The final day of my mid-thirties dawned clear and warm in Sydney – it’s a beautiful day out there today – before being followed by a rather frightening stock market crash as Australia continued to feel the aftershocks of this week’s American collapses. Ouch. Llew sent me a text earlier saying “Mayhem here. Proper crash.” I responded: “Did you ever get around to taking out that income protection insurance?” Llew: “Oops.”
I wonder if the dire condition of the Australian stock market might not be a timely metaphor for what I can expect to see happening to my own ‘exchange board’ in the coming years. As of tomorrow, I will be in the business end of the decade. I’ll be 36 and officially in my late-thirties. How’s the sag tonight, Madam? Not bad, thanks, not bad. Would you like some crease with that? Why yes, thank you, I would.
Even with all the usual upsets and outright disasters, my early and mid-thirties have been great, so I don’t really see any reason to expect my late-thirties to suddenly plummet through the floor like Macquarie Bank’s share price. I’m reasonably solid stock, after all. A good investment over the long term, perhaps, rather than one of those flashy, high risk, highly speculative types. I’d have to ask Llew about this, but I’d like to think I have steadily accrued in value year on year. He might occasionally fantasise about diversifying his portfolio, as new high yielding options continue to flood the marketplace, but in the end, the whole point of a Blue Chip holding is that it’s packaged to provide both security and lasting rewards. That’s what I’m going to helpfully remind him of, anyway, as we walk toward this new frontier where I have to tolerate him for an entire 13 months and 6 days being my mid-thirties husband whilst I am his late-thirties squaw.
My friend Suz pointed out yesterday that on the Chinese calendar, things are arranged on a 12 cycle, so that means that at 36, I am coming into a whole new phrase of life. Tremendous! That would be so timely, because I do feel this week – the culmination of my time at Varuna and subsequent bouts of sustained mulling/emailing/talking/writing – that I have turned some kind of corner creatively and conceptually. It’s still far too early to say, but it does feel like I am shedding that old, terribly passe mid-thirties skin and am instead making progress toward a new phase of productivity and inspiration. Who knew that getting older would prove to be such an invigorating celebration of new possibilities? Boy, talk about underrated! And it’s always lovely – this is a fundamental part of my birthday ritual – to take the time to simply rejoice in being here for the party. Not that I’m having a party, but with this whole existence lark raging on around me the whole time, who on earth needs one?! Late-thirties? Don’t mind if I do.