By The Time I’m 30….
Throughout my entire life, I have always been a list maker. I obsessively create lists of goals and tasks. They all have deadlines. My big life goals all seemed to have the same deadline: by the time I am thirty.
I wanted to be done having children, own our dream home, obtain a high ranking job at a fortune 500 company and so many other things before I was thirty. What was the significance of having all of these things completed before thirty?
When I was younger, I always saw thirty as “old.” It was so far away, and let’s face it, no kid ever dreams of turning thirty, except maybe in the movie “13 Going on 30.” When I saw that movie the first time, I thought to myself “What is so great about thirty? Why didn’t she pick 21 or 25?”
As I traveled through my twenties, I started to feel more and more apprehensive about turning thirty. My husband and I had been together since we were sixteen, so I thought that having my family complete would be a goal that was easily attained. We married in 2010 at the age of 26. After spending time enjoying our new life together and our home, I started to realize that unless I was going to have multiple children at once (highly unlikely,) then my goal of having a complete family by the time I was thirty was not happening.
At this same time, I was also searching daily through the real estate listings. We have a very, very specific list of criteria that we want in a new home. We also have narrowed it down to a SINGLE subdivision. Needless to say, this makes house hunting a bit difficult. Every week I searched and subsequently struck out. There was one house we were in love with, but it was sold before we could even say the word “offer.”
So, one by one, my “By the Time I’m Thirty” goals started to slip away, or so it seemed. I felt like a failure. It was as if in just a few years, my life would be over and then what? What is the point?
Recently, I have spent more and more time trying to take care of myself. I started attending crossfit classes 3x a week. As my love of fitness grew I started to discover and love my body and myself more and more. As my body started to get stronger, so did my mind. I was happier than ever before, something I didn’t even know was possible.
As this transformation started to take place within me, I started to ask myself, what’s the big deal about turning 30 anyway? Women that I knew started getting close to their thirtieth birthdays and consequently freaking out. However, I started to appreciate myself and realize that I still look and feel amazing. I wasn’t going to turn into a geezer overnight. I am a strong, beautiful, happy woman with so many reasons to be thankful. It took diving head first into caring about me and my health for me to realize this completely obvious fact. Finding your self-confidence really is an amazing experience.
It’s a cliché I know, but life is really what we make of it, and I’ve made mine pretty exceptional. I’ve made so many choices throughout my 29 years that have brought me to this very moment. I chose to spend more time going with the flow and focusing my energy on raising my daughter and growing a healthy marriage. These are the things that are important to me and they don’t need a deadline.
I don’t want to live my life being afraid of what’s in my future. Sure, we all grow older, but I am so much more than that list of goals I made long ago. A great friend said to me “One thing that happens as we mature is that our definition of success changes, our priorities change.” I don’t want the same things at 29 that I did at 19 and that’s OK.
I decided that I don’t want to waste another day mourning all the goals I didn’t reach by the time I turned thirty because when I take a good look back at my 29 years I’ve accomplished way more than I ever dreamed.
My Husband's Watching TV... says
Great outlook, Meg! Nice post.
Amen! As someone who is already experiencing her 30s, the best thing so far has been this self-acceptance and appreciation of all the blessings I’ve been given. I don’t feel old and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on any opportunities. And now that I’m a mom, I have to say that my 30s are FAR better than my 20s were. And my 20s were a pretty awesome decade.