On 37, briefly

Here I am, having recently completed my 37th year. From the perspective of the college students I direct and my younger cohort members, I can see that 37 sounds old, especially in its proximity to 40. Sometimes, like after two plus hours of contra dancing yesterday, I feel older. There is sadness sometimes that I don’t have some the things that many of the friends my age have–partner, children, steady job. Only sometimes, though. Much of the time, I feel great. My thirties is when I figured out (with the help of physical therapists) how to have a healthy, capable body. I am so glad for that. I have work that I enjoy and I’m working toward a degree that seems right. Most days I feel steadier–more accepting of me, with better knowledge of how to take care of myself and be real and present with whoever I’m with–than I did at 30 or even 35. I have great family and friends–with and without kids, partnered or not, working different kinds of jobs, and all thoughtful, intelligent, hard working, creative, supportive, funny, tolerant of my quirks. It’s a good life. I’m not sure what the future holds, especially after I finish school, but my 37th year was excellent and I’m trusting my 38th and beyond can be also.

Rach, thanks for coming for the annual Ethiopian birthday feast. It is so much nicer now that I don’t do all of the cooking. Remember the days of cooking all day for lots of people? Huzzah for Ethiopian restaurants and for the friends and family members who were able to make the drive to eat with me. Wish you could have all been there. I didn’t think to take any pictures of the festivities, but I did get some quality pictures of Miriam and I making faces together during the evening. I’ll mix them in as we go along.

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I’m soaking in the end of break. Oh, break was a gift. I know that this life is completely unrealistic, that never in my life again (excluding next year) will I have five weeks off at Christmas, so I enjoyed it. The semester was so very super extremely busy and I was so very thankful for some time to recuperate. I went to bed late and stayed in bed late. The cats got so used to me being around all the time; Frida is purring on my lap as I write (after eating most of a bobbin’s worth of thread). I had a few days where I neither changed out of my pajamas nor left the house. The house is actually clean. I mean, I have yet to do all the dishes from my cooking spree yesterday. Let’s not go too crazy. But a clean I feel good about, where there’s space to do what I want to do and I can have people over without embarrassment. The quiet time at home was great, and I could also accept almost any invitation I received for fun events. With two colleges in town, everyone operating on an academic schedule rejoices and celebrates (or leaves town) when the semester has ended. The time with you all and the larger family around the holidays was amazing. I have to readjust to familylessness after every holiday.

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I preparing to be frantically busy again. I’ve been cooking like a fiend recently, with the hopes that meals in the freezer will increase the chances of eating regularly and decently during show time. Over the past few days I’ve cooked up six pounds worth of hamburgers (two different kinds), five different kinds of breakfast smoothies, and double recipes of chili (with my normal changes–less beans, more meat, as much cilantro as possible), one my favorite breakfast egg things in muffin tins and chicken wild rice soup. Everything is in portions in the big freezer so I can grab and go. I have a few more meals planned. The goal is to have enough food to get me through much of the six weeks when I’ll be both studenting and directing. I should be able to get the rest of the food made up during the first week of classes. Which start in Tuesday. Phew. I’ll stay in my bathrobe as much as possible until then.

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All my love to you. Thanks for being with me last year. You and your families are joy givers to me.

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Janna

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3 thoughts on “On 37, briefly

  1. That cooking ahead thing is genius and I think you will be so glad you did it! Way to go. So glad to be able to join in on your birthday celebration, and to be able to see you more in general! Hooray for living (semi) close by.
    Miriam loved seeing these pictures! I love hearing about your life and the steadiness that comes with age. I am feeling a bit of that too. I think my motto for this year is going to be “Be Present”–I’m trying to focus more on being present for my children as they grow and change so quickly, and being more present with the people in my life rather than always thinking about my to-do list or what comes next. 🙂

  2. I’m so happy that a) you have found a way to make your body capable, and b) that you are going back for your degree. I think you are wonderful and I miss you very much!

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