A different kind of bucket list

As I muddle through this, my 39th year of existence, I feel the pressure of the world around me to follow the latest trend from fellow Gen Xers…the ‘I’m turning 40 Bucket List.’  The only thing more popular are those ridiculous month stickers people slap on their screaming babies to memorialize Junior being 9 months and crabby or Sally being 15 months and sassy.  Since I was born with attitude and raised in sarcasm, I posted this a few months ago.

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Isn’t he adorable.

But I’m just not feeling the whole mid-life crisis bucket list thing.  Mostly, because I refuse to accept this is mid-life.  I still feel 25 inside of my head, so why would I want to make a list of things to do before I die.  Bucket lists used to be for people with terminal conditions or the plots of Jack Nicholson movies. Now they seem to be a prerequisite for your Intramural Co-ed Softball registration and the last grasp at coolness before you say fuck-it and buy a Lazy-E-Boy and elastic waistband pants.

So in honor of my 39th year, I give you my Non Bucket-Bucket List.

1.  I would like to get 8 hours of sleep a night.  I dream of what that would feel like, no really, I do.  I imagine it would be similar to what heaven feels like.

2.  I would like one week where I get to watch Jeopardy uninterrupted.  It that too much to ask?  I don’t think so and, apparently, neither does Jeopardy.

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I don’t mean to brag or anything, but JEOPARDY retweeted me.  I now think I’m kind of a big deal.  The rest of my family does not agree.

3.  I would like to actually make something from one of these recipes I tear out of the cooking magazines I buy.  Sometimes I make is as far as buying a few of the ingredients, but, without fail, I forget a necessary item end up making one of my three, standard, boring meals, or buying take-out Chinese because I’m just too exhausted to try or care.

4.  I would like all my pants to fit me comfortably each time I wear them and for them to all to feel like elastic waistband pants.  I mean really.  Why do pants need buttons and belts…too confining.  I am approaching middle age.  I want to feel comfortable.  I want to ignore that my metabolism is changing.  I don’t want to have to lie to myself that my dryer is shrinking my pants.

5.  I would like to have a week, hell I’ll even settle for a day at this point, in which I do not have to play crazy taxi driver, racing around the city.  With two kids, at two different schools, in six different activities, I honestly don’t know whether I’m coming or going.  I’d kill to be kicked back in a Lazy-E-Boy in my unbuckled pants asking questions to Alex Trebek.  By the way, I’m #teammustache if you were curious.

Soooooo……

Basically, I want to be a grumpy old man now and do things in reverse.  I don’t want to walk the Great Wall of China or Sky Dive over the Grand Cannon before I turn 40.  Sure, I want to take a picture in front of every welcome sign for all 50 states, who doesn’t.  But not right now.  I’ll save all that for when I’m 80.  Right now I want to sleep, eat, sit, and comfortably watch TV uninterrupted.

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Yes, that’s me.  I plan on rockin’ old age like nobody’s business.

 

 

 

 

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Goldmine

 

“Paige, I need to you vacuum the living room.”

Stomp, stomp, stomp, “YOU ONLY HAD ME SO YOU COULD MAKE ME VACUUM!!!!!”

“Yes, that was my whole evil plan.  Nine months of pregnancy, labor and delivery, the whole infant phase, ten years of raising you and paying for you, all so I could get a few years of free vacuuming out of you.  I’m evil like that.”

This was an actual conversation that happened in my house a couple of years ago.

We make our kids do weekly chores and pick up after themselves daily.  It was at battle sometimes at first (see above), but, for the most part, the complaints have disappeared.   They’ve just switched to eye rolling and mumbling behind my back.

When we first started having our kids do chores, we had the ‘allowance/no allowance’ debate.  We settled on no allowance.  I’m a firm believer in chores are part of your responsibility as a family member.  No one hands me a $20 for doing the laundry, so I’m not paying my kiddos for cleaning their rooms.

As my kids get older, they are wanting me to buy them things.  Things that I don’t believe are necessary.  Things they think they can’t live without.  Things I tell them they can spend their own money on.  Enter a new problem.  Getting money.  Since birthday and Christmas only come once a year, and no one seems to be dying to hire a talkative 10-year-old and a moody 12-year-old, I started my brain a-turning.  I had a dog in this fight as well.  They may want money, but I want a more peaceful house.  I was getting really tired of their constant bickering, snotty attitudes, and back talking.

Enter my genius invention….the quarter jars.

A few weeks ago, I put $10 worth of quarters each in two jars, one for each kid.  I told them at the end of the month, whatever was left in the jar was theirs to keep.  This got their attention.  But there was a catch.  Every time they decided to be rude, snotty, mean, back talk, not do what was asked, I would  take a quarter.  They didn’t like that very much.  I then told them that every time I saw them doing something extra, cleaning something without being asked, picking up something that wasn’t theirs to do, being helpful and generous, completing a task that is not normally theirs to do, etc, they could earn quarters.  I could see the dollar signs starting to glow in their eyes.

Immediately, they had to test mom and get in an argument.  Yeah, quarters for me!  They did not like having to get quarters out and hand them over.

A few days later, I walked in the kitchen after lunch and the sink was empty.  I looked around in disbelief.  Did they just throw away the dishes?  My daughter says to me, “I washed and dried the dishes and put them away.”  I nearly fell over.  This girl leaves a trails of mess wherever she goes.  Dishes sit in her room for weeks.  Maybe its a fluke.  A few days after that, my sons stands up and announces, “I’m going to pick up the dog poop.”

Holy crap…It’s working!

I’m sure the kids think they have found their goldmine, their ticket to those new iPods they want.  I know the real goldmine is mine!