I turned 40 last week. And until now, I always took pride in knowing the latest trend or the hottest new act or the most inane piece of celebrity information. I mean, it's my job to know this stuff. I work in entertainment television so I get paid to know what's going on. So I never expected the day would come when I wouldn't have any of this knowledge just magically in my head -- and it would actually be work. And yet, the day has come. Or more precisely, the day actually came a while ago. I'm just coming to terms with it now.
I'm a mom of two young kids who prove to me every single day that I actually know nothing. About anything. And the more I hang out with the 20 and early 30-somethings in my office, the more I realize, much to my chagrin, I'm kind of not cool anymore.
I've always been a little slow on the new technology front. I only upgraded my flip phone a couple of years ago when it blew up. My husband just sold my VCR at a garage sale three years ago. (For the record, I still have a combination VCR/DVD player, AND I still own VHS tapes and buy DVDs. They will make a comeback, I swear.) I don't have a twitter, although that will be next on my list. At this rate, standby for spring 2018 for my first twitter handle. And yes, I know what a twitter handle is. It took me six months to download my first app onto my ipod touch -- and it took my four-year old son only one day to figure out how to play Angry Birds, and play it well.
I recently discovered something called a tweet deck. The young 'un who sits next to me at work (she's in her early 20's) showed me what it is. I don't know how to use it or look at it, but I figured knowing what it is, well that's a step. And I don't know the difference between Instagram and webstagram, but I do know that looking at either on Internet Explorer crashes my computer. I have to use Google Chrome instead. And don't even get me started on the hashtag. #workingit #youknowit #sonotcool #thisis40 #juddapatow
I spend a large part of my day looking at celebrity twitter feeds and Instagram accounts, and writing stories about what they're doing. A lot of my friends have twitters and Instagram accounts and they can create vines, while I'm still looking up acronyms that people send to me to close off emails. (Thank god for google or I might never know what SYS or TTYL stand for.)
But here's the surprising thing -- I'm actually not as upset at the loss of my "coolness" as I thought I would be. (Is it even cool to say "cool" anymore? Maybe I should google that.) I've accepted the fact that I'll always be playing catch up with the lingo and technology. I will never fit into the "cute" outfits anymore because after two kids and turning 40, your hormones and metabolism kind of suck, especially when you can't afford a personal trainer/chef/housekeeper/nanny and overall support staff.
So as I say goodbye to my 30's, I've decided to redefine what it means to be cool, or at least what cool means to me. Cool means surviving a work day on only two hours of sleep and still being able to laugh and stay upright. Cool means buying jeans one size up and NOT crying about it -- but still keeping the old ones because you know, you may one day find time to exercise after the kids turn 16. Cool means being able to pick your own definition of the word and not letting others decide what it means. Or it just means being who you are -- and being ok with just that.
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