5 Things :: what I won’t do

So BFF ran a 17-mile race the other day and I felt like a total tool when I experienced a twinge of not-quite-envy-but-close-enough. Since I’m not usually prone to twinges, which is the secret to our enduring friendship, I forced myself to deconstruct the emotion and came up with this:

There are some things that people do that are either trending or fashionable or expected or “good for you” and I feel I ought to jump on the bandwagon so I don’t feel left out/ignorant/laughable/fat. It’s the 21st century version of “keeping up with the Joneses”, only instead of wanting to own the most things, we’ve become a society that expects social, physical and moral improvement with the endgame being perfection. In the end, it produces a toxic amalgamation of guilt and envy and competitiveness.

I don’t like it. Especially when I feel it in relation to BFF.

Now I think I’m of that age that I can/should let go of getting hung up on social mores, and I feel I ought to anyway for the sake of my sanity and my best friendship. So today, I give you the 5 things that are NOT on my to-do list even though it seems socially mandatory:

  1. run a marathon – I’m proud of BFF but long distance is just not my thing. Give me a quick 5K any day.
  2. take a class in [insert trendy gym activity here] – I don’t want to yoga or zumba or spin or pole dance. I can’t help it that all my interests (reading, knitting, blogging, watching Doctor Who) require a sedentary bordering on Wall-E lifestyle.
  3. go vegetarian/organic – More power to people who are environmentally/socially responsible. But honestly, you baffle me. I grew up on Tang and Spam and seasoning all foods with MSG and I survived. I’m sure my kids will too.
  4. dress my age – What does that mean anyway? Does it mean giving up shopping at Forever 21 and Aeropostale? Does it mean I can’t show off my gams anymore and I have to wear sensible shoes? No way. Not on my watch, baby!
  5. enroll my children in [insert expected childhood activity here] – We are not a sports family. We are not a religious family. We are not an artsy family. So we don’t do soccer or youth group or piano lessons. This one’s kinda sketchy for me – I do feel like a bad mommy if I don’t expose my kids to these things, but it’s just not in my nature to press. However, if I don’t expose them, will they be at a disadvantage? Thoughts on this?

Okay, ending rant here. I’d really like your two cents’ on #5 when you get the chance, but I don’t think I’m ever gonna budge on the others. Then again, never say never, right?

december 15

Week in review – cashmere is king!

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4 thoughts on “5 Things :: what I won’t do

  1. I, mostly, agree with you on #5. As my kids get older I find myself more willing to sign them up for things, but only things THEY have expressed interest in, multiple times. My son said, once, that he’d like to take karate, but since he never mentioned it again, we didn’t do anything about it. On the other hand, he has told us over & over for the past 2 years that he wants to be in G-Force (a kids choir at our church), so now that he’s old enough, we’re looking into it.
    I sometimes (when I read my cousin’s Facebook page) feel mommy guilt for not having my kids in multiple activities, but I then I think about how much FUN they have playing at home, and I stop worrying about it.

    • I hear you, Selah. But at what point is it allowing them free choice versus exposing them to experiences so they can make that free choice? Remind me to tell you the story about a student who did tae kwon do as his final project and what his mom told me about it.

      • Just because I’m not signing my kids up for every available activity doesn’t mean they’re not exposed to stuff. They go to Sunday School and library story hour, we read constantly, play board games from all over the world, cook together, and go to museums, plays, and other fun outings. I’m sure you do things like this with your kids too.

  2. Boy…I’ve been so out of the mood to check emails lately that I’m lucky I read this post. You know, everyone is always amazed at how much you do! Nobody expects you to run a marathon. Of course I may bug you from time to time just because doing things with you makes them even more fun ❤

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