Birthdays: The Good, The Bad, and the Why-I-Love-Them

Birthdays get a bad rap, especially from women; and I suppose I understand the whole reasoning behind it.  I mean, what are you left with when you take away the unwelcome gray hairs that begin to creep into the picture, the laugh lines, the sudden surrender to gravity, and that first time you’re called “ma’am” instead of “miss.”  Sure, there’s cake.  But the cake turns into muffins these days.

Muffin tops, to be exact.  And, no, you don’t want the recipe.

So, yeah, I get it.  But for some reason, I don’t feel it.  Maybe I’m supposed to, or maybe it won’t hit me until another significant birthday comes around.  But I turn 30 in exactly a week, and I’m kind of — well– excited about it.  After all, I’ve heard that 30 is the new 20… which means that I’m finally going to be out of my teenage years.

AND it comes with this really great adjective.  Flirty Thirty.  Not that I needed an excuse to flirt with my husband, but — hey — I’ll take all the reasons I can get.  He is pretty cute after all.

I don’t know, I just have high hopes and big dreams for the ‘thirty-years’.  Granted, I don’t have it all figured out, which would be a disappointment to my naïve six-year-old self.  But still, I’ve come a long way.  Age in itself doesn’t bring maturity, but experiences — especially when one takes the time to learn and grow from them — tends to foster wisdom.  And wisdom brings a sense of calm.. and a realization that you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff anymore than you can change the big stuff by worrying.

You just kind of learn to go with the flow and to trust God with the rest.  And really, that’s the best place to be.

I do know that I’m still quite young in the grand scheme of things, and not only because I haven’t found my first gray hair yet.  😉  But turning 30 is definitely a stepping stone into the rest of my life.  These next ten years, before I reach another decade, are standing before me as a blank slate, just waiting for endless possibilities to be recorded there.  Will I actually write that novel I always don’t seem to have time to work on?  Will I have a new job?  Will I finally get to test-drive a MiniCooper?  Will I be a mom?

One thing I do know for sure, I plan on making each and every day count!  So that’s why I celebrate my birthdays, and I truly hope that I never stop.  I hope that when I do get that first gray hair, that I laugh at it.  That I laugh at the wrinkles, and that I don’t let a slowing metabolism stop me from eating a piece of cake.  And I hope that I don’t focus on the changes as being negative or spend my time scrutinizing myself in a mirror, but that I instead focus on what really matters.  Because for the record, my Memere had gray hair, wrinkled skin, and obviously loved her share of home cooking; but she was truly one of the most beautiful woman I have ever met.  That is what I want to remember and embrace.

Life is an adventure, and each stage of life certainly comes with its own set of challenges.  But life doesn’t have to stop being beautiful… and birthdays shouldn’t stop being celebrated.

Yep, turning 30 doesn’t scare me one teeny-tiny bit.  🙂

pics taken at my 29th birthday get-together with the family last year

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12 thoughts on “Birthdays: The Good, The Bad, and the Why-I-Love-Them

  1. I am really digging your attitude. Congrats and happy early birthday!!!

    I turn 28 in three months and 28 is my favorite number so I think I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to make my 28th year awesome and have my crap figured out or at least be actively figuring it out. Not sure if that is crazy or normal.

    My Mom has told my brother and me since we were little kids that we couldn’t get married till we’re 30. I asked her a few years back if she really meant that and she explained that it wasn’t the actual number 30 that mattered, but the years beforehand that were important so I had time to really know what I want and who I am. Wise lady. It sounds like you’re in a really good place in life and that’s why you feel great about turning 30 and seeing all of the opportunities and excitement that the next several years will bring! Love you for that 🙂

  2. Totally!! Love your attitude. I have heard from the majority of people that it really is like a fine wine – we get better with age.

    Oh and you don’t look a day over 23, so that means you’ll just barely LOOK 30 when you’re like 45. 🙂

    Happy early birthday! Big plans?

  3. You will LOVE your thirties. They are fun, young, and you are finally an ADULT (to most everyone). LOL. Forty’s are even better. Enjoy! And Happy early Birthday!

  4. First of all, “Muffin tops, to be exact. And, no, you don’t want the recipe.” made me laugh out loud. Good thing I am alone or I might have scared someone.

    Second, what?!? I’m turning 30 this month too! It’s a wonderful month for birthdays. 🙂

  5. “Age in itself doesn’t bring maturity, but experiences — especially when one takes the time to learn and grow from them — tends to foster wisdom.” —> love that! Reminds me of that Bible verse about not letting people look down on you because you’re young.

    I just love this whole post, really. You have such a great attitude!

  6. Well, you know I love to celebrate my birthday, haha! 😉 That may change as I get older, but hopefully, like you – I will laugh at those wrinkles and see the beauty within. I love what you wrote about your Memere. That is absolutely precious and full of so much truth!

  7. Happy Birthday! And what a great take on it. I always tell my mom to quite calling herself old, and I hope to keep that mentality through the years.

    ~A

  8. I used to love celebrating my birthday, but once I got past a certain age, I started having such a hard time with it. I wish I could quit it and just enjoy myself already, but alas, old habits die hard. (What a terrible pun. Forgive me.)

    You seem like the kind of person who is able to find the positive/joy in every decade, and that is a quality worth keeping! Enjoy your last week “in the twos” as my nephew calls them!

  9. Nicole, this post made me CRY!! I love you so, so, so much and I’m so BEYOND happy and blessed to have you for my sister and bestie. 😀

  10. Happy birthday! It’s nice that you’re so positive about being 30. I’ll be 30 next year, God willing, but 29 (next week!) already feels very daunting. You make 29 and 30 sound quite fun and okay! Have a fabulous year! 🙂

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