Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

that thing i wish i knew when i turned thirty… January 18, 2012

Filed under: Better life,Blogging,Milestones — dayna @ 12:00 am

Oh, how I wish I could do the title of this post justice. But, try as I might, I simply can’t come up with that thing. That thing that would have guided me into my thirties with ease.

I definitely can’t offer any sort of sage advice or words of wisdom that a certain girl (ahem) woman doesn’t seem to already know in her very self-assured being. You see, the lovely Stephanie turns the big 3-0 today. (Sorry Steph, if you were trying to keep it “hush-hush.” I’m pretty sure Darcie and Nicole have other plans…)

I’ll never forget that particular birthday. For months, I’d been determinedly proclaiming my excitement about entering this new decade. “My thirties are going to be great!” I would assert, certain that this would be my era of confidence, purpose, of something beautiful.

And then the actual date. The details of the entire day are a bit hazy, but I vividly remember that evening. And a rebellion in my closet. Literally.

My husband was taking me on a date to a high school musical.  I was mildly underwhelmed by the glamor of the destination, but still determined to look my best. Finally through my first trimester of my first pregnancy, I stood in the middle of my closet.

And smack in the middle of a perfect storm of hormones and nothing-fits-right.  As I flung aside yet another cute clingy wrap dress that was now wildly immodest, I wailed “And I’m thirty!”

In that moment, it sounded so much older than 29. I’m certain that I stomped my feet, clenched my fists, and shed more than a few flushed selfish tears before pulling it together. Then I sighed, grew up a teensy bit, and we went out.

I suppose I do wish I could have hugged my tantrum-having, newly-thirty, mom-to-be self and whispered: “Shhh. Shhh… Do you know you are on the brink of beautiful? Yes, it may get messy… but it will be magnificent.”

Almost five years later, I’m in awe of the lessons I’m still learning and the way life marches out. I never would have guessed that all those high school extra-curricular events would now figure so prominently (and happily) into our family life. I never would have guessed that pregnancy and birth could provide such body image healing. Or that the experience of mothering two girls would demand careful scrutiny or joyful rejection of so many beauty ideals.

I would have told myself “Yes, these next few years might age you a lot, but what you gain will be just so priceless.” I would’ve breathed a reminder that the truest self-discovery is the journey towards selflessness.

This is the confidence, the purpose, the something beautiful.

So today, as I look at my friend who is gorgeous inside and out, I know that she already embraces this life most full. She has learned lessons well beyond her years.

Although she ponders much and has ideas that keep her restless, she steps into her thirties with rare confidence and grace. She has a third little girl on the way to punctuate a third decade. She has countless joys, experiences, and memories already beautifully chronicled.

She dreams fearlessly, gives continuously, and loves with sheer abandon.

I, for one, can’t wait to see what thirties look like on you, Stephanie! The very happiest of birthdays to you, my friend.

Got thirty? How’s it treating you?


6 Responses to “that thing i wish i knew when i turned thirty…”

  1. […] as you’ve welcomed the ones that have come before it.  I hope that this post, as well as Dayna’s and Nicole’s bring a smile to your […]

  2. That was beautiful. Truly. You so succinctly wrapped up not only Stephanie herself but also, all that thirty encompasses. I loved the part–especially–about life marching out. It so does. And I agree that Miss Metropolitan Mama is probably not having a tantrum in her closet like you did, or just hiding in the closet wishing thirty would just go-away-already like I did, but I bet this post warms her heart. You said it so well, Dayna.

  3. Stephanie Says:

    I am humbled and honored by your compliments…and I am ever-grateful for your friendship.

    Thank you for being thoughtful-beautiful-creative YOU.

  4. mary126 Says:

    Hi! I got to your blog through Stephanie’s and found this post. I just had to comment b/c I, too, had just finished the first trimester of my first pregnancy on my thirtieth birthday and I’m 35 now, so I guess we’re on the same timeline. ( I have 2 boys now.) I loved your line about how the next few years might “age” you a lot but you’d also gain so much, that is precisely how I feel. I do think the past few years have aged me (a lot!) but I have learned more and grown more than I ever thought possible!

    It’s just so funny how I was simply killing a little time on my computer and found such an insightful post, written by someone I’ve never met that lives on the other side of the country, and yet I found so many things in common! Gotta love the blogosphere!

    thanks! Mary

    • dayna Says:

      Oh Mary! Thank you so very much for coming by and even more for commenting! Your kind words brought a huge smile and (i’m not gonna lie) a few happy humbled tears:)

      I love that we are on the same “timeline”! It has been a really great one for our family and I agree whole-heartedly that the joys have been worth every challenge. I also love how both aging and motherhood are such uniquely personal experiences, yet so uniting at the same time.

      The blogosphere has a true connecting magic and timing and all its own, doesn’t it?! Sending you a cyber-hug:) Dayna P.S. Leave me a link if you have your own blog. I’d love to see our timeline in boy-land…

  5. […] as you’ve welcomed the ones that have come before it.  I hope that this post, as well as Dayna’s, will bring a smile to your […]

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s