Pontification on 34

Wednesday, 17 July 2013
I haven't had much time to reflect on another birthday so here goes:

I'm 34 now and it doesn't feel any different from 33 (I'm sure you know exactly what I mean). However, I like being in my 30s much more than being in my 20s. There are several reasons why.

Some people believe that as we age, we tend to "let ourselves go" a bit. I find that to be true for me but not in a negative way. Yes, I have gained a few pounds. Body changes can be due to hormonal and metabolism changes but I'm adjusting and confronting that (next month begins a detox/yoga/meditation program that includes no alcohol and no meat for three months). By the way, is it such a tragedy to go up a size? Society says yes but I'm not so sure...

The positive aspect of "letting ourselves go" has to do with being less concerned about appearance. I used to be a very high maintenance lady (at least an hour to get ready). Now I spend less time looking in the mirror and more time doing the things that I love: reading, writing, researching, gardening, and cooking.

There is truly a freedom in caring less about what others think and caring more about what makes you happy. Do you agree?

As I age, I'm also less critical of others and I expect less from others. This could also be considered a negative by some but I think this change reflects increasing patience and a more laid-back approach to life. I find that when I'm less bothered by the small things, I'm more healthy and I give off a positive vibe to those around me. I'm still working on this but being more relaxed has been such a positive change in my 30s. It is exhausting to sweat the small stuff.

Our goals also change as we age. In my 20s my only goal was to climb the career ladder and do everything in my power to be considered a successful journalist. Did that make me happy? Not necessarily but I felt it was important to build a certain image and impress others. Now, my goal is to examine what it means for me to be happy and pursue it. There are things that I want in life that I'm just now realizing and that's exciting to me.

I dream of having a house on the water (a creek is just fine) that is private for writing, reading and birdwatching. The house doesn't have to be spectacular or brand new it just needs to have enough sunshine to grow things. I want space for a garden and animals and maybe even children. People there will be free to walk through the lawn barefoot if they want to and criticism will come only from the cats - they always want more treats. This is where I'll continue writing and researching and I hope to have an organized space that encourages me to do so. So far, 34 feels good. Does it get even better in our 40s?

4 comments

Scott Eldredge said...

I completely understand absolutely everything about this post. You discovered all this about 10 years before I did. Is it better in my forties? I think it is...because I've come to some of the same conclusions that you have at 34. It just took me longer. I do think that I have a confidence now about my abilities and who I am that I didn't have 10 years ago. I have found that the dreams and goals I have now feel different than the ones I had in the past. They feel more...true to me...if that makes any sense....

Will Elliott said...

Thank you for these reflective thoughts... There's a bit of wisdom here, and I appreciate the opportunity to chew on it a bit.

SQRT said...

I totally agree with Scott. Aging is like a fine wine, but a process. I think of it as growth through experience.

We don't really 'let ourselves go', but become comfortable in our own skin. And learn how to quickly look good in it!

We understand better the who, what, why, how, when, and where we will encounter hurt or pain. So we adapt and avoid it, taking control of our own situations. This liberation allows us to embrace our joys in life.

Goals are more easily accomplished because we have faced mighty challenges, conquered some and skated past others. These experiences give us strength and wisdom to help us start making dreams come true...

We are beginning to understand and more so, believe in who, what, where, when, why, and how we were, are, and want to be.

I hope I get better with age, cause if I don't, I'm not learning or growing. So far, it's been great! Check back in a few years...may be singing a different tune. :)

Denae said...

These comments are insightful and real. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I've learned from all of you!