30. Are you ready?
I think the answer most of us will give is: No! (Perhaps this would be the same answer at every birthday after 21 but most definitely when we turn 30!)
Maybe because we felt that the 20s were our best years and now they are over. But from personal experience, I think there’s nothing to be afraid of but so much to look forward to!:
- In our 20s we may have still been searching for ourselves but now we are more comfortable in our own skin;
- In our 20s we may still be searching for a partner, but now we have found one or are clearer on the qualities we value in a partner;
- In our 20s we probably cared more for ourselves instead of connecting with our parents, in our 30s we are able to speak to them more as adults;
- In our 20s we probably started our careers, but in our 30s we realise what is important to us. Perhaps a hidden passion, talent or simply a change of focus;
- In our 30s we start looking deeper into relationships, ourselves, those around us and start focusing on quality instead of quantity. We start planning / looking ahead while being introspective a little more. It’s not the end of our best years, but the start of them!
Perhaps it is the fact that we are “leaving our twenties behind” and so blatantly moving on to the next decade of our lives that causes a jolt in the form of reflection, review or even denial and disappointment at what we have and have not achieved. This probably happens every 10 years as we age another decade. But think about this…
Babies have no idea what a birthday is, or a cake, or presents or what the point of a ‘party’ is. So the birthday is more of a milestone celebration for the parents and surrounding family, a chance for everyone to get together and celebrate the joys (and exhaustion) of having a little one in the family.
Most children lucky enough to have their birthdays celebrated adore birthdays. Games. Friends. Family. Cake. Food. Fun. Essentially, being the center of attention showered with lots of love and presents.
Teenagers usually like to spend their birthdays with their friends and to do something special on that day. Usually involving going out for dinner, drinks (if they are of age) and if they are in a relationship, time with the special one.
To parents, birthdays is the day our child was born!
I have heard the sadness in my 65 year old father’s voice when he talks about things he is no longer able to do or the pains that he is having. I have seen it first hand, when he had to ask for help as he is not able to see as well as he used to. I feel older myself with every new strand of white hair and aches in places that never used to ache. No matter how much we try to delay it, our physical form ages.
But we can still try our best to cherish how every birthday feels different and it’s not about the number but about how we choose to spend our time.
Embrace life, embrace aging. I’m ready for 30, are you?