On March 25, I’ll turn 29 and a half. Does 29 seem too old to keep track of halves? Not when 30 is the next whole, friends.
30 is kind of a big deal, right? When I turned 15, my youth leader congratulated me on being half way to 30. Now, when I look back on high school, I’m thinking about half of my lifetime ago. I can remember my mom when she was 30. My son is old enough to have conscious memories of me at 30, too.
I really didn’t think I’d be somebody who would freak out about getting older, but maybe I am. Never mind that my husband and my best friends have already crossed the 30 threshold. Never mind the folks just ahead of me in life whose beautiful lives I want to emulate. I’m a bit uneasy.
Working with tight-bodied women a decade younger than myself might not be helpful. Before I start planning which expensive firming creams should be birthday presents to myself, I think I ought to do something active, proactive that might affirm my life as I enter my 30s. (My 30s! Yikes. Okay, okay, I’m gonna stop freaking out now.)
As I reflect on it, just about every aspect of my life is different from what I might have predicted when I turned 20. At 20, I hoped to get married in my late 20s, about 5 years later than when I did marry. I thought I might have kids around 30, also 5 years later than what really happened. Working in the nonprofit sector hadn’t occurred to me at 20; I stumbled into community development work, maybe the best unintentioned choice of my life. I certainly didn’t expect to be in Grand Rapids, but in Chicago.
One terrific thing I had right at 20 was harboring secret hope that I’d marry Noah. Our on-again-off-again relationship was off when I turned 20, but 9 and a half years later, we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary yesterday. We’re weathering the doldrums of the Valley of the Diapers and a single income budget together, but I say with all sincerity that he has brought surprise and courage and contentment to my first decade of adulthood. With that sort of track record, who could fear the next 10 years?
In preparation for my birthday, I’m working up a list of 30 things to accomplish before I turn 30, a fun life-affirming list to mark who I am and where I’m at as I tick into the next decade.
Bloggy inspiration for this project found here: http://makingitlovely.com/2010/03/01/30-before-thirty/