When you grow up as a fifth generation Texan, there are a few things in which you can claim expert credentials, including inter alia, big hair, big cars, big lies, and a certain kind of music. Now most of you are probably too young or have, shall we say “more refined taste” in music than I do, so you don’t know the genius that is Jerry Lee Lewis (or George Jones, but that’s an entirely different post).
I grew up tuned in to my dad’s country music station, way back before Taylor Swift (or her parents) were born or Billy Ray had his mullet. My dad’s country music wasn’t glamorous and glitzy, unless you counted that new hat (with the tag still attached) that Minnie Pearl wore on Hee Haw. One of my first favorite songs was Jerry Lee Lewis’ “39 and Holding,” even though I had no idea what he was holding or why he didn’t just put it down and sing about something else. I remember my dad explaining to me, over a delicious late 1970’s snack of Cheez Whiz and Ritz Crackers, that it was about holding on to being young and trying to have a good time. Out of respect for my tender age, my dad naturally edited out the parts that hint at budding alcoholism and philandering and crippling vanity.
So, on the eve of the eve of my 39th birthday, I find myself returning to two things: that song and my bucket list. I love to crank up the Jerry Lee Lewis and revise my bucket list. Now, however, it’s time to give it some wings and let it fly.
Here are the things I would like to accomplish or to see come to pass while I am age 39:
1. Learn to play
the piano, or the trumpet or the flute (I started out very lofty, but then I said, “Fuck musical instruments; just learn how to play. With your kids. With yourself (not in the naughty way, but in the child-like way). Your husband. Your friends. The World. Learn how to play.”)
2. Take a Zumba class (This is the item that is about facing fears and refraining from making fun of something I have never done. Zumba, I am coming for you.)
3. Learn what the hell a meme is. (I. WILL. NOT. WALK. THIS. EARTH. HAVING. NO. IDEA. WHAT. THIS. IS.)
4. Write at least 5 handwritten letters. (It’s a lost art, people. I want to do it before I forget what my own handwriting looks like. Read this post about letter writing. )
5. Finish a novel. (Just finish. No excuses. No hating on it. Write with love and finish it. Get to the end. You deserve it.)
6. Let go ONCE AND FOR ALL of all the so-called “skinny clothes” that I always sort of hope will fit one day again. (Including those obscenely tight Mavi jeans and the dress from my rehearsal dinner. Be too busy for this shit. Get that out of your house, be bigger and be fabulous. You are never going to look like Kate Moss again — and you never really did.)
7. Set better limits around technology. (Hate this stupid idea.)
8. Let go of setting vague limits around technology. (This one is even worse. I can see what’s coming.)
9. No computers or iPhones once we sit down to dinner as a family. (No trying to get around this by standing up for dinner. You will be happier if you SLOW. DOWN. AND. UNPLUG. Remember that husband you love so much and waited so long for? He’s not enjoying your Twitter life, and he’s sitting right next to you.)
10. More gratitude lists for the gifts I have here and now.
11. EVERY SINGLE DAY of the year, wear shoes that love my feet and support my body. (How can I expect to run with the wolves if I can’t walk in my shoes? They
can should be fabulous, but they have to support me.)