Today marks the start of another year of life for me on this big planet, my 43rd year. When did I get this “old” inching closer and closer to middle-aged? I try think back to when I was a kid and my parents were the same age I am now. They seemed so mature and grown up and I couldn’t imagine being as old as 43, that was just so far away.
But it’s here now and I’m glad it is because, as my grandmother always used to say, “it’s better than the alternative.” I don’t really feel old, maybe chasing a two-year old around at this stage keeps me young. In many ways I don’t feel like I’ve changed. I haven’t suddenly started listening exclusively to classical music and still enjoy keeping up with the latest hits. But these days expensive red wine fills my glass instead of cheap keg beer, even if one or two glasses are more than enough. And, I’ve got plenty of fine lines and grey hair and need glasses or contacts to see pretty much anything further than a foot away from my face. Thank goodness for the miracles of refraction and hair color.
Even now though, as I’m effectively in my third “career,” I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m still searching for meaning and passion and the things that get me excited about getting up in the morning. The good news is that with age comes knowing that you don’t have to decide at the age of 20 or 30 or 40 what you want to do for the rest of your life. There is always time to learn and grow and change.
And so to mark the beginning of a new year, I thought I’d share a few things that maybe you don’t know about me.
- Me and exercise, it’s a roller-coaster relationship. I’ll go for a year without doing a thing and then train up for some goal like a 10K run or a 150 mile charity bike ride. But I struggle to make it part of my every day life.
- Getting jiggy with it on the dance floor until you work up a sweat. That’s some great exercise and great fun.
- In my imagination I’m a really good cook. But in reality, my execution is just never really quite there. However, I can cook an amazing chili and am a whiz at clean-up duty. So if anyone wants to come over and do all the cooking, I’ll do all the cleaning.
- I’m afraid to travel anywhere there might be questionable sanitation or access to toilets, certainly a side effect of the Crohn’s. I feel the same about camping, staying over at other people’s houses, and sharing hotel rooms with friends.
- Madonna is one of my favorite artists and I’m not ashamed to say it. I’ve been with her since the beginning, since the 80s when I tried to dress like her. And whether you like her or not, you can’t deny that she’s a strong independent woman who’s not afraid to speak her mind and re-invent herself.
- I worry every day that I’m not a good enough parent, partner, friend, daughter, you name it.
- I have walked on fire. I have walked barefoot across a bed of hot coals at a corporate team building event. It makes me wonder, how can I do stuff like this yet not trust the courage of my own convictions on a daily basis?
- I love movies and am a total sucker for a good romantic comedy. Horror movies, not so much. Refuse to watch them.
- I’m not afraid of public speaking in front of a large groups of people. But put me at a dinner party and I’ll be completely overwhelmed by bigger personalities. Being quiet and reserved doesn’t mean I’m unfriendly, I’m just introverted and shy. It takes a while, and maybe a couple of drinks, to pull me out of my shell.
- After failed attempts at IVF, my little man arrived the natural way in my 40th year. Among other things, that’s why he’s my little miracle. Something I never thought would happen.