Yesterday I turned 36. Birthdays are a bit of a non-event to me, so this day was not auspicious in any way, except perhaps for the fact that I feel like at this age I should really start to act like an adult. My daily breakfast shouldn't be a glass of milk with four heaping tablespoons of Nestle Quik, for example. It's time for whole grains and serious thinking!
So while playing Lego Star Wars yesterday, Royal and I talked about what we felt was holding us back from attaining true adulthood.
"Laziness," he offered.
"Oh yes," I agreed, "I don't think lazier people exist. I don't even bend down to pick things up off the floor, I just try to pinch them with my toes or just kick them out of the way. That's pretty lazy. The question is, how do you stop being lazy?"
We pondered this question while our Darth Maul and General Grievous characters accidentally killed each other on screen.
"Maybe we also need to do stuff that adults do," I said finally, "like play games less and watch CSPAN or read stock reports." We agreed that, although we do enjoy the occasional CSPAN interlude, we were unlikely to take this course of action.
Royal suggested a walk. It was a glorious day, so while we walked we talked about what exactly was wrong with us. We were always very responsible when it came to work. We both worked hard at our jobs (I do work hard as a freelance writer, I just make it seem effortless) but when we came home all that responsibility and effort came to a screeching halt. Cleaning the house was like getting an invasive medical exam to me, something that needed to be done but avoided until my life might actually be in danger. Royal probably doesn't even know where the cleaning supplies are stored in our house, so he's definitely not taking the lead in this. And it wasn't just housecleaning that we were letting slide, but house repairs and budgeting and saving and planning for the future.
We didn't get everything figured out on our walk, but did come to an agreement that a "just do it" attitude and doing things together would go a long way. In many ways, our shared delight in what might seem like childish things to others -- gaming, junk food eating, 14-hour sleeping binges -- has been a source of keeping us strongly tied to one another. I don't know anyone who I could play World of Warcraft with for 8 hours or watch back to back to back episodes of Spongebob with except my husband. While some may think we bring out the worst tendencies in each other. we like to think that we're helping each other keep that inner child alive and kicking.
And at my advanced age, I need all the childlike wonder I can get.