It’s officially winter. The holidays have come and gone. Now we’re left with extra padding around the middle, an icy chill in the air, and short, dark days. When I was younger I would have loved the snow that we’ve been having here in Philadelphia, but it just seems to inhibit me from doing what I need to get done. Plans get canceled, appointments are re-scheduled, traffic is brutal. Everything feels as if it’s moving in slow motion.
I think that I would likely loathe January if it weren’t my birthday month. It’s always an excuse to get together with friends and have a celebration during that post-holiday slump when the new year seems overwhelming. 26 this year! It’s funny to think of myself as 26 because when I was a child and imagined my future, I don’t think I ever went past age 21. What could there possibly be after 21? It was difficult to fathom myself as an adult with a career and actual independence when I was 10. I know that everyone who is 30 and up is probably rolling their eyes. I don’t feel old, but I do feel more cognizant of how quickly time moves and how fleeting life’s wonderful moments can be. When pediatric patients ask me how old I am, they are amazed that I was born in 1985 – “wow, THAT was a long time ago!” Ah, how I love the concrete honesty of school-aged children. Then there are the elderly patients who think that I look far too young to be competent enough to care for them. “Honey, are you sure you know what you’re doing?” And, somewhere in the middle, are the post-partum mothers I care for who are the same age as me, but on their second or third child. “Could you help me with breastfeeding? I’m sure you know what you’re doing.”
As the economy shudders back to life and jobs slowly become available, those of us who are twenty-somethings will move out of our parents’ homes and move more fully into adulthood. The 20’s are kind of an odd decade, in my opinion. It’s like a certain kind of limbo where you are both autonomous but also probably still tethered in some way to your parents. You have decision-making capacity, but very little life experience off of which to base those decisions. You have very little money. Your college degree may have been rendered useless with the shift in the economy. Few people seem to take you seriously as much of your peer group still spends 3 nights per week at various bars.
I feel particularly anxious in this liminal state as I wait to take the nursing boards and begin my first real nursing job – hourly wage, vacation time, benefits and all. It will still be another year before I consider moving to a place all of my own, but I will feel much more self-sufficient with a bi-weekly paycheck. In the meantime, I’m enjoying doing the things I’ve wanted to do for months, but couldn’t because of school: quilting, knitting, baking, going to the gym…
This weekend I made these little almond-flavor cookies that I saw featured in this PurlBee post. They adapted the recipe from one in the Gourmet Cookie Book. The cookies are light and almost melt in your mouth thanks to all the cornstarch. I made my dough balls a little too big which meant that people had to pull the two halves apart to eat the cookie, but they were a hit nonetheless at our neighborhood winter gathering. Next time, I might try using vanilla or a little peppermint as the flavoring. Williams-Sonoma’s sanding sugars lend a lovely sparkly quality to the cookies as well.