Birthday Wisdom

SantaBarbara2

Santa Barbara

As I sit here on a balcony overlooking the ocean, on this the first day of my 44th year of existence, I find myself musing about all the things I once planned for someday when my real life started.  This kind of musing can be hard on those who are truly delicate flowers, but if you are going to do it—being able to take in this view as you do it, is the only way to go.

Someday.

It’s a seductive concept. The promise of a greater someday gets you through the not-so-glorious times. Someday is full of hope. You never hear someone say, “Someday I’m going to be single, destitute and bitter.”  And although I might start saying that just to confuse people, in general, someday has been full of fantastic possibility.

Here’s the awkward part—my friends and I have gotten to the age now where we have started looking around and asking ourselves, “Is this someday?” And if someday has now arrived, are we okay with that?

Now before you smack me, this is not about being ungrateful for the things that are positive in my life. I can’t speak for my friends, of course, but there are a great many things that I am grateful for—relative health, good relationship with my parents, supportive friendships and a romantic relationship that continues to surprise me. But if you asked me 20 years ago if I expected someday to look like my current life, I’m fairly certain I would have rolled my eyes.

Career, living situation and life in general is definitely not what I expected—though I do remember being 21 and saying something like, “I never want to own a home because I’ll be traveling all the time, and that’s too much of a hassle.”  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Adorable.  Naturally, the universe decided to grant the “never own a home” part of that statement because it continues to have a sense of humor.

My life is not what I want it to be. Will I be despondent if things don’t improve immediately? No. Is it because I’m clinging to the hope of a brighter someday still? Maybe. But someday isn’t a fantasy for me anymore. I want things to improve so I will improve them in some way—and in all likelihood those ways will be things that I have yet to consider.  While I would never kid myself by thinking that I have enough control to guarantee myself anything, I feel like there are options available to me. I just need to figure out what they are and how to take advantage of them.

So, I’m sitting here taking inventory of those options and occasionally checking out the view.

How about you? How is your someday?

16 comments on “Birthday Wisdom”

  1. Dee Murray Reply

    I still have my “someday”s when I forget my age and think I’m still in my 20’s, and I get all bushy-tailed and bright eyed about the future. And I still say “someday when…” and very much mean it! But sometimes, when my bones creak and my reading glasses are smudged, I am very nostalgic about what all my past “somedays” used to be and am sad that I still put quarters in a public washing machine. I still think someday…but mostly, I quote Tom Cruise’s character from Knight & Day, “someday is just another word for never.” And that makes me the most sad of all because it is kinda true.

  2. Dee Murray Reply

    I still have my “someday”s when I forget my age and think I’m still in my 20’s, and I get all bushy-tailed and bright eyed about the future. And I still say “someday when…” and very much mean it! But sometimes, when my bones creak and my reading glasses are smudged, I am very nostalgic about what all my past “somedays” used to be and am sad that I still put quarters in a public washing machine. I still think someday…but mostly, I quote Tom Cruise’s character from Knight & Day, “someday is just another word for never.” And that makes me the most sad of all because it is kinda true.

  3. jen Reply

    Wow.. I stumbled upon this post as I was googling “dating in LA”.. I think it was meant for me to read this post at this specific time. I too am 44 and single. Feel exactly how you described. However, I live in Northern California and recently decided to move to LA (hence the google search). I am currently at a conference, alone in a hotel room and thinking about this upcoming move and wondering if I am doing the right thing. I moved to California 15 years ago and I too never wanted to own a home or a multitude of other things because “someday” i was moving back to nyc, getting married, leaving my job etc. So as I sit here wondering if I am doing the right thing with this move and is this my “someday” i thought..ok lets google some things in LA to make this move feel more permanent and maybe not part of my holding pattern. While searching for rentals, locations, meetups etc I started to panic if there was anyone out here like me…and then BOOM up comes your site with todays blogpost! So thank you for writing that and making me look at my life and what i am grateful for and think of my somedays.
    And a Happy Birthday too!

