As my 28th birthday approaches, I’ve been talking with friends about the prospect of turning a year older. I’ve always loved celebrating my birthday as my family has always approached birthdays as a celebration of the year. It’s an excuse to party and celebrate with friends and family, and, now that I’m a mother, it’s the only day that is exclusively about me. That may sound a little selfish, but most holidays are now about the kids, and I share mother’s day with all the mothers in my life. So, that leaves my birthday for me to feel exclusively special.
I’ve always said age is just a number. I don’t mind that I’m getting older, and I’m looking forward to turning 30 in a couple years because that means a big party. In my head, it will celebrate the things I have accomplished over the past 30 years.
When talking to friends about the prospect of getting older, I’ve found that many are less excited than I am at the prospect of getting older. Most talk about the fact that they haven’t really started to settle down and that the biological clock is ticking down. They haven’t achieved the things they want to achieve. When you think about it that way, yes, aging can be daunting. Maybe it’s because I have already accomplished the typical list of ‘get married’ and ‘have kids’, and ‘follow my dreams’, that I’m not worried about aging, but I don’t think that anyone should discredit the accomplishments and life that they have lived, no matter what age they are or are turning.
If you ask me, I think that we should all celebrate our age instead of shying away from it. We should be excited we made it through another year, whether it is full of challenges or successes, and look forward to the prospect of another year. Maybe your achievements for the year are waking up each morning and getting through the day. That’s okay. But each year, we experience new adventures, life lessons, pitfalls, and major milestones. That is something to be celebrated.
Yes, we should continue to strive to accomplish our ‘lists’, but life has a funny way of doing whatever it wants, so you may not be able to accomplish everything you want in the time that you want to achieve it. This year I am celebrating my 10 year high school reunion, and before I graduated I had to make a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I was 30 as an assignment. I made a list of activities and adventures I wanted to pursue before I turned 30. When my teacher asked me why I didn’t have any things like ‘get married’ or ‘have kids’, I told her that I wanted to be able to achieve my list and I didn’t want to put a time limit on finding the love of my life and settling down. The ironic thing is that because I got pregnant and married in my mid twenties, I can’t finish my list because I am now a mother of three and can’t travel like I did before I had kids. (Travelling with kids is expensive!)
We may not be able to finish our list of 30 things to do before 30, or 40, or 50 because of the detours or surprises that life gives us. But that doesn’t mean our lives aren’t successful. We should celebrate what we have accomplished, and what we currently have in our lives every year. That doesn’t mean don’t strive to accomplish your dreams, but we should also be thankful for what we have achieved.
So, is age just a number? When I really think about it, I don’t think it is. But I think that it is something that should be celebrated, and not shied away from. The older you get, the more you are able to learn and achieve. The more challenges you are able to maneuver and conquer. The more experiences you are able to enjoy. That is something to celebrate.