35

The day I turned 35: I woke up, made breakfast (with help from my sister-in-law), swept the garden, watered the plants, washed some linens, set up my “home office” in the garden, and transcribed an interview I did the day before, slow-baking in the Holy Week heat. Text messages had started coming in while I was asleep, and FB greetings as well, so I answered those. I polluted the airwaves with Phoenix and Bob Marley while PM-ing a friend stuck in a snow blizzard in Denver and another nesting contentedly in Malaysia.

My family pretty much knew I was gonna turn 35 since, days before, my friend G dropped by to take me out to bday lunch (Thanks G!) and bro had brought in bday Sonja’s, but my sis still goes, “Jo! Happy Birthday! I’m so sorry! You’ve just been Sixteen Candle-d!” (Notice we’re a family of ’80s movie references. And hyperbole.) She needn’t have felt guilty for a minor brain blip, but I got a Les Miz ticket out of it anyway (not saying no!). And after family + caregiver greetings and ice cream, life went on as usual.

I watched The Revenant to find out what rebirth is like and learned, yet again, that fashion is evil. For the want of a beaver hat… oh, okay, fine, I should say wanton consumerism paired with capitalist greed was, is, and always will be evil. I fell asleep sometime after watching Leo DiCaprio being spared a scalping. And, apart from going down to check that mother’s porridge got a bit of hot water to soften it some more, slept past dinner.

Maybe we feel a need to mark certain days. Maybe we should. Or not.

Today, the day after I turned 35:  I woke up, swept the garden, watered the plants, made breakfast while sis-in-law gave mother her breakfast, changed mother’s diaper (with help from my sister-in-law), sat with mother while we put her through minor exercises, fed mother meds with jello and yogurt, discussed the merits of dogs with nephew and niece, visited the mystery of the missing George (my nephew’s and later my niece’s teddy bear, banished because his long bear-hair was exacerbating her asthma), cooked rice for lunch (and why the hell not, the rest of lunch), and after FB posting, am currently stalling the continuing transcription that I need to do.

There are so many ways to stall. And so much time to fill with mundane things.

Bukowski would probably sneer at the life I lead, but I’ve yet to read a poem of his that equates service with love. Dickinson, probably, will be more sympathetic. Now there’s a girl who could spin the mundane into the profound, heck, the divine. I’m neither. People keep telling me to write my opus, whatever that is, when what I do for work is write someone else’s story. (Other people are just more interesting.)

15 was impatience.
25 was over-confidence.
35…there’s a weariness, a wariness, a watchfulness that I feel. Not watchful enough to avoid escalator teeth eating my shoe the other day, but quick enough to save my toes. And buoyant enough to appreciate the humor in the situation.

My feet are still intact and I believe they’ll still take me places 🙂 I’m just not in such an all-fired hurry to go anywhere.

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