On Age, Tattoos, & Pens…

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day (which is why I’m not at the day job, but rather at home on this fine Monday)!

In any case, if you’re connected with me elsewhere online, you probably already know that my 40th birthday was this past Saturday. Yay leftover cake for breakfast! I have no idea how 40 is supposed to feel, honestly, but I can’t say I feel any different than I felt turning 39. And I dare say I’ll feel the same about 41. Age just really isn’t a big thing with me, though I’ll probably be a bit nervous about 50, but only because the week before I turn 50 is when my genetic “switch” for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma is most likely to trigger. Both my paternal grandmother and my dad had that very thing happen, one week before they turned 50 with a big lump appearing on their neck. So if I seem slightly obsessive about self-care (avoiding chemicals, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, etc) off and on for the next decade or so, that’s partially why.

One of my gifts to myself this year was this lovely tattoo, based on my Brazen Snake Books logo, drawn and executed by local artist Andrew Hauck of Ghosts of Grace Tattoo Collective:


That would be the outside of my right lower leg you’re seeing there, just this morning. A little swollen underneath at the ankle, but it’s healing well! Pepe le pew is just on the other side of my ankle down near the quill. Love my Pepe..

It had been 15 years or so since I’d gotten my last tattoo, largely because my husband is not overly fond of them. So I quit when we started seriously seeing each other (no, he didn’t ask me to – sometimes you just do things to make the other person happy in a relationship, because you love them). But the thing about tattoos is, once they get in your blood (so to speak) it’s almost a compulsion to get another one. And another, and another…like chips. Ask anyone with a tattoo, and they’ll tell you. I’ll bet around 98 percent of people with one tattoo either want another one, or have at least thought about it.

A few years ago, my hubby started encouraging me to get another one if I wanted to. I waited, partially to be sure he was really okay with it, and partially due to changing goals (and thus changing plans for placement). I finally decided my birthday was just as good a reason to celebrate with new ink as any, and that’s that. I have a couple of old (around 22 yrs or so old) tattoos on my shoulder that Andrew is going to do a cover for later this spring. I’m very much looking forward to that – much as those tats had/have meaning to me, the new one will better reflect my philosophies now. Even better, I won’t have to translate it constantly, so I’ll be able to wear tank tops again. Trust me…if you’re going to get words of some sort tattooed on your body, get them in English (or whatever your country’s main language is), so people can read it for themselves. Translating gets really old, really fast.

I know some of you are thinking this whole tattoo thing doesn’t fit with the whole “obsessed with self-care” thing…and you’d be right. But we all have vices that we cling to even though we know they could be bad for us…and tattoos are mine. I’ll let you be the judge of whether it’s better or worse than drinking/smoking/whatever else you can think of. Just…keep it to yourself, ’cause I really don’t care. 😉

In other ink-related news, did you read my buddy Carol’s blog last week: On Pens..? You know that friend she talked about who threw away a passel of pens without even checking to see if they worked?

Yeah. That was me. Last summer when I was dredging out our basement while my hubby was out of town, I tossed several plastic grocery-bags full of pens that he’d been “collecting” since before we’d even started dating (probably). You have to understand – it’s not like they had any special meaning, and I did pull out any that had interesting shapes or illustrations or functions. But he grabs pens like candy, at banks, stores, off people’s desks, trade shows…and there were way more pens than we’d ever use before the ink dried up. It’s crazy to give that much space to something that’s just…well, taking up space!

Part of being organized is picking and choosing what you’ll devote space to – and I say unless they have special meaning or are actually in use, there’s no need to keep more than…say, a small check-box full of pens at a time. Anything else is just wasted space, IMO – especially these days, when most everything we do is digital!

Now, time to go send a nag email, and then move on with today’s rather extensive to-do list. That’s what happens when you end up with a long weekend – “stuff” expands to fill the extra space!

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2 comments on “On Age, Tattoos, & Pens…

  1. Carol

    But . . . you didn’t even check them to see if they worked first! *sob*

  2. Ardee Eichelmann

    Jamie, I am with you. I’d toss the pens. In fact I did so last summer. Maybe not as many as you did but there were many that just went into the trash. I was ruthless.

    Nice tattoo! It looks great. Also, whether you care or not I do not consider tats to be a vice or averse to one’s health if you are using a good tattoo parlor that is sanitary and uses quality products. I am sure you do.

    I hope that 40 is very good to you.