Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Eleventy Billion....or maybe just Eighteen

"You're only as old as you feel," they say. And I think, "I guess that makes me 87." Some days I feel old. Beat Down. Today I looked in the mirror after sleeping only 2 hours in bed, pacing the house with a crying baby for 2 hours and sleeping two more hours on the couch, jammed in an awkward position and tightly curled under a too small blanket--and wow. I look old. Who is that haggard person looking back at me? With the new gray hairs, and the underye wrinkles. Who is that?

And yet, some days I have a hard time believing I'm an adult. I asked my neighbor this weekend if she feels qualified for adult-hood. Because sometimes I really feel like I'm a teenager posing as an adult. It isn't that I feel that I'm not responsible or competent, because I am. It isn't that I feel I can't handle adulthood, because I can. It is more that I feel like I am just acting like an adult and deep down I'm really just an angsty teenager, playing the part of grownup. My neighbor looked at me as though I had three eyes. She had no idea what I meant.

I remember our early years in the Air Force, when I was 22, 23, 24....and how old I thought the 30-somethings were. How ancient. How boring. They left the club at 9 or 10 p.m. just when it was getting good. They couldn't go on the spur of the moment midnight sun camping trips in Alaska. They couldn't sleep their hangovers off all day on Sunday...they had kids. They were old.

Now that is me. And I'm quite happy to leave the bar at 9 p.m. or really to just not go to the bar at all. What's wrong with dinner and a movie? Why would I want a hangover? Those people weren't so much old. They were just grownups. And now I'm a responsible grownup. But deep down, sometimes, I still feel like I'm posing....and no matter how old I get midnight sun camping trips will always be a good idea.

11 comments:

Natalie said...

I was just thinking this same thing the other day. In fact, I think it more and more lately. I wondered, to myself, "will I feel this young, in my mind, when I am 80?"

I too have little desire for late nights out. Maybe I would feel differently if I didn't have kids and knew I could, without a doubt, sleep-in the next morning.

What amazes me, Katie, is that I run into people/moms, all the time who do NOT feel like we do. I have a Spanish friend who just gets a sitter and stays out until all hours of the night/morning with her husband on a regular basis (she's married to a US Air Force officer - but, they'be been stationed overseas for a decade or more). She gets to sleep in b/c the sitter gets up with the kids. Now, granted, she started having babies at 25ish (three kids) and she is now done with diapers and breastfeeding. But still. I just can't do it! Also, when Matt and I are on our way home from a night out, we'll stop by the bar that American's frequent to say a quick hi. As we're leaving, so many other people who have young children (children w/sitters)are just showing up. I'm not saying it's wrong - but, how do they do it? Getting home at 2, 3, or 4am even twice a month would kill me. I'd be exhausted for days!

While I can't stay out late, I still feel like I was 18 yesterday! I know that being in our 30's isn't old. But, it seems like yesterday that I was babysitting for parents who's age I am now and and thought, "I will never act as old as they act when I'm 30. And, please, don't ever let me be 30, b/c God, I'll be so old!" and I vividly remember thinking, "Damn, people look old when they are 30! I hope I won't look that old when I'm 30!"

Do 18-year-olds, these days, think we 30-somethings look old?"

I feel like I want to hold onto my early 30's for as long as I can. Embrace every second of these years. B/c, damn-it, 40 is old! But is it?

Kristi said...

I feel like this all the time. I swear I was 19 just last week. I don't know I how became a fake adult responsible for the well being of a kid!!

At the same time, I'd rather stay home watching movies in my sweats than get all dressed up to go out to a loud club.

I'm stuck somewhere between teenager and adult!!!! It's so confusing.

Angie said...

I was never a bar kind of girl. When I used to stay up late, it was just to play cards or something like that. So, maybe I've always been old?

And, I too feel like I shouldn't possibly be old enough to have TWO children. Surely not. I can't imagine that I ever would have felt adult enough if I'd started having kids in my early to mid 20's. Back when people would ask if I was a teenager. I was annoyed at the time, but now I would love it.

Katie said...

Don't get me wrong...if I had someone to watch my kids the next MORNING/afternoon, I would totally go out for a few drinks. But, knowing I have to get up ass-early and be responsible, kind of kills that idea!!

bevo said...

Dear Brutus Buckeye,

Hi ol' pal!!

Great game on Saturday against Michigan! The Longhorns were off so I had a chance to catch you on TV. Except I never saw YOU! What's up with that? Have they got you hidden, too?

Look for me at 7 PM on Thanksgiving Day. I'm usually behind the stands out of sight, but once in a while they bring me out for a tiny peek - way over to the side. Lot of good that does the team and the crowd...

Becca's grandparents and Uncle David & Tara will be there - you can recognize them - they'll be the ones wearing burnt orange.

Hook 'em,
Bevo

nana said...

Hey - the best is yet to come! Have you ever even thought that some day you will have ADULT children?? They are just wonderful.

Go ahead and savor this time with your kids, but don't fret about the future - many wonderful surprises await you!!

Lysandra said...

I'm a bar girl...always have been. I don't get to go as much as I would like...but then again there are some nights I want to go but then am too tired to get ready for the bar and would much rather knit. We all feel the way you feel.

Andrea and Ben said...

I am 21 and always will be - what is wrong with you ;0)

lisa said...

Well said. I turn 30 in March and I always thought 30 would be so *old*. And yet I still feel like Im 19 just with grown up responsibilities.

sgtsharp said...

I dont get hangovers, I get overhangs with industrial strength downspouts.
Now whats wrong with burning the candle at both ends and in the middle.
Oh you guys think your old at 30ish Gee I'm going to feel sorry when for you when your in you 40's

susan the lame said...

You inadvertently made your 20-something little sis feel old; with my 9-5er, the thought of a midnight sun camping trip, or drinking heavily or staying up past midnight exhausts me. If I'm less hip now than you were at my age, what am I going to be like 10 years down the road? A mother of 8 wearing high-waisted culottes? Will my idea of fun be putting glitter on my Precious Moments-like overall embroidery projects?