April 24, 2011

At 30

Today was my thirtieth birthday, and it was a happy birthday, indeed. (And, thank you, everyone for the birthday well-wishes. I felt truly blessed!). Kevin took me out to my favourite restaurant, which happens to serve a wonderful non-alcoholic beer. And Colin presented me with a birthday card and flowers that he picked all all by himself ... after his daddy walked him over to the grocery store--a very big adventure for such a little boy.

All in all, it was a simple--and simply wonderful--birthday.

I know that's not the birthday most 30-year-old women have in mind. I think the standard thing is a wild night on the town with one's girlfriends, maybe a trip to Vegas or New York. And don't get me wrong, that all sounds wonderful, but I'm just not at a stage in my life right now where that is possible. (Maybe 35, girls? Or 40 at least ... )

I suppose such elaborate thirtieth-birthday celebrations are the norm because 30 is supposedly a "big" birthday for a woman: she's no longer some nubile young thing but a mature woman, perhaps a little past her prime. (Although why this should be true in the 21st century--when we all enjoy an extra decade of adolescence--beats me.) And for a lot of people, one's thirtieth birthday forces them to take stock of what they've done with their lives, so a whirlwind party can be a way to avoid such reflection or else a consolation if they are forced to confront things and find the balance wanting.

This may sound smug, but I only mean to express my gratitude: When I consider 20s, I am completely content with how they played out. I graduated from college, started a satisfying career, enjoyed some freewheeling years in a great city, lived abroad, married the man I love, and had a beautiful child (almost two of them!). I might not have done everything I wanted to do, but I did most of it, and I had a great time doing it. If my 30s are half as as much fun, I will be very lucky, indeed.

As a synchronistic end to my lovely birthday, Kevin took the above photo of me just before we headed out for my celebratory dinner. It happens to look very much like a photo he took of me on my 26th birthday, when we were vacationing in the south of France. Other than the fact that I am wearing the same damn blouse in both photos, I don't find the comparison too unflattering. Sure, Edmonton doesn't quite compare with France, and, yes, I currently weigh about 40 pounds more than I did then, but those things are just temporary, right? I hope that by my 32nd birthday I'll have lost the baby weight and we will again be traveling abroad without children. And I sincerely hope that by then I've bought some new clothes!


Sarah said...

Dude, how can that blouse have THAT much fabric?

I love being 30 and I agree that the 20s were what they were supposed to be with self exploration and 30s are about knowing who you are and living your life.

Happy birthday lady! oh, and I'm game for a 35 or 40 year old birthday extravaganza!

Katie Parson said...

30's are better than 20's. less drama and emotion. you are more mature & focused on the big things in life and on things other than yourself. at least, if you do it right!

i think you will find your 30's more rewarding than your 20s too. i sure have.

Vicky said...

Happy Birthday.

I am personally in denial about being 30... I turned 29 again last year, and will do so again this year. Although my girls insisted on telling people I was 30! Little so & so's.

Your bump is looking lovely by the way. x.