On the fourth Friday of every month, the women of a local organization (Tampa Bay Business Owners) I belong to get together for a very informal Happy Hour…or hours as the case may be…hey don’t judge! It’s an awesome way for us to connect with each other in a very non-business setting. The guys meet up as well on the fourth Thursday, but I’m guessing they talk a lot of business with a little sports thrown in for good measure. Us ladies, well, you just never know where the conversations will go.
While our motto has always been “what happens at ladies night, stays at ladies night”, the discussion this past Friday has been in my head so that means only one thing…write a blog about it. The question of the night…we always have one, you know, as an ice breaker kind of thing…not that we really need it but still…
If you could stay at a certain age forever,
what age would it be and why?
Not surprisingly, no one picked an age under 25. Let’s face it, no one wants to relive the teenage years. And anything that happened between 18 and 25 was just preparation for becoming a real adult. I think only one person said an age in her late twenties, a few in their early thirties but the vast majority were 40 and beyond.
Yep, mixed in with our quest for the fountain of youth, it does seem most of us are quite content with mid-life and beyond.
If you asked me before I sat on the Howard Frankland Bridge for over an hour on the way home from a soccer tournament a little over a week ago, I definitely would have said 39. It was the age at which I…
- got divorced, not that I’m advocating getting one but for me it did turn out to be for the best
- went back to work after being a SAHM for 7 years at what was probably the best job I ever had (and for those not up on your internet slang SAHM means stay at home mom)
- met my current husband
- and, last but certainly not least, felt like I had control over my life for the first time in over a dozen years which kind of explains the divorce
So what changed my mind about the age I would like to forever be while sitting in a ridiculous amount of traffic after a very long weekend? If you read my previous blog, you’ll see that my son had his last soccer game last spring. It was one of the many “lasts” that I experienced with him before he graduated from high school at the end of May and headed off to college in June (yes, June…lucky guy gets to start in the summer). And that means my husband and I are now officially empty nesters. Sure our kids will always be our kids, but for the most part we’re done with all of the child rearing years.
Look, I could sit here and tell you I’m sad over how quickly the years have gone by, and I want to turn back the hands of time, do some things over again, blah blah blah. The truth is, though, I really am ok with being 52 and I’m sure I’ll be ok when I’m 62, 72, 82 and 92. I have longevity on both sides of my family, so I intend to live that long…sorry kids.
My husband and I have spent a lot of time lately talking about our plans for the indefinite future. Some of the conversations have been filled with dreams of extended travel while others have dealt with the not so fun estate planning stuff. We are getting ready to downsize (in fact, I’m in the midst of the #GreatPurge2015 ) and I can’t wait! The plan is to move to a different area of Tampa Bay which we have yet to agree on where that will actually be, but it will definitely be as maintenance free as possible.
I actually asked the same “pick an age” question the following night to a group of friends and everyone responded pretty much the same as my revised age or should I say symbolic time in our lives. Our kids are moving on, we feel financially secure by our own individual definitions and we are definitely going to embrace growing old.
Seriously, what’s the alternative?