Feb 7 2010

Not I

I am indeed, an average jo. I live a very average life in a very average house in a very average town. I drive a minivan. (Oh yeah, I said that!) I have 4 cats and a dog (okay maybe that surpasses average by a tad, but it’s not my fault, they just keep showing up). I am in my second marriage. I work a lot. I’m busy. Always. Everyone is busy these days, running circles around themselves trying to cram as much life as possible into every single day.

When I was young and aspiring to be a poet, the one thing I never wanted to be was… mediocre. Well, here I am. As mediocre as they come. How did that happen? I thought I was going to end up being way more wonderful than this! But you know what? I really don’t mind so much. In fact, I kind of like it (so much less pressure this way).

I am a mediocre 47-year-old. Running headlong towards 50 at a rapidly-increasing rate.

40 didn’t bother me. In fact, I welcomed it. I felt settled at forty, happy with myself, my life, my body (at least as far as aging was concerned). But 50 is starting to scare me a little. Oh, I won’t show it outwardly. I will smile and be gracious. But inside I am cringing. Because when I reach fifty it will feel like I have passed the halfway mark. Halfway to what though? I haven’t even figured out what I want to be yet and I am already halfway there?

Maybe it won’t be so bad, maybe the “it’s all down hill from here” thing will kick in and I can coast along, happy and content with no regrets. Yeah right, who am I kidding? I’m going to be OVER the hill…

You see, I recently came across a fact that disturbed me enough to cause this outpouring of self-pity. Apparently I am part of the Baby Boomer Generation! Wait a minute! I thought my parents were Baby Boomers! Silly me. It turns out that anyone born between 1946 and 1964 is a member of this group. I am in a club I never asked to join…

Suddenly, I am much older than I thought. A baby boomer? Not I.

Only yes, I am. Somehow I always thought of myself as being part of the next generation. You know, the one that came between the boomers and Generation X? (And by the way, what happened to all the letters in between? Can’t I be part of Generation H, or P, or V?) Now I have to change my whole way of thinking. How come no one ever told me I was a boomer? (Okay, I admit it, clearly I just wasn’t paying attention.)

But until this juicy little tidbit of information made its way into my life, I thought I was still young. Okay, I get it, I am still relatively young. But these labels, they have a way of making you feel, well, labeled. And all the terms associated with that label now apply to ME.

Oh, I will get over it, I will. It’s going to take me a few days, but I will adjust and continue on in my own little mediocre way. Cause that’s what I do.

Just don’t say it to my face yet.