Thursday, July 7, 2011

As I Close Out My Fourth (a look back through the decades)

Next Tuesday, July 19th, I will turn 39.

The last year of my thirties.

It doesn't scare me, but I'm certainly in a reflective mode. It makes me think about each of the decades I've lived through so far...

Ages 0-9.
As the famous line goes "Everything I need to know, I learned in Kindergarten." True, to a point. All the major necessities were covered. We're born...check. Learn to sit, stand, walk....check. check. check. Get the talking thing down... Heck, we even learned to read and write. Loads of learning. Well done!

10 - 19.
A rough ten years. Pre-teen to teen, to college student all in such a short span. No wonder it's so fraught with angst and confusion.
Let's see if my second decade sounds anything like yours ... from 10 to 19, I learned...a different set of skills. How to talk back, wear makeup, not burn myself on a curling iron, empty a can of Aqua Net on just my bangs. All checks. I started and graduated highschool, went on my first date, had my first "serious" relationship. I don't know if I learned as much during these years as I tried, tested, pushed, ignored and fought against. Yep, that sounds more like it.

20 - 29.
Major changes here. The first and biggest being the coveted "legal drinking age." Maybe that's why the first couple years in this decade is a little hazy... I do recall moving into my first apartment. For many, this decade saw a college degree, maybe two. First "real, grown up" jobs, engagements, weddings, pregnancy, babies, and first homes. This 10-year span for me held great joy (becoming a mom), missed opportunities (travel), both bad (dropping out of college) and good (going back to college) decisions. This was a decade for learning how to be a "grown up," a wife, a mother, a home owner. This is when I learned to take care of others. To put others first. And to put myself last.

30 - 39.
This has been a decade of discovery. This was when I learned about me. My passions, my dreams, my hopes, what is most important. It has also held some very difficult years. Years that I'm grateful for nonetheless, because they shaped who I am today. If we could go back carrying all the knowledge we've gathered over time...wouldn't that make things so much easier? But really, who wants to do it over again? Not I. I'm thrilled to have gotten through it, and excited about what's to come. I refuse to think about the fact that my life may very well be half over (or worse). I have dreams! Big dreams! Promises I've made to myself. I've had my work published - seven times so far! And I'm finally working on that novel I've always wanted to write.

But I digress, I'm going to enjoy this last year of my thirties. And realize that every year has brought me closer to the best years of my life. I truly believe they are still in front of me.

What's your favorite decade so far (and why)?


  1. Beth, my life didn't even begin until I turned forty. That is not a cliche`. You will discover so many things about YOU. Happy birthday. HUGS

  2. Beth--I thought my 40's were great, but things have really been happening in my 50's, so I think this will be the best decade yet (so far; I'm leaving room for my 60's to be even better). There is a wisdom, an acceptance, a honing of the sifting-through-the-silt-to-find-what's-important ability...all that came to me in my 40's. So embrace 39...and look forward even more to 40.

  3. Each decade of my life has been a learning experience. Some were filled with pain and sadness, some with incredible joy and laughter. I have achieved some of my dreams, and, at 65, I have every intention of making the rest of them come true! My 60's have been far. Our dreams keep us alive to the world and the people around us. Keep on dreaming and are an amazing woman and I am proud and privileged to be one of two people in the world who can call you daughter:)

  4. Linda, Thanks for the birthday wishes! You've said this to me before - and I believe you!

    Sioux, love hearing from those a decade ahead of me that it just keeps getting better... I will now check out your blog and follow!

    Mom, thank you!