I loathe the phrase (or variations of) “we need to catch up soon!” It irritates me to no end. Seriously, Mrs. B and I once got into an actual argument about it — for the record, this argument was 100% my fault and the result of me being totally pissy pants. I used to think it bothered me when people said this because I felt like if you need to say “let’s catch up” then we aren’t that close. If we were really good friends, we would talk often enough for you to know what is going on in my life without having to schedule a phone date to “catch up.” (Note: I am in no way knocking phone dates. I think they are at times vital to long distance friendships and to not-so-long-distance ones when a phone tag issue arises.)
Here’s the truth. I hate it when people say “let’s catch up” or “what’s new with you” because I don’t have anything to say. And it makes me feel bad. So I talk about other people’s lives — my sister’s pregnant, my roommates did this or that, so and so got married, blah, blah, blah. But really, none of that is about ME. Sure, some of those things impact my life but I find that I have less and less to say about my self and what I’ve been up to every day. And it totally scares me.
My parents were giving me a hard time recently about my regimented lifestyle and it sort of upset me, but really, they’re right. Every week I go to church, bible study, kickball and/or trivia night, lose and gain the same 3-5 pounds, go to work, and workout semi-consistently. That’s it. Nothing else happens. I have nothing else to talk about that is truly mine. I can talk about my friends new jobs or break ups or dates or vacations, but I don’t actually have any of those of my own.
It makes me feel like my life isn’t going anywhere. But then I type that sentence and I see how ridiculous it looks/sounds. I do not have a dead-end job. I am not “too old” to change anything and everything about my life if I want to. Really, I’m at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exciting things that will (hopefully) happen in my life. But when someone asks what’s new with me, I immediately feel stagnant. It makes me wonder how other people respond to that question…
Do they talk about the new person they’re seeing? Or their new car? Or some promotion they just got at work? Does the response have to be something big and exciting? Or can “what’s new with me” include the book I just finished reading and the new drapes I bought for my living room? Because those are the things I have to talk about. Sure, I can talk about work, but I honestly don’t think that my non-attorney friends want to hear about it and I don’t want to sound pretentious or pompous or any of those other snarky adjectives commonly associated with my profession.
I think I probably read way too much into it when people suggest we catch up. They aren’t looking for me to tell them about all these grand, exciting things happening in my life. They just want to know how things are going, if I’ve seen any new movies, what events (big or small) are important in my life right now. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And I need to stop being such a freak about it. And adding excessive pressure to myself. And thinking that my life is so miserable because I don’t get to tell my friends about my flavor-of-the-week every time they call. It’s okay to just talk about Mel Gibson (even though every major media outlet in the world has already talked him to death, in two days) and the new bike gear I want to buy and how obsessed I am with the Pioneer Woman. None of it is that exciting or new or worthy of celebration, but it’s my life. And it’s a good one. And I should be grateful and proud of that.