On The Eve Of My 34th Birthday

As I sit here, catching up on my DVR, enjoying a cup of coffee, I find myself reflecting on the last year of my life. Another year has gone by. Another year completed. Tomorrow I’ll be 34. 

Up until a few days ago I actually spent the last 6 or 7 months thinking I was going to be 35-I’ve officially reached the age where I have to stop & calculate the years. But it’s strange, I don’t feel any older-at least not mentally or emotionally. Sure my body’s another year older. My skin is another year older-although I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let those wrinkles win & break through. I’ve gained a few pounds, lost a few pounds & gained them back again. Man, how I wish I still had the metabolism of my 22 year old self. 

One could easily say nothing too exciting has happened to me over the last year. I still wake up every day & fight with my girls to get ready for school, rush them out the door only to sit in the drop off line for what seems like an eternity, run errands, clean the house & do laundry, waiting for the school day to be over so I can do the whole pick up thing all over again. Then it’s time to run them around to their extra curricular activities, help with homework, cook dinner, get them showered & to bed so we can start the same process over again the next day…all while my college degree collects dust, waiting for me to put it to good use again.

It’s all the same stuff I was doing when I turned 33. But this year I learned something. I learned that while the morning routine can be daunting, I love being the one that gets to cook them breakfast & see them off to school. I like being able to get chores & errands out of the way while they are at school because this way I don’t have to try to squeeze everything in. I absolutely love watching them run out of school to me at the end of the day. And I can’t imagine not being there for cheering or gymnastics or soccer. And as frustrating as the homework can sometimes be, I enjoy sitting down & being the one that can help them through it. 

In the past I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself. I look around & see people I know that did everything in the “correct” order. They finished high school, went to college, got a job, bought a house, started a family. I did things a little out of order. I took time off after high school before taking classes. I bought a house & had babies before finally going back to college & finishing my degree. I’ve stayed home raising my kids instead of climbing the corporate ladder & earning a six figure salary. Over the last few years not working has caused me to feel like I’ve lost a piece of myself. Like my adult card was going to be revoked at any given time. But this year I’ve learned that I am actually doing everything I need to be doing right now…for myself & my family.

There is no right order in how we have to do things in life. You don’t have to have a career to be an adult & you don’t have to stay home to be a good mother. Life is not a race or a competition & finally this year I am truly grasping that. Nursing will always be there, but right now my “career” as a mom is pretty solid. Total job security. 

So while 33 didn’t bring me trips around the world or a cushy office with a view, it gave me reassurance in myself. The reassurance that I didn’t realize I so badly needed. It’s almost like I’m at peace with myself finally. So all in all it was a pretty eventful year, at least for me. I guess I’m an adult after all. Now if only I could erase some of these wrinkles that are trying to peak out on my forehead, but I guess that’s for another blog post. 

Cheers to 34! 

And P.S. At least I don’t have any grays. 😉