The other day, I was thinking about this funny quote from Nora Ephron:
“We have a game we play when we’re waiting for tables in restaurants, where you have to write the five things that describe yourself on a piece of paper. When I was [in my twenties], I would have put: ambitious, Wellesley graduate, daughter, Democrat, single. Ten years later not one of those five things turned up on my list. I was: journalist, feminist, New Yorker, divorced, funny. Today not one of those five things turns up in my list: writer, director, mother, sister, happy.”
What would your words be? When I first posted about this quote seven years ago, my kids were toddlers, and my words were “writer, friend, mother, sleepy, loving.”
These days, I’d instead say: “writer, friend, mother, walker, inspired.” First, I got really into walking over the past few years and treasure my daily neighborhood strolls so much. And by “inspired,” I really mean that TV shows, movies, books, podcasts, etc. these days are so good, and I feel energized by that. And with social media — like Succession parodies and McSweeney’s posts — it feels like everyone is discussing culture all the time, and I’m here for it.
On a podcast recently, comedian/writer/actress Amy Poehler, who is 50, said: “I’m just digging this time. I was just saying to a friend of mine the other day, there should be another term besides like midlife crisis. Like everyone likes to say, she/he’s having a midlife crisis. I’d love to rebrand some version of that where you started having, like, a, I don’t know, a midlife discovery or breakthrough. Renaissance. Re-nai-ssance.” I agree with that! I mean, winter is dark, and the pandemic feels unending, and regular life has major ups and downs, but I’m 42 and just feel, I don’t know, like myself right now.
I’m curious to hear: How would you describe yourself in five words during this chapter of your life? And another quip from Ephron: “I have a theory that children remember two things — when you weren’t there and when they threw up.”