I was wishing my best friend a happy 36th birthday recently, just 6 days before I was to turn 37. She said, “its the last year of my mid-30s”. And I responded with, “Oh, wow. I’m about to be considered late 30s, aren’t I? I hadn’t even thought about that yet.” You see, I don’t typically give my own age much thought. I kinda feel like I turned 30 and time froze (mentally, at least). But, it didn’t. It’s now 7 years later, and I’m in my late 30s. I’ll be 40 in 3 years. Weird. But let’s just leave the 40 topic alone for now. More on that in 36 months, which is like, a loooong time from now. I mean, years…it’s years away. I’m so young.
Anyway, I wrote a piece called This is 36 a year ago and thought a follow-up for my 37th was not only suitable, but expected. In the past year I have started a second business, traveled to California, Nevada and locally here in Texas, performed in a great play for Houston’s newest professional theatre company, and…my dog died. Not to mention the super recent Hurricane Harvey and all of the flood damage it caused. A lot has gone on in the past 12 months in addition to all of the typical life stuff – marriage, parenthood, work, etc. I must say that it wasn’t the smoothest 12 months I’ve ever had. But it most certainly was not the bumpiest either.
Starting tomorrow I’m going to have more kid-free hours than I’ve had in 6.5 years. My youngest will be at school 4 times per week and my oldest 5. I’ll have approximately 18 hours per week without my children…AND I’M SO DAMN EXCITED. I’m going to miss my baby girl, for sure. But the excitement comes from the fact that I’ll have more freedom to work on all of my projects and businesses. If you’ve ever tried to work at home while simultaneously caring for a toddler then you already know that 2 hours worth of work will most certainly take 8. It’s a beautiful thing and difficult thing at the same time. But that’s parenthood in general, right? It’s funny because it’s almost like I don’t believe that’s it’s really true… Wait, wait, you mean I’m going to have multiple hours per day alone?! How?! What is this miracle called “school”?!
So, how would I describe 37? I’d say at this moment in time I’m incredibly thankful. I’m thankful for health and happiness, always. And more particularly, I’m thankful for the changing seasons of parenthood. I have spent 6.5 beautiful years prioritizing my babies and spending hours and hours and hours of my time with them. But there’s a shift coming on. A change. I can feel it, and I’m ready for it.
How wonderful that I’ve had the gift of time with them, and I now get the pleasure of spending more time on myself and my work. I get to show them both what mommy can do. But most importantly, I get to show myself. We put lots on hold when we’re raising babies, especially when we’re not leaving the home for a job each day. We do this because we want to or feel that we need to. It’s a priceless experience. I have that forever, and it can never be taken from me. The screaming babies, the first steps, the tantrums, the giggling, the grocery store trips, the working from the kitchen table with a whiny baby on my lap, the love…the beautiful love. I’ve already shown myself that I can be a great mom to a couple of cool kids; something I never even planned on or dreamt of as a young girl. And now I get what feels like a second chance at adulthood to nurture my own hopes and dreams again? Wow. I know they say you can’t have it all, but I do think you can have a lot. A whole lot. And I do.
Bring it on, late 30s. Let this be the best time of my life thus far.