Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Murky Middle

She realized today that she very well might be in the middle of her life. Not the mid-life crisis middle--just the middle. One-half. The mid-point. The watershed.

The thought makes her pause. She calculates quickly, numbers flying through her mind.

Could she have already passed it? What if she was already on the other side of the hill? If she already passed it, what had she been doing? Was it something important? What if she had passed her mid-point doing something mundane like laundry? Or filing her nails? Filing her bills? Making spinach ravioli? At what point was she halfway through? Last week? Or last month? She knows that there's no answer here, that no one knows the length of her days, but still. The thought that she's already passed the mid-point stays with her.

If the average life expectancy is 78, she's already there. But maybe she comes from hearty stock. Maybe she's got good long genes in her. Heaven knows, she didn't get good long legs from her genes.

She decides to look up average life expectancy for women now, because 78 seems young still. Lo and behold, Google give her something better: a life expectancy calculator! Answer questions about habits, nutrition, family illnesses, etc, and out pops a number, the number you will reach before you need to start thinking about those pearly gates.

It's too tantalizing. The disclaimer says it only takes about 10 minutes. She can't resist. It's like shaking the magic 8 ball and seeing her future: "Outlook good."

So she answers the questions. No cigarettes, no drinking, good diet, yes exercise, blood pressure low, can't remember HDL levels, sunscreen mostly, sleep not so good, but hey, we all have room for improvement, don't we? On and on, she answers questions, and before she knows it, the test is over, and the number she receives is a number she often saw on her report card in high school. Does one's high school average correlate with life expectancy? Hm. Good thing she was on the honor roll.

She does the math again, and a stupid brand of relief comes over her. She hasn't reached the mid-point yet. Theoretically, of course. She still has years--nearly a decade--to plan something profound to mark that day, but whenever that day comes, she hopes she'll be surrounded by her boys: the Gingerbread Man and the gingerbread boys; family and friends near and far, all laughing and eating, singing and dancing, sure in the knowledge that there is more yet to come.

1 comment:

  1. I love this, I love how you can find joy in the small things and how it all comes back to the people you love. I hope your halfway point is even longer from now then you think!