Marking the Bittersweet End of a Decade

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My Thoughts on Turning 30

The end of August has always proven a little bittersweet for me.  A new school year begins at this time.  As a nerdy student, and later as a teacher, I greatly anticipated the excitement and wonder that a new school year held.  However, a new school year means summer is coming to a close.  Summer has always been my favorite time of the year, filled with whimsy and carefree wonder.

Also at the end of August is the beginning of a new college football season.  Okay, this is just plain sweet.  Nothing bitter about this, unless the Dawgs are off to a bad start.

As August winds down, there are more personal ramifications for me, as my birthday comes at this time of year.  Perhaps most of us still enjoy that childlike wonder and excitement in the idea of our birthday.  However, as we accumulate more and more birthdays, many  see them as just another slap-in-the-face reminder that we are getting older, and-infact- have more good years behind us than in front of us.  (I’m not saying I’m *there* yet….  Yet.)

And so, today, as I start  a new decade of my life, I lament on these last ten years, also known as My Twenties.  Yep, that’s right: I’m turning 30, y’all.Looking back, even from my early teens I began looking forward (counting down) to The Next Big Thing, whether it be getting a driver’s license, graduating high school, becoming an adult,  starting college, moving out on my own, being (legally) old enough to purchase and consume alcohol, finishing my undergrad, starting a “real” job, or getting married  ……just to name a few.  With each new milestone accrued, I felt perhaps a smidge bigger, then quickly proceeded to The Next Countdown.

This is a habit I happily spilled in to my twenties, and kept up for quite a while.And then one day, the countdowns ceased.  While pregnant with my first (and so far only) child and thinking aloud about how I only had only four more months to go, I got the best advise from a co-worker.  “Don’t wish your life away,” she said.   The realization I made at that moment was how I’ve spent the better part of a decade and a half anticipating The Next Big Thing, and not focusing so much on the wonderful present.

And then my daughter was born.

These last 17 months have proven that time both flies and crawls, all at once, and it certainly doesn’t STOP while you search for The Next Big Thing.  With her arrival, I saw how every little second, every little giggly, smooth-skinned, cuddly moment was valuable and rather fleeting.  With her, I have watched a little person transform from a little lump, desperately trying to clasp her hands together while she let out sweet little “waaaaahs”, to a walking (er, running!), chattery little girl, who has become her own person -both goofy and independent and rather intelligent, in such a short span of time!
So, I no longer look so hard for The Next Big Thing.  I know, at this point in my life, they are always lurking right around the corner.  I am trying to enjoy as much of The Now Things.  And all The Little Things.

While I spent much of my teens and twenties wishing my life away, looking always ahead, and not truly soaking up the thrills of the here and now; I have learned in a short span -the last nugget of my twenties- to slow down, and enjoy the moments as they come.  The Big Things  will come and go.  It’s The Little Things that make your day-to-day life really worthwhile.

I do look at today as one of The Big Things.  After all, turning thirty is nothing to sneeze at, nor is it something over which to panic.  (…..right…..?)  As this August winds down, I DO still find myself enjoying and anticipating the Big Things, but also lapping up the sweet little day-to-day moments I have with my amazing daughter and fantastic husband.

Am I happy about turning thirty?  Honestly, no.  It feels like such a big leap.  Up until today, I could remark that, “well, at least I’m still in my twenties.”  Maybe I’ll try out a new one: at least I’m in my early, early, early thirties.  (Hmm, I’ll have to give it more thought…..)  I find myself kicking and screaming in protest of the demise of my twenties.  In any case, I am trying to make sense of it all, and embrace the change, and embrace this fantastic life.

So, while -for some- April is the cruelest month, August’s demise will always feel a little bittersweet to me.

And I leave you with this awesome meme, for no reason other than because I can: Turning 30 - Birthday Freebies - Its Sherbert Day

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**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**


  1. It is funny how different ages bring different reactions from different people. Turning 30 didn&#39;t bother me so much. However, 35 hit me really hard. I will say that in the 6wks or so since I turned 35, things are fine. I&#39;m enjoying things I haven&#39;t for a long, long time and I&#39;m doing my best to slow down and enjoy each moment.<br /><br />Happy Birthday! Your 30s will be

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