Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's Okay To Be 31

At some point, you run out of birthdays to look forward to.  Everyone wants to turn 16, 18, 21… I was even a little excited to turn 25 because that meant I could drive a rental car without extra insurance and take the church van for a joy ride.  But then what? 

Recently, I heard on TV that women feel the most confident about their bodies at age 27 and it’s downhill from there.  Based on my experience the past few years, I believe it. I doubt I’m the only one who has wondered how my “prime” slipped away so quickly and quietly, but now I’m starting to think maybe it seemed that way because it wasn’t my prime at all.

Last night, a friend commented on my Facebook page, “You’re at the perfect age.  It only gets better from here!” and unlike the lamenting of my 30th last year, I found myself thinking that maybe she’s right.  After all, 30 hasn’t killed me; in fact, I’d venture to say it’s been my greatest year of personal growth yet (and I’m not just talking about my jeans' size). 

So, in honor of my 31st birthday today, I’ve compiled a list of 31 reasons It's Okay to be 31...
  • You care SO MUCH less about what other people think than you did when you were 21, and that makes life SO MUCH easier.
  • (Hopefully) you have some major life decisions already figured out.  I hate decisions!
  • There are actually people at work who have less experience than you.
  • Speaking of work, you finally feel like you (kind of) know what you’re doing.
  •  It’s perfectly acceptable to be at home watching Dateline and drinking a glass of wine on Friday night.
  • It’s also perfectly acceptable to watch Jeopardy each night while you eat dinner on the couch (if it’s not, keep it to yourself).
  •  There’s really no reason to ever shop anywhere but The Loft and Target (and you have credit cards for both). 
  • There’s also no reason to ever wear anything but yoga pants when you’re at home, and make-up is optional.
  • You’ve traded in your first car (and maybe your second) for something nicer. 
  • Your dog is getting older, which means calm and cuddly.  You don’t really miss the wild puppy stage.
  •  If someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, you can use the excuse, “I’m too old for that.”
  • High school and college are both such distant memories that you only remember the good parts.
  • You’re over the shock of turning 30.
  • Reading is an acceptable (even cool) hobby.
  • Walking certainly counts as exercise.
  • You can actually afford to travel.
  • They now play songs from your high school years everywhere (yes, that’s me singing enthusiastically in the booth at Chili’s).
  • Speaking of music, you listen to what you like, not just what’s popular.  My sister calls my Ipod “Deana FM” because it’s so unpredictable [and GOOD :)].
  • You have almost a decade before you have to face the big 4-0.
  • You’ve learned the value of a good night’s sleep, a cup of coffee with a good friend, and thinking before you speak.
  • You and your significant other laugh together as much as you love together.
  • You’ve experienced enough in your life to feel like you can give some advice, AND to know how to take good advice.
  • Friends: you’ve learned which ones are worth keeping, which ones are worth making, and which ones you can live without.
  • Family: you understand its importance, especially as you watch your grandparents grow older.
  • Faith: it’s never been stronger than now that you’ve tested it and come out on the other side closer to God than you were before.
  • Speaking of faith, you’ve learned that prayer isn’t about getting what you want, but about finding out what God wants for you.
  • Some things that used to scare you don’t scare you anymore.
  • You’re figuring out who you (really) are and embracing that.
  • You’re halfway to retirement age.
  • If you’re smart like me, you know age is just a number and you’ve surrounded yourself with friends (and in my case, a husband) of various ages that remind you of that.
  • When picking out a donut, developing relationships, and judging yourself, you’ve learned that really only one rule applies: it’s what inside that counts.

As I blow out 31 candles tonight, I’m choosing to believe what my friend said: that I’m at the perfect age and it only gets better from here.  My wish for all of us is that we'll always believe that truth!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday! Every day with Jesus is better than the day before!