when I grow up

I continue to be amazed that "when I grow up" is now.

In my early 20s I put together a list (of course, inveterate list maker I was and am).  On it I put things I expected or hoped for the next 5, 10, 15, 25 years.  G helped.  We had an awesome list.  I wish I could find it.

I do remember penciling in "have babies" at different intervals on our plan and wondering what our children would look like, be like. (Now I know. They're lovely and each has their own blend of the particular DNA recipe we passed along. I love and like them to an astonishing degree I could never have anticipated with my listmaking).

And we wondered where we'd live (now I know that too: SLC, Boston, Washington DC, Boston, Australia. Australia! Dear 22-year-old Annie, you will live in AUSTRALIA.)

We thought a lot about adventure, exploring, seeing the world and showing it to our kids.  Making our mark.  

I remember we decided to emphasize experiences over things (check.) 

Except one thing I wanted was a cabin. I think, because Wildwood is such a touchstone of a place for me--it's the essence of our Paxman family made manifest in a timber structure--I put "build a cabin" on the list scheduled to happen around year 15 so we could have the same sense of place and family geography. Ha!, the audacity of hope, to build a second home by our 15th anniversary. Maybe someday. Or not ever? But I do have a flourishing pinterest board dedicated to cabins just in case. Does that count?

Looking ahead to when I'm really grown up, I think our next 5, 10, 15 years will be less about going out and exploring, more about coming back. The experiences I want are less about novelty, more about connection with people I love. It reminds me of a favorite Robert Frost quote:

"The most exciting movement in nature is not progress, advance, but expansion and contraction, the opening and shutting of an eye, the heart, the mind. We throw our arms wide with a gesture of religion to the universe; we close them around a person. We explore and adventure for a while and then draw in to consolidate our gains...the breathless swing is between subject matter and form."  

I think I've almost reached the end of my adventure pendulum (or at least will have, in three or so years) and will be ready to swing back toward home, gathering, closeness, proximity. To close my arms around my people more often. We'll see.

A cabin would still be nice for all those future grandkids, though.