And so it comes to be that I am yet another year older. And thanks to graduate school, deeper in debt. Every year goes by faster than the previous but when you reach some sort of milestone such as another birthday and take stock of all you’ve done the past year, it doesn’t seem so fast. At least it doesn’t for me.
For instance, I can say that in the previous year, I finished graduate school. Two years of lost weekends and an underlying stress certainly didn’t go by quickly, not at the time.
I made it a point to take some advantage of the bits and pieces of summer we get here. Last September I went hiking at Mount Rainier and – this counts because I haven’t done it in years – went to the Puyallup fair. And earlier this summer I finally got over to the San Juan Islands and I went paddle boating on Hood Canal on certainly one of the few gorgeous days we had this year.
It also seems to me that the past few years – my thirties – have been more introspective than were my mid to late twenties. My theory is that the latter part of my twenties were spent dealing with more exterior changes. I moved in with Shaun and there were hurdles there, we planned a wedding and bought a house and there were hurdles there. These were hurdles that were shaping a view on life and it is only now that I have the time to reflect on what came out of them.
I mean, who knew that I would love home ownership this much? I love talking about and doing things to my house. I know how to paint and make more cosmetic changes, and I like doing these things. Maybe not the process as much as the outcome. But I wish that I knew how to do more. I’d like to put down new flooring in the bathroom, but the problem is this. Ask any guy how to do that, and they will say, “Oh you just have to do it. Get into it and figure it out for yourself.” Well, sorry guys, into my thirties and I know that’s not how I learn, and I think most women will agree with me on that point.
Perhaps my favorite point this year was the moment I realized I didn’t hate cooking. Shaun’s a great cook and has always loved to do it, but because we’re commuters and I work fewer hours, I wound up being the de facto cook. And after a few lessons from Shaun and a few meals that turned out great, I made my peace with cooking. I still won’t take on the overly ambitious projects that Shaun will – like Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon – but I can turn out a tasty meal in about 45 minutes that trumps most restaurant fare. That’s pretty great to me.
So it’s great to see that at least some things were accomplished during the year, because the day to day seems to blur by. I mean, how does the day get away from me so fast? What am I doing during those 16-18 waking hours that I never get anything done that I intend to get done? (Commuting.) How does anything ever get done, particularly when being a perfectionist often prevents me from starting so many projects? And where oh where has that illusive virtue known as concentration gone? Well I’m pretty sure the internet has swallowed it whole. But I have been slowly trying to recover it – to get the internet to regurgitate it and give it back to me – and I hope that next year I will have a lot more to say about it.
So until next year…