Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Growing Up

For several months now, I've seen status updates and blog postings on how some of my friends/ acquaintances are freaking out about getting older and or BEING OLD.

These people range in age from 29-32.

Le Sigh.

Old, huh?

Before you chug down your Ensure or break out the Bengay (don't be afraid to pass it my way when you're done), let me share a few things with you.

First, you're only as old as you think you are.  It is really is just a number, and it's up to you to decide what it means.  If you want to wail and gnash your teeth over the big 3-0, go ahead.  But those of us who have surpassed that landmark will tell you that the best is yet to come.  Yep, that's not a typo.  THE BEST IS YET TO COME.

Your 30's are where you really come into who you are.  Embrace what you like.  Discard what you don't.  Change your career.  Walk away from the big money.  Open that etsy shop.  Lose the weight.  Embrace the flaws.  Emphasize your assets.  Hug it out.  However you want to put it, your 30's is when it happens.  Notice that there was nothing about stagnation or spinning your wheels or letting your life pass you by.  Nope, now is the time to figure it out and accept it wholeheartedly.  Or change it!  You decide!  Your 30's are when you are old enough to know better, and young enough to still do it.

Maybe I am just a late bloomer, but one of the things I have loved about my 30's is accepting my flaws.  I spent a lot of my teens and 20's comparing myself to others - and always coming up short for one reason or another.  But I've stopped being so hard on myself and I am so much happier.  I know that I will never run a marathon, or have straight, glossy hair, or enjoy visible ab muscles.  And I am just fine with that.  Because I know those things don't define my worth as a person, a wife, or a mother. And worrying about the frizz of my follicles or dearth of size 2 pants in my closet robs me of the pleasure I take in a good hair day and a bite or 3 of homemade cinnamon rolls.  Plus, I have muscular arms, the flexibility of a teenager, and can whip up a mean chocolate bundt cake.    

Next, start looking down the road.  Your parents are still here, but may not be in another 10 or 20 years.   Are you spending quality time with them?  Are you building adult relationships with your siblings?  And what about you?  What do you want your life to look like at 40 or 50 or 60?  'Cause those decades are coming, and they are not that far away.  In these 10 years you will build up the foundation for the second half of your life.  Are you ready to embrace the messy, imperfect joys of parenthood?  Are you the parent of small children, or are they already riotous teens?  Will you be an empty nester within a short decade?  Are you living in your dream house on 5 acres or are you ensconced in a studio in the city? Is your retirement fund flush with cash or do you struggle to pay the monthly bills?  Now is the time to make that long-term plan and put it into action.    

Still don't think your 30's are anything to look forward to?  Here's a list of folks who didn't enjoy any real professional success until their 30's:
  • Sylvester Stallone - Rocky was released when he was 30 (he wrote the screenplay & insisted on playing the starring role). 
  • Martha Stewart - Started her catering company in her basement at 35, published her first book at 41. 
  • Harrison Ford - His first major movie role was at 35 (Han Solo).
  • Julia Child - Attended Le Cordon Bleu at the age of 36, which started her career as an author, chef, and American TV personality. 
  • Jon Hamm - Although he had been a working actor for years, he didn't land the role of Don Draper until he was 36.  
Look, before this devolves into motivational meditation (I always doze off in corpse pose, don't you?), let me leave you with this:


One day in your 30's you will wake up and wonder what you were so worried about. And you might just end up looking forward to your next birthday.  Because, really who doesn't love cake?



sarita said...

Amen! The 30s are where it's at.

Anonymous said...

amen sister :)

ALSO's Cakes, Pastries and More said...

The PS reminds me of the "Class of 99, Wear Sunscreen" song...well its more like a speech..

ALSO's Cakes, Pastries and More said...

Or maybe it was class of 97...?

Matt and Erin Pitcher said...

Love this! You write beautifully.