If you're anything like me (and my condolences if you are), you measure time in flower blooms. New Year's Day is less the first notch in the calendar than it is a way to measure the relative time to the first daffodils. In general, it's about three months and two weeks away. Oh, the anticipation!
The first week of May is, for me, the actual new year, when the tulips start to bow their heads in earnest. (Those red and purple blooms are the real new year sparklers.) Then, the second week of May is cherry blossom week, when the city is blanketed in sweet, perfect, heart-opening scents. The third is Korean lilacs week. And Memorial Day weekend is nearly always when the giant globes of peonies greet picnic goers.
If you're keeping track, you know that this year we're a few weeks behind. Which, for a part of the country that is always a few weeks behind the rest in flower blooms, can feel like a consolation prize.
It's easy to track things in terms of "supposed to be." And it's even easier to notice when they seem a little off course.
Where am I as compared to everyone else my age? What if everyone around me is more successful? Happier? Healthier? Is that lady next to me writing a blog post? Is it better than this one? Is everyone my age…better?
In case you're really wondering, there's guy named Earl Vickers who created a program for displaying other people's accomplishments when they were your age. And he waited till he was 45 to do it.
Did you know that Gloria Steinem married for the first time at 66? Or that at age 53 Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Homes Jr. learned to ride a bike?
Did you know that at age 77, a woman named Helen Heubi obtained her Ph.D. in therapeutic counseling? And she had to fit in two cataract operations while doing the last-minute work?
Or that at age 41, a woman named Rosie Flaxman-Binns undertook her first scuba dive even though she cannot swim and is terrified of deep water?
Or that age 49, Julia Child published her first book? And that the same age a woman named Diane finally realized her face was no longer fat?
The accomplishments are endless. And you can add your own to the growing list. Just email Earl Vickers.
That's the thing. We still have time. The lilacs haven't even bloomed yet.