When I was four I decided my favorite number was five because it seemed happy. To a child five is a milestone. Once I turned five I could venture beyond the driveway and the long lonely days waiting for my older sisters to return at 4 o’clock. At five I could go to school just like the other kids and start to be somebody.
Five has turned out to be my major life scheduling number too. Five years in college (I know, I know). Five years in California. Five years in Chicago before marriage. Then it was five years at the new house, five years at my dream house, five years in Denver, and now it is looking like five years in the suburbs until my daughter graduates from high school and life adjusts again.
For a while I toyed around with the number seven thinking it would be lucky, but it was just awkward. Yes, the age seven was great, but 14 wasn’t. Yes, I looked forward to turning 21, but since I’d been drinking beer since I was 14 that was no big deal even though the numbers fit. And who looks forward to 49? Or 56?
My husband’s mother divided her life up into 20-year segments. Twenty of marriage. Twenty of raising kids. Twenty of being alone. These days 20 years seems way too big of a life chunk. It’s gone before you realize you’re on your third chunk.
I prefer the more nimble five. It’s flexible. Responsive. Modern. Not as hip or edgy as two I admit, but still cool. Two can come off as a tad flighty. We all know three is predictable, and four is just boring, so it’s five. Five all the way.