Today is the eve of my 30th birthday and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what this means to me, and how I am feeling as I achieve this milestone. The past several years have been really excellent, my 29th year being no exception as I hit the trifecta of new home, job and school. I’ve been running a lot more races and weigh less today than I have throughout the past 3-4 years. I am faster and more active than I have ever been in my adult life and although I have been thinner, I don’t think I’ve ever been healthier. I feel good and I am quite pleased with where I am at this point in my life.
This week I have been burdened by homework and have had little time for self-reflection, yet fortunately my work has necessitated reflection. I have been learning Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics; what he believes happiness is and what it takes to achieve it. One of my tasks was to write about what I believe happiness is. This lead me to contemplate how I define happiness, whether or not I am happy, and how I may be happier in my 30th year.
I am pleased to say that my happiness has increased consistently over the past several years. I believe this comes with age and experience and having an understanding of what makes us happy. I pro-actively seek pleasure, work to improve myself, and my life, to be happier, and to avoid that which does not bring me happiness. Aristotle believes happiness comes with maturity and I agree. I have learned so much about others, life, and most importantly, myself. With this knowledge I feel armed to make better choices and to ultimately live a better life, resulting in a level of happiness.
I often question what the point of living is if you’re not working toward something. I believe it is important we strive for self-actualization although there is no way of ever achieving it. There are a great many things I will continue to work toward this year (my degree, running faster, losing more weight, being a more patient person, improving my home and finances) and there are many improvements to be made (you’re 30 now – STOP SMOKING FOR GOOD ALREADY!). But it is so much easier to do these things feeling that I am not “behind”. I am not overwhelmed by what I want to do because I am always aware of where I’ve been, where I am, and where I am headed.
Ten years ago I felt hopeless, depressed; I was a failure and only valued myself as others valued, or didn’t, value me. I was lost; not good for anything.
Today I am a strong, intelligent, independent woman. I am a good wife to a wonderful man, a great mom (to the most perfect dog in the world), a good daughter and sister, good friend, and a contributing member to society.
In the future I seek to be great.
I am excited about beginning the next chapter of my life. There is a little trepidation in the big 3-0 though, I must admit. Although I have been an adult for several years, now it just seems so much more “official”. Don’t get me wrong - I still plan to call my mother in tears when I’m upset, but there’s something about “30” that says we need to get our retirement plans in order, and get annual physicals and start being really vigilant about our health. The biological clock is also out of the closet. It’s not on the nightstand yet, but it’s in the room. And although this brings me great sadness to think and write, it is also time to really stop taking people for granted, like my Mom for example, because you just never know how much time you have.
But enough of that. 30 is also just another number. This Saturday I will celebrate 30 right with a big bash amongst my parents and friends. I will kick things off with awesome over-indulgence and memory-making. The scene of the first page of the next chapter will be my backyard and the main character of the story will be 30 and drunk. I couldn’t ask for a better beginning and I can’t wait to see what she does next.