I remember my mom watching a show called “Thirty-Something” when I was growing up. I thought that it had one of the weirdest titles ever. When she told me that they gave the show this name because it was centered around people in their thirties, all I could think was, “Why in the world would people watch a show about OLD people. How boring!”. Now that I’ve been a “thirty-something” for five years, I realize that thirty is far from old or boring. I think it an amazing decade of life. Here’s why:
1. When we enter our thirties, we realize that most of what we’ve been worrying about isn’t worth the time, anguish, and frustration.
We start to embrace ourself–including our own weirdness and idiosyncrasies– and our season of life, more and more. This doesn’t mean we never worry or experience anxiety, but it does mean that we are more keenly aware of what generally brings us up and what tears us down. We also have a better understanding of our strengths, and so, we aren’t wandering aimlessly and wondering who we really are. And, that is awesome feeling.
2. We also realize that age isn’t as important as we once thought.
The only time I’ve actually forgotten my age was last year. I honestly thought I was 33– for like a day– until my husband reminded me that I was in fact 34. I know the notion of forgetting one’s age for a moment seems ridiculous–and crazy, perhaps–but, honestly, I think it’s great. Ever since I’ve been in my thirties, I realize that I still feel like I’m in my early twenties, and that doesn’t seem to change with my actual age. Sure, we become more mature and our bodies change, but how we feel inside is a state of mind and heart. And, my thirties have helped me to realize this all too well.
3. As a thirty-something, we are in the midst of milestones and life changes all around us.
Many of us are trying to get pregnant, we’re pregnant with our last baby, we’re enjoying raising our growing kids, or we are embracing not having any kids at all. If we’re blessed to be parents, we experience all the wonderful “firsts” of our children. In the workforce, we’re going through job changes, promotions, and maybe even going back to school to pursue a different career path. Some of us have aging parents under our care. Others have experienced the tragic loss of a parent and other loved ones. We’re at the age where people are getting married for the first time and sometimes, for the second time. There are all kinds of birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrations, but it is also a time that we experience the heartbreak of funerals…of our elders and ones that left us too soon. So much. In our thirties, we can experience nearly ALL of life’s ups and downs. At times, this season can be a particularly difficult one, but it’s richness is enlightening and offers us great perspective.
4. As a thirty-something, we experience many physical changes, and this isn’t a bad thing.
Our faces begin to show more “experience.” Our bodies aren’t necessarily as agile as they once were. I don’t know about you, but my back is feeling the busyness of life, giving birth to four children, and the countless hours of holding babies and toddlers while multi-tasking around the house. I spend much more time stretching than I used to because of this. But, it’s funny how much more in tune and accepting we become of our bodies in our thirties. I’m not as embarrassed of my stretch marks and cellulite as much as I used to be. I do my best to stay in shape and eat healthy, but I’m not aiming for perfection anymore. In our thirties, we realize more and more that perfection isn’t the goal. In fact, it’s impossible this side of Heaven. Progress is the goal. Moving forward and getting better are things I can achieve. Due to this realization, I’ve been able to enjoy life so much more than when I was in my twenties. As a thirty-something, we are young enough to still see the wonder the world–and we are often reminded of this through the eyes of our children, but we also have the wisdom to know that we shouldn’t take it for granted. Each day is a gift, and God is shaping us into the person we are supposed to be with each season we are given. And, our thirties is one of those extra-special decades of growth.