Thursday, September 07, 2006

I was...

One Year Older...One Belt Size Larger

Yesterday I turned 34 years old. I am officially in my mid 30’s. A “thirtysomething”. Or, as I like to call it…29 plus 5. Twenty-nine seems to be the year that you enjoy right before it is time to grow up. Things that you did in your twenties are hard to pass off in your thirties and beyond. No more earrings, long hair, or partying with your friends until 3:00 am…or later. Yep, it’s time to start acting like an adult and settle down, have kids, get a job with normal working hours, water and mow the yard like a good homeowner, keep good tires on the car so it’s safe for those kids you just had, etc., etc., etc.

It’s not so bad, really. Instead of earrings and long hair on yourself, you get to worry about it on your son. Instead of partying all night with your friends, you can wake up at 3:00 am to your baby yanking on your nose, scratching your ear, or if she’s in her crib you can listen to her party with her stuffed animals through the baby monitor. Instead of having a yard that would catch on fire by a flicked cigarette butt during a summertime party, you water and now have a nice green lawn that the kids can play in. And let’s not forget about the tires that will no longer leave you on the side of the road because they got so bald they could pop if you run over a toothpick. You are now considered to be a responsible part of society.

Growing up does require taking on responsibilities. You gain things in life that you wouldn’t necessarily achieve without reaching a certain level of maturity. You can also lose some things that are important, too, like friends that you don’t see very often because they work different hours than your kids allow you to. Having a birthday makes you reflect on the year that has gone by and the year still to come. It’s makes you appreciate the things you have and the things that are no longer part of your life. Here are some things that I have gained and lost:

Gained: 5-10 pounds (but who’s really counting?)
Lost: A couple of pairs of shorts.

Gained: A baby girl.
Lost: A dog, a cat, and some goldfish.

Gained: A truck (no more daddy-van every day!)
Lost: The only car I ever owned for longer than a year or so. The 1991 Acura made it 6 years with me, which is quite a feat.

Lost: All of the late nights and “after hours” work parties.
Gained: A new appreciation for the words “happy hour”.

Lost: The freedom to curse whenever about whatever, or at whomever you want.
Gained: Funnier ways to do it that your toddler teaches you, like “You’re a poopie-head!”

Lost: Worrying if a not-so-sober customer in your bar is going to vomit.
Gained: Worrying if your baby is going to choke on that cracker over there and vomit on the table. She did.

As you can see, getting older is not really that bad. So, raise a cold glass of beer at happy hour today and don’t forget to yell, “You’re a poopie-head!” at that driver who cuts you off on the way home. Instead of the middle finger, smile and give them a thumbs up! It’s all part of growing up.

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