I turned 40 last year. It’s an age that’s supposed to be a cause for anxiety, denial, and concern, especially for women. But for me, it was pretty much the opposite of that. Turning 40 was both revelatory and celebratory, in that I slowly came to realize that I have learned, grown, and accomplished quite a bit in my short time on this planet (yes, short: in the grand scope of the universe, 40 years is but the blink of an eyelash).
I also had a revelation that being 40 makes me officially TOFTS: “Too Old For This Shit“, where “shit” = “foolishness”, as in “a set of damn foolishness”, as my Trinidadian grandmother used to say.
To me, this realization is a cause for celebration, and is at the root of my belief that my 40s will be some of the best years of my life. So, in honour of the fact that my 41st birthday is just a couple of weeks away, I present the S I’m T O F, in no particular order of importance:
Morbid fascination with the reality carnival sideshow that is the Trump “presidency”, of the kind typically reserved for horrific car accidents: Way to trivialize that the man’s rhetoric has led to people being murdered in the streets.
Arguments for “free speech” that are really just temper tantrums over the loss of privilege – not rights – to say harmful and offensive things without consequence: Freedom of speech has never been about being able to say whatever damn foolishness you want and then not have anyone point out that it’s foolish.
The Sugarcoated Language of White Fragility: To be clear, I’m TOF White fragility, not that article. The article is both much-needed these days and long overdue.
False equivalencies: For example, giving the same amount of air time to a social justice advocate and to a racist because “both sides” need to be heard. No. They do not. The inherent humanity and value of people of colour is not a matter of debate.
Fears that robots will take over our jobs: First, robots have already taken over jobs. It’s just that those jobs were held mostly by working- and lower-class people, which is why no one really gave a shit. Second, robots will take over our jobs – where “our” = middle- and upper-class people – only if we design them to do so.
Of course, like any good Gemini, I see at least two sides to everything, and I value balance (which is not the same thing as “equal”; see point #4). So, here is a list of things I am not too old for, things that I plan to pursue fully during my fifth decade and beyond:
Radical hope: “This is the joyous destiny of our people—to bury the arc of the moral universe so deep in justice that it will never be undone.”
Puppies & Pronoia: Puppies = self-explanatory. Pronoia = the antidote to paranoia.
Deliciously decadent chocolate birthday cake: Or, you know, chocolate any-time-for-any-reason cake. 🙂