I told you I’ve been feeling this wave of wisdom coming on as I’ve gotten closer and closer to my 30th birthday. Now I can prove it by sharing my latest epiphany with you. (You might want to get a pen.)
Life is what you make it.
Even more earth-shattering, my life is what I make it.
At Christmas, I finally accepted the fact that I am never going to outgrow my habit of nail-biting. I always pictured my mature self in the next life stage, and couldn’t conceive that I’d still be biting them when I got to high school…or college…or when I got married…or when I was a mom. And yet, there I was, raising my daughter in a household where she was coming to believe that nail clippers were an exclusively male hygiene product.
I realized that, while I have plenty of life experiences to enjoy and certainly plenty of maturing left to do, I’ve hit most of the early adult milestones, the sort that I’d expect to the the catalyst to make me a grown-up once and for all. I’ve lived by myself, signed my name to a mortgage, visited a gynecologist, given birth, held down a job, purchased life insurance. I launder my sheets regularly, get my car oil changed, and listen to talk radio. I don’t hang up my wall art with thumbtacks or staples. I don’t know any of the songs on Rick Deas’ Weekly Top 40. I relax in the evening with a cup of coffee and some episodes of Frasier.
I’m pretty sure I’m a grown-up (and kind of a boring one, at that). I’ve always known that in my own mind I still think of myself like this:
In a sense it’s just my old insecurity, but I think it’s also been a way to let myself off of the hook. I don’t expect much of this girl who obviously can’t even use a hair straightener. But while I’ve been sitting around waiting to feel like a grown-up, the years have kept ticking away, and I have a suspicion that they’re going to keep it up.
So if I don’t want to be a mom who bites her fingernails, I’ve got to quit biting my fingernails. If I want to be a model of spiritual maturity for my children and a wise helper to my husband, I need to practice disciplines that will facilitate my spiritual growth. If my days aren’t long enough to get it all done, well, I know who sets the alarm clock.
What exactly this will look like over the next year, or ten, I’m not sure. What I do know right now is that this Mama needs a refill for her Dr. Pepper. And I’m off to make it happen.