"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Counting the Days


In a matter of days, it will be here.

A milestone, but just a number.

And yet, not where I imagined I would be
at this age, this time.

It was always the holdout.

I will have this, be this, know this by then--surely.
And somehow, it is still all a mystery.

Was it the naive ponderings of youth?
Or was it a reasonable assumption?

Have I failed?
Succeeded?
Am I right where I am supposed to be?

If not-- what then?

This day will be just a number.
But numbers are the sum of things.

Addition and subtraction.

The number of mistakes; the number of accomplishments.
The number of tears; the moments of laughter.
The absence of a white dress; the strength in standing on my own.
The times loved; the loves lost.
The dreams dashed; the ones that came true.

The wait will be over soon.
Meeting this number, adding, subtracting,
hoping it somehow equals something meaningful.

It isn’t that easy.

I never could have known.

Will I look back someday,
even farther down the line,
and know I did the best I could,
found my way, tried hard?
Or will it be too painful to even look?

Will I regret too much?
Will I be proud of myself?

I can’t answer those questions.
I can’t be sure.

The only thing I am sure of…
there is a new holdout number.

It is far, far down the line.

And I will do my best
To add more than I subtract,
to hope more than I worry,
And to dream big.

I will make sure
I remember
There is plenty of time left
to do all of the things
I thought I would have done by now
and savor every moment in a new way.

Instead of an ending,
this milestone, this day- fast approaching-
will be the starting line.

Ready,
Set,
Live.

28 comments:

adrienzgirl October 5, 2009 at 12:47 AM  

Inspiring. Funny how the years creep up, and those things you dreamed as a little girl seem to stay just outside the grasp. I need to run just a little faster, reach just a little further, live just a little louder! Beautiful post!

Fresh Local and Best October 5, 2009 at 2:33 AM  

I look forward to turning 40, and I will do all the things you listed:
And I will do my best
To add more than I subtract,
to hope more than I worry,
And to dream big.
:)

Kim, I also left a new message for you under 'Finding My Voice.' :)

Commchick October 5, 2009 at 6:19 AM  

I have just recently found your blog so I don't know your age. I can say that I am inching toward 50 and still have not attained my childhood dreams. I am divorced, living alone, not happy in my current work environment. However, I haven't given up, and hope that I never will. I am in love with an incredible man, but I don't know where the relationship is headed so I take it day by day. Good luck to you.

Amiel October 5, 2009 at 8:54 AM  

I recently found your blog and very quickly fell in love. Today's post was wonderful.

I especially adore the lines: "And I will do my best/to add more than I subtract/to hope more than I worry/And to dream big"

While I'm younger - essentially just starting out - it's both a comfort and a reality check to know that everything isn't worked out by numbers. That some worries will always be worries, and that (in a way) that can be a good thing.

A lovely poem,

Thank you :)

Danielle October 5, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

I just turned 39 and have all the same questions. I like your thought process about it though.
Ready
Set
Live

cheryl (clee') October 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM  

I'll be 56 next month! Where did the years go? I'm also still "becoming" - we all should be at any age...otherwise we would be bored and boring.

If you haven't already noticed, time flies faster and faster and our (American) way of life seems to get less simple and more cluttered with the addition of each new technology. My advice to myself - and if it helps you - is to WORK on goals, not just dream of them. Whenever you catch yourself saying "someday", do what you can to START TODAY - that class, that new job, that dating service, that hobby or that activism/volunteering.

Age IS just a number, but that number is not unlimited for any of us. The past is over...I really believe you can and should treat each day as the beginning of the rest of your life. And whenever possible, don't wait even 24 hours to "begin again" - when you're having a tough day, shake it off half way through, take a walk or a shower, and start the "new day" from there. Have a good one :)

Helen October 5, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

I have to tell you, every time I read one of your posts, I come away inspired and thankful.

I hope that when it does come, your turning point is both a wonderful day and a wonderful start :)

jennyfreckles October 5, 2009 at 5:47 PM  

My (widowed) mum has fallen in love all over again - at the age of 82! There's never a time when you have to stop starting. Lovely post - thanks for making us think.

Joe October 5, 2009 at 7:50 PM  

Kim,
I remember my 40th birthday. My wife arranged a surprise party at a friend's house, just after a Washington Redskins game. She managed to find every member of my family within driving distance, and all of my best friends, and I had no idea what was happening. Seventeen years and 3 jobs ago, but I remember the day like it was yesterday. I agree with the other posts - 40 is just a number, not even a half-way point any more. And a poem is great way to celebrate.
Once again, Kim, you have managed to tap into shared experiences...

Brahm October 5, 2009 at 10:08 PM  

Beautifully written, you should write more, I love love love your blog and come here often to see what you have written!

As for the big 4-0, I passed it not too long ago and the preamble was time for introspection and analysis, and then the birthday and everything since were terrific; much easier than thirty, and very freeing in many ways. Enjoy!

Brahm
http://alfredliveshere.blogspot.com

TallGirl68 October 5, 2009 at 11:55 PM  

So, were you inside my head when you wrote that? :-)
Beautifully articulated!

Ekanthapadhikan October 7, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

Oh mine! Oh mine! I never knew you wrote poems. That was a wonderful surprise and I loved it.

