While I always consider myself more a humanities person than a math person, I do have an eye for mathematical patterns and experience with multiplication and long addition. Recently I realized that for what is probably the first time in my life my height and my age are the same numbers – 5/4. For some reason that got my latent math skills working and I quickly multiplied (in my head, of course) the digits of my height (5 x 4) times one another getting 20, and the digits of my age (5 x 4) getting 20 again.
Placing those two twenties next to one another gets us 2020, which, as we all know, sucks. Mostly. What doesn’t suck is being 54, at least not yet.
When one is 54, it’s reasonable to expect a person to have their shit together. Maybe you don’t have all of your ducks in a row, but you kinda know where they all are at least. More than likely, the biggest and hardest of life’s choices have been made. If you’re lucky, you have people in your life who inspire and return the love you have for them. Perhaps you’ve even checked a few things off your personal bucket list already – a special trip taken or the opportunity to indulge an interest realized. You may have a home that brings you comfort and a car that takes you wherever you want to drive. Those are all wonderful things. This is a good decade, friends.
It seems to me that many of us received the same wrong message. You know, the one about your teens (God, forbid!) or your twenties being the best years of your life. As far as I’m concerned, that’s plain and simple bullshit. Lack of autonomy, an excess of self consciousness and a meager income did not combine to somehow magically give me my happiest or most satisfying existence. Instead, nearly thirty years after I mourned turning 25, I am more excited about my life and the wonderful opportunities with which I have been presented than I’ve ever been before.
This, I think, is the sweetest of spots. I’m healthy, physically active, and fairly emotionally secure. I know what I want and what I won’t tolerate. The intense parenting years are mostly in the past with the worst of those moments fading steadily to a soft shade of sepia. There’s the freedom to come and go independently and the good fortune to support my need to travel. In at least 6 different countries and a dozen states there are people whom I love, and who love me right back. The world is both bigger and smaller than I ever would have imagined thirty years ago.
Adding up the years has definitely become my most favorite math “problem.” The total may not always be the same but if you show your work, you’re always guaranteed to get some points.