Earlier this week, one of the young girls in my office was complaining that she was about to turn 28-years-old. I told her to stop talking before I kick her out of my office. Yes I was bitter, as I too have a birthday coming up and I am NOT feeling so good about it. Today, I turn 38-years-old, and it just sounds awfully close to 40. That completely freaks me out.
All the young girls in my office tried to made me feel better by telling me that I should be proud to turn 38 as I have accomplished so much. Really? Somehow I was not seeing it that way. I see it as being one step closer to 40 — which just sounds old. I remember when my mother was this age, so how can I be there now? It just doesn’t make sense.
So to make me feel better, I thought back to what life was like 10 years ago and made a list of the pros and cons of being 38 vs. 28. Here’s what I came up with:
While you are an adult, you are still “twenty-something,” which gives you a little more freedom to mess up and choke it up to being one of “life’s learning lessons.”
I feel like I have graduated to a whole new level of adulthood where I can’t mess up anyone. At 38, I feel like I am supposed to know better…and I do.
I was newly engaged to a great guy and was living in la la land. My biggest decisions in life were what flowers I wanted at my wedding, what fine china I should register for, and what my dream wedding dress will look like.
Luckily, I still have the greatest guy in my life… and my wedding was a dream — literally, nearly eight years later it really feels like it was a dream. My life decisions and stessers have certainly gotten a lot more serious… I have kids and a family to take care of, a career and household to manage, and my life is not all about me anymore. I worry about more important things now.
I was anxious and felt pressure to have it all and do it all NOW.. A husband, kids, a great apartment, a promotion and to travel the world. I wanted to prove myself in life, at work, and show the world how great I was.
I feel completely comfortable with who I am and feel very fortunate and lucky to have a wonderful husband and two amazing and healthy children. And it feels good not to care about what people think of me, and not have to prove myself to anyone, other than myself.
Looking back at my list, I think the girls in my office are right, while I am may not be living on the edge and traveling the world… I have accomplished a lot over the past ten years. So I am embracing my 38th year. And just to keep myself feeling young, I am going to mark my calendar to run a half-marathon next year. Yes, just one more thing to stress about, and to add to my list of accomplishments before I turn 39.