Eat, drink, (garden, knit, quilt, think, fix, read) & be merry

Aging, snapshots

on March 27, 2009

P is nearly four months my senior.  Every year about this time he starts asking me how it feels to be on the verge of 28 (or whatever it is that year).  He starts asking me, irritatingly often, how it feels to be on the verge of being so old.  I remind me that he’ll reach that mark well before I will, that I’m not even halfway between birthdays yet.  It doesn’t phase him, he keeps asking me and then asking if I want a big party for such a grand occasion.  

Ellie, our cat, is sprouting grey hairs at an astonishing rate.  She arrived in my life as a shiny black ball of fur.  She had a mouth that opened so wide and red when she meowed that it dwarfed her tiny body.  She’d sleep in the kangaroo pocket of my sweatshirts and slept our first night together stretched across my neck (literally), neither set of paws touching the ground.  That was in the spring of 2003, nearly six years ago.  We’ve been through a lot and we’re so tightly twisted together the thought of losing her makes me sick; it seems improbable, impossible even.  

My nephews turned four this past week.  Those tiny, fragile babes born weeks early, are busy, joking, running, story-telling, song-singing HUGE children.  While I used to carry them both simultaneously, one tucked into each arm, now they don’t both fit in my lap with all those long limbs and big heads.  They’re strong and heavy and I can barely tip them upside down or spin them around.  I swear to god they’ll outgrow me by second grade.  

Their birth came as a very exciting time for me – I had just finished my first few stints as a bicycle mechanic and was one of the city’s few, full time girl mechanics.  I was on my way to an eagerly anticipated farm internship that changed my life and in seven or so months I left on the trip I had been planning my whole life.  It’s saddening, somehow, to realize that that vibrant, much-hoped for time is now four years past.  

P is also popping grey hairs, has been since the day we started dating.  I sometimes pluck them, but mostly ignore them.  I think grey hair is handsome.  I think I must have a few, too, but dishwater blonde has its’ advantages – they’re awfully hard to find.  Not that I’ve looked.  

P also has these wonderful little wrinkles around his eyes when he smiles.  I hope they become permanent.  My dad had them, too, as does my aunt and all the other people from my childhood whom I remember being laughing a lot and being happy.  I hope I get them, too, someday and I hope I love them as much as I love them on people around me.

I knew how to plan my early twenties – I knew I wanted to travel and learn to cook and learn to grow things and knit and and and…  I dove in, I did most of it, and I loved most of it even though it was often challenging.  

I don’t know how to enter my late twenties or even my thirties.  I didn’t plan this far ahead.  I didn’t do what everybody else did in their early twenties and how I don’t have a herd to follow as I move forward.  I’m behind on the career curve, I don’t want to have kids or be a stay-at-home wife (P still does his own laundry and I have no intention of taking it over).  I don’t much care for my work options.  I’m a little bit stuck.  Ok, a lot stuck.  Life is good, very good even, but I don’t know what I want to do anymore.  I thought I would have had it figured out by now.

What should I be when I grow up?


7 responses to “Aging, snapshots

  1. Tumblewords says:

    I so enjoyed reading this piece. Being stuck happens off and on through life, I think. And it seems a time for letting stuff take new a shape before it picks up steam and moves forward again.

  2. AGirlNamedMe says:

    what should i be when i grow up?

    i’ve never known what i wanted to do .. and i’ve always been ok with that. my career path has taken me to many delightful places and maybe that is partially because i’ve never had any expectations of it

    the beauty of the question is that perhaps you don’t have to know and that is ok….and…you can change your mind at any point and decide to be something else


  3. Linda may says:

    great post. I feel stuck at the moment too but for a different reason to you. Just follow the path and go with the flow.

  4. I’ll still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and I’m 47…I loved reading your snapshot memories and ruminations, and I’m sure you’ll get it all figured out. One day at a time…

  5. Jay says:

    Sometimes it’s the right thing to just drift a little while and see what happens. We can’t live all our lives planned right down to the last day, we need to experience other states of being too!

    Thought provoking post!

  6. Jay says:

    Sorry, you’ll find my Sunday Scribblings offering on my sub-domain –

  7. Katrina says:

    I must say that I came to your blog via Brownie Points with selfish intentions. You had posted a comment on a recipe (Honeyed Walnuts with Yogurt) and mentioned homemade yogurt. I so desparately wanted to get the recipe from you until I started reading your most recent entry. I made my way down reading the entries on the first page, held capitvated by the way the words seem to echo how I feel about life in general. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for saying the things that I haven’t been able to. And if you could find it in your heart to part with your recipe, I wouldn’t be angry 🙂

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