Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On Turning 30

Yes, that's right, I turned 30.
The event was hailed with much merriment, a cake, and some self-reflection.
But I don't really do self-reflection. Instead I like to look around me for warning signs, red flags or, even, maybe, better things to come.
And, indeed, it's blue skies all the way.

Though my birthday was accompanied by those trademark 'April Showers,' I found out that in Namibia rain is considered good luck. If you are starting a job -- or a decade of livin' -- my Namibian Thinker tells me that consecutive days of rain is a good thing. For rain to follow you, she says, is a sign of flourishing luck and success. Yes!

But the self-reflection kicked in when, for the first time, I entered 3-0 as my age into the stationary bike at the gym. Thirty! Out of habit, or at least years of society telling us to hide our age, I quickly looked over my shoulder to make sure no one saw the digits. This from a person who writes her PIN numbers on her hand and keeps passwords on a desktop file named 'passwords'!

I digress...

As my legs began to burn and I realized that my peak heart rate had actually been lowered to adjust to my thirty-something heart, I thought of Laurel Archer.
I profiled Archer last month for a B.C. community magazine. This tough-as-nails woman is sharp, motivated, talented, sincere, and fun-loving. She routinely competes in multi-day canoe and kayak races (and often wins), she has recently been inducted into the 'Explorers Club' (kind of weird but very cool), and she is a published author.

O, and she is forty-something.

Then, last night I had this great dream about Judith Burch. I call her my American Inuit Lady from the East Coast. She's charming, astute, warm ... and she travels the world sharing Inuit art with children from Mongolia, Siberia, Japan, India, to name a few. I couldn't believe when she told me her age...you won't either so I won't bother ;)

In journalism there is an interesting practice of including the age of subjects. I often forget, and have to call back. The conundrum is similar to including the sex of a crazed gun[person].
Yes, it is a fact.
Yes, it helps paint a picture.
No, it is not the most important part of a story.
But when a young woman pulls a Columbine, it's the first or second word in a headline.
So when I found out the age of my American Inuit Lady, I pushed that factoid up in the story proposal. In this case, it adds to my fascination with her.
(my dream had her singing lounge style ... it was great)

Is it natural to be fascinated with older women doing great things? Now that I am officially an 'older woman,' I think I can chalk it up to admiration of peers. But sometimes it sounds condescending.

"O that's so great! You're out on a Friday night! And you're thirty!!"

1 comment:

politicalrob said...

Geez, after going to the bar becomes a rarity, it seems like trading in your treadmill for some gentle laps in the pool might be next!

j/k :)

RH