twenty-eight.

by Liz on 08.26

 

“Monday’s coming fast!” my mom chirped, handing me a coffee.

And I honest-to-God had no idea what she meant.

“YOUR BIIIRTHDAYYY!”

Ohhhh. That.

 

I’m  a celebration kind of person. I relish any and all reasons to have a party, to wear a dress, to eat a fancy dinner.

But I’m also a losing-track-of-time sort of person and no matter how much I love to eat or shower, I sometimes last all day before I remember to do those things, so what’s missing a little old birthday in a great big old year, hm?

It’s not even just the date that somehow slipped my mind. Lately, I’ve been finding I don’t remember how old I am. “Twentyyyyy…..?” I’ll ask Josh when I’m filling out official paperwork or pause in conversation to do the math… 13 minus 85 is… carry the one…

I don’t know when things started speeding by this way, or when I stopped caring about the markers of time (big and small). But suddenly I’m 28, when I could’ve sworn I was still maybe 23ish. Old enough to drink, young enough to still recognize songs on the Top40 station- that sounds about right. In my head, I’m still fresh out of college. But some of my friends are in their 40’s, which is nuts, because my parents are in their 50’s, which means my friends are almost as old as my parents and when did I cross over into this realm where decades are so close together that friends and parents are just a quick skip apart?

Part of it is that I’m now at that age where we less determine age in years, and more in milestones. I’m not 28. I’m almost-thirty. That sort of jumping ahead only aids in blurring all of the rest together.

But 30 is admittedly big. And it’s nearby- though how nearby I may or may not know at any given point. Today, at least, I’m aware it’s two years away, and somehow it feels like I should set some sort of goals for myself to accomplish within those two years. But, what, I don’t know. I have an old bucket list from high school that I recently uncovered in a cleaning frenzy, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many of those goals I’d met without really trying. I’d forgotten where I’d even put the list altogether. It seems very much contrary to the point (why have a list of goals if you’re not going to try for them?), but is also sort of encouraging to know that I’ve continued to live the kind of life my teenaged self had imagined. And all without having boxes to check.

The large stuff doesn’t check out, that’s for sure. Where we live, where I work, the fact that I’m parent all is not as I’d planned. But, jeez, there’s comfort that the big things didn’t stand in the way of the small.

It makes me feel very settled, in the good sorts of ways. Content to just see what unfolds with the things I already have. Satisfied to roll with the punches rather than fight against the current, trying to achieve an arbitrary list of assignments. I probably will write that “By-30” list, just because that’s the kind of listy, achievement-focused person that I am. But, I’m happy to find that even if I forget the date, lose track of the year, I still can manage to end up sort of where I’d hoped to be, if in a roundabout way.

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