Last week, I turned 31. This is a crucial turning point in life, because I can no longer say that I am just 30; I am officially in my 30s. Now, I’m not one who is concerned with age. Some days I feel like I’m 12 (usually when I’m laughing at an “I Love My Wiener Dog!” bumper sticker) and there are other days that I feel like I’m 97 (any day that involves spending more than two hours going “wheee!” on the slides at the park). I never felt pressured to accomplish certain things by a certain age. We never really had a “plan” of any sort – let alone a five year plan – when it came to buying our house, starting a family, etc. Things just happened when they were supposed to, in God’s timing. Life is much easier that way, you know? Don’t worry about it; He’s got your back.
I can say that the older I’ve gotten, the less I care about what others think. That might sound negative; it’s not, it’s actually a very wonderful and freeing thing, to no longer care.
An example: last weekend, we were getting ready to head to a Saturday morning birthday party. I had gotten off of work early the previous day, as I was starting a week-long vacation. I spent that Friday afternoon running errands and cleaning. When Saturday morning rolled around, I looked at myself in the mirror, and realized I hadn’t showered since Thursday night. I started to turn on the water, but the coffee brewing in the kitchen began its sweet siren’s song, and I knew there would be no personal grooming. I looked at my hair, and decided it was fine. I looked at my legs, and realized I hadn’t shaved since George W. was still in office, so I opted for yoga pants. I smelled my armpits, then remembered this party was at a horse ranch, and I decided that the odor of a pony would surely be far more noticeable than my own. Coffee won.
And guess what? No one looked at me like I had three heads, or hairy sasquatch legs. They were too busy enjoying the party, watching their own kids. It didn’t matter that I smelled like a junior high school boy.
The older I’ve grown, and even more so now that I’m a mom, I just don’t have the time or energy or desire to care. The brand of jeans I wear, the extra gray hairs, the soft belly that my son enjoys poking his Matchbox cars into…it’s all good.
Don’t take this the wrong way, though. It’s not necessarily bad to like nice things, or to care about your appearance more than I generally care about my own. I understand that those are things that do make some folks happy. While I would never spend more than $30 on a purse, but I would easily spend more than that on things like food (I love food) or books (I love books) or wine (you get the idea). I do have my vices, but they absolutely do not revolve around what others think when they see me. Maybe it’s because I would rather put that time and energy into being with my family; maybe it’s because when I do have that free time on the weekends, I would rather read a book or take a nap or just sit in the still, quiet room and soak it all in.
When your days are spent running around the front yard with your family, you will find that life is so much more than shaved armpits and clean pants (if it’s just yogurt, they’re clean). It’s loud, messy, joyful, lovely chaos.
Hello, 30s. Are you ready for what’s next? (Hint: It’s a nap)