Thirty-five. 35. Three and a half decades.
On Monday I will turn 35. Seems nearly impossible that I am somewhere in that gray category where "middle-aged" becomes a term I can use to describe myself. I feel much more comfortable inside my own little non-reality, where I am still young, and hip, and in the know about all things hot and current in the world. That's how I still see me.
Then the grocery bagger calls me "Ma'am" and he's not the first this week, or I get yet another AARP flyer in the mail (I'm SURE I'm still too young for that, right?), or I hear another creak or pop in my bones when I trek up and down the stairs.
Then I am reminded of the years that have come and gone, by various things - that I have been out of school longer than I was IN school. That my next high school reunion (a rousing good time at a hog farm, or some other equally classy venue) will be my 20 year reunion in just three years. I still wake up most mornings thinking I AM 20 for cripe's sake (until I take my first steps out of bed and catch a glimpse of my so-not-20-year-old body in the mirror).
And so here comes 35. Seems impossible. I know, I already said that. But it really does. My BIL (now ex-BIL but whatever) turns 40 next week - I remember when I used to think he was WAY older than me. My dad will turn 60 two days later. That seems even MORE impossible.
We all seem to be aging, as is the way of it, but then I consider how much more we've to go, God willing. Greg and I won't "retire" for ANOTHER 30 years, almost as long as we've been alive already! That's reassuring! I still have at least 14 years with Samantha at home (hopefully longer, although I reserve the right to change my mind about that in about 12), at least 17 with Mr Jackson, and while I know they will fly by, they seem like a lot of years right now. And that's good news. This life is pretty good most days and I relish the idea of having forty or so more years of it to come.
So come on, 35, I'm ready. Bring whatever you will this year for me - I can take it. I think. Just let me get some sleep and take my vitamins first.