Just Some Thoughts: Vol 25

3 min readJan 28, 2024

Graying out and freaking out.

Another Trip
Well, the end of January is here and that means I’m mere days away from turning 42. For the last two years, I felt pretty good about crossing the threshold into middle age. My career is solid, I have a good reputation at work and have become a go-to person for all kinds of things, I’m financially secure, I feel decently healthy and am active most days (although, my metabolism has definitely slowed down this last year, which is frustrating), and I, in general, feel content most days.

But, 42 is kind of freaking me out. Although there are so many wonderful things about my life, I also feel a panic in the pit of my stomach. There is so much more, personally and professionally, that has yet to come into place. The clock keeps ticking, the world keeps spinning (for now), and time seems to be speeding up towards the inevitable end. I try not to think about this too much or too often because it upsets me, and I’m trying to stay positive and just keep on keeping on.

So, sweet 42, please be kind and fruitful to me. Please keep me relatively healthy and happy. Please keep my loved ones safe and fulfilled. And, finally, please don’t let Trump win!

New Year’s Goals Update
Last month, I mentioned the goals that I set in place for myself to achieve this year. I’ve been doing well with most of them except the phone use. Admittedly, it’s a problem. It’s easy and instant entertainment to scroll through Instagram for extended periods of time in the evening, which is not helping me with staying off my phone.

In all honesty, I’m hardly on my phone during working hours. I send and receive the occasional texts, I briefly scroll through my socials during lunch, and check my email every now and again. So when I get home, it’s on! And this is where the problem is because I’m no longer consumed with other things that need to get done.

I often talk to my students about phone use and addiction to it. In fact, I’m currently in the middle of an argumentative writing unit that discusses the idea of schools taking students’ phones away at the beginning of the day in order to help them focus. It’s interesting to hear them talk about how a lot of students have a problem with their phone, but they don’t, which is laughable because as soon as they state this, I see them looking at their phones.

I am no better than them, though, so I can’t judge too harshly. I need a new tactic for the evening so that I stay away from my phone; willpower alone isn’t cutting it. Maybe I should just chop my hands off?

I was at the gym one morning and this random gem popped up on my playlist. There are some bands that I’ve lost track of over the years, Gossip being one of them. Beth Ditto has a powerhouse voice that I am so envious of. She can hit notes that I can only dream of being able to get to without totally thrashing my throat. Ugh, I love it.