t believe me, look back at this numbered list.)

I realize these all seem trivial. If you can think of more important shortcomings that I may have neglected to acknowledge, please–keep them to yourself. There’s only so much self-acceptance I can take. At least until the senility kicks in.



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4 responses to “The Serenity I Have(n’t Really) Found

  1. Who was it who wrote that trying to put eyeliner on after age 45 is like trying to pull up the Venetian blinds with one hand and dust the windowsill with the other? HAH.
    Oh also? The road to serenity is paved with potato chips. So you are already there, sister.


    Math is my Kryptonite as well (I blame our schools).

    Did you mis-number your list on purpose for effect, or notice the mistake later and add it to the article?

  3. Barbara

    I so understand. Especially the spinach and kale thing. And the thing where you are somewhat annoyed by a piece of something on the floor but you don’t pick it up. OK, I understand everything except the chip addiction. But don’t speak to me of Good n Plentys.

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