Friday, August 07, 2009

Deep Thoughts on Turning 35

Before I get into the deep thoughts, I would just like to note that lots of people will be making out on my birthday, which I feel is as it should be. In addition, many people will be honoring the Virgin Mary, which is also as it should be. In general, everybody should be rocking it out on my birthday, in whatever capacity pleases them. Let's just note that this is the birthday of Julia Child and Napoleon, people. It's a good day on which to be born. Mark your calendars. I expect that you all should be rocking it out.

So anyway. As I do each year, I get all introspective in the lead-up to my birthday. This in part has to do with the fact that I live my life on an academic calendar, so August really feels like the beginning of my year, and well, it's also that August really is the beginning of my year because, dude, this is when I came into this world.

So during the lengthy time in the car to and from Hometown, I did some reflecting on my state of affairs as I edge ever closer toward my 35th year. Here are my conclusions:

  • FB is an ass, and a shithead, but I really do love him. That said, is he likely to get his shit together to commit to me? No. But I'd really rather he did. (And yes, I know that I broke it off with him. Except even with that I talk to him all the time and love him with a love that is pure and true. So I'm also an asshole and a shithead, although in an entirely more fabulous and awesome way than he is.)
  • Even though I knew I'd get tenure, getting tenure has given me such a sense of peace and centeredness. I had no idea before tenure what tenure would mean to me. It really rocks. I'm really proud of myself and I feel happier than I've felt in years because of it. Seriously.
  • I don't know what happens next in my life, but I feel like I just want to take care of myself and to be ready for what comes. I know I love work, and it will likely always be in my top three of important things, and I accept that about myself. But work isn't the most important thing, even if it's a very important thing.
  • I wouldn't trade the things that I've experienced in the past 35 years for anything. No regrets. None. I wouldn't trade even the lamest or hardest times I've experienced for another path. And I'm happy that I didn't get married and have kids in my 20s, even though getting married and having kids is something that I worry about now.
  • All I aim for in the coming year is health and satisfaction and joy. (Not death, not illness, not drama, which all dominated my 34th year.) I'm not sure what forms those things may take, but those are the aims, and they can come in whatever forms are most convenient.
I thought this post would be longer, but really, that's it. Those are my things. And really, I probably could have edited this to the last bullet. I want health and satisfaction and joy. And, no, I don't think that's too tall of an order.

14 comments:

Digger said...

Happy birthday, Dr. C.

Earnest English said...

Happy birthday!

I'm so glad to hear that tenure has given you a deep centeredness. Some people have told me that getting tenure proved to be anticlimactic, resulting in depression -- I'm guessing like the dip after a big project is completed. Glad it can also be fabulous. I choose fabulous, thank you very much. Of course I have years to go before I sleep.

Can I just say how annoying it is that someone tenured and together and fabulous is younger than I am? Sigh. Rock on, Crazy!

My word today is speeder! Interpret at will.

Aurora said...

Happy Birthday and yes health is wealth.

heu mihi said...

What a nice post. Or at least, I read it that way. I'm so glad that you're happy with your life and your choices--isn't that among the best things we can hope for, in a way?

I'll be getting hitched on your birthday, so there'll be rocking out in at least one East Coast town. And I'm delighted to learn that the kiss-in will be happening at the same time!

PhDLadybug said...

Happy birthday! Enjoy it and enjoy your tenure! :)))

Shane in Utah said...

Happy birthday, Crazy! And hey, you're just 3 weeks younger than my little sister!

Susan said...

Happy upcoming birthday. As another August birthday, I share your sense that the year does begin in August. This year, classes start on my birthday!

Nik said...

Happy Birthday in few days. I wish you great happiness and peace and satisfaction in the next year.

GP said...

Crazy, may you have 35 years of health, satisfaction, and joy :-) "Thus you willed it," so really, you've got it already, right? Go girl :-)

Psycgirl said...

I hope you have a wonderful birthday and an even more wonderful year :)

Sisyphus said...

I think it's _awesome_, and completely appropriate, that you share a birthday with Napoleon and Julia Child! Have a happy birthday!

Doctor Pion said...

Happy Birthday!

Should have guessed you were a Leo .... We need to see your Napoleonic leonine pose.

This should be a special one now that you have tenure. Enjoy it, and lay the foundation for the next 35 years. (See my blog today to see a link to a BBC article about how old people stay happy.)

Right now I look forward to what looks like a great school year, and another great year of blogging from you.

Belle said...

Of course, happy b-day! And I'm so glad you're feeling good about where you are and the various things in your life. Tenure hit me that way too; years later, I'm still looking around and thinking 'really? me? how cool...'

Dr. Crazy said...

Thanks for the happy birthday wishes!

I do feel happy and centered, and yes, tenure for me has not been the anticlimactic thing that I also heard rumors about but rather this glorious awakening of the coolness of my job. I'm hoping that I continue to feel that way about it, and I'm going to work very hard to do so. Yay that you're getting married on my B-Day Heu! Mazel Tov!

Susan: Of course we August-ers believe that the year starts with our birthdays. Most of us are Leos, and clearly we are self-centered :) (Although it's possible you're a Virgo, like my little half-brother also born in August, in which case there is some other explanation :) )

Belle- I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who thinks tenure is fabulous. That should be the way for everybody, I feel like. It's such a shame that people work so hard for something only to feel like it's an anticlimax!

At any rate, the birthday is fast approaching, but I'm busy relaxing and chilling before my long weekend in NC. I may post one or two times before I actually depart, but I'm glad I did the B-Day post early, in that I had it in me and I got it out. I really am feeling centered and like I'm in a good place. The trick now is to make sure that this continues throughout the next year!