Friday, March 10, 2006

Introspection is catching

Each fall, I start mentally preparing myself for two things: the new date on January 1, and my new age in February. Somehow, I managed to give them both a miss this year. So 33 kind of snuck up on me. I don’t feel any different, and birthdays don’t generally bother me, but this year, it occurred to me that I’ve entered the second third of my life.

You see, I have decided that I will live to be as old as my great-grandmother on my father’s side. I think there is some kind of pact with the devil on that side, because until she died last xmas, there were 5 generations of us alive. 5! So anyway I have until 96 (I think she was a month shy of either 96 or 97 when she died) to make my mark on the world.

And up until 32, I was still in the first third of my life. I guess when you reach a milestone like that, it affects you, even if you are normally too indifferent or too lazy to care, like me.

A couple of weeks before my birthday, I took stock of my life. It was actually too boring to put here, but let’s just say that I’ve made my peace with it.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, or the president. Not because I was *so* enamored of science, or was *really* interested in politics, but because I thought those things proved you were “the best.” Needless to say, I didn’t have a very precise idea then of what it means to be the best at something.

Nowadays, I know what I am good at—I am good at editing, but not necessarily fiction; I can help other people’s writing look good.

I know what I care about enough to make the effort to improve it—my own writing.

And I know what is important to me—time for my husband and daughter, my family and friends.

At the end of the day, anything I do has to further one of these ideals, or it’s not worth my time or energy.

I keep going back and forth on whether school fits into this list of priorities anymore. Part of it is because I am scared shitless of my exams (in German) next semester. John has pointed out *multiple times* that I wanted to go back to school, and I’m already 5 semesters in. Ok, he’s got a point, but I *wanted* a 2-year Master’s Degree, and now I’m stuck for 4; I can’t do just English, I also have to do German, and it is taking the most work. Yes, we live in Germany, but I doubt my German skills will ever be good enough to teach or edit it, so what’s the point? I guess that’s what’s got me so torqued up about the whole school thing.

I sound at peace, eh? I would just like to take this chance to blame WesTexGirl for this entry. *grin*

1 comment:

westexgirl said...

My husband seemed to think a time period and money already invested into a program was a good reason to finish also. Men. But keep in mind, I have six years worth of school that took me 12 years to acquire, so I totally feel your pain. I was ready to jump ship at the halfway point also. (More than once.) You *can* do it... now if you don't want to, that's a whole other story. Doesn't that husband of yours still owe you for forcing you to live in that pseudo-ice-age hell that you do? Sometimes the art of marital negotiation requires playing a little dirty. ;)