thankful grateful blessed

I’ve been 29 for 77 days now.

77 days of creeping closer to thirty. I’m not mad about it. Something about thirty seems like such a nice well-rounded age, full of confidence and official adult-dom and the ability to say, “I’m in my thirties,” which, to me, means “I’m someone who knows what I’m about.”

In the meantime, the days slip by. Each one greeted, now, by a Hatch clock instead of the anxiety-inducing marimba/social-scrolling that used to start my day. The mornings are much nicer with the clock’s tiny electronic sunrise and delightful (if not slightly ridiculous) flute medley. At night, it tells me when to get ready for bed with a polite little push notification, so, if I’m not busy watching The Bachelorette, I brush my teeth, climb into bed, write down gratitudes, and read by the glow of its night-light until it seamlessly transforms into a sound machine. Have you ever heard of a more mature routine? Such wonderful sleep hygiene? A more adult soliloquy on something as boring as a clock? Me neither, but whatever. It’s been great.

The gratitude journal is going well, too. I think by the end of the year it might be an interesting opportunity for reflection—to notice the days I missed when the journal was boxed for a move, the days I could think of nothing better to be grateful for than “my bed,” the days with exciting “Dance shoes!” or the note that said, “feeling slightly less unstable” when I upped and added to my anti-depressants. Things like that, unfortunately, still sneak up when there’s plenty to be grateful for. Such is life.

In a shift of tone, please now transport your imagination-self to my bathroom, where you will often find an adult woman in her pajamas standing on one foot like a flamingo while she brushes her teeth. Then, hear the electric toothbrush beep, see the top teeth getting brushed, watch the foam drip down her chin, and note her shifting her weight to the other foot. You wonder what on earth is going on. Here is your answer: 77 days in, I’ve been to seven Irish dance classes, I LOVE IT, and my ankles are absolute trash. I have shin splints and a weird extra bone in my foot that gets tendonitis, plus tight joints and extra weight that didn’t bother me as a ten-year-old dancer. I am determined to get a little stronger and a little better, so, per my world-class all-star instructor, balancing on one foot a few times a day is supposed to be helpful. I’m struggling a bit in the learning-choreography department too (apparently adult minds are less flexible than children’s—age strikes again) but eventually I’ll be able to sail through jigs and reels with my other dancer friends. So far, I’m not much good, but I’m happy.

As for my other bucket-list adventures, I got to check off “make money writing,” (yay!), I’ve been on one mediocre date (four to go, send your friends my way), and had one mind-blowing meal. Truly, I will be forever grateful for the beauty of Yolan (the place with the Michelin chef!). Later that night, I wrote “Yolan! Bread baskets, gnocchi, family, dessert, heavenly all around” in gratitude spot number one, and that pretty much summed up the divine experience we had of noodles and bread and cheese and balsamic and chocolate and on and on and on…Basically, we ate for two hours straight, and I’m surprised I didn’t die of happiness. I’m sure that’s what meals in heaven are like.

In other news, I know I planned to find a Rocky Horror Picture Show event for October, but my sisters and I decided to dress up and go out for Halloween instead. I’m counting the soundtrack singing we did in the car that night—a lot of off-key hot patooties—as mission accomplished. Sometimes you just have to change plans when the opportunity to match your sisters and wear body glitter presents itself. This is something I will always believe, even at thirty.