Getting older is inevitable, maturity is not. It seems a bit sad when maturity catches up with age and there is no longer denying the fact that……. I’m getting older. In fact, I can remember my parents being my age. What happened?
I remember when I started watching the news instead of cartoons in the morning. I stubbornly held on to my childhood routine well into my twenties. It was when I took a new job that I began watching the news for the weather report. My commute one way to and from work went from five minutes to forty-five and I wanted to be prepared. What happened to living by the seat of my pants? What happened to rash decision making? Why did I agree to take a job with such a long commute? I wanted the experience but I mostly wanted more money. No twenty-something can resist the allure of more money.
My list of items I buy with money has certainly changed in fifteen years. When I was a twenty-something, I bought a video game system with some extra money (yeah, what’s that, right?) I had acquired. More recently, I had a conversation with my husband before our ten year anniversary. We were talking about what we would like to do to celebrate our anniversary. I said, “If I had a choice between spending a night away and replacing the kitchen carpet with flooring I can actually clean, give me the flooring!!” I wondered if I had hit my head. That’s what I said and I meant it. Yes, we have been dreaming of a night away from home forever…… one good night’s sleep, a quiet room…… and it sounded dreamy but being able to actually clean my kitchen floor sounded even more exciting. Our anniversary was almost three months ago and we haven’t been out to celebrate. And no, I don’t have a new floor. It seems as if that newly acquired money hasn’t made its arrival. Instead we gave each other a card and winked as we passed each other in the bathroom. That’s real excitement and I have been having plenty of it. I was excited to get my mail and find coupons from the local grocery store, I got 20% more of my favorite cereal in this last box, my mom gave me some clothes she could no longer wear, and (drum-roll, please) I found another box of panty liners in my cupboard that I forgot I had. “Oh yeah!”
Despite the obvious change in the things I get excited about, I still feel like I have recently graduated from high school. Over fifteen years span between my imagination and reality. I don’t feel old enough to have four kids and it scares me to think that I am shaping their childhood when I feel like I am not that far away from my own. My parents and every other “old” person was right when they told me that life moves too fast. Now I am that “old” person saying the same to my kids. Guess what? They are giving me same look I gave my parents when they offered advice. It’s that face that says, “Ummmmm, okay Mom….”
So I have resigned to the fact that I’m now “old.” The only comfort I have in the fact that I will be forty in five short years is knowing my husband will be fifty in six (sorry babe). I like the news for more than just the weather, I get nervous thinking about those roller coasters I once loved, I don’t like it when my kids climb too high in a tree, I’d rather watch a movie at home, I have a hard time recovering from a night where I was awake past midnight, and many more truths I can’t quite admit…… just yet……. Life definitely gets better with age, it’s too bad those “darn kids” don’t realize it.
PS – My favorite cereal is Lucky Charms and I still insist on putting chocolate syrup in my white milk. I’m stubbornly sticking to those habits, for now…..
Reply by ~L~
*d*, I can’t even tell you how often I think about this same Twilight Zone feeling. I don’t feel like I’m an adult. I wonder sometimes when or if I ever will. Maybe that’s another reason, on my long list, why I don’t have kids. For the same reason as you state above! I’m not in any shape to be teaching someone else how to live! Eeek! Frightening.