Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Thing About 37

It's a prime number. Purely in the mathematical sense, of course.

Also, it's closer to 40 than 30, and 50 than 20. Cray-zay! But true. (I'm brilliant...I know...)

It's my 37th birthday! I can't believe that. It's so young, but so old too. Actually, it really is neither young or old, it's just right smack in the middle of middle age.

At 37, my hair is going gray. My cosmetology certified sister says that my gray is at about 20%. Currently it looks like a nice highlight job. We'll see how long that lasts.

At 37, I am physically in my prime condition. I feel strong. I also feel tired. I just can't do the regular 4:45 mornings any more. To say nothing of the 4:30 mornings of my youth. It is a stretch to get up at 5:00 to swim-one or two mornings a week. My regular waking time has been right about 6:00 all summer (and now fall). And some mornings I can't prop my eyelids open until seven. Sigh.

I do have to say though, that when my mom was my age, she was taking hours long naps, most afternoons. So, I'm thinking that sleeping in until 6:00 at my ripe old age is not too bad.

At 37, I can no longer do scented candles, perfume, scented laundry soap, or Bath & Body beaded hand soaps. The scent clinging to me, my clothes or the air, annoys me and makes me sneeze. Interestingly enough, those pump/foam soaps don't make me sneeze. The composition must be different enough that it works for me.

At 37,  I've realized that you can teach a dog new tricks (like painting, etc). It's just a decision of what new tricks are worth learning. What do I want to prioritize? For me, it probably is not going to be painting, but who knows? Maybe dancing or Pilates or Spanish (unlikely) or ______?

At 37, I've learned the inestimable value of a pair of jeans that fits. Oh, and bras that fit and are pretty.  Because both are the worst things to shop for. So, get the ones that fit and wear them to death!

Also, at 37, I've learned that a daily uniform of sorts is quite helpful. In the summer, I wear a skirt/short with a t-shirt. In the winter, I wear jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. It makes dressing fairly easy to manage. And it only gets switched up for church, working days, and special occasions (dates, weddings).

At 37, I've learned that tunic tops don't work for me. And neither do high waists, skinny jeans, short shorts/shirts, and peasant blouses. They conversely make me look pregnant, pregnant, and pregnant some more. Which I'm not. No matter how cute they look at the store, they do not look cute on me. Ever. But, fitted, empire waist, flowy tops and dresses, those are my jam. 

At 37, I am still wading the waters of less is more versus ascetics. I try to measure my possessions it beautiful? Is it useful? Do I use it? This process has allowed me to weed out clothes that don't work for me. It has allowed me to not feel guilty about my multiple sets of dishes. It has encouraged me to buy the fancier switch plates, and some paintings/art, and vases, and a bedspread that are truly gorgeous and add to the character of my home.

At 37, I wonder if my parents felt young at this age, though I thought they looked and acted old (so sorry about that). Did they feel as young as I feel? Does your mind ever catch up to your body? Or are you always wondering how this young person got trapped in an old person's body?

At 37, my favorite conversations are about concepts and happenings, and not about people. I'm learning that negativity breeds more negativity. And venting of anger makes for being more angry, not less.

At 37, I've learned that chocolate, coffee, a can of paint, bike rides and/or sleep are the answer to just about any problem. Potato chips are not.

Along the same lines, at 37, I've come to realize that sleep, time, and people are priceless commodities. It's impossible to over-value any of them.

At 37, my kids are closer to "marrying" age than I am. As evidenced by the ages of the wedding parities in the weddings we attended this summer.

At 37, I am more confident, comfortable, and self-aware. I know who I am-the good, bad and the ugly. I'm described by my personality type, but it doesn't define me. I've grown to understand the strengths and weaknesses of my personality.  I'm learning to allow myself grace to change what is necessary, challenge myself to stretch farther, and discern how to live with what is "me."

At 37, I've come to value all levels of friendship. I value my BFF, and my husband. I value "my people". The ones who know the good, bad, and ugly about me. I value my article club friends, my swimming & running friends, my church friends, my small group friends. We may only interact in limited spheres, but those spheres of friendship have really blessed me this year.

At 37, I am so much more weepier than at other ages. I'm still not sure if that is a positive or negative.

At 37, I've learned that we live in an amazing world, with so many cool things to see and experience. I've also learned there is no place like home-with my people.