    • KateDating Reply

      It’s a sign! Unless you don’t believe in signs, and then it is definitely not a sign. 🙂 Los Angeles is always an interesting choice. I think it can be great to put a big change into the system– to break up that holding pattern you mentioned. I think I was in one for a very long time after I moved here (I was also working in NYC). Then I quit my job– another big jolt. I’m not sure yet if that made someday now or further away. Good luck with the move and thank you for the birthday wishes!

  4. jen Reply

    Wow.. I stumbled upon this post as I was googling “dating in LA”.. I think it was meant for me to read this post at this specific time. I too am 44 and single. Feel exactly how you described. However, I live in Northern California and recently decided to move to LA (hence the google search). I am currently at a conference, alone in a hotel room and thinking about this upcoming move and wondering if I am doing the right thing. I moved to California 15 years ago and I too never wanted to own a home or a multitude of other things because “someday” i was moving back to nyc, getting married, leaving my job etc. So as I sit here wondering if I am doing the right thing with this move and is this my “someday” i thought..ok lets google some things in LA to make this move feel more permanent and maybe not part of my holding pattern. While searching for rentals, locations, meetups etc I started to panic if there was anyone out here like me…and then BOOM up comes your site with todays blogpost! So thank you for writing that and making me look at my life and what i am grateful for and think of my somedays.
    And a Happy Birthday too!

    • KateDating Reply

      It’s a sign! Unless you don’t believe in signs, and then it is definitely not a sign. 🙂 Los Angeles is always an interesting choice. I think it can be great to put a big change into the system– to break up that holding pattern you mentioned. I think I was in one for a very long time after I moved here (I was also working in NYC). Then I quit my job– another big jolt. I’m not sure yet if that made someday now or further away. Good luck with the move and thank you for the birthday wishes!

  5. Carey Reply

    If you delivered a magical truth serum (no, not alcohol) to most people, I think that they’d say that their lives are not ideal or what they thought they’d be. But most people are not honest or candid, at least not in my neck of the woods. It’s all about appearance for them. I’m used to this fact and accept it. Would I like to be around people who (like you) are more genuine and honest? Yes. People like you are hard to find. By the way, you are awesome. I miss you.

    This is going to sound a little insane (just a little), but now that I’m doing a fair amount of volunteer work with injured wild birds, I marvel at how “easy” our lives are (the lives of middle class Americans, that is), compared to the lives of wild animals. And this is a thought that’s been on my mind a lot lately. For certain specials of birds (e.g., red-shouldered hawks), the vast majority of them (75-80% o them) die before they reach one year of age. And for the ones that do make it, one illness or one injury means death. Life is a constant struggle for them and they live and die by their reflexes. As crazy as it sounds, when I start to get pissed off about stuff, I think about them and how brief and precious life is for them. It helps.

    I want to know more about this romantic relationship.

    • KateDating Reply

      That sounds amazing and like really rewarding work. I remember how much you loved birds, so I can totally see you doing this, and I think it’s always a good thing when you have something external to help keep things in perspective.

      LOL! The relationship just hit its three month marker. Who would have thought?

  6. Carey Reply

    If you delivered a magical truth serum (no, not alcohol) to most people, I think that they’d say that their lives are not ideal or what they thought they’d be. But most people are not honest or candid, at least not in my neck of the woods. It’s all about appearance for them. I’m used to this fact and accept it. Would I like to be around people who (like you) are more genuine and honest? Yes. People like you are hard to find. By the way, you are awesome. I miss you.

    This is going to sound a little insane (just a little), but now that I’m doing a fair amount of volunteer work with injured wild birds, I marvel at how “easy” our lives are (the lives of middle class Americans, that is), compared to the lives of wild animals. And this is a thought that’s been on my mind a lot lately. For certain specials of birds (e.g., red-shouldered hawks), the vast majority of them (75-80% o them) die before they reach one year of age. And for the ones that do make it, one illness or one injury means death. Life is a constant struggle for them and they live and die by their reflexes. As crazy as it sounds, when I start to get pissed off about stuff, I think about them and how brief and precious life is for them. It helps.

    I want to know more about this romantic relationship.

    • KateDating Reply

      That sounds amazing and like really rewarding work. I remember how much you loved birds, so I can totally see you doing this, and I think it’s always a good thing when you have something external to help keep things in perspective.

      LOL! The relationship just hit its three month marker. Who would have thought?

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