I originally wrote the following almost 4 years ago, the day after my 30th birthday. It is currently part of a scrapbook page I was looking at the other day and I realized the topic went perfectly with Scribbit's Write-Away contest for this month, which I have always intended to enter but never seem to get it together enough to actually write something. So, I'm posting it here to enter the contest, for all of you to enjoy, and also for me to remember the way I felt that day.
August 14, 2004
Yesterday was Friday the 13th. Very appropriate as it was also my birthday...the one that I've been dreading for months...the big 3-0. It seems silly now that I put so much energy into fretting about it because it turned out to be a rather nice day. And today, the day after, I can't say my life has changed in any sort of dramatic fashion like I somehow envisioned it might. Still, it seems as if I have lost something by leaving my twenties behind. youthful innocence, pehaps? Maybe the feeling of immortality? Mostly though, I feel as if I have shut the door on a portion of my life that was filled with opportunity. Opportunity for growth, opportunity for adventure, and opportunity for forging my future. Many of the dreams I had, big and small, were attained in this last decade. I wanted to grow up and become a responsible adult, graduate from college, get married, have a family. Some of the things I did took me by surprise, but certainly helped to form the Lara of today--things like serving a mission, graduating with a degree in music (not theater as I had originally planned), and having a husband who keeps going to school after earning two degrees. Regardless of whether I planned for these things or not, they are some of the biggest decisions I will have ever made....what I did in my twenties will set the tone for the rest of my life.
As I went through the actions of life today, they weren't any different than they might have been last week when I was still 29. We had a slow morning, which is normal for us on a Saturday. I managed to get a load of laundry in, get the girls ready, and do a couple of other minor chores before we rushed out the door to Target. I had to buy two wedding gifts, two baby gifts and a new pair of sandals for Chloe to fit her ever-growing feet. It was already 11:00 and Joel had a meeting at noon, so he ended up leaving me at the store, buying presents to celebrate the milestones of other people...people still in their twenties. After spending way too long in Target and finding no sandals, we walked over to Payless for Chloe's shoes and then waited outside for Joel to pick us up and take us to the wedding reception of my 20-year old cousin. We arrived at 1:30--late, just as they were cleaning up--but Sarah was still there in her wedding gown, looking radiant as every bride should. Bria was enthralled: "Where are your flowers?", "Where is your boy?" (Bria-speak for husband), "Are you married in the temple today?"
It was then that it hit me. My twenties may be over, but the next twenty years will bring me a whole new series of milestones--those of my children. And my role in those milestones? To teach, guide and cheer them on as they walk the path towards their own future-forging twenties. With this new mindset, I know I have much to look forward to, even if it includes the mundane motions of this afternoon (picking up endless toys, doing piles of dishes and laundry, vacuuming and dealing with temper tantrums), because it also includes the memorable moments of today (eating at Wendy's, bathtime, reading to my children and savoring each new milestone with my family).
The most important purchase I made today was not a gift for someone just starting out, but Chloe's new pair of sandals. Why? Because they will remind me that my children are always growing and that they are constantly walking (too often running) toward their futures--and I have MUCH to do to lead their way.