My birthday was last week. My last day of thirty. My first day of thirty-one. For some reason, thirty-one sounds a lot older to me. Maybe it's because I am no longer "turning thirty" but am now "in my thirties". I am not one of those people who gets hung up on age as a general rule. I have really always liked getting older. When I was five I wanted to be ten, when I was ten I wanted to be thirteen, when I was thirteen I couldn't wait to be sixteen and when I was sixteen I wanted to be the ever-desirable twenty one.
However, it seems that once you hit twenty one, every year after that is less exciting. Some would even say that it becomes more and more dreaded each year. I am not one of those people. I actually enjoyed turning thirty. There was something about being thirty that felt very mature and reassuring in some way. My college years were sometimes wild and crazy. My mid to late twenties were less than predictable what with moving several times and changing jobs and trying to start a life! So thirty felt like a safe and secure age. At thirty, I could take a breath. I was somebody's wife, somebody's mother. I had a relatively happy home and a place in this world.
So thirty-one has me at a bit of a loss. What does thirty-one have to offer me that thirty didn't? I am still someone's wife and someone's mother. I still have a relatively happy home and am mostly comfortable with my place in this world. I have had the wild and crazy birthdays and I have had the sentimental milestone birthdays. I have decided that thirty-one is the start of the quiet and relaxed birthdays. It's the "open a few presents, have a small cake and a quiet family dinner" kind of birthday. The "I am so grateful for this year" sort of birthday.
Don't get me wrong, I still celebrated. I enjoyed every minute of my birthday, but I have noticed as I have gotten older that I have less need for fireworks and a greater appreciation for peace. One some level, I feel like this must be a sign of maturity. Either that or I am just one step closer to sitting in a rocker on the porch hollering at the neighbor kids for making too much racket.