Our husbands are talking golf and you’re knitting. Life is over.
-My best friend
Recently, my daughter has taken to dividing our family into teams. There’s the “Crazy Team”–membership requires a strong desire for fun, mischief and excitement–and the “Careful Team,” which is where she groups the boring people.
Naturally, because my nickname as a kid was “Wild Podagee,” I assumed that I was on the Crazy Team. But while talking about it with my husband late one night after the kids went to sleep, I discovered that I’m actually the captain of the Careful Team.
“How bad can it be? Your mom’s on the team,” said the hubby.
I went to sleep thinking that there must be some mistake. My mom and I are fire and water. Growing up, my dad and I were on one team and mom and my brother on the other.
I created the Crazy Team for chrissake!
The next morning, I confronted the child. Her explanation wasn’t comforting. To her, I am a killer of joy, a lid on a jar of laughter, the fun police, the squelcher of all things hilarious.
While trying to explain that just because I don’t want her to get squished like a bug on the street or choke to a miserable death on a piece of popcorn doesn’t mean that I’m boring. In fact, I told her, I’m probably the most exciting person you know.
The look on her face said that she was unquestionably calling “bullshit” on me.
At least up until my early twenties, I’ve been a wild child. My friends could count on me to jump the cliff first, ride the horse bareback, do the body shot, take that extra tab and dance on the table.
Looking back, I’m not sure how I survived it all. I was always the kind of person who couldn’t stand to lose or get outdone by someone and would go to great lengths in all my relationships to push the outside of that envelope.
And while I occasionally tap into my crazy-side–I freaked Prince!–those moments are few and far between. I’m okay with that. Maybe it is time to pass the torch to the next generation of ruffians who stay out until three drinking beer in the parking lot after a long night of talking anarchy.
The other night, my brother called and we got to talking about how growing up you feel this pressure to start living your life and then one day you realize that this is it–you’re doing it.
I think that I’m finally there.
I’ve been accused of “losing my spirit” and–according to my daughter–being boring, but the fact of the matter is that I’m finally content and don’t feel the nagging sensation of restlessness constantly eating at me.
And not to mention, at least after a long night of knitting I just wake up with blurred vision and stiff fingers. Which sure beats the hell out of a Killian’s hangover.
Starr Begley bets she could beat you. MTW