If you know me, you know how often I refer to myself as old. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that I have a lot of friends who are significantly younger than myself (5-6 years), and also, due to the fact that my body feels like that of an 80 year old most days.
Truthfully, I feel like the fine grip I had on youthfulness passed through my fingers and faded off into the distance when I turned 30. Now that I am 31, and firmly ensconced “in my thirties”, I have accepted it.
At a BBQ on Saturday night, the group of us who remained at 1 am talked about gray hairs, vasectomy appointments, tax returns and retirement savings. We also talked about a lot of other things, but I couldn’t help but reflect that life is shifting. For the 4 of us that stayed up until 5 am (a horrible habit that we can’t seem to shake, no matter how old we get!) the talk was a little more light hearted following :-)
I am not upset or remiss that I am in my thirties, because just as everyone said, it was absolutely and continues to be a period of self discovery. I feel 100% more confident in my self worth and beliefs than I ever did in my twenties. I am still struck some mornings that I wake up next to the man I have been married to for almost 8 years, love on the children I have been mothering for 4.5 years, and go to work in my career. It seems a little surreal some days.
Most of all, the biggest gift I have given myself as I have grown older is that of grace. It is so easy to be hard on myself, but not so easy to show kindness and forgiveness. I am never, ever going to be perfect at anything, and that is not a failure. The failure, I have learned, is in not taking lessons from mistakes or not showing myself the same amount of grace that I would to others in the same scenario.
Life is going to keep rolling forward, and time will keep passing. Keeping score with myself or stacking my failures into an unmoveable wall won’t ever help me to move forward, be happy, or accomplish goals.
Growing older means that I am growing, and isn’t that what life is all about?