At the time of this writing, I have lived twenty-eight years, one month, and some odd days. I’ve lived over a quarter of a century. I was born in the ’80s, grew up in the ’90s, partied my way into the new millennium, and now find myself stepping into my fourth decade as a wife, mother, and person with a mortgage. My life totals more than ten thousand days. But who’s keeping track?
From the perspective of a teenager, I’m considered on the verge of a dinosaur, whereas midlifers fondly regard me as “still so young, you’re just a baby.” My single friends think of me as a matronly bird with two small fledglings in my nest and a new egg nestled in my belly feathers. My older sister still thinks I’m just a silly kid, and my dog thinks I’m God.
I consider myself somewhere between a spring chicken and a stewing hen. I’m not as tender and juicy as in my younger years, but my body and bones aren’t yet primed enough to make a complex, life-experience-infused broth. I haven’t reached the milestones necessary for mid-life status but no longer really qualify as a quarter-lifer. I’m crossing the bridge from mid-twenties to late-twenties.
But I’m no chicken. And I’m no dinosaur, either. I’m just a bridge-crossing twenty-eight-year-old married woman with two young girls and another little one on the way. I’m a college-educated, full-time working human body, complete with a restless, imaginative mind, a soul much older than my twenty-eight years, and a to-do list the length of the adding tape it takes to calculate the federal budget deficit.
I’m bridging the gap between being on my own and being a caregiver and provider to the little lives I’ve created. I’m no longer solely responsible for myself.
I’m knee-deep in sippy cups, preschool, career, outgrowing our condo, house-hunting to accommodate my expanding brood, researching public school districts, grocery shopping, comparing anti-aging serums, coloring with my kids, romance with my husband, arguing with my husband, keeping our dog off the couch, cooking for my family, and trying really hard to remember what it feels like to be BORED. I’m living off the stamina of my youth and at the same time plucking out my first gray hairs, cursing each one and refusing to believe that two more will sprout forth. I’m somewhere between buying rounds of vodka tonics and buying bulk-sized organic baby formula. I’m somewhere between homecooked pot roast and a tattoo parlor.
Life is constantly transitioning and linking the past to the present. I’m still the same nerdy trainwreck gal of my college days but only now I come with many bonus features. I still have an undying love for Weezer, only now I can put on the Blue Album and have dinner ready and on the table by the time “Undone—The Sweater Song” is wrapping up. Talk about applying life skills. I can no longer drink you under the table but I can make you a drink, seat you at the table and tell you all about how to formulate a family budget and handle your first wrinkle discovery. I can no longer sleep until noon on weekends but I can do two loads of laundry, get my car washed, grocery shop and make waffles before my husband and the kids wake for breakfast. Another bonus feature, albeit not so great, is the occasional nervous breakdown. Don’t forget the unexplained eye twitch. Oh and there is also the kids’ art on the refrigerator, the little sneakers parked at the door and the giggles and squeals (and screams) of happy little girls.
A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN TEN THOUSAND DAYS.