My birthday falls right on the heels of London's birthday. And when you reach a certain age, like my age, you start thinking about the numbers in a different light.
I don't feel old. Really. (Well, some days, but not every day.)
But the truth is, statistically speaking (why do we even say that?), I am middle aged. I could easily be at the half way point of my life. Okay, I guess theoretically at any given moment any of us could be at the half way point of our lives. But you know what I mean!
And when I survey my life in the most basic of manners, it looks like it's going alright. Married, kids, house. That should equal some level of maturity - right? Some level. I guess I am more mature than some junior high school girls.
I don't know. Some days I don't even feel grown up. I still want someone to remind me to service my car, to call home after a long trip or to tell me "job well done" when I accomplish some minor achievement.
A lot of days I feel like I am probably some sort of an impostor, an amateur masquerading around as an adult. I have the years behind me to claim the title of adult, but the rest of the job description just doesn't always seem to fit.
You know the job description I'm talking about. The one that proclaims things such as . . .
Adult equals advice-giver. And by advice, you are supposed to be offering good advice. But what do I have to offer anyone? A longer list of mistakes to match the years.
Adult equals confidence. Yeah, pretty sure we know where this is headed. Hence the impostor, amateur, beginner feelings. Confidence? There are still days when I question my parenting skills, my teaching abilities and my basic sense of human kindness. When does that confidence kick in? Post middle age, maybe? Whatever that is.
Adult equals responsible. Umm Hmm. Sure, I mostly get the bills paid on time. But let me ask you, do responsible people let their kids eat cereal for dinner? Do responsible people allow their children to wear swimsuits all day when visiting any large body of water is not in the least in the cards? Do responsible people stay up until 3 a.m. watching movies with their husbands when they know a baby wakes up at 5 a.m. to eat breakfast?
The list could really just go on and on. There are so many attributes we assume should accompany adulthood. I guess we are all still arriving.
Maybe adulthood is being okay with that process. Recognizing that it's ultimately a journey we are on and less a destination. Maybe having arrived only really means you realize that you are a work in progress. Slow progress.
Some lessons take a long time to learn. But I find that I sort of enjoy the education, despite its awkward and often painful progression. I'm thirty-six years old and I am just now beginning to learn to trust my instincts in so many areas. At this middle age, I have only recently discovered clothing that I like and I feel good wearing. What on earth took so long? I don't know.
But if this is half way, I know this. I better begin to enjoy the journey, because the first half went by in an awfully speedy fashion. I can only assume that will be true for the next part as well.