I have recently discovered that getting older stops being exciting, awesome, fun or even pleasant around the time you are about to turn 29. I have been struggling with this birthday more so than any others for some reason. Part of me is worried that my 30s can't possibly be better than my 20s and I'm not really ready to let go. I have had a rather eventful last 10 years.
-Gone to New York City for the first time
-Seen my first Broadway play
-Taken my first summer vacation with college friends to California
-Seen the ocean for the first time
-Fallen in love
-Had my heart broken
-Learned to Swing Dance
-Graduated from college
-Gotten my drivers license (and yes, in that order)
-Seen Josh Turner in concert (this totally deserves to make the list of awesomeness)
-Became a mommy of two girls
-Became an aunt five times
-Finished writing my novel
-Spent more than 100 dollars on a dinner
-Went to Disneyland for the first time
-Hugged Mickey Mouse and Captain Hook
-Eaten sushi, fish eggs (ick), sardines (double ick)and octopus
-Sat on the hood of my car and watched the fireworks with my four-year old
-Spent countless hours cuddling with my babies
-Enjoyed being married to my best friend
I guess my biggest worry about leaving my 20s behind is that I haven't done enough. Have I really lived? Did I make the most of my 20s that I could have? I don't want to turn 30 feeling like I haven't lived enough. I certainly don't want to turn 30 as an overweight, unpublished crab.
As I look back over the last few years I have regrets and some of them scare me. Have I tried hard enough to be better? Have I spent enough time with my kids and my husband? Have I really focused on the most important things and why the heck have I not turned my book into a publisher?
I have always been painfully aware that time marches on and that it can't be turned backwards.
As I watch my girls getting bigger every day my heart breaks a little more. My Em starts kindergarten and I still find it hard to believe that it was over five years ago that I held her for the first time. My baby is 3 and she's is chasing after her sister like she's playing catch-up for the two years Em had ahead of her. Watching they grow up makes the passage of time sweet and bitter. I can see time passing more easily as I look into their faces and I wonder if I am showing they how to really live. I don't think I am.
The other day I was sitting at the gas station when I saw a car full of teenagers pull in to fill up their tank. They were young, fresh on summer break and care free. As I watched them flitting around without a care in the world I felt more than a twinge of envy. I flashed back to that feeling and realized I never took advantage of it. I feel like I have been living my life always looking forward to WHEN. Now, I don't want to look forward to any more when's because they include me getting older, my kids growing up and leaving the home, losing my parents, and not recognizing anything on the radio as resembling anything close to music.
I have been living for when for far too long.
I think that's what makes me sad... (sigh... drum roll... dramatic music) I guess there is where my lesson comes in. I have been thinking about what I want to do with the next year. It is, after all, my last year as a young adult.
So my goal this year is to stop living for when and start living for now. Instead of focusing on "when we have more money," "when I lose weight", or "when we move into a house" I am going to start focusing on today. I want to remember this year as the best year of my 20s, not the worst year because I was so worried about turning 30. I am going to start accepting that all I really have is today.
I don't know what tomorrow will bring and I don't know who will still be here in the morning but I know that I have now to be happy. I can't keep waiting for happiness to happen to me. So here's to 29 years and one excellent adventure!
I hope you'll stick around with me and share in my joy of living for today. Feel free to share ideas of making the most of today!