Diary of Surrender, Week 4: What’s the Assignment in Middle Age?

Can I just stay home and watch television?

Adeline Dimond


Photo by Tolga Ulkan on Unsplash

I’m writing a diary about my year of giving up, although I may give up on this too. Who knows? You can read about why I’m giving up here, and the previous week of saying fuck it here. (The term “week” is used loosely).

Life has been easy for me because I was dealt a good hand — healthy, born in the United States to well-educated parents, you get the idea — but also because I’ve always been a good girl and paid close attention to the assignment. The assignments: as a kid, obey the adults and stay out of trouble; in high school stay out of trouble and get into college; finish college; get a job; secure a career; buy a house. Check, check, check.

I dutifully did all these things, although I skipped the marriage and kids assignment. Some assignments I did better than others. I didn’t stay entirely out of trouble in high school, and I’ve probably had more sex than a good girl is ‘sposed to, which some corners cite as the reason I skipped the marriage and kids assignment. (Cow, milk, etc). Now, a bazillion years after high school, I own a home and have a stable career and you know, it’s great. I’m secure. I even have (humblebrag) health insurance. No more assignments for me, because I did all the things.