21 days remain until the big day. This is frightening. How did it happen?
I know, logically, that thirty is not that old. I also know that birthdays are simply arbitrary astronomical markers. And I know numerous people who are older than thirty. They all seem to have crossed the threshold into "true" adulthood without too much tumult.
I had in mind that I would, once and for all, quit procrastinating (because if it's just fear, then why not get over it?), plan meals in advance, send birthday cards to arrive on or even before the recipient's birthday, and otherwise not get stressed about silly things. I did purchase a beautiful planner, but otherwise I have made only minor improvements in the other areas. Gotta save some goals for forty, right?
I don't have all the things figured out that I'd like to have figured out by now. I wish I thought this was exhilarating and liberating--to not know what is to come, to be open to grand new adventures--but I simply do not. I wish I had a stronger vision of what I'd like the next five or ten years to hold.
- I wish I knew what I would like to do when I finish graduate school this time. For as much effort and time as I put forth to make this happen, I would expect myself to know what to do when it is all over in who knows how many years. Instead, I am left wondering, with some trepidation, about the purpose and applicability of the four statistics classes I will have taken by the time I reach the end of this program.
- I wish I knew when I wanted to bring another being into the world. (I finished Meghan Daum's anthology, Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, a few weeks ago. While I felt more affirmed in my ambivalence toward the prospect of creating offspring, I felt the subject of my ambivalence shift: the question was no longer whether I wanted children, but when I wanted them.)
Now that we are reasonably settled, in other words, we live in a house that has space for another human being, the decision of when seems to be rather imposing--on my mind, and also on my career. The sheer existence of this decision (the when, not the whether) totally changes how I see myself and my purpose. Do I define myself by what I do, or by my relationships? Probably both, as well as a number of other things, is the reasonable answer.
If I can't figure out the answers to the monumental life decisions, I can, surprisingly, figure out how to at least seem more adult-ish. For now, I'm thinking that all this uncertainty explains the late summer home improvement frenzy of 2015.
Since I wrote last, I've ...
1. Organized Schroeder's paraphernalia.
2. Purchased and partially built (our handyman fixed the wobbling) a towel shelf.
3. Cooked chicken saltimbocca in the crockpot.
4. Created a photo collage over our bed.
For the first post in this series, check out My Next Decade.