Holy F&**@&# Shiz, I’m 45.
When did this happen?
It is amazing and hard to believe. I was with my mother this week talking about what she calls my “middle age crazy” mind, and she said this. “I remember being in the hospital with you when you were just a little girl and the doctor said to me ‘You know she might not make it to 30 years old.'”
My first thought was “That must have been really hard for her to hear as a mother.”
I could see the pain and disbelief in her eyes. I know I would be unapproachable if the same circumstances befell me.
But not her. Not my father. They showed tremendous strength and determination, and still do.
And I hope, in my 45 years, I have learned something from them and my beloved step-parents. I hope that I display that humble fortitude they have shown as parents, as role models and as my greatest supporters.
Further, I hope that I am showing my daughter how to resist being moved or broken, with my actions and ability to rise up.
It is a quality that I work on every day.
And boy, some days are more challenging than others. Some years are more challenging than others!
That’s what is called “Being an adult,” right?
I had the very fortunate circumstance of having breakfast yesterday with my first love, Scott. We talked and talked about our roles as parents, he with two boys, me with one girl. The common spots, the tricky spots, but mostly about the love. The love we have for these kids and the exhaustive lives we lead, in order to take the best care possible, of them.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but we always try the best we can.
That’s what we call “Being an adult.”
I did smile when I thought about all the ridiculous time we used to spend together doing ridiculous stuff, when we were teenagers and had ZERO responsibilities. Good times. Silly times.
My heart is full with admiration and appreciation that nearly 30 years later, we are still close, still adore each other and still friends. And a special shout out to his wife, Kevin, who is a remarkable woman (driving the crazy team over there).
Another thing I learned from my parents, how to create and sustain lasting relationships.
I have a lot of friends. Real friends. Friends who would come rescue you when you have a flat tire in the rain. Friends who celebrate and support. Friends who have stood by me in the weirdest and most wonderful times. Friends that don’t judge, always joke and want the very, very best for me and my daughter.
And I feel the same about them. Yesterday alone, I spoke with four friends I’ve had for decades. And it was a regular Wednesday. That creases my face with smiles.
I have a committed, supportive, smart (and handsome) man in my life, who I love and who loves me and my daughter, without question. He may not understand us, at all, but he treasures us. We don’t agree on everything and that’s what works. Plus, I know I’m usually always right (and so does he). We just don’t have to make a big deal out of it.
We communicate. We relate. We appreciate. Together.
That what I call “Being an adult.”
I have work that I enjoy. I am always challenged by and if I’m not, I challenge it. I can recognize the fact that I work with some amazing people, all with their own set of specialized knowledge and I try to make the most of that. Further, these are amazing people, each unique in their own right. The only thing they all have in common is that they are wonderful.
And I am the fortunate one, to be able to work with them. From money people to magazine editors to hotel managers the lot of them are colorful and creative and full of class.
Being able to recognize that, rather than being intimidated by it has made all the difference. I am better because they are good. I feel that way about my friends, why wouldn’t I about my colleagues? Really embracing that fact, has come with maturity. I used to want to run everything – now I want to learn, I want to be a part of a team that runs stuff. (I’d really like a team to run stuff for me, but that’s another post.)
Understanding that has been a great gift and I thank all of them.
That’s what I call “Being an adult.”
So I sit here, in the 45-ness of it all, trying to grasp what it all means and here’s what I say. The years have not all been sparkly and filled with hope. This year is one of those. That does not make the difficult times worthless. That makes them even more important. Simply because the challenging years are the ones that teach you the most. In retrospect, there is beauty in the struggle.
Adele doesn’t write songs about how happy she is. Seriously.
More life = better. Regardless. I have several close ones struggling through treatments and diagnosis and subsequent set backs, I want to remind us all that someone with authority once told my mother I would probably not make it to 30 years old.
And yet, here I am.
May resilience and pure grit carry you through to smiles and may gratitude, kindness and tolerance surround you always.
Go on with your adult selves.