By Carrie Jacobson
On Thursday, I turn 57. It’s not a monumental year, not a 40 or a 50 or a 65. It’s one of those strange ages – 32, 37, 43. Indeterminate. Unheralded. Not loaded with meaning.
At this edge of this unimportant age, I realize that I do not miss my youth.
I miss my young knees and my young skin. I miss the red hair that for so many years was the bane of my existence.
But the rest of it, I am glad to leave behind. The struggles to define what my heart wanted, and to show what my brain knew. The fight to get ahead, to climb, to earn praise and promotion.
These days, I realize more and more that I know less and less. I read things I wrote back then and wonder at what I knew – and what I was happy to imply that I knew. I think I was smarter then – and certainly, I was interested in seeming smarter.
These days, I realize, I desire less and less. I buy clothes only when I need them. I rarely wear jewelry. For my birthday dinner, I’m hoping my husband will cook burgers and oven fries, and I’ll splurge with an extra slice of cheese.
I have no regrets, not really. I wish I had the money that I spent on clothes and jewelry and other fancy things – but that spending brought me many happy moments, and I don’t regret a second.
These days, these insignificant days in the middle of an insignificant decade, these days I’m happy to be doing the work of a lifetime, making art and selling it to people who are made happy by it.
I am happy with the today’s gifts: a gentle sunrise, a loving dog, a husband I adore, family and friends who pull me through the hard times. I’m happy to live in a small house in a small town in a beautiful place. And live a quiet little life, rich with faith and hope and the joy of making beautiful things.