So yesterday my therapist (yes, I see a therapist. Get over it.) asked me, “Do you feel better now than you ever have?”
“In my life?” I asked.
He nodded. “Yes, in your life.”
That’s a hard question to answer. I’m really bad at answering “favorites” questions. Like it’s hard for me to name my absolute favorite book or absolute favorite movie or absolute favorite song. Or my absolute favorite time of my life.
So I said, “Well, I’m one of those people who loved high school and college, so those were great times.”
Silence. (I hate it when he does that. But it’s what therapists do, I suppose.)
“And, well, I mean, sometimes I miss the freedom I had before I had kids.”
“But I mean, I wouldn’t trade my kids for that – I love my kids and love being a mom!”
“I guess . . . well, I kinda always think of getting older as a bad thing.”
Then he said, “Imagine that you’re set up for the next ten years to be the best years of your life.”
I’ve been thinking about that a lot over the past 24 hours. A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that she thinks her 30s are way better than her 20s. I’ve been equating my 30s with less fun and more just getting old. I’ve been equating having children with less free time and less opportunities to do the things I want to do.
But in some ways, I’m in my prime. I feel more myself than I did in my 20s. I’m more established job-wise, and I’m in a type of position that I never really thought I’d be good enough for. I’m much more developed as a writer (though still a struggling writer!) than I was ten years ago. I’ve got some mom experience under my belt, although parenting is always a work-in-progress. I’m spending more time with my friends that I was in my late twenties when I was having babies. I’ve charged over many ruts, road bumps, and rainbows (yes, I just said rainbows) in my marriage and feel like we’re in a really good place, a place of depth, right now.
What will the next ten years hold? Is the best time of my life hidden in them somewhere? I’m scared of the future. My kids are going to grow up. I’m going to get more wrinkles and varicose veins. But I’m excited about the future, too. I will bring home another child. Maybe I will publish a book. Who knows what’s in store?
Have you heard of YOLO? You Only Live Once. A new way of saying Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Sounds like a plan. Every day can be the best day of my life.
“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” – Henry David Thoreau