Lately, I've been feeling quite blue at work. I love my job. But that aside, there's a definite tension that hangs in the air lately. Our budget situation is so bad that (like so many places) everyone is being asked to do more with less. And consequently, I feel like I don't have time to do the things that really make being an academic librarian enjoyable for me. Like just going out on the reference desk hoping to help someone. Now, I go out to the reference desk loaded down with other assignments that I hope to multi-task while I'm out there. And professional writing. That's just about impossible this semester, and it really pains me. I hope that it will pass, but in the mean time, every morning I feel a bit blue as I ready to come into the office. I'm grateful for my job, and we need my income. And I'm grateful to have found a career that really suits my personality and interests, after having come from one that really did not. It's all good. But sometimes it could be better :)
So that's on my mind. Omnipresent financial worries are there too. Everybody has these, especially lately. Coming off the holidays is always tough each year, and this year is no exception. And then...there's my birthday.
It's looming, LOOMING I tell you. And yes, I'm not looking forward to it. I'll just come clean - this year I'm going to be 35. And every woman reading this blog will instantly know what I'm talking about and want to give me a hug.
I'll back up for a second to blather on in that way that I often do. "Tiff anecdotes" I call them. So, in high school I wasn't one of the popular girls. *leans back on psychiatrist's coach, puts feet up* I had a nice group of friends, but I was an introvert. I didn't particularly stand out. I was voted "shyest" in my senior class. How's that for a legacy? I was known for being quiet. I certainly never dated. High school was something that I simply endured.
College was a blooming time for me. I went to a small Catholic college, and finally I felt free to be myself. I loved it. I loved choosing my course of studies and being surrounded by other people with the same interests as I. I loved not feeling embarrassed by enjoying school.
And then I went to law school. And you already know that story. A tough time, although I did come back to my faith fully then. And then I went to work at a job that I hated. Even tougher. So this is my 20's. Most of it was emotionally very difficult. And in contrast to many of my friends from college, I had no high school sweetheart. It was my dream to marry and have a family, and as the shy girl, I wasn't exactly drawing men in left and right. I was the single female in my family in her late 20's that was always asked, "So, have you met anyone yet?" Think Bridget Jones. I met Mike when I was nearly 28, and we married just as I was about to turn 30.
30 was no big deal for me. Frankly, I was glad to see my 20's gone. I know that many people feel that their 20's were the best time of their life. I never felt that way. The instant I turned 30, my life was grand. I was married, and shortly after that, expecting a baby. My temporary appointment as a full-time librarian turned into a tenure-track appointment. We saved for, and were able to buy, a small but beautiful house in a gorgeous neighborhood.
My life now is nothing short of fabulous. It's not filled with material riches, but that's never been what I wanted anyway. I have a wonderful family. I love my faith and community. I like my job, and I adore my hobbies. I knit and crochet with abandon, and bellydance at night. And I never worry about what my high school classmates think about any of that.
And so...this is going to sound whiny, but I don't want my 30's to ever end. I love my life. Remember the change thing? Right, I don't want it to change. Ever. Plus, there's the fertility concern. This is no small neuroses, let me tell you. For some reason, we've all been conditioned to believe that the instant a woman turns 35, her eggs shrivel up and combust. The reality is that from age 28 onward, our fertility starts to slowly wane. This is simply a biological fact and there isn't anything that we can do about it. We should pray for God's will, be open to life, and let the babes fall where they may. But yet...we worry anyway.
Am I going to be able to have another baby? I've been dreaming about babies a lot lately, and it's making me all weepy. Certainly, if I do, I'm going to get the geriatric treatment, no doubt about that. ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE. Bring on the walker.
I think a lot of my aging and mortality weepiness has to do with losing my grandmother over the summer. Life is very, very fragile. I have 2 living grandparents, and I'm very close to them. Especially my grandmother. It's going to be agonizing to lose them.
I've just been very contemplative about all of these issues of late. I hope that I perk up a little bit. In the mean time, I'm going to regularly give my eggs a pep talk; can't hurt, right?