By The Numbers

I have been having a lot of “oh, shit, I’m really an adult now, aren’t I?” moments lately, which really shouldn’t be alarming as I am well into my third decade now, but still it startles me sometimes.

Some of these moments have come as a result of a rather boring meeting I recently attended. This meeting, which had the multiple strikes against it (too long, too late in the day, no snacks), led to me quantifying my life in a way that clearly totals “adult”. For example:

– I have been legally able to drive for more than half my life

– I have been legally allowed to drink for 40% of my life

– I have been married to my husband for 90% of the time that I’ve known him

– I have been a parent for 25% of my life (step-parenting time included)

– One of the people I have helped parent is old enough to drink. Two of the people I have helped parent are old enough to vote (my stepsons were 10 and 13 when I met them and are legal adults now. Crazy)

– 7% of my life has been spent being pregnant or nursing a baby

– I have been not a virgin longer than I was a virgin

– Just over 50% of my life has happened since I moved out of my parent’s house

– I have been in school for over 20 years (and still going). On a related note, my current balance on student loans now exceeds my first annual salary for my first grown-up job. Whee!

– I have a positive net worth (it isn’t a large net worth but it is a positive number. Not having a mortgage helps)

– I am no longer in the coveted 18-34 demographic so I am no longer pop culture relevant, at least to marketers

– I have been paying my own bills for 48% of my life.

– There have been six Presidents of the United States in my life.


There are a few numbers that do make me feel still young(ish):

– I will still likely have to work for another three decades

– I just became old enough to become President this year and, so far, there has never been a President who hasn’t been older than me when he took office.

– If I live to be as old as my grandmothers, I still have 60% of my life to go.

– If I take after my mother, I’ll still be technically fertile for another 15 years.

– I am still 8 years away from being as old as my husband was when we met (if you are now trying to do math, yes, he is 17 years older than me)

– 70% of the people I work with are older than I am.


I look at all these numbers and, aside from recognizing how silly my calculations are, all I can see is how sort of meaningless age actually is. I’m 35 but I’m not sure what that means, really. I’m wiser than I once was but maybe not as smart as I will be. I can’t be a child prodigy or a wunderkind but I might still be a late bloomer in some areas. I have the start of wrinkles around my eyes and a zit on my chin. I keep finding stray gray hairs on my head as well as the rogue chin hair every now and again. I’m as old as my mother was when she gave birth to me but my life is wholly different than hers was at that time.

I know where I was five years ago and still don’t know where I’ll be five years from now.

I guess this is what being an adult feels like.



One thought on “By The Numbers

  1. Hank says:

    Oh just wait until you hit 40, then the fun begins.

    I always look at our grandparents and realize that they didn’t begin their second act in the US until they were in their 40’s.

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