The number marks the years you’ve been alive. It has nothing to do with age.
The number of years I’ve been alive is 48. What on earth is a 48 year old doing on a 30-something blog? Maybe lending a little advice, maybe just telling my story.
I was an idiot in my 20s. That seems to be fairly common for women from my generation. The women in their 20s now are way more together than I ever was at that age. Then I hit my 30s. My life was full of raising two boys, working full time, and puttering along in a mediocre marriage. I don’t think I realized it was a mediocre marriage at the time. I lived my life, he lived his, and the years moved forward.
I delighted in raising my boys. I’ve said a hundred times. It’s a good thing I never had girls. That wouldn’t have worked for me. The whining, the tantrums, the hormones. UGH. I hiked with my boys, played ball, coached soccer, watched my youngest skateboard, and encouraged my oldest to play the drums. I was determined to show them the state we live in, so we went camping all through the summer. My oldest is now taking his fiancé places we went that he loved. That‘s gratifying to know it made a difference. We had a blast. But it went so fast. Once they were in school, everything was ruled by the school year. Summer break, holiday break, starting the next year. Before I knew what happened, they were in High School, and then graduated. I look back and I think, we really did a lot together, but why does it seem like yesterday I brought them home from the hospital? I remember holding my youngest close as a baby, knowing he would always be the youngest. Wanting to keep him a baby longer. But of course he walked at 9 months, and talked your ear off at 18 months. My kids are now 20 and 22. And they are wonderful men, even though they are just now growing up. It’s true what they say about boys maturing slower. I joke that when they pulled their heads out, it made an audible and very loud POP. Time flies, especially when you are focused on other people in your life. Hold onto the time you have with your kids, love them, create memories with them, and try somehow to slow down the time you have.
After 19 years of marriage, it fell apart. Not really my idea. He decided to look someplace else for what he thought we were lacking. It was a gruesome bloody year while it was all going on. Damaging to me, and very damaging to my boys. I came out the other end a different stronger person, and I look back and think, “Why did I put up with such s#*t for so many years?” Like I said, it was a mediocre marriage. Sure we had some good years, and some good times. But he was always moody, caustic, and could never ever let go of past wrongs that I committed. So why did I put up with it all for so long? Fear maybe, leaving a comfort zone, no matter how uncomfortable it could be. Of course the boys. We had separate vacations for years. He went his way, I’d go mine, but I always insisted we have a family vacation. I told myself everything was fine. I look back now and I think, what a waste of my time and years. I wouldn’t trade having my boys for anything in the world. I just wish I had changed things sooner, I don’t know how or when though. Don’t settle for mediocre, it’s not worth it.
And then at the ripe old age of 43, I met my soul mate. I know that’s a cliché, but there just isn’t another way to put it. We met at a dance they were having for singles in the area. My friend and I went just to have a good time, and get out a little. The dances were the first Saturday of the month. For 3 straight months, we danced and talked a little. He said he was going to get my number, but I ended up leaving before we talked again. We had a mutual friend though. So a couple weeks later I called her, got his number, and invited him to go on a Harley ride with me. The rest is history. He is the most amazing human being on the planet. We are so connected in so many ways. It’s just a damn shame we didn’t meet 25 years ago. We have a lot of life to live while we are still young. We love to play, travel and spend every day together. My kids think we’re nuts, and maybe we are. We camp, hike and go to mountain man rendezvous. We have a blast. We shoot primitive archery, black powder guns, throw knives and tomahawks, and hang out with the best most genuine people anywhere. I’ve never been one to follow the herd, and when we got married, we did it in the mountains, dressed it in our finest mountain man clothes. I made a white buckskin dress and moccasins, and it was a beautiful memorable day.
My husband is a wonderful sculptor, and I make jewelry from antique trade beads, plus do Native American beadwork. Things I never would have dreamed of doing 10 years ago. He has opened up the creative person that was hiding in me.
We are in the process of selling, storing or packing up our belongings. We are going to live, travel, and create our art in our 5th wheel trailer. I’m so excited to start this next phase of my life. I am writing about this whole adventure on my blog, Desert Raven Art. I write another blog from the dogs point of view, Roxy the traveling dog. And yes, when your kids are grown, the dogs take their place as your kids.
Age is a frame of mind, and my mind thinks I’m still very young. (Sometimes my body disagrees, but hey, it is what it is.) So me and my young self are determined to make the most of the years I have left to live. Along with the most wonderful man in the world.
To all the women that are in their 30s, slow down and savor it all. Remember the great times and multiply them. Hug your family tight, all of them. Life is short, enjoy the ride.
A great quote I found- “If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in”