This past weekend, I turned 35. Wow. 35. How can that be? How is it possible I’m almost halfway through my life? How is it possible I am halfway through my thirties already? Time flies is the answer; with every year seeming to go faster and faster!
To kick off my birthday weekend, I had lunch and pedicures with one of my best friends, Amanda on Friday. At one point she said, “I love getting older and I never thought I would.” I thought about this for a while. Did I feel the same way? There’s a few things I don’t care for as much…like some pesky wrinkles that have appeared all of the sudden. And, I’m not a fan of the statistic that fertility drops off a cliff supposedly at 35, but I still want to have more babies. But on a day to day basis, and with those two things set aside, I agree. Then at dinner on Saturday night with my family, both my mother and mother in law expressed sentiment at how much they had loved being in their thirties. I haven’t been forty yet…but I’m hoping this appreciation will only compound and that I could eventually write a list of top 10 reasons to love your 40’s down the road! In the meantime, here’s why being 30 is awesome (*note that these are generalities and represent a mix of my own thoughts as well as those of my friends. So more or less may apply for you personally.)
- You know who your true friends are and you’re perfectly happy with that. Gone are the days of high school, college, and your 20’s where you are trying to figure out just where you fit in. By now, you know who your tribe is and you’re perfectly ok with those who are in it and those who aren’t.
- You’re done being a bridesmaid. Don’t get me wrong, celebrating your friend’s weddings is important and special. However, the tab that comes with the plane tickets, gifts, dresses, tanning, makeup and hair, bachelorette party and more can make you say “credit card debt” faster than you can say “Of course I love your bridesmaid dresses!”
- You love being called mom. For those of us with kiddos, the thirties is that stage where being a mom feels just right. I had my first son at 24, a little ahead of most of my friends. It took me a while to feel comfortable with my new role. Now, when I hear a little one call out “mom” in the grocery store I always think it’s me…. I LOVE being called mom and feeling chubby arms around my neck and carrying my kids to bed. It’s the biggest blessing I could ever ask for.
- Your Husband. Dating in your 20’s can be tricky. And being a newlywed is exciting, but there’s a lot to learn about one another and figure out. But the 30’s seems to mark hitting your stride with your husband. You know each other’s likes and dislikes for real now. You’ve got each other’s backs. You have mutual favorite tv shows, restaurants, couple friends, etc. And being parents together is pretty darn amazing.
- You’ve finally made peace with your body. It took me years of agony. When I was skinny I thought I was too fat. When I was pregnant at 24, I thought I was too fat. When I gained weight from stress while owning my business I thought I was too fat. Basically, I spent every year until recently beating myself up. Somewhere in my thirties, I made peace with who I am and my focus shifted to being happy and healthy. And gosh is that a mind game I don’t miss.
- Your mom is the wisest person you know and your best friend . Sometimes when I open my mouth, my mother comes out. And, I’m totally cool with that. Why? Because my mom is pretty darn amazing! Gone are the days of sneaking behind her back or rolling your eyes at her advice (although Mom if you’re reading this I promise I did not do that very much anyway!). Instead, you cherish her words of wisdom and see her for who she is. You’re old enough to appreciate her and she’s still young enough to go do fun stuff together. So take advantage: travel together, brunch together, laugh together. Life is short.
- You’re in the money, honey! As student loans get paid off, and your earning potential rises, a certain peace sets in. Ok, you may or may not be truly banking it. BUT, you do have freedom and capacity to start investing, buy a car, buy a house, go to the Salon and so on. It feels good to start seeing the rewards of all your hard work.
- You know to value life. By now perhaps all your grandparents have passed on. Maybe a friend has even died or been killed. Maybe you’ve experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth. You see how fleeting life can be. And yet you see how beautiful it can be. This balanced awareness starts to impact your decisions. It guides who you stay friends with, how you spend your free time, where you travel to. And it feels good to appreciate this gift we call life on earth.
- You think of taking care of yourself as a luxury. Most of us are pretty rough on our bodies and health in our 20’s. We stay up too late, drink too much, work too hard, etc. Now, it feels like a luxury to take a run, linger in a hot shower, get a facial, drink a green smoothie, eat organic food, and go to bed early.
- Your faith is flourishing. In college and in my 20’s, I went through a period of questioning. Did I really believe everything I had learned from my parents, at church, and at the conservative high school I attended? But somewhere along the line, I found my way back to my faith. I decided that I believed in Christ because I wanted to and not because my parents wanted me to. I fell in love with the Lord all over again. And my faith grows every day. It gives me purpose, comfort in hard times, and helps me have peace about eternal life.