Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3 Signs You Are Still Young

I turn 24 in a couple of months.  I felt old when I turned 23 but 24 seems...even older.  Imagine that.  Most of my roommates and friends got married when they were 20.  Some of them have kids.  A few of them have two children already.  People I used to babysit are now in the singles' ward with me or on missions.  I feel old sometimes.  Before everyone over the age of 25 who may be reading this rolls their eyes and quits reading, let me assure you that I know I'm really not that old.  In fact, a number of things have happened in the last few months to remind me of just how young I am.
  1. At the bus stop the other day, I got into a conversation with a total stranger.  We watched a hawk swoop down from a nearby tree limb and pick up some unsuspecting critter on the ground.  Somehow this little observation of the circle of life got us onto the topic of horses.  She lives on a farm out in Oakley and has raised horses since she was a little girl.  Her favorite horse, the one she has had since she was in her 20s, is getting on in years and starting to slow down.  When I asked how old the horse was, she replied that it was 25-years-old.  I don't know much about horses or their average lifespans but I figured that 25 was fairly old for a horse.  "Wow, that's an old horse!  Older than me!"  The lady kind of chuckled and then starting reminiscing about her younger days.  That's when I realized that if you are younger than the oldest horse, you are still young.
  2. We had a meeting about health insurance at work about a month and a half ago.  As we sat in the conference room, a projection of all the employees' names and birthdays appeared on the wall.  1955, 1960, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1977...1989.  Yeah, I got quite a few comments about being the baby of the office...and how I wasn't even alive when Reagan was president...and how I am the same age or younger than some of my coworkers' children.  I chose not to bring up the fact that when I make oldies playlists on iTunes or Spotify, Journey songs go in there right alongside the tunes of Simon and Garfunkle and the Beatles.  If your earliest memory is after 1990 (heck, if your earliest memory is after 1980), you are still young.
  3. When I turned 23 in Provo, I felt like a dinosaur.  Many of the girls in my ward were four years younger than me and still in their giggly, boy-crazy stage.  When I moved back to California and went to church for the first time, I found that I was in the middle of my ward's age spectrum and actually closer to the bottom than to the top.  When you are rubbing shoulders with people in your singles' ward who graduated from high school seven to ten years before you did, you are still young.
(DISCLAIMER: If your situation does not fit any of the above criteria, that does not mean that you are not young.  It just means you are older than me. :) )

Friday, March 1, 2013

Unusually Chipper

Today started out like any other day.  I showered, got dressed, ate breakfast, got my lunch together, dried my hair, brushed my teeth, and headed off to work in the usual fashion.  I sat down in my seat at the front desk, turned on my computer, checked my work email, and took care of the usual morning duties.  While sorting through some of the documents in the scan folder that needed to be filed, David walked in to the office.  I said what I thought was my usual morning greeting and then looked up to find David staring at me.  "You seem unusually chipper this morning," he said.

Somewhat bewildered by this, I brushed it off and proceeded to do my work.  Like every other day, I plugged my earphones into my computer, turned on Spotify, chose one of the playlists I've created for myself, then put an ear bud into my right ear, leaving one ear unhindered should someone ask me to do something or if the phone should ring.  After a few minutes, I realized I was swaying back and forth in my chair and snapping my fingers to the beat of Frank Sinatra's At Long Last Love.  Standing in front of the microwave, I was humming to myself while waiting for my food to heat up.  I walked down the hall to the server room with a little more spring in my step than normal.  David was right.  I was a little more chipper than usual.

What could account for this change?  I thought to myself, "Well, you are almost over a really bad cold.  The fact that you can breathe again would make anyone happy, right?"  While I was happy that I could take a deep breath in without doubling over in a coughing fit, I didn't think that was the reason I was unusually chipper.  I thought to myself, "It's Friday.  You can go home tonight and read a book or watch a movie late into the night and then sleep in tomorrow morning."  While the thought of a Friday night snuggled up on my bed reading topped off with a decent night's sleep sounded awesome albeit pathetic and anti-social, I didn't feel that this was the reason I was especially happy.

You know how they say people get depressed during the winter?  I've always thought that was kind of ridiculous.  How can the weather affect someone's mood?  Heck, people must be really emotionally unstable if they can't handle a few clouds in the sky.  Being the vain, prideful person that I am, I have always thought myself above such moodiness.  Well, as it turns out, a key part of the definition of being female is being moody and I, unfortunately, am not immune to this weakness.

With this realization came the answer to my question.  The reason I was unusually content today probably lies in the fact that as I was walking to the bus stop yesterday after work, I could smell the scent of the blossoms in the trees.  I looked into the distance and admired the contrast between the green of the rolling hills and the blue of the infinite sky.  I even welcomed the sound of the bees buzzing among the flowers as I walked along the pathway.

When I reached the bus stop, I struck up a friendly conversation with a total stranger.  I let a desperate-looking young mother go ahead of me in the check-out line at the grocery store.  I couldn't stop smiling as I walked to my apartment, watching the color of the sky change as the sun went down behind the hills.  Who knew the coming of spring could have such an impact on me? 

I have been sufficiently humbled.  I freely admit that I am yet another moody female :)