On Turning 30

When singer Josh Groban turned 30 he commented,  “My 20s have been filled with a lot of trial-by-fire moments and uncertainty, but I’m going to enjoy my 30s the way I should’ve enjoyed my 20s.”  I say AMEN, HALLELUJAH and NAMASTE to that!

Today I reach that milestone that most women (and some men) seem to approach with great trepidation, sadness and fear – turning 30.  And you know what, it absolutely is a HUGE, FREAKING, BIG DEAL!  But not because I’m sad or resentful of aging.  Instead, it the perfect chance to reflect and an even better time to celebrate all that has been learned and accomplished over the last 30 years … and let me tell you, there’s been a LOT.  (2010, I’m looking at you!)

from debslessonslearned.blogspot.com

I wasn’t planning to blog this morning, but when I got up, I noticed in the mirror that I have wrinkles. OH NOES!  Then I smiled and they crinkled up around my eyes.  My forehead has lines between my brows from when I’m concentrating on something … and from all those years not wearing good sunglasses and squinting in the light.

I always thought I would mind wrinkles, that as someone with genetically good skin (thanks Mom and Dad!) I would be sad.  But when I look at my crinkles, I feel love and pride: love for all that I’ve been through and pride that I learned, survived and thrived.  Each one of those lines is a part of my story.

Oh, and did I mention that because I’m no longer coloring my hair, I’m finding lots more grey.  ::Shrug::  Part and parcel of the whole experience.  I hope that as I get older my hair turns into that cool salt & pepper look.

I also reminded myself today, the day I turn 30, that I’m in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in: strong and flexible thanks to yoga, and running my first road race in a few weeks.  Not too shabby for someone who’s never been athletically inclined or fit.

A few months ago, one of my teachers asked (paraphrasing here) “Being the age you are now, what advice would you have given yourself ten years ago?  Fast forward 30 years in the future: what advice would you give yourself now?”

To myself ten years ago:
Cut yourself some slack and get rid of the schedule.  You won’t get married by 28.  You will not have your first child before you’re 30.  And it’s going to be just FINE.  Better than fine — life’s going to be great!  So go out there, live it, be in the moment, stop thinking/pushing for the future.

From myself thirty years in the future:
Make time for yourself.  This includes doing the things that make you happy on the deepest level: spend time with family and friends, travel, explore your neighborhood, practice yoga (and stop stressing about not meditating), cuddle, read, write, walk in the woods.  And eventually pay off your student loans.

I am grateful for my crinkle-wrinkles, my grey hair, my body, my mind and all the lessons learned. Even the painful ones.

I am grateful to have this day to reflect and celebrate.



6 responses to “On Turning 30

  1. Dear Abby,

    I read this reflection and it amazing. For those of us that have turned 30, or for those of us over 60 (I struggled more with the 60 year mark than 30), your comments make us think about where we are at present, where we were and where we will be. But, for the moment, we just need to be happy for the present. Words are like footprints, leaving impressions on all who hear them. Have a wonderful day on your birthday.

  2. smilesndreams

    Nice post. I specially like your little ‘words of wisdom’ for yourself 30 years ago and 30 years from now on! Also the part about ‘stressing about not meditating” – whats the point of meditation if you stress? Personally I feel, entering the 30’s is not that dreadful for me (like thinking about it as a number), but thinking about where I will be when I become 30, why haven’t I been able to achieve the goals I set for myself, things like that would bother me…(I still have one more year to go before turning that age!) And I’m already graying too!

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  4. Pingback: Reflections on Turning 30 | Will Hull, MPA

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