Tomorrow I’m 39.
Funnily enough that doesn’t bother me. I think the year that bothered me the most was 36. I’d been struggling with fertility so long and read so many baby things that talk about how if you have a baby after 35 the chance of it having 19 eyes and four heads is greatly increased. So once I hit 36 I felt depressed about carting around my ovarian mine fields. Once I got over that I’ve been cool with this aging thing.
Every year I know a little more about what I didn’t know the year before. I’m a tiny bit better as a person–which means that should I live to be 2168 I’ll probably be just about perfect.
Having kids means I don’t always feel my age, because I have nothing coming up behind me, gaining ground and threatening to displace me. I was talking with my husband about a coworker of his who has a child graduating High School this year. I thought he was around 50. He’s six days older than the husband, 2 years and three months older than me. It never even occurs to me that I could be the parent of an 18 year old. Chronologically, yes. I was married at 21, and had I gotten pregnant that year I’d be throwing an open house right about now. Since I have, of course, failed to grow up my own self, this seems like a ridiculous proposition to me. How could I parent someone when I have no idea how to parent myself? Of course judging by the people who sit behind us in chain restaurants I guess that doesn’t stop a lot of folks.
I guess I’m focusing on the child thing because birthdays are about that. About being born. About starting one leg of the journey. I no more think this life is the end of existence than I think that Kindergarten is the end of schooling. I’m pretty sure that this life is about laying the groundwork for all of the next steps. I’m still fingerpainting.
This year, for the first time in Four Years A.D.–After Disease–I’ve got goals in mind for the upcoming 12 months. I won’t utter them aloud because I feel that to give them breath would be to curse them into death. I have a history of failing at anything I announce to the world. Whether that’s the work of God, the Devil or my own demons I’m as yet undecided. I just know that I hope when next May 23rd rolls around I’ve managed to lay my hand to good accomplishments.