April 23, 2010


Goodbye to the 
Roaring 20's 
and Hello to the  
Awesome THIRTIES!!!

I like to make up little rhymes for each year that comes ahead. I started this for my friend Lizzie I think when she turned 28 (and-oh-so-great) and I was 25-and-alive (which often makes me think of the voice in the back of my head, "number 5 is ALIVE"). 26 was a bit of a lame-o rhyme (26- a-whole-lot-of-kicks). The next year was probably my favorite: 27 -a-little-slice-of-heaven. I told that to my students at the time and they'd bring it up a lot which I thought was funny. 28 you already know and as my profile states- currently  I am 29-and-oh-so-fine (at least for the next 7+ hours)

But now I get to the big-one: THIRTY & FLIRTY & THRIVING
Yes, I do believe I started doing these rhymes when the movie 13 going on 30 came out, or perhaps I had just seen that movie around the time but that was the saying that stuck with me and  I always thought it would be a fun year/saying.

In my inner-mind I pictured myself saying it curled up in a ball and rocking back and forth just like the 13 yr old - Jennifer Garner. Sadly many people do the opposite of that movie character, they love being young, but then when they hit 30 (or probably any big decade or landmark age) they then want to lock themselves up in the closet rocking back and forth and wishing they were younger. Ridiculous! That's not how I feel at all. I'm excited to be 30, flirty and thriving. [Hmm, does the "flirty" part seem odd or out of context? But I've got an amazing husband to channel all my love and flirty energy to, plus you can flirt with danger (not really the goal here but you've heard the expression) or flirt with life, with adventure, with aspirations.]

When I was young (maybe even 13...but probably younger) I remember hearing many adults, and face it - many women, whine about turning older and getting older and not wanting to celebrate their birthdays because they were just getting older and it always seemed so silly to me. First of all your choices are 1- get another year older or 2- Die. Really what's there to whine about? So if you are going to go for the first option you are naturally going to keep getting older and so why not take a day out to celebrate?! 

Celebrate life! Celebrate Experiences! Celebrate Yourself! 

I decided and committed to myself way back then that I would never whine about getting older, that I would love each new birthday as it came and be excited for it and the year ahead. I remember one of my lovely friends (and frankly many people say this) was about to turn some shocking "old age" in her 20's and said how she wished she was turning 18. Seriously? Would you really like to have to go back and do 18 over again? Or 23, or 35 or 52....or whatever your age may be. Now don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed 18. But I've done 18. To give up everything I've done and learned and be back there again...no thank you. It was great, but so is the age I am.

Now in saying this I will give credit to the fact that decade birthdays do seem harder for people to swallow, and sometimes hitting certain ages and not having met our own or the world's criteria of what we should have done by then makes us feel a little panicked or disappointed, and sometimes health starts to decline and therefore getting older can be a wake-up call of our own mortality and that is hard. Yes it can be hard. But that's no reason not to get cake and presents. :)

I guess I am saying that I do sympathize with the challenges of getting older. And I do feel like it can be a great time for retrospection and growth. But I'm also advocating enjoying each birthday as it comes along and each new year, each new decade, each new stage of life. 

Which leads me to my next thought.

When I turned 20 it was in 2000 (seriously cool to be an 80's-baby). A NEW MILLENNIUM. Hmm, I didn't have pithy little sayings for each new year back then but I was already thinking along those lines when I adopted a saying from my cousin April:

(or put in your name)

Okay, seriously that was a cool year/saying. :) I was leaving the teenager years and venturing on to adulthood. I came up with a list of things I wanted to "conquer"  - things that I was afraid of or weak at or just wanted to improve on. And if ever I found myself getting discouraged or worried I would shout in my head "Leah of the new millennium!!!" and it would give me courage. Some things were big, some were trivial. What mattered was learning to do and try new things, push myself, grow, progress, celebrate life, celebrate experiences, celebrate myself. 

And it has been a wonderful decade. And wow, pausing to reflect back over it - it was a decade full of life-changing decisions and and steps. Hmmm....perhaps later I'll write a proper farewell of the decade and all the beautiful blessings and stages that it held - but that isn't the motivation of today's post. Today (or tomorrow rather) I want to welcome in the new year with open arms. Thirty and Flirty and Thriving. :) And I'm asking for suggestions to do so. 

I was thinking that I may want to write a list of 30 things to do over this next year (decade???) to celebrate being thirty. Big things (helicopter ride?), to little things (a picnic at this park Varian and I always talk about but never stop at); things to make me grow, things to learn, talents to gain, ways to challenge myself, goals to accomplish, fun experiences to have, places to travel, weaknesses to improve...etc.  Really the list could go on and on. 

So any ideas? Should I just focus on this year? Should I make them all pretty attainable then within that time frame and our present stage of life? (For example there's lots of places I'd like to travel but I'm not expecting to get to them all in just the next 12 months, I also want to have a million kids someday but these things take time...) Should I count things that I already have planned or am already working on? Should I have more than one list, i.e. 30 places to visit nearby. 30 new recipes to master, 30 new songs to play on my violin, 30 short stories/poems to write, 30 new posts to blog...???? Hmmm. I'm not really sure. So I'm open to any suggestions on either things to add to the list or ways to organize it. I've got some things in mind, but would like the input. I've entered into a new stage of life and with it comes so many things to learn and enjoy, and I've been recently wanting to organize myself- my goals and possibilities and interests. 

So tomorrow I get to celebrate a new year 
(and decade) of life 
and I am ready to embrace it!!! 
 No birthday shame here! 
Happy birthday to me. :) 


.:Bree:. said...

Happy Birthday Leah! :)

Felicity said...

yay! welcome to the 3 zero club :) I just tried to call but there was no answer (and it's really late :) so our birthday celebration chat will have to wait until you are 30 and 1 day!!!! I hope you had a GREAT day!! I'll try and think of some ideas for you making the most of your 'thirty, flirty and thriving years' :) xoxo

Go Garfields Go said...

I need a list like that! I felt the same way when I turned 30, but of course as soon as I came up with some major goals, I got pregnant! Which really rerouted my goals, but went down another worthy venture instead. I want to see this list! I'm trying to decide what areas of my life I want to improve (cooking, etc.) so I wanted to take a nutrition or cooking class. Or else I've wanted to teach a water aerobics class in my pool. Of course I've wanted to go back to finally finish my degree, but the baby is due the week before finals! I don't know if I want to put myself through that! I can't wait to see your list!