Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Grown-up Birthday

Happy Birthday to me. Yay birthdays. Please read both of these statements with the sarcasm with which they were intended. Trust me when I say, I do. 

One candle too many.
When did I really grow up? When did birthdays become more of a chore and less of a happy day to look forward to? When I was a little girl, heck even when I was a teenager, I can remember looking forward to birthdays with such excitement and enthusiasm that I could barely sleep at night. I would count down the days with anticipation and fervor, gleefully imagining the cake, the presents, the intense joy of the day. 

I'm most definitely not a little girl anymore. Don't let me fool you completely. I still get excited. As I've said before, I'm a pretty excitable kind of person. I get excited about the simple things in life: the food, the deep, engrossing conversations with my hubby, the craziness of the cats, the dry wit and lovable humor of my crazy family. But my birthday? Not so much anymore. 

I'm 28. There, I said it. And no, I'm not going to pretend that I'm as old as the hills when I know good and well that I'm in my twenties and have no right to be complaining about age. But I think I have finally reached that age where age seems a little more important than it used to. The significance of the number is not so important as the number it's bringing me closer to: 30. Thirty's not old either. I realize that. But thirty is officially out of the twenties...and that's a little scary. There are so many things that I want to do by 30, so many things I want to have accomplished. I look at other women the same age as me, and even in some cases younger than me, and I see all that they've accomplished, and I think to myself, what the hell have you done lately?

Sure, I'm pretty successful. If not in career, then in life. I have a wonderful husband who adores me (and whom I adore), a solid roof over my head, and three cats who may or may not want to kill me. Plus, I have the most rocking family that a girl could ever ask for. I pretty much have everything I could possibly want for my birthday...which is maybe why birthdays aren't quite as exciting as they used to be.

So in an effort to up the excitement level a tad, I came up with a birthday wish list of things I'd like for (either on or before) my thirtieth birthday...two years from today:

1) A Career as a Writer. Notice, this one is NUMBER ONE for a reason, and if I got this, I really wouldn't care so much about the rest. When I first graduated college, I tried the whole freelancing thing. Didn't quite work out. Turns out a freelance writer's income (at least when they start out) is pretty sporadic-like. Pretty soon I realized I would either be living with my parents forever or starving to death in some match-box apartment if I didn't come up with a day job. Before my thirtieth birthday, I want writing to BE my day job.

 2) Travel to Ireland Japan Somewhere Anywhere Outside the US.  I don't want to wake up one day and realize that my life has passed me by without fulfilling my dream to travel...at least once...outside the US.

3) To Finish My Novel. I only started this a few months ago, but in two years, if I haven't finished it, I'm going to kick my own ass.

4) Hardwood Floors in Living Room and Hallway. Ah, my shallow, materialistic wish. Jeremy and I aren't like a lot of families nowadays. When we purchased our home, we purchased it with the express intent of living in it until we retire and beyond. This isn't a "starter home" for us (and I'm not saying anything about anyone who buys homes this way...it just isn't for us); it's a forever home. I have roots in this place, and I want to grow old here and make as many improvements along the way as we can.

5) Baby. Baby Not. I want to have the whole Baby Question figured out by thirty. If we don't know by then, we're going to figure it out.

Now don't all y'all rush out and spend all your money getting me these things just yet. Remember we've got a couple of years to go, and as fickle as I am, I'll probably have changed my mind on what I want by then. In the meantime, I'll enjoy this my twenty-eighth birthday, my grown-up birthday of too many candles and never enough cake.


  1. I turned 30 last July...it wasn't the 30 that shook me up...its now...and the prospect of being...gulp...31?? How could it be possible that I'm almost 31 and IN MY THIRTIES!!! EEEK!!! Good luck finishing your to do list by 30 I'm sure you'll have no problem!

