Everyone has a different age that strikes them harshly. For some people it comes early at 25, and for others, it doesn’t hurt until 50 or 60.
For me, it was turning 30 last October.
I’ve always been the youngest. I was the youngest in school and college, always had older friends, am 5 1/2 years younger than my husband, and in general have always felt like the baby of every group.
(My friends still make fun of me being a child, especially when they have to explain how one goes about tight-rolling jeans or what exactly a Def Leppard or Loveboat is.)
So up through last year, in my head I was young. I was practically a teenager.
Those grey hairs? A fluke of genetics.
The wrinkles under my eyes? A product of poor skin care regimen.
I’m just a kid!!
Until I began to creep toward 30.
Something about having a 3 in front really, really freaked me out.
I found myself counting down the days of my 20s, trying to make the most of them.
I almost wrote a list of things to accomplish in my 20s, but realized with 6 days to go, it likely wasn’t going to get done, and then I’d have to deal with my spiral of self-disappointment on TOP of my aging angst.
And then it happened.
My birthday came, and for the first time in my life, I wasn’t fully relishing in the fact it was MY day. That it was all about ME, and everyone had to cater to my every whim.
In fact, I kind of tried to ignore it.
And in the days and weeks and months afterward, I noticed a peculiar twist in my subconscious: I didn’t want to think about my age anymore. It was better if I just didn’t acknowledge it at all than to attempt to come to grips with the painful number.
But now that I’m inching closer to 31 than 30, I figure it’s time to admit it: I’m officially in my 30s.
And that’s okay.
It’s even okay if kids in their 20s (see how I called them kids? That’s because I’m OLD) think of me as ancient and “practically their parent’s age”.
Because, really, age doesn’t mean much. It doesn’t define who I am or how I feel about myself, and it doesn’t define what I can do or where I can go with my life. There are so many things I have now that I didn’t have in my early 20s…
– I have two beautiful children who enhance my life astoundingly.
– I have a much greater sense of self – I know who I am, I am okay with who I am, and I don’t obsess (as much) about what other people think of me.
– I’ve learned to temper my perfectionism. It is okay when I mess up – I don’t have to punish myself for days, weeks or years.
(Unless I stick my foot in my mouth. In that case, I can torture myself for decades.)
– I am living my dream: staying at home with my children, teaching them, and yet still doing some work from home to maintain my need for objective goal-achievement.
– I am significantly healthier than I was in my early 20s, and have a much greater understanding of what it takes to maintain health for both me and my family.
I was downloading photos from Chris’s camera the other day, and I found a picture of the two of us right after my 30th birthday.
And I was struck at how completely and fantastically happy I looked.
And that’s because I am – no need to let a meaningless number make me think any differently.
(Please remind me of this when my 40th comes around.)
But you know what? It never hurts to pamper oneself at any age, so I’ve got a giveaway for you, provided by BlogHer and Pfizer. Pfizer just launched the new Get Old platform, which encourages people of all ages to embrace aging and use those years to live a fuller life, complete with the community that can be found through Get Old.com.
If you would like to be entered to win one of three $500 SpaFinder gift cards, leave a comment and tell me how you feel about your own journey of aging.
Entries from the participating blogs will be pooled and three winners selected.
For your convenience, here are highlights from the Official Rules for the Sweepstakes. Please note by submitting an entry you are agreeing to the full Official Rules, available here.
No duplicate comments.
Please do not mention or imply any pharmaceutical products in your posts. Posts that mention or imply a pharmaceutical product will be subject to removal.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt at the bottom of this post.*
b) Read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
*Note: if you want to comment but either (i) are not eligible or (ii) do not want to enter the giveaway, please include something similar to the following statement in your comment: “I do not wish to enter the sweepstakes.”
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Medical professionals who are licensed (or are otherwise authorized) to prescribe medications are not eligible to enter. While BlogHer encourages you to share your thoughts and experiences about getting older, comments discussing medical conditions and/or medical products are not permitted, may be deleted, and are invalid entries. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
This sweepstakes runs from 6/18 to 8/31.
Be sure to check out the BlogHer.com Get Old page to find out more about the Get Old platform and read how other bloggers feel about aging!