We've all seen the list of recommendations, 30 Things Every Gay Man Needs To Do Before they Reach 30, 40 Things Before 40, 50 Things Before … well anyway. They mention bottoming, be in a monogamous relationship, be in a threesome, live with a boyfriend, do drag, do leather, go to therapy, and some other suggestions. We all need to do what we need to do when wee need to do them. Should these lists become goal sheets for the gays? To that we need to say no. We shouldn't subscribe to deadlines and necessities before a certain age. Dammit, I wasn't in an open relationship or have sex with a woman before I turned 40. What kind of gay am I?
I think there's a time in our lives when we do reflect back and consider how the fuck am I doing? It could be at the 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s mark in our lives. To take some of the pressure off of those dreaded zero years, maybe we should look more annually at our betterment or our life goals. Should that be done at New Years? I'm thinking no.
I often think that New Year's resolutions should be made at Thanksgiving time. We're more in a reflective and evaluative frame of mind. Thanksgiving is when we reflect on what we have and do not have, like friends, loved ones, a gravy boat, and who the hell do I want to spend a special holiday with? Thanksgiving is 4 or 5 days of eating, relaxing, having those conversations of what we are tankful about and what we don't have and may want for Christmas / Hanukkah.
New Years is more of a where we get drunk and make sure we have someone to kiss. New Years is full of the very important decisions like should I dress in black or something shiny or even see through. New Years is when we wonder how hung over we are and will we be sober enough to make it on the plane home or am I already home or where am I?
This past Thanksgiving, I decided to be alone. I had been home to the parents just in December, had spent a week and a half with my brother, and will be home again for Christmas and New Years. I wanted some time off from it all so I turned down invites to be with this friend or that friend. It was a good evaluation time spent by myself, but even if I was with others during the holiday, may it have been friends or family, an evaluation would have happened anyway.
A recent post by thegreatist.com came at a good time. I had seen some reposts of "… things every gay man should do before …" and I was thinking, should I judge my life on these lists? The Greatest article was titled 14 Awesome Life Milestones People Don't Celebrate, But Should. I am of a certain age and I thought this post was a breath of fresh air. Here is the list of 14 with some of the descriptions intact.
If you feel like all you see on social media these days are engagements, babies, marriages, and new jobs, you're not alone. Thanks to the scary-smart algorithms of our favorite social media sites, friends' life events that get a lot of “Likes” float to the top of our Newsfeeds. Which isn’t totally fair.
Don’t get me wrong; those are amazing milestones that are 100-percent worth celebrating. The only problem is when it makes us feel like we need a ring on our finger or a plus sign on a plastic stick to earn a “Congrats!” Truth is, there are plenty of awesome life accomplishments that deserve double-taps and heart-eye emojis too. Let's take a look at 14 things you may be working on—or have already achieved—that totally justify a toast, celebration, or just really good vibes.
1. Moving Into Your First Solo Apartment
2. Achieving a Fitness Goal
3. Paying Off Your Credit Cards Every Month
4. Doing Something That Scares You
5. Hosting Your First Sit-Down Dinner Party
6. Staying Off Social Media—Sans FOMO
OMG, we spend a lot of time on our phones. (More than three hours per day, according to one report.) I swear, I enter some weird time-sucking, physics-defying vortex when I’m lying in bed scrolling through Instagram. So you deserve a serious high-five if you've set your phone to airplane mode or turned it off for a weekend, or even a few hours. (We know, it's really freaking hard, so here are 31 resources to help you unplug and relax.)
7. Having a Hard Conversation With a Family Member
8. Walking Away from a Bad Relationship
It’s not easy to break up with someone—let alone accept the fact someone broke up with you. But bucking up and walking away with your head held high is a huge deal, and it’s something that not everyone has the guts to do. Be proud of yourself—and stay proud.
9. Making a Great New Friend
Let’s be real. It’s hard AF to create lasting friendships in your 20s and 30s, especially when you move to a new city or start a new job. So when you bond with a new person you can text to hang out with on the reg, that’s major cause for celebration. Need a hand? Here are some brilliant tips for making friends in a new city.
10. Getting a Raise
11. Handling a Layoff Like a Boss
12. Saying No to a Draining Obligation (or Friend)
13. Taking a Solo Trip (My trip to Toronto, Canada was so epic and good for me. Amazing time.)
14. Saying I'm Sorry
Yes, there are plenty of times you don’t actually have to apologize—like if you ask a question in a meeting or take a couple hours to respond to a text, for example. But asking for forgiveness when you’ve done something wrong (or giving it to someone who’s wronged you) is a huge, difficult step to take in any sort of relationship—with a friend, relative, or S.O. If you’ve had the guts to do apologize (sincerely) for something you messed up, we salute you. – thegreatist.com
This again is not a check off list of things you must do, but instead a list of celebratory activities in your life. It's not as superficial as being able to check off a list that you have dated someone 10 years older or 5 years younger by now. Some gay squad goals are just a little too odd. Yes, the lists are all made in fun, but thegreatist.com ageless list is a more healthy concoction of milestones than others.
What ever you are grateful for and at whatever age you possess, be thankful for what you have and what you have done, and not what others think you should have accomplished by now.
Are you more retrospective at Thanksgiving or New Years?