homegrown mama

::To 30…and beyond!::

In life on 20122012-01-16T09:32:58+00:0031 9/11 at 09:32

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

My nana, who turns 89 this year, once told me she’s always felt like a teenager inside. Even while she struggles with the various ailments that come with age, her mind is as sharp as a tack; it’s her body that can’t keep up. She likes to remind us of this, of course.

Nana at age 17 (1940)

Nana now (2010) and Heidi (6 mos old): great nana and great-granddaughter

I suppose it’s true that “age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter” (Mark Twain). If we accept the natural progression of time as an inevitable journey all of us endure, maybe the thought of wrinkles, age spots, and memory loss wouldn’t sting so much. But it doesn’t help that we live in a culture hell-bent on defying age, offering a solution to every sagging, expanding, or shriveling body part.

And so, this month, I will turn 30.

Approaching 30 has never put me off to the point where I dread the day I hear the birthday song. Honestly, in the past three years, I have been too busy carrying, bearing, and raising my babies, moving, and learning how to live the military life to spend much time worrying about this number looming over me.

In our 20s, we’re consumed with establishing our identity, learning our skill set, and proving our work ethic. (Ok, let’s not forget the partying and dating!) Many people fall in love, plan a wedding, buy their first home, get a car loan, all those things. But 10 years fly by and you end up on 30’s doorstep, wondering how you got there.

Ten years ago, 30 felt so far away. It was the age I thought I’d be when I’d finally be “grown up”; I anticipated making important decisions, solidifying my career, and starting a family in my 20s. And I did that. But now that 30 is here, I wonder where the heck 20 went?!

In the past year, when I considered my upcoming entry into a new decade, it was admittedly easy for me to feel gloomy and, frankly, a little old. I found a perma-crease in my forehead (it’s not a wrinkle…really…is it?), and I’ve plucked a few grey eyebrow hairs (but no one will ever see a grey hair on my head—even me. Thanks, Belle Color #75!). I’ve taken up sewing and crafting, and I get excited over front-loading laundry machines and state-of-the-art refrigerators.

But while my 20s were jam-packed with self-discovery and putting down roots, I feel like I should have paid closer attention to the details of life passing me by. Now, I’m looking forward to simply living the life I created for myself in the past 10 years. And it’s about time, isn’t it? Maybe that’s what’s great about turning 30; the pressure is off. It’s like an early retirement, of sorts. I don’t expect raising children or living in a military family to be free of challenges and hardship. But I think I can move forward without feeling guilty that I should be “doing” something more than I am at this moment right now.

And haven’t I earned that, at my age?


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