  2. Happy birthday! Those are all good goals...and I think it's great that you are taking the time to think about the future. Another sign that you're a *real* grown up now.
    My 30s have been the best years of my life. And I had a lot of fun in my 20s. Probably too much : )

  3. Happy Birthday!! Listen, trust me on this...babies are serious life changers. In an extraordinary, good way - but definitely life changers. We waited until our mid-30's to have a baby. I was 34 *gasp* when we had our first and 39 with the last..you had no clue I was that old did you? Well, I am and let me tell you something, the best decision we ever made was to wait and and fill some, if not all, of our goals. Get that trip out of the way, do your floors and live, lady! Enjoy this time with the hubby and have fun. You have so much time. Don't let that clock start ticking yet :)
    p.s. writing can happen with babies. Just sayin'.

  4. Love the list. Sounds like good goals to have. I have to say I loved the comment of your cats that may or may not want to kill you.
    Cats are like that.lol

  5. Thanks, y'all!

    @Leslie: I know! Each year that passes seems to become scarier and scarier. But 31 is only 31...and totally still not old.

    @my3littlebirds: Can I go back to being a kid? I want to ask for a Barbie for my birthday again.

    @No. 7: I totally get what you're saying...and that's why my hubby and I enjoy every minute we have together now, because we know that changes when kids come along. I'm so glad to hear about someone else who waited to have kids. My sister also waited until 34, and she's doing great. When it's right, it's right, and if we want to wait, we're going to wait. :)

    @Debbie: I swear our cats are constantly plotting our demise! You're right, they're SO like that :)

  6. Happy Birthday toooo youuuuuuuuuuu ♥

    I hope you had a fabulous birthday, and that all your wishes come true. They're definitely doable!

    I hear Australia is a great place to visit...just sayin' ;) xoxo

  7. Happy Birthday.What a great list. I'm sure will able to accomplish them. Having them all written down and in public makes one want to strive even harder to achieve them.

  8. Happy Birthday! If you like dark colored hardwood floors, you might want to reconsider unless you like mopping them everyday - they show EVERYTHING! I have 2 years until I am 40, but I am actually looking forward to it - I guess I am weird (or it might have something to do with the sexy convertible I told my husband he has to buy me)


    I have been celebrating the anniversary of my 29th birthday for 2 years now :)

    I started freaking out about turning 30 when I was 25. But when the time came - it was ok. 30 is the new 20. This is our prime - enjoy it!

  10. Happy Birthday! I just hit 26 last month and was not, how shall we say it, *pleased* with that prospect. What the heck? It was fun when I turned, you know, 16, but ten years later? Not so much. Oh the doom of having 30 draw near!

    I think you have a great list together and you can totally do it all. I think our 20s are for figuring it all out. I bet 30 turns out to be just a drop in the pan when it rolls around.

  11. happy belated birthday!!! i'm a new follower!! found you through the lovely meg o, what a great list..diverse yet inspirational. i can tell i'm going to love your blog!! happy wednesday!

    Serenity and Style

  12. @thefancyflea: thank you SO much! I'm so excited to have a blog buddy from Australia :) And I would LOVE to visit there someday! Someday it'll happen!

    @Bernie: Exactly. Which is why I wrote them down. I'm expecting you to hold me to them!

    @cakeologist: Noted about the dark floors. We were torn between dark and light, but I think you've made up my mind. Good for you! I'd be looking forward to 40, too if a convertible was involved! Cool!

    @Ada: What great words of wisdom! I love the thought of our 20s being for figuring everything out. Makes me feel better that I don't quite have everything figured out yet.

    @Mary: Thanks for stopping by and for the birthday wishes! I checked your blog out as well and loved it :)

  13. Happy Birthday!!!!

    I love your ideas and one sure way to help them come true...objective steps. Ways in which you make it happen so that they are not simply dreams, but obtainable goals.

    And, I think my 30's have been the best so far. :) They def. are different from the twenties, but life seems focused and enjoyable for me. The club life {in my case} could only last so long. :)

  14. Happy Late Birthday, Sweets!

    Your blog is so awesome. I mean to leave more comments, but know that I am here a lot, usually during breaks at work, and commenting on my phone is more trouble than it is worth.

    So just know, I am lurking about...



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