Sunday, January 17, 2010

2010: Worse Than 2012?

It seems fitting that I am not writing my "New Year's" entry until mid-January. I am not a resolution maker. I have never particularly enjoyed New Year's Eve. I am known to procrastinate.
Of course, I can trot out various excuses for being so delinquent. The "holiday season" excuse. The kids-home-on-school-break excuse (surpassed this year by the husband-home-for-two-weeks-between-jobs excuse). And, sadly, the loss of a beloved aunt.
But, the truth is, I just don't want to face 2010. It's a nice round number, has a nice sound to it. But it is the year I turn 40 and my son turns 10. I don't know which I am more upset about.
Funnily enough, I have been saying since 34 or 35 that I looked forward to 40, welcomed it. Wanted my good friend who knows about such things to help me with a five-year plan (35-40). Felt like the best was yet to come and all of that. To some extent, I think it remains true. I am more comfortable in my own skin, more secure in myself -- still nowhere near the self-confidence of my 6-year-old daughter, but in time, perhaps.
But now that I am staring down the barrel of that Four-Oh gun, I am no longer so enthusiastic about the birthday. All I can keep thinking is that I will turn 40 at camp! I didn't even go to camp as a kid, but now I will turn 40 working at one?!? Really? Not quite what I envisioned for my fourth decade.
I might be able to work through that, though. I have until July, and I could probably make some peace with the whole crazy scenario. But I just don't have it in me to overcome that milestone and then have my baby hit double digits four months later. It is too much for one year.
People talk about 2012; my son desperately wants to see the movie. I can't imagine how much programming will be on the History Channel about the end of the world or beginning of days or whatever it is that is supposed to happen on 12/12/12 (or is it 12/21/12? not much of a doomsday fan either; I figure if it's going to happen, it's going to happen. Nothing I can do about it, and Jewish people are not on the saved list as far as I know.)
But I would happily skip to 2011. Someone pointed out that would make me 41 and my son 11. Yes, I know that, and if I got there without having to actually endure turning 40 and him turning 10, that would be fine. I am very familiar with denial, and it works quite well for me.
As we all know, however, there is no fast-forward button to press on life. Not even a pause, which would be infinitely more convenient in my opinion. You're not supposed to wish away your days blah blah blah, so just having a little breather would come in handy every now and then. Time moves so quickly, and it speeds up as you get older.
How can he be turning 10??????? As if that is not gut-wrenching enough, the temple sent a letter about choosing his bar mitzvah date. Now that is just completely out of control. How dare they? And they followed the letter up with harassing phone calls; apparently there was some deadline associated with the letter. Can't they leave an in-denial mother alone? You're a reform shul with small classes as far as I can tell, so what exactly is your rush? You have to put salt in my wound? And I have to pay you how many thousands of dollars to be unwillingly reminded that my baby is growing up? No wonder attendance and affiliation is down at temples.
OK, that was good, actually. A few paragraphs about 10 distracted me from 40. Maybe that can be my game plan: when one birthday becomes too much for me to bear, I will shift focus to the other. Although, now that I think about it, I don't usually break down at the expected times. I had a quarter-life crisis, really unhappy about 25. But fine with 30. For me, it has more to do with what I think life should look like at that age, and what my reality actually is. That's it!!! That is the answer! I will focus solely on the fact that 40 was supposed to look like the Jetsons!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Michelle. It is comforting to know that although you have grown you haven't changed. I love you! I loved IT: the turning 40 at camp and the pause button on life (will someone invent that already please?!) ... classic. Great blog.