Thirty years ago, there was an earthquake in San Francisco. It was a big one. Not THE big one, but a pretty big one. The bay bridge collapsed. A freeway fell. Lot’s of fire and mayhem.
I was out and about with my husband (then boyfriend) on are way to Payless Shoes so he could buy work boots for his $7/hr job. My daughter was just shy of her first birthday. We had no money in the bank, hell, I don’t even think we had a bank account. Our lives were just beginning.
Thirty years later, I write this while my daughter’s nearly one-year-old daughter plays at my feet. It’s rare to have an event to look back on so long ago with perfect clarity. To remember exactly where you were, who you were in a moment in time.
I’m having a moment now.
Having enough to pay rent and buy groceries in the same week was the goal. One we rarely accomplished. This morning my husband and I argued over money. If the naive kids who shopped for cheap shoes during a 7.1 earthquake could see us today, they’d be so grateful to have what we have. Sometimes we lose sight of how far we’ve come. Often, we forget that we’re in this together. I sent my husband a text after he left for work, to say I loved him and appreciated him. I also said this:
30 years ago we were just starting our lives. The next 30 years will be how we end.
It freaked me out. But it’s true. Whether you are so young you can’t fathom being 3-0. Or you’re 30 now and just figuring shit out. Or maybe you’re on the back 30, like us. Stop right now and appreciate how far you’ve come. Then take a moment, or several, to think about where you want to be 30, 20, 10, 5 years from now. I wish like fuck, someone told how fast it would go.