Not celebrating my age just yet.

In less than a week, I will be turning the age of 27.

Doesn’t that sound like a ripe, ripe age to you? Like a juicy peach, with a few brown spots. Overall, sweet, dripping with goodness, but you have to eat around the over-ripened areas.

I wonder what my over-ripened areas are.

27 seems alluring. I feel that it means I am truly an adult (because any 26-year-old is obviously immature). It was the age that many of my childhood friends AND favorite characters in childhood books wanted to be when they got married. I used to say 30, but tastes change as you get older. I used to hate coconut, yet I am currently snacking on enlarged m&ms filled with the stuff. Oh. I digress.

All of this is to say that the age of 27 has always been a signpost for me. As the day approaches, I am strangely self-aware of the date. In fact, I have unexpectedly planned a minor celebration for myself daily this week.

Sunday: free burger from Red Robin.

Monday: for the first time ever, DVR with my cable installation.

Tuesday: plans to get free birthday ice cream from Baskin Robbins.

Wednesday: if I don’t see anything pending, I will open an early birthday gift sent by my dear friend, Annie L.

Thursday: the Park family is together. That joy lasts through the next two days.

Sunday - Friday birthday excitement

Despite these exhilarating and breathless times, I have been fighting myself internally as I get closer to this number. So far, no age has intimidated me. Now, questions like, “Am I ready for this next stage of life?” and “Have I gotten as far as I wanted to be?” pepper my thoughts as I print out another birthday coupon for a free item from a retailer. I think the answers to those questions are one and the same.

I am not who I want to be. Not yet. I’m reminded of that as I groan about little annoyances at work or throw a pity-party for myself when I feel alone.

However, three people have recently served as a thorn in my side – a thorn from a rose, that is – in bringing me back down to earth.

1. Chris Traeger, played by Rob Lowe, on “Parks and Recreation.” He’s the infuriatingly positive auditor for the town of Pawnee. I hated his character at first, mostly because he always gave his serious, math-minded partner the shaft. Similar to the relationship between Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato in the popular Christian children’s animation, Veggie Tales.

Larry always overshadows Bob

But in Chris’ defense, he explains that he’s inexhaustibly chipper because he treasures each and every day he has to live.

And that’s a lesson I can’t be infuriated by.

2. Rachel Beckwith. My summary won’t do her justice, so read this:

3. Oswald Chambers, for writing “My Utmost for His Highest.” Here’s a snippet of the wisdom from the devotional book.

I don’t think I can embrace you just yet, 27. But I will hold your hand.