Turning 40: Lists, Part 1

Yesterday kicked off a week-long series of posts all about me as I’m about to turn 40. The next two posts contain lists. Factual, thoughtful, silly, defining, wishful, nostalgic – all sorts of lists about who I am at this point in my life. Something interesting to look back on in the coming decades as I continue to learn more and have experiences and meet people, all of which leads to personal change. None of these are in any particular order. I’d love to hear how some of my readers define themselves in these categories. Feel free to share in the comments!

What I Identify As

  • Dog momma
  • Friend
  • Woman
  • Reader
  • Podcast enthusiast
  • Technical writer
  • Creative writer
  • Libertarian
  • Hiker
  • Runner
  • World traveler
  • Nature lover
  • Independent, self-confident, accomplished, intelligent, curious, healthy, fit, introverted, compassionate, motivated, hard-working, adaptable, and happy

Jobs I’ve Had

  • Burger King/Nathan’s/Mrs. Fields Cookies/Gift shop/TCBY worker (an all-in-one thruway travel plaza)
  • Movie theater ticketing and concessions worker
  • Amusement park ride operator
  • Boardwalk clothing store sales assistant
  • Henna tattoo artist
  • Cashier in a gas station/deli
  • Waitress in a family restaurant without alcohol, in a family restaurant with alcohol, in a cocktail bar, and in a country club
  • Pizza delivery girl
  • Standardized test grader
  • English as a Second Language teacher from preK through adult
  • Teacher of multiple subjects in bilingual schools for second and fifth grades
  • Volunteer and curriculum coordinator for a non-profit
  • Education research assistant
  • Office temp in several industries, like a business school and a lumber company
  • Tour guide in Niagara Falls
  • Standardized test preparation classroom teacher and tutor
  • Tech company recruiter
  • Translation project manager
  • Freelance academic content writer, editor, and project manager
  • Managing editor for an elearning startup
  • Technical writer in the software industry

Issues I Care About

  • Right to die/death with dignity
  • Animal abuse
  • Ballot/media access for third parties and busting out of this bullshit two-party system of false choice
  • Felons’ rights after they’ve served their sentences
  • States’ rights taking precedence over federal law (10th amendment)
  • Free speech and stopping the onslaught of ridiculous, overly offended people who think speech equals violence and who want to shut down any opinion that differs from their own

Things I Like

  • The smell of my skin after I’ve been in the sunshine
  • Page-a-day calendars
  • Tacky souvenir keychains
  • Starting and ending tasks on a multiple of five on the clock
  • Flavored coffee
  • Manhattans, up
  • Manhattan, but only to visit and not to live
  • Animal rescue videos
  • Proper grammar
  • Vegetables
  • Washing my face at the end of a hot summer day
  • Washing my hands after eating greasy or sticky food
  • Taking my hiking boots off at the end of a long, long hike
  • Kraft Mac & Cheese
  • Peeing the woods
  • The endlessness and mystery of outer space
  • Kicking off the sludge that accumulates in your car’s wheel wells in winter
  • Pulling dead tufts of fur off my dog’s body
  • The chicken salad at Which Wich
  • Feeling all-powerful and totally invincible at the end of really hard workout
  • Writing that is so amazing I have to put the book down and shake my head in wonder

Things I Dislike

  • Having to restart my computer
  • People who post passive, barely disguised pleas for attention or praise on social media
  • Peeling oranges
  • People who say “huh?” like Neanderthals instead of “pardon?” or “what was that?” or “excuse me?”
  • Buying jeans and pants
  • People who get indignant when you call them out for doing something they are unequivocally, 100 percent in the wrong about
  • Washing my face in winter
  • People who use clichés like “But it’s Christmas!” to object to you having a normal range of emotions
  • Football
  • People who think it’s not okay to post negative reviews online
  • The sound of dry hands rubbing together
  • People who have badly behaved “emotional support” animals
  • When I forget to put my scarf on before my coat in winter
  • People who say “be well”
  • Being late for a flight and having to run through an airport with all my luggage and getting all sweaty and uncomfortable
  • People who message me only “hello” or “good morning” and then wait for a response before saying what they really want
  • Having to walk too far to find a dumpster for my dog’s poop
  • People who don’t lock the bathroom stall in a public restroom.
  • Brushing my teeth with warm water
  • People who drive. Literally all other drivers

Things I Dislike About Other Drivers

  • People who drive under the speed limit
  • People who don’t use their hazards
  • People who don’t let you pass when clearly they have no idea where they are going
  • People who get in the left lane intentionally so you can’t pass
  • People who don’t zipper merge
  • People who go under the speed limit because there is a cop on the road
  • People who slow down to gawk at accidents
  • People who have the right of way and don’t take it and think they are being nice by letting someone else go when all they are really doing is confusing everyone
  • People who cut you off and immediately hit the breaks to turn
  • People who cut you off even though there are no cars behind you and they could have waited just three more seconds and gotten behind you, but they don’t and then they go slower than you were going
  • People with the right-of-way don’t put their turn signal on to let you know they are turning and you are safe to pull out onto the main road, but instead leave you sitting there wasting time
  • People who don’t hit the gas while going uphill to maintain the same speed but let their speed decrease 10-15 mph under the speed limit until they are on the other side of the hill when gravity speeds them up again
  • People who text and drive

3 thoughts on “Turning 40: Lists, Part 1

  1. OK, so first: kicking off the sludge in the wheel wells… I have a blog post about this (and a few other things) half done, and about a dozen photos of it on my phone in preparation for the blog post, but since it’s now April and we’re finally getting into the 60s, I’m not feeling it and I think it’s going to have to wait until next winter to be finished and posted. So you have THAT to look forward to. 🙂

    Second, yes, yes, yes to everything you wrote about other drivers, especially the one about people trying to be nice but then just end up screwing other drivers. This happens to me all the time. I’m at a stoplight and the person ahead of me feels sorry for a car waiting to turn from a parking lot into the street, so they the car ahead of me lets them in, holding up everyone behind them, and I end up just missing the incredibly short green light because of it. There are 100 variations on this, but if people would just stick to the rules, it would be better for everyone. Today, like many days, I was in the car wondering how much I’m shortening my life by my angry reactions to crap drivers on the roads. I have to make myself exhale. Inhale. Exhale.


    1. hahaha – yes, I’m not the only sludge weirdo. I look forward to your post very much! I’d guess I’ve lost a year off my life from getting pissed off at other drivers. But I’m pretty calm in almost all other aspects of my life, so I just have to go with it and let myself curse everybody out on the road.


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