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.
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!)
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.
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.