Reprinted with permission from Layin’ Down Roots
Last month I turned the big 3-5 and finally reached the official grown up age. Yes, I’ve been an adult for a while but there are no more excuses for not knowing how to do grown up things when you can no longer claim to be in your “early 30s.” Thirty-five feels like the age of mastery, the point of life in which you should be really good at something. After all, you’ve had three decades and a half to practice and refine your skills. It is the age at which others should start asking your advice and begin following your example.
So it didn’t surprise me when my eyes were drawn to an article on my newfeed titled, “35 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 35 Years.” It was a heartfelt account of a woman’s hard-earned discoveries over the course of her life and filled with little pearls of wisdom such as, “The results we strive for aren’t as valuable as the experiences along the way” and “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to anything and there is no magic bullet.” I found myself nodding along with most of the items and felt satisfied that I too had learned many of these self-actualizing truths in my time on this earth.
I finished the article, put my phone on the counter, and walked into the kitchen to take the burned ham out of the oven. As the hot air of the oven hit my face, I could feel both my makeup and my self-inflated awareness slowly melting away. Standing in the middle of my kitchen with smoke billowing out of the pan of pork in my hand, I finally had one of those “Aha” moments that Oprah always talked about. Sure, all of those high-minded lessons were nice…but what I really needed to learn was how to make a meal without blackened edges.
So here is a more realistic list – 35 Life Lessons I Should’ve Learned in 35 Years (But Still Haven’t):
To be perfectly honest, at 35 I am still far from achieving Zen and miles away from Buddha-inspired enlightenment. Most days I’m just learning as I go and making it up along the way. The good news is that I still have 11 months to figure all of this out. The bad news is that I probably won’t. But I choose to look on the bright side: I know how to pick out a perfectly ripe avocado and all three of my kids (usually) wear clean clothes when going out in public. Take that, Oprah.