When I began writing a few months ago, I determined that I would rather not say anything at all than to speak when I had nothing to say. Perhaps I would be better off maintaining my silence than to indulge in the following. Especially when I’ve got one eye on the Kentucky-UCONN championship matchup. You’ve been forewarned.
Really, there hasn’t been much to say, much less time in which to say it. The last few weeks have been hectic and ironically busy with activities that, if I am to be honest, have had me muddling about in a puddle of self-pity. The juggling act that the life of a working woman becomes if one wants to do anything besides just work. All the festivities preceding my little brother’s wedding, which will be here in a little less than a month. (There have been tears, not all of them selfish. Sappy post to come.) And The Birthday.
26. Not a particularly round number, nor a significant one – especially coming on the heels of a quarter of a century. If you’re older and wiser, go ahead and laugh if you want. Cognitively, I knew better; it began to haunt me months ago nonetheless. Partially because I dreaded the headache and responsibility of health insurance. Mostly because 25 came and went at a time when I wanted to park it for a while. Stomp my foot and scream “hold it,” as frantic and frustrated as a coach becomes when the refs are ignoring his calls for timeout.
Keep in mind that coaches don’t call timeout to savor the moment; they do so to give their team an opportunity to take a breather. Re-group. Catch up. ‘Cause depending on what you’re gauging, I’m behind. The score is not what I thought it would be. (Single, no kids? At this age? No way.) The other teams, loosely speaking, are waaay ahead no matter where I look (my mom at this age = 3 kids; college classmates = lost count; church = a formidable number of little cherubs; my best friend = on baby #2).
Keeping score, even if it’s just against the clock in our own heads, makes us do crazy things. Reality wrestles wildly with hope, and falls short. So we invest an obscene amount of our single-girl income at Sephora and spend 20 minutes inspecting a single hair in good light, vainly hoping it’s a remnant of our towheaded childhood. We are awake at 10 p.m. because of a wistful “What is wrong with me?”, which transitions to a raging “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM!?” by 2 a.m. (No offense, guys.) We smile thinly at yet another hopeful comment, and gamely go along with a 1,0001th setup attempt – which becomes a story for posterity for all the reasons except the one we hoped against hope for. We mourn the things lost with the passing of time, from the ridiculously sentimental to the serious…a cousin who will be too old to be a flower girl…a friend’s children who will babysit ours, not grow up to be 2nd-generation BFFs…loved ones who might or might not be around to share what we treasure as the special and the sacred. Stability seems questionable, roots almost impossible in this ever-changing landscape.
Lest you fear for the length of this post, I don’t plan to wax philosophical on top of the brief dose of honesty. And I beg you, dear reader, to resist the urge to message me book suggestions, viewpoints, or condolences. There is no tidy conclusion. Marriage and kids just happen to be the finely-printed footnotes to my rendition of “I Surrender All.” Fact is, it could just as easily be something else, and probably will be at some point in the future. Rather than the right answers, answers to prayer, or answers to why, I pray that I would heed the compass of my soul, pointing me back true north to “Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find…”