On getting older…

candles

 

I recently had a birthday and Michael has a fairly monumental one coming up in the next few days. My younger brother and sister have both turned 30 over the past year and my youngest sister just turned 21. All these milestone birthdays have me thinking about getting older.

Michael refers to birthdays as “just another circle around the sun.” I guess he doesn’t see them as anything special. My family has always celebrated birthdays, but never made a huge deal out of them either. Some people don’t celebrate them at all while others think it’s the biggest deal on the planet and will remind friends and family for weeks before the day that their birthday is forthcoming.

They say that age ain’t nothin’ but a number, but when it comes to getting older, I think that most of us are more than a little aware that we’re aging. This is especially true for women.  I’d estimate that around age 25, a lot of women start to feel this pressure to accomplish a great deal before turning 30, as if these things can’t happen once we reach that dreaded age. Establish a career, get married, buy a house, start a family. I don’t know about you, but for some reason I really felt like I HAD to do all these things before turning 30.

stop expecting

But then 30 comes. And maybe you’ve done some of these things and maybe you haven’t, but all the sudden it’s just not a big deal anymore. And that feeling of “I have to __________ before I’m 30”, turns into “if it happens, it happens.” Whew. What a load off! How freeing to be able to just BE and enjoy life. Don’t get me wrong, the 20s had their charm. Everything is new, you’re finding your way in the world, you’re accomplishing some of those goals you’ve set for yourself, but you’re constantly worrying, working, and comparing yourself to others. My 20s were fun, but I was pretty miserable most of the time. Then 30 comes and the pressure’s off…and life isn’t over, it’s just beginning. And 30 doesn’t mean that you instantly find yourself in “mom” jeans and mini-vans (and even if you do, you’re OK with it!)

mom jeans

And you look at people in their 20s and wonder if you were ever that obnoxious. And you probably were, because we all were, but it’s how we got to this wonderful place where we find ourselves. And it is wonderful.

So far my 30s have seen earth-shattering heartache, transforming changes, unshakable faith, complete surrender, career changes, pounds lost, pounds gained, new friends, old friends, road trips, grown-up love, family, tears and smiles and laughter…lots of laughter.

laughter

And 40 will be approaching, and then 50, and then 60, and I am not the least bit worried. Because I know I will be right where I am supposed to be, and each new age will bring a new set of challenges and wonders.

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4 thoughts on “On getting older…

  1. Wow, that was an awesome post. Pretty profound. There are times that I wish I were still in my 20's because that is the time that I had so much fun in my life. As I am a year away from turning 40 I'm starting to realize that I'm still having lots of fun, just a different kind of fun. It doesn't suck to grow up as much as I thought it would. =)

  2. Reblogged this on a scenic detour and commented:

    In looking forward to my birthday this week, (turning 30-something yet again!) I decided to resurrect one of my old posts about birthdays and getting older. Enjoy!

  3. This is a beautiful post. I just found your blog and really like your openness. And what perfect timing. . . . I just turned 26 yesterday! Getting older does make you think about life. I accomplished so many goals at a young age. Got married at 19; graduated college, started my career and bought my first home before 22; and started trying to conceive at 23. I still don’t have a baby. (Sidenote: Getting pregnant in your 20s is supposed to be easy! Grrr!) I’ve enjoyed my 20s so much though – it’s been so fun! But not being able to get pregnant has just taught me to enjoy life for what it is. Some things absolutely do NOT go as planned, and that’s ok. That’s life! I don’t have to be the same as everyone else and I will have different experiences. Someday I will have children; someday I’ll accomplish other goals and dreams I have; but I’m trying not to put pressure on myself. I want to enjoy the small moments along the way in between achieving the big things : ) Thanks for the post!

    • Thanks Eva and Happy Birthday! Thank you for your kind words about my blog. If you looked around at all you might have seen that I do have a baby now. When I originally wrote this post in 2010, I had been trying to get pregnant for about 6 years. I haven’t done much writing about my struggles with infertility, but it’s a subject very close to my heart and knowing that it’s a struggle for so many people makes me really want to address it more here on my blog…

      You are right to enjoy the small things where you are, it’s difficult sometimes, but makes life so much richer.

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