There's hype around you, you know. Chatter, excitement, anxiety, disbelief. Lots of elbow poking and winking from those who find out you're approaching.
So, welcome, thirty!
You are a milestone, of sorts. A reason to pause, stop working, take a step back and look. And, you know ... what I see makes me happy. Because I see that, under the masterful blueprints of the Lord, the frame of our life-house has been built. A foundation of faith. Cornerstones of family respect, fun, love and work. Walls of lessons: lessons of motherhood, lessons of confidence, lessons of faith, lessons of sorrow, lessons of sacrifice. A roof made from watertight family bonds formed by looking out for each other, protecting each other, caring for each other and feeling secure with each other. There is still much, much work to be done in our life-house... Who knows what renovations lie in our future, or how the interior will be decorated, but today I can see that this is a place in which I am very excited to spend the rest of my life.
I see this house as your gift to me, thirty. Along with a bit more perspective. A bit more security. A bit more faith. A bit more understanding. A bit more hope. A bit more trust.
But perhaps most importantly, a bit more self-confidence. And a bit less comparison...
...which will probably change the direction of my thirties the most. I have felt myself drawn recently to quotes that encourage me to be who I am. I, along with many women, find it very difficult to keep my focus inward and upward, and have spent too much of my time watching from side to side to see what everyone around me is thinking and doing. But somewhere, after all these years of scrambling, I've caught a foothold. The work of self-discovery is becoming faster. And the joy of self-contentment is getting easier to feel. This could be the greatest gift. To see my imperfections, to see my strengths, and to not be scared by either.
I heard a quote once, and I can't remember who said it, but it goes something like this:
“About all you can do in life is be who you are.
Some people will love you for you.
Most will love you for what you can do for them,
and some won't like you at all.”
This speaks to me... and I see it shaping up to be a great theme I will string throughout my thirties. I hope I will get better at finding and surrounding myself with those people who love me for me... that I will willingly and happily give what I can to those who love me for what I can do for them (and then not be hurt when they leave)... and that I can tactfully and understandingly ignore those who don't like me at all.
Because, really, I want to be me.
And I want you to be you. Yes, thirty. I speak the truth when I say I'm excited to see you, but that doesn't mean I don't see your faults just like you see mine... I know you'll cause my back to go out when I forget to put equal weight on my legs before the sneeze... or fuzzy up my vision when I try to see as far as I used to... you cause me to worry when the carrot crunches a little too loudly because it could be my tooth... you bring along sags and wrinkles, sunspots and grey hairs... and your presence means that half-heatedly watching what I eat is no longer effective in maintaining my weight... but even so...
... I don't mind. Too much.
Here's to us, thirty.
*PS - let's hear it for my awesome little photographers, McKenzie and her friend Amaya! They posed me, primped me, and even told me sweetly to 'maybe not smile like that ever again?... because that smile is a little... ...you know, like... horrifying?...'
(The following picture prompted the advice):