I had one of those birthdays recently that make you take stock.
If we still went by mans allotted years being three score and ten I would be smack on middle aged. (Gulp) Luckily, I believe the average lifespan of woman in Australia is presently about 84 so I’ve still got a good seven years. My parents assure me that 60 is actually the new middle age, the prime years, in fact. So I’ve that to look forward to as well.
Anyway, it’s one of those birthdays that make you look around and go hmm.
And it was sweet to reflect that I have everything my younger self dreamed about.
When I was 15 a small, now defunct, publisher called moondrake, were talking about publishing one of my books, and one of the editors invited me to come and check out their offices. Their offices were in a terrace in Carlton, one of Melbourne’s inner suburbs, and I was incredibly excited.
While I was there a very chic looking women asked me about my future plans and I rather naievely told her the truth; ‘I want to live in the country and write.’
To which she obviously tried (and failed) to hide a laugh and a sigh and said, no but what will you do for a career. At which I looked somewhat (more) blank.
Twenty years later I’m living in the country and writing.
It’s not quite the way I’d vaguely imagined it. I’m fairly sure I was thinking of remote and craggy wilderness type country, with massive breakers rolling in on a long and deserted shore in the near vicinity, not dairy land and power plants. But it is the country. And I am writing.
And while I have a backup ‘career’ as a librarian, I do see it all as being part of being around books and writing and people who love books and stories and writing and knowledge.
I also have the children I always dreamed of, so unimaginably more wonderful, more heart-grabbing and deep-gt-chuckling funny, not to mention more challenging than I imagined, and a husband who loves me exactly the way I am: mess, ditziness and all.
There are things that didn’t enter my mind when I was younger. I seriously believed (if I thought of it at all) that as soon as I had kids I would transform into the Queen of Clean and Miss Organisation. Not. I’ve certainly read a lot about cleaning. None of it has made its way into the practicals.
I don’t know if I suspected I’d be part of a student family in my 30s. But… my dad was working on his PhD when I was in primary school and I remember my immense pride when he came to my school to show me the newly bound copy of his thesis (I’m fairly sure I’m one of the few people who read a PhD thesis on a revolutionary Irish guy in primary school). So adults doing long-term study is something I grew up around and something that feels normal… almost right to me. It's an honour and fascination to see my beloved’s mind shift and grow as he learns so much stuff.
So I’m joining with Bron at 52 Weeks of Grateful today, grateful for taking stock, for childhood dreams, and for dreams coming true.