One week from today, on my column “off-week,” I will be celebrating my 15th Annual 29th Birthday. Like every other week of the year, much cake will be consumed and I will be looking for opportunities to treat myself; I always know just the right gift for me!
When you’ve been 29 as long as I have, you gather a little wisdom along the journey. The first of which being don’t use the word “journey” because you are not a 22-year-old reality show contestant! Here’s some more:
What doesn’t kill you doesn’t necessarily make you stronger
Sometimes it crushes you and you’ll never be the same. The first time I turned 29, life was still very easy. And compared to most, my life still is. But over the years, I have learned that the writer of Ecclesiastes was right:
“The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.”
When time and chance inevitably shatter you into a million pieces, you may be more fragile. But empathy is a crazy glue that makes us useful again.
Time flies whether you’re having fun or not
Maybe this is the universe’s way of getting us to the other side of hard times. But I sure wish the good times would slow down for a hot minute! I’ve been 29 almost the whole time I’ve been Annie’s mom and even though I haven’t aged a bit, it’s all happening super fast. My friend Kelly once told me that when kids are little, the days are long but the years are short. Now, a day is a like a year.
I might go to hell, but it won’t be for that
The older I get, the less sure I am about what seemed so clear the first time I turned 29. I no longer believe that doubt is the opposite of faith, though perhaps faith’s antithesis is certainty — I really couldn’t say for sure. In the meantime, I guess I will attempt to err on the side of love.
Indeed, the annual marking of the passage of time becomes more bittersweet as we age. And not just because you can break out on your forehead one minute and then just a few hours later wake up in a flash of otherworldly heat. My hormones are jacked up just enough to ensure that delight along with a touch of rage that, when channeled, can get a lot of tasks completed.
Just halfway through my life-expectancy, I find there is much more to learn and be done. By now, I feel like I have a clearer understanding of who I am and what I want for the next half, however much of that I may be blessed to enjoy.
So happy early birthday to me. I hear the 43rd time is the charm.