There are three ways of looking at it. Cup half-empty: I’m either one-half of 90 or five years shy of 50. Cup half-full: I’m celebrating the third anniversary of my 15th birthday (credit to my friend for that one).
It’s been an amazing year. Truly. I love my new life (even if it ends up just being a temporary blip on my timeline), my family is happy and healthy, Truffle the crazy puppy makes us all laugh (including my canine-reluctant husband)….And yet, I keep returning to my new number. Turning 40 didn’t really bother me, but turning 45 has truly gotten under my skin.
I feel younger than my years, but let’s face it, numbers never lie. I often think in numbers. I love numbers because they’re concrete. There’s always a right answer in math and that’s comforting to me. No ‘maybe.’ No dithering. Math just is what it is, no matter how complex the problem.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about numbers lately. Not just in terms of this “sort of” big birthday, but in terms of Chloe, Sophie and my husband. Some of the “number sentences” (yes, that’s what they call equations in elementary school these days – it drives me apeshit) running through my head go like this:
– In about four months, my husband and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I didn’t feel young when we got married at 25. We lived in a hovel in Paris, didn’t have much more than a pot to piss in and were supremely confident about our chances for future success despite our humble beginnings. It’s only now that I realize how young we really were.
– In about two years, Chloe will be starting high school. Hell, I remember high school and it doesn’t seem like it was 30 years ago. Oy.
– In a little less than three years, my husband will have been living in the United States for 20 years. It’s about time he applies for US citizenship, no?
– In about three years, Chloe will receive her driver’s permit. Which means we’ll be spending a lot of time in parking lots screaming at our daughter while she attempts to parallel park and drive in reverse. If I could predict the future, I’d say the odds are pretty high that we’ll stop speaking to each other for an extended period of time during her year of trial driving.
– In approximately four years, Chloe will be armed with her driver’s license. The thought sends shivers down my spine. And that’s all I will write on the topic for now, because it gives me agita and makes me feel a lot older than 4.5 decades.
– In a little more than five years, Chloe will be on her way to college and Sophie will officially be a teenager. And I will officially be half a century old.
– In about six years, Sophie will be starting high school. Perish the thought.
– In about nine years, Chloe will graduate from college. And either she’ll get a job or go to graduate school. But no matter what, she will not be living with us. No way, no how (and we’ll see how that goes).
– In 10 years, Sophie will be a freshman in college. I’m taking bets as to whether her tattered burp cloths will make it to the dormitory with her.
– In about 14 years, Sophie will graduate from college. And either she’ll get a job or go to graduate school. But no matter what, she will not be living with us. No way, no how (and we’ll see how that goes).
– In 15 years, I will be 60 f**king years old.
Beyond that, I’ve stopped counting.
Note to self: quit thinking so much about the future and start living in the moment.
Problem is, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.