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Rounding Up

What’s My Age Again? by blink-182

Six hours of being officially able to comfortably say I’m on the young half of my twenties. Once that rolls over, I’ll hit 26 and then we won’t be able to play any fun games with truncating or rounding anymore. Luckily I think I’m still in the prime of my life. I never quite understood that, the prime of your life occurs whenever you want it to. I don’t really feel like I’m in my prime, at least, not physically. Still going ahead and putting a whole suite of other things ahead of my body and my physical health. I don’t exactly regret it, but I’m also hitting that point where I really should start evaluating that a little more seriously.

As always with my birthday, Thanksgiving thoughts are in the air. Thanksgiving is quickly becoming my favorite holiday, because it’s becoming the real-est holiday. Or maybe I’m just reading more and more and realizing that my experiences aren’t all that unique? I don’t really need a justification honestly, so it’s fine either way. Anyways, let’s talk about why I love it:

No religious background. While that doesn’t exactly prevent people from adding their own in (more on that later), by default there’s nothing about Thanksgiving that has this ancient, forced overhang. I can ignore it with all the other big holidays too (Easter, Christmas, etc) but not even having to pretend is just so nice.

Everyone loves food is pretty hard to deny. There’s really two central themes here: gratitude and food. Decoupling them seems pretty optional, if not outright discouraged most of the time. Which, to be quite explicit, is A-OK with me. I’m not a foodie or anything like that, but it’s pretty hard to deny getting excited over those dishes. It’s one of the few times I myself go out and try cooking something fancy. Not anything complicated or difficult, but something that requires me to go an extra couple steps and present a meal, rather than just food.

Everyone hates Thanksgiving. Now we’re getting to the fun stuff. My entire social feed lacked stories on how to enjoy, thrive, or make the most of this holiday with your family. Instead, it was filled with stories on how to get by, survive, or make excuses with your family. If they’re writing like this in the newspaper, it makes me feel like my family rifts aren’t the biggest thing in the world, they’re just another step in life. It certianly makes me feel way less guilty about not flying all the way across the country in order to … well, do whatever it is.

Friendsgiving is a real thing, as a result. Is it a generational thing? Is it caused by social media? Or is just simply a result of so many people moving away from their hometowns? Regardless, celebrating holidays with your friends instead of your family is now the popular go to move. Being able to simply agree on all of the above in a public context is so empowering. The last few years I’ve gotten to meet some pretty awesome people and just relax in a pretty unique context.

But now Thanksgiving is over, and I get to think about being 26 again. Except 26 is just a number, so I guess I don’t really care. I mostly think about being old as a concept, and what that means. They say it takes seven years to really master something. That is approximately how much time I’ve spent in electrical engineering land, but I’m still really just a… hmmm. Not sure what I’d say I am, definitely not novice, but somewhere just above apprentice perhaps? Regardless, there is one chunk of mastering time complete.

How many do I have left? Six or seven? What do I spend them on? How do I pick? How will I know I’m picking the right ones? Even if I do pick the right things, will the order be correct? There are somethings you can’t do at 20, and there are things you can’t do at 50. I think I know which is which, but only for some, not all of them. Also, how much time do I need to spend on maintenance? If I don’t touch something I’ve mastered for seven years, how much is left? I’m not actually that worried about the last point. I effectively gave up reading for pleasure for nearly a decade (high school through last year). It took about a year, but we’re back in action again.

happy holidays, y’all