Catherine’s Story

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Am I officially old now? What have I accomplished so far? Is it enough? Am I satisfied with my life?

I have often been told that I tend to overthink. Some might even say that what I’m about to share is a perfect example of this; but let’s be honest, who hasn’t asked themselves those questions at some point in their lives? They tend to come to mind even more often in the few months leading up to the dreaded day when the first digit of their age gets the inevitable decade increment. That’s right, I’m turning 30 soon.

Going through university, I felt like I was a fairly accomplished student-athlete. I got pretty decent grades, weights steadily increased (in the gym, not around my waist) and, despite not getting the results we might have been striving for on the ice, the off-ice dynamic and friendships made everything worthwhile. These relationships not only got me into some epic parties; but served as connections to land myself a respectable job right after graduation too.

Then there was Ronald – McDonald that is. I had been cherishing my relationship with him, guilt free, all throughout university. Needless to say, there is nothing like a well deserved “double cheese” (or “Big Mac” on my richer days) after spending an hour or two in the gym, or after a party.

Fast forward to almost a year after starting my job – a few months before my 25th birthday. I don’t really do well with birthdays, if you haven’t noticed yet… anyway, I got somewhat antsy… which led me to buy a new car…and a condo… and a dog (even though George still thinks that it is a rat).

Now, 5 years have gone by already; 30 is now fast approaching. Even though I graduated almost 6 years ago, I still remember milestones based on my student-athlete years. For example, I know for a fact that my niece was born the night after our first playoff game against McGill, at the end of my first season as a Stinger – 8 years before I introduced her to Big Macs. If you do the math, it means that she just added a whole other digit to her age a few days ago. Realizing this made me wonder what aging felt like in the eyes of a 10-year-old and so I asked her. Apart from the big question mark I could see on her forehead through the phone, I got her to admit that she was excited to turn 10 and that she felt more mature.

I then thought to myself that she might be able to help me answer the questions I keep asking myself by telling me where she wants to be in 20 years from now. Her answer to that: she will own 2 horses and work with horses that have health issues, she will live in the apartment on the second floor of the stable on the farm that my sister has yet to buy, and although she wants to have a child, she doesn’t want to have it until later.

Maybe I shouldn’t have asked because now I have an urge to buy a horse… or 2! Maybe this would get me to exercise a bit more given that since I graduated, I have given up all sorts of gym activities, yet haven’t broken up with Ronald; I can’t seem to find the internal motivation to exercise more despite all the guilt that comes from eating fast-food a little too often to my liking. I might have a lot to learn from Maggie’s post.

But honestly, I have yet to determine what my final answers to the questions are (except that 30 is OLD, obvi!) but I now know for a fact that it is not materialistic things that will make me happier or prouder. Looking back, I should have realized that I had accomplished more than enough to be proud of myself at 25 without needing to add a loan, a mortgage and a pooping-machine to my life. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

I also started thinking that maybe having a little Qué-Brit baby could help; but my better-half (Marc, not Ronald) cleverly reminded me that the final product wouldn’t get delivered on time for my 30th birthday – so we agreed to wait. Indeed, he’s a smart man.

His presence in my life, combined with the precious relationships with my ‘uni’ family and real family, are worth much more than what I got for my 25th birthday… And they are definitely cheaper than a condo! So, I have learned a lot in 5 years; that our relationships are much stronger than the bumpers on my car (trust me, I have put them to the test); and no matter how devoted a chiweenie can be to its owner, it is nothing compared to the love I get from these special people.

So, maybe I haven’t been asking myself the right questions. Instead, I now ask: Am I proud of who I am becoming? Do I have people I love and care about close to me? How do I keep pushing my limits and evolving?

I think I am ready to turn 30 and be old after all…