I have to be honest…I kinda love my birthday.
I love the way October 16th creeps in each year bringing with it the vibrant colors of orange, red and yellow in the leaves. I love the way it ever so subtly drifts in a scent of bonfires and crisp autumn air in the breeze. I love the way mid-October hits in the midst of the busy-ness of pumpkin picking, football games, fall festivals, and chilly nights.
I always have high expectations of my birthday, which is a little silly, but on the years I haven’t made it a celebration, I always get bummed out. (I couldn’t think of a more eloquent way to put that.) (Side note: I’m exhausted from making 1244,090987 homemade baked goods for my son’s bake sale this week.) (Did you know that when you are Parent Council chair you have to be in charge of, like, everything? Including the big fall bake sale? I don’t think I knew this.)
This year I am turning the big 2-9. It’s the last year of my twenties. I hear so much about making this year count, what a big deal turning 30 is, and even know people who have before 30 bucket lists. Which, if I’m hoping to accomplish, I would need to get a start on yesterday.
The thing is, I can’t wait to turn 30. I am not going to be that girl who is “29-for-the-third-time.” I am going to be that girl who is 30 and loving it! (I hope.)
I just think 29 is kind of a lame birthday. Nothing really happens this year. And it’s the age that people say they are again when they are 30, so all year I feel like if I say I am 29, people will think I’m just lying and I’m really 30. (Or, more likely, no one will put that much thought into it.)
That really did happen on my husband’s birthday last month. We went out to dinner and had the traditional free dessert on your birthday brought out, with NO singing. (The hubs is not as into attention as I am.) The woman at the table next to us told him happy birthday, and said, “Isn’t it great to be 29 again?” To which we awkwardly explained that he was, actually, just turning 29.
I know some people whose goal was to have all of their children by 30, or publish a book by 30, or get a PhD by 30. I never really had a before 30 goal in mind, so turning 29 just brings me one step closer to…well, just turning 30.
I have also heard of designated decades for life phases. The twenties are meant to be for partying and working your way up in a career. The thirties are for settling down and starting a family. The forties are for finally feeling established; having control over both family and work life. The fifties and sixties are for winding down your career and starting to relish in grandchildren. And I like to remember the advice of my great grandmother who just celebrated her 99th birthday in September, who says “Life doesn’t’ start ’till you’re 80.”
The truth is, life starts whether or not you chose to make it start. Life happens everyday. Our greatest plans fall apart and our greatest blessings unexpectedly come together.
I didn’t spend my twenties being
completely selfish, or partying, or writing books, or establishing a career. I spent most of them going in and out of depression, being a wife, and learning to be a mother. To be honest, this decade of life has been pretty tough and I am quite excited to see it winding down. I’m so ready to fully embrace myself as a woman; one who is comfortable in her skin, confident in herself, and believes in her own truths.
And so as I enter into this last year of my twenties, I will remember that this is my last year to sport the number “2″ at the beginning of my age and my last year to say “I am in my twenties.” But I plan to make this year count just as much as any other year; because they all count so very much in the story of our lives.
So today, I raise my Pumpkin Spice Latte to toast turning 29, and look forward to all of the years to come, even the ones that will start with the number “3″ next time.
My mom also gave me some new clothes and a new footstool for the end of my bed, and I am looking forward to a girl’s night out this evening!
*Did you notice that Elated Exhaustion looks a little different? The blog re-design has been in the works since August and has just been installed in time for my birthday!*