Peaks and Valleys

A few days ago, XUP posted about a girl she knew in grade school who was pretty and popular, but who had totally fallen down the social food chain by the time junior high rolled around. XUP thought it must be pretty awful to have peaked in life so early, and that led to some musings on when she had peaked herself.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that post ever since. When did I peak? Or have I not peaked yet?

I think I’ve had peaks in certain areas of my life but I’m not sure I’ve been able to get it all together in one go to make for an overall life maximum, know what I mean?

Like, I could say that high school was my intellectual peak, in that I rocked the tests and projects and stuff, graduated top of my class, and did all the classic geek-girl stuff like debating team, yearbook editor, mathletes, and band treasurer.

And I could say that university was my physical peak, in that I was slim and my skin cleared up (sort of), and I wore contact lenses and had something approaching a flattering hairstyle. Being just one of eight girls in my hundred-person engineering class also helped up my attractiveness quotient.

I’d say that right after university was my career peak, to date. My first couple of jobs out of school were great, challenging and interesting and with tons of responsibility totally out of sync with my lack of experience. I rocked those jobs and got lots of praise and raises and respect. Then I had some crappy managers who didn’t like me, and then I blew it at one place when I had a bit of a breakdown after a miscarriage, and yeah. Now we’re here, where a “good performance review” means that the kids actually took five bites of dinner instead of the usual four.

Socially, I think my peak was in my early 30s. I was running Sidekick and I started blogging, which helped me meet tons of new people, both online and in person. I started a book club and I started playing ultimate and joined a curling club. FameThrowa moved to town and we finally found a close circle of friends to go to the movies with and have dinner parties with. Plus, while pregnant with the Captain I met a lot of other new moms that I saw all the time when our kids were babies and that I’m still good friends with today.

But you know, I really feel like I haven’t peaked yet. I feel like the best is yet to come, in all these areas (well, maybe not physical — those pregnancies did quite the number on my belly button). I’m still looking forward to the future, instead of dwelling on the past. I rarely look back and think, “Oh, I’d love to go back there.” I like where I am now, and I have plans, big plans, for the years to come.

So get back to me when I’m 80. I’ll probably be peaking around then.

6 thoughts on “Peaks and Valleys

  1. That’s a good way of looking at things. I hope there’s still some good stuff to come. I think as you seem to be getting at here, what we perceive as peaks change throughout life. Peaking academically is important when we’re young. So is social peaking — not so much as we age. Career peaking is important in our 30’s and 40s. Love, family, a personal passion — all these things become more important than all that other stuff as we go on. Peace of mind, contentment, joy — getting there is the ultimate peak.

  2. porters

    Hmmm, great post. I don’t think I’ve peaked yet either..well like you, I’ve had my career experience which I’m proud of…I never had the physical peak because I was never happy (even when I should have been) so that might be right now as even though I am not totally happy with myself, I’m more happy now than I’ve ever been. In terms of socially…well I hope I haven’t peaked. I still long to have a really tight bond with a small group of women, like the ones I’ve read about or have seen in movies….the kind who I will grow old with, the ones who will have my back and be there for me but who will also make me laugh until I pee my pants (okay I’ve had friends make me laugh so hard I’ve pee’d my pants…but you probably get what I mean right?).

  3. this is a great post, and good meme idea as famethrowa mentioned. I think I’ll try and attack this, though I imagine that mine will be very similar to yours. I’ve peaked at different times, and also had some interesting pit falls. Hmmm… this requires some thought. Good thing I have a slow day at work today.

  4. It’s funny you should write about this now. I’ve been thinking about the same thing.

    Overall I have to say I’ve been feeling pretty good about myself lately. I don’t think i’ve peaked either. I just keep getting better! LOL. I find as I get older I am becoming more and more comfortable about the kind of person I am.

    And I think I’ll be the hit of the nursing home when (if!) I get there. 🙂

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