I graduated in 1990. It's 2010. That's right, twenty years now separate me from my youth. Not that I sit around and count the years because who has time for that? I got married three years after high school. My twenties are a blur of babies, diapers, breastfeeding, and trying to stay ahead of things financially. If you know someone in their twenties who appears to be living in a world of chaos, seems to be making some bad decisions on every level, and could very well be losing their mind, please try to extend them some grace because you're probably right about all of it. I look back at my twenties with lots of wonderful memories and lots and lots of regrets. I doubt I'm alone in that.
Enter my thirties. The kids are out of diapers, two of them are in school, and our heads are comfortably above water financially, so things will calm down, right? Wrong. The first half of my thirties is a blur of juggling wife-hood, mother-hood, and piles and piles of flashcards that I carried with me everywhere as I earned my massage degree and top it off with a family move to get my husband closer to his work. I barely remember anything between the age of 29 and 35 and the only reason I remember 35 is because that's how old I was when C was born which brings us back full circle to a blur of diapers and breastfeeding. And somewhere along the way, I developed wrinkles, an extra chin, and my boobs hang several inches lower than they used to and permanently point south. Don't remember that happening.
At 38, I'm in the midst of experiencing the second half of my thirties and I think I finally get it. Life is chaos. My husband works full time as an Engineer and goes to school one night a week to further his education. Z goes to high school part time, college part time, works part time, and is actively involved in extra-curricular activities. A is playing basketball. K is playing the drums in the band. And C is 3 and that speaks for itself. Part of my job is to keep it all running smoothly while also keeping everyone clean and fed. But my most important job is to make sure that these years don't become the blur that the last 20 years have become. I want to teach my kids to live in today. Enjoy right now. Laugh. Have fun. Because if you're waiting for life to slow down, you'll blink and you'll miss it.
In less than 2 years, I'll be 40. Will I be able to remember anything between the ages of 35 and 39? Yep, I will. Because all I'll have to do is scroll down my Facebook page if I forget. Who says technology is all bad? And there are plenty of pictures to look back on and remember fondly, "Aaahhh, the good old days when my boobs couldn't touch my belly button....."
(This entry was inspired by my recent 20 year high school reunion. That surreal moment when you realize the class clown is bald, my junior high boyfriend is completely gray, and silicone implants have officially taken over. Yikes.)