This morning I woke up 39 years old. My husband took the boys to school and got them off without me needing to help, thus I dozed until the ungodly hour of 10am! What a gift- seriously, that was a wonderful start to my day. Not only that- but also over the past week I’ve had old memories pop up- nostalgia, if you will. Things that I’ve forgotten about from my 20s and 30s- since I’m pretty much preparing to say goodbye to what has been the best decade of my life. I’m not dreading 40 (yet). I’m thanking my thirties and celebrating 39.
Photo credit: @JetSettingKids
So my 20s were kind of disaster all the way around. I didn’t know what I was doing (like many 20 somethings) and was for the most part pretty lost. I wasn’t the person I am today- that’s for sure. I met my husband around the end of this period and everything really came together when I hit 30. And I do mean, everything.
I married my husband half-way into 2006, the year I turned 30. I began my dream of teaching high school. I had my first child in 2009 and my second (and third, surprise!) a year later. Becoming a wife and a mother were huge steps for me- for the first time in my life I genuinely put the needs of others ahead of my own. Their needs became my needs. I wasn’t the selfish girl I had pretty much been my entire life. It was incredible to me how much I could love another person- and even more surprising, have enough love for all of them. It was humbling.
By 35 we were starting to think about moving abroad. We had always wanted to do it- but the question was how and how now with kids? Were we nuts? No. We decided we just needed to wait a little longer – maybe a year or so, and then when the twins turned 3 we’d make the leap. I was buried in babies, had left the career I thought I always wanted to have, and was wondering ‘what else’ was out there for us. It was the move. It was coming here, and here we are. Lucky, lucky, blessed, blessed.
Fulfilling all of my dreams by the end of my 30s I consider an enormous win. I have the best partner I could ask for. My children are sweet, kind and oh so loving with their sticky kisses and soft hands. I’ve been given the very special gift of being able to travel with them, alone and with friends. I have no more wants. I have everything that I need. My mind isn’t cluttered with what isn’t important. Life is simple and in that I find a tremendous amount of satisfaction and comfort.
So this last year of being ‘in my thirties’… I’m not going to mourn the loss of them. I’m not going to dread what’s ahead in 40 (actually, I’m not dreading 40 at all). But I WILL focus on my gratitude in what my 30s taught me, brought me and allowed. I know I’ll never have another decade with as much life change as this one- it’s impossible. Marriage and birth are the two biggies, not to mention death where I also had to endure the loss of my grandmother. Everything happened in these last 10 years. Everything.
So I raise a glass to you, dear 39. It’s been fun- and I’m going to enjoy looking back, thinking back and just being thankful for everything that the thirties have taught me. I can worry about next year next year if I must. But for now, I’m 39 and that’s pretty fantastic.
Awesomely appropriate photo used with permission.