Perhaps it’s part of second-child syndrome or having a birthday in January, but most of my life I’ve spent trying to attain the next goal, to catch up to my elders, to get ahead. Well, let me tell you, that feeling has successfully been stemmed. I’ve spent this year feeling old. I’m 29 and you all know what’ll happen next January.
When I was younger 30 was old (Okay, I’ll concede 30 isn’t old, but how did you feel when you turned 30?); not old-old like
70 80, but not young like 16. Thirty marks the start of middle-agedness. I have to confess I keep looking in the mirror and noticing the wrinkles (Is “creases” a better word?). They don’t disappear after I smile, and perhaps therein lies my fear.
Will my “angry” creases be more prominent than my “happy” creases? Not that I think life is all about sunshine and roses, but do I occupy myself with the negative far more than the positive? Do I scold and discipline my children more than I enjoy them–smile and laugh with them? Certainly some days it feels like it. Will I turn into one of those old grumpy people (And from all I’ve heard of growing old, there are legitimate reasons for being grumpy.) or one of the kind, happy ones? A mixture of both?
I’ve spent this year contemplatively. Every new year, people make goals for themselves–resolutions to accomplish throughout the year. Some publish these goals around for countability’s sake; some keep them private. But how many look back at the end of October and acknowledge that they’ve reached their goals? Or, are people like me and write the same ones every year? It certainly makes new year’s resolutions easy!
That being said, all this contemplation hasn’t been entirely useless. I’ve decided a few things. For starters, by the time I actually reach 30, it’ll be no big deal because I’ve already spent my 30th year of life obsessing over it. Also, instead of making obvious goals over and over again, I’m trying to fit the things I want to do into the spare minutes I have… unless I’m too tired and lazy. In which case, January first might be littered with the same ol’ list. I’ve managed at least one thing–if you’re reading this, I wrote and published a new post on my blog!
Thirty is merely a number after all. I won’t suddenly feel ages older (That’s a gradual, subjective thing). I’ll endure my day of teasing, silently planning payback for those younger than me and knowing that those older are, well, older. Forty, fifty, sixty reaches them before it reaches me.
p.s. Next time I’ll make it a little more interesting by adding a picture or two.