Thursday, January 03, 2008

Under the bridge and over the dam

Time flies when you're having fun away from the keyboard. My kids and I spent the past week up at my parent's place in Elk Rapids, aka The Winter Wonderland. The woods were lovely, dark and deep. The bay was shivery gray, with enough ice for Annie and the Maggie-pup to romp out several hundred feet.

And the snow, ah, the snow. Dad and I had some very nice skis on the busy Vasa trail. As my daughter would say, "It was a frickin' freeway out there." There were an astounding amount of people out enjoying the snow. We particularly enjoyed the woman who, in a rather Frenchified accent asked us, "Why do you sometimes do like zee duck and sometimes go straight when you ski?"

Which would be a way of asking "Why do some people skate ski and other ski classic?" The answer is because some of us are middle-aged slackers who have thighs of jelly and some of us are frenetic fitness fanatics who enjoy torturing themselves on a regular basis. As someone who turned 46 this week, I fall into the former category, naturally.

And my thighs of jelly take me to gorgeous vistas on the ski trail just fine, thank you very much, even if I am a bit slower than those skaters in their skin-tight lycra outfits and flashy yellow ski boots. The slower the ski, the more you see--you see?

Carl was in a cooler clime, too. Florida is experiencing a bit of a cold snap, so all those Midwesterners who headed down to bowl games in FL were shivering in their flip flops. But CJ was a happy camper, with Michigan bringing home a surprising victory for Lloyd Carr's final game.

And now we're all back at home, slowly making our way through the lovely Christmas mess we hastily left behind last week. At the same time, we're celebrating our January birthdays, Jonathan and I. He's the first, I'm the second. Today is already the third, and we're still working on the first!

Numbers are odd, even when they're even. Jon is 20 now, no more a teen, as he has loudly proclaimed over and over this week. He's lording it over Annie, our only teen now. Which is odd.

Odder still is my being 46. It's one of those numbers that has struck me as "old". Not early 40s, 46 is firmly ensconced in middle age. Jelly thighs, gray hair, and a memory like a sieve are all features of this middle-agedness. I mostly don't mind. And I don't feel old. But the number is bothering me this week.

I remind myself: better to be 46 than the alternative. This is a helpful perspective to take on many issues. My reality may be less than perfect. But the alternatives often are no more appealing. Call it "settling" or call it "embracing what you have rather than longing for what you don't/can't have". Either way, I find that perspective bracing and affirming.

Doesn't mean I'm not still dreaming dreams. But, at 46, I know that dreams don't always come true. They will languish indefinitely if I do nothing beyond dreaming. And, even if I work hard and am lucky, I will probably still be in this particular reality. Inhabiting a slightly dilapidated Queen Anne bungalow on Ridgeland Ave, with my interesting family, living a life I could not (would not? I don't know) have dreamed of 24 years ago, unwilling to let go of it for any other dream or reality.

Time flies. We don't. Today, that's ok with me.



Post a Comment

<< Home