I got something for you in my blog. Kindly pay a visit. Here's the link for your convenience - http://truthabtmeself.blogspot.com/2009/10/my-fist-blog-award.html

Pat October 7, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

Yes, 40 is just a number. It does make you stop and contemplate where you've been and where you are going. But again, 40 is JUST A NUMBER. Set goals, and aim for them. I remember reading about a woman who wrote in to "Dear Abby", questioning whether she should go back to college, even though she would be 50 by the time she got her degree. And Abby replied, "You'll be 50 anyway, so you might as well have your degree!"

Parthiban Sundaram October 7, 2009 at 6:47 PM  

I greatly loved your poem! Love your blog!

Birthdays, I guess, make us think about aging and life and the meaning of it all.

I wrote a poem when I turned thirty. Just to look at my aging from the right perspective.

For whatever it's worth, I give below the poem I wrote. Not to brag or anything but just to share.

Thirty Years Old Rock
---------------------------------

Like a chaotic bundle shaped and reshaped
By the waves and the winds every season,
A rock stands between the land and the ocean.

The ocean throws the tides endlessly
Each crashing and exploding against the rock
Which sits there defying and in submission.

Crude, and uneven, full of grooves,
Parts submerged, parts mossy,
The rock's faces are many
But all molded into a fulsome whole.

I, like the rock, have stood the time
Resisting and submitting and growing.
Thirty years have passed.

I have many faces too,
Some likable and some not.
Exposed to the same ocean and the sky
I am strong yet so vulnerable.

I, like the rock, will cease too.
But the lives we have touched and
The fights we have fought,
Will give our lives the meaning much sought.

Victoria Najacht October 7, 2009 at 7:20 PM  

Your a phenomenal writer and the way you express what most people cant even think up astonishs me. This was truly inspirational and I appreciate for even me being mere age of 15 I have grown up faster than my time and understand this. Although your milestone is different than mine the thoughts are still the same.

Art October 7, 2009 at 10:41 PM  

Wow. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Amanda October 7, 2009 at 11:15 PM  

Ah, 40. Just a number. Means nothing. All that matters is how you feel on the inside. And I feel like a dorky 16 year old on the inside most days...

In Real Life October 8, 2009 at 2:03 PM  

Beautiful writing, thank you!

My philosophy in life is about "Savouring the Moments" as well.

nikgee October 9, 2009 at 12:19 AM  

I VIEW BIRTHDAYS AS A CELEBRATION OF LIFE. MORE SO THE BEGINNING OF SAID LIFE THUS EACH BIRTHDAY A MILE STONE. WE LIVE TO LOVE ANOTHER DAY.

I WOULD WAGER YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU SHOULD BE. HOW DOES THE SAYING GO? NICK PARAPHRASE:" IT'S HARD TO SEETHE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES."

I DON'T KNOW IF YOU ARE MUCH ON THE OUTDOORS. ONE THING IF YOU ARE WALKING IN A FOREST AREA THAT IS UNFARMILAR TO YOU IT IS EASY TO GET LOST. EVERY TREE LOOKS THE SAME.

NOW, IF YOU HAVE THE OCCASION TO FLY OVER SAME AREA IN A HELICOPTER YOU GET A WHOLE PROSPECTIVE. YOU WONDER HOW YOU COULD GET LOST. SEEING CLEARLY RIGHT WHERE YOU SHOULD BE GOING. NICK

m.clifford October 10, 2009 at 11:11 AM  

This is a awesome blog, really nicely written

Check out my blog at: http://mattcliff.blogspot.com/

RMB October 10, 2009 at 8:14 PM  

Amen sister.

rmbpcola.blogspot.com

AccidentalTourist October 11, 2009 at 2:00 PM  

Hi Kim! At 46 I must say I feel far freer than I did in my younger years. Free to express myself without caring what others think of me. Free to do what I want and take chances because "we only live once." I also feel smart! If I'd only known then what I know now... cliche's I know, but so true. I don't know all of the answers, I have not done everything I always said I would, but I think my 40's has been my best decade yet!

Leximou October 11, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

Boy dog Bear sucked me into your blog: the next visit was the mountain cabin and your Grandmother. It hit a cord as I too experienced a wish to hide relatives for a while as a child of world war II. Have been a follower ever since. Happy 40th but it is only the beginning. When 50, one is truly free with an internal self assurance that comes from both age and experience. At 60, complete comfort with self includes a fresh acceptance of age through the wisdom of years. I have been there at 66 and wish you the same. I have no doubt that you will also relish each milestone of your future. All the best.

An Open Heart October 12, 2009 at 1:37 AM  

Happy Birthday. You know, 40 is the new 30 - at least that's what I've heard. I was eager to be 40, it seemed to take the pressure off. YOu get to just be yourself as you grow older, instead of the person you are told you are supposed to be. The older I get the more I appreciate me. ;-)


S

D.M. Solis October 12, 2009 at 7:24 AM  

Well, this poem is very fine. So much of your writing is.
"and know I did the best I could,
found my way, tried hard?" Very fine indeed. I've been following you for sometime and hope you're following me. Peace and all good,

Diane

California Girl October 12, 2009 at 11:14 AM  

Poignant and wistful. You're really entering a still youthful tho' transitional time in your life.

Your forties will be wonderful. Hell, wait til you hit 50 which, I assume is your "new holdout number".

It's all in the POV.

Cheri Pryor October 18, 2009 at 4:33 AM  

It's all about perspective, my dear. I love my 40's. Embraced them. Emotionally, that is. The physical part of being in my 40's is kind of sucking, but at least my mind is still young and perky. lol!! Love you...40 is just a number.

kanishk November 2, 2009 at 2:06 PM  

I have just recently found your blog so I don't know your age. Work From Home

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