Does anyone else feel like there is not enough time on the planet to pursue all of the things we are supposed to be doing as the young, educated, moderately hip professionals that we are?
In addition to pursuing a graduate degree (what else does a 20-something do during a recession?), I am also learning to cook. But not just COOK, of course, but cook gourmet. It’s not enough anymore to crack open “The Joy of Cooking” and make some braised beef. I feel intense pressure to be talented in organic fusion gastronomy, to whip up a tasty, macrobiotic meal in under 30 minutes, all while World Beat music plays in the background. I should also be interested in wine.
And of course, there is my health. I should be taking yoga…wait, not yoga, pilates. Wait, not pilates, spinning. No, Tai-Chi. No, no, salsa dancing. But don’t forget weight-lifting! And if you’re 25 and haven’t run a sprint triathalon yet, well you’re pathetic. And hiking!! I should be going on hikes every weekend, in my crisp new outdoor performance gear, carrying my shiny Nalgene on my hip. Did I mention hip-hop dance class? I should be going to those, too.
And culturally, there are about 4,000 books I should be reading…but sweet God, don’t forget to stay on top of current events! I should know my Sunni from my Shiites from my Shia. Kurdistan from Kerplackastan. The latest price of oil. The lastest Obama campaign gaff. And what’s going on with China, lately? Tibet something? This is hard stuff, people. I can barely remember the name of our Speaker of the House (Pelosi?!) although kudos to me for knowing that she’s female (right?).
And recycling. I am trying to recycle! I swear to God! I’m shortening the length of my shower, I PROMISE. Just LAY OFF ME. Ok, maybe I sometimes still let the water run while I’m brushing my teeth because I find the sound strangely soothing but trust me, the guilt…oh, the GUILT I feel about it afterward is terrible. I am buying more “green” products, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes pass over the 2 oz bottle of Method handsoap for the 3lb tub of Walmart brand hand cleaner. It’s difficult to be a cheapskate in these ecologically conscious times!! So cut me a break.
And what about the drums my husband bought me for my birthday? Shouldn’t I have mastered them by now? Shouldn’t I be taking lessons from the guy that sweeps up at the Music Mart, even though they’re $30 a pop and we’re saving for a house? And the guitar; how can any self-respecting Ingrid Michaelson fan NOT be learning the guitar?! I’m sure I can squeeze in five minutes of playing sometime in between brushing my teeth and reading the book I have sworn to finish by the end of the week.
Flossing! I don’t floss enough. And I don’t ever remember to whiten my teeth, shit!! I just don’t like leaving those trays in my mouth for 45 minutes. And shut up about the strips, OK? They always dissolve onto my tongue and taste like crap. I used to feel like quite the health-conscious individual when I bought my Sonicare toothbrush, but that’s not enough anymore. Now I need mouthwash and special toothpaste to keep my teeth from turning opaque. I can’t afford all this shit! I am still trying to find the right powder bronzer, you think that trial-and-error process is CHEAP?
My mom sent me a link to the World Health Organization website…they have this massive Climate Change and Health Directive (it’s the theme for this year’s World Health Day). It’s just pages and pages of information on the effects of global warming and health, all the kinds of pertinent, up-to-date data that I feel I really, really should know. But as I was skimming the Introduction paragraph, I was seized with panic and then depression. It wouldn’t matter. I wasn’t going to retain anything from this article. All it will do is make want to know more, and then it will be one more thing to add to the list, the horrible, sprawling list of Things I Think Intelligent, Self-Respecting Adults Should Know And Do.
So I skip to the conclusion, find a quote on global consciousness I like and put it on my Facebook page. Phew. At least I’ve done something constructive today.