Today would’ve been my husband’s 30th birthday and against his wishes I would’ve had him a party. (He wasn’t a big fan of birthdays or birthday parties but I would’ve done it regardless.) Because a man like him deserved a celebration and because this time last year he was a co-conspirator in helping make my 30th birthday special with a surprise party.
Thirty is such an odd age and maybe I just say that because I’ve spent the last 364 days as a thirty year old. Thirty is one of those numbers that really starts to wig people out. I hear it all the time…it’s my second, third, or tenth 29th birthday. I don’t understand why thirty is such a hard age for so many people but I know it is. Maybe it’s because we always thought by thirty we’d have it together. We’d be well on our way to being whomever it was we dreamed of being as kids and we’d be settled down or living our dreams whatever they may be.
But do we ever really have it together? Do we ever truly get to a point where we have our life together? All the pieces in place? All goals marked off the list?
If you do, well then what are you living for now? Truth is I don’t think we ever truly get to the point where everything is as it should be or at least how we’ve planned it in our head. If thirty taught me anything it was that life never turns out how you’ve planned…sometimes it might come close but never does it fit into nice neat checkboxes where all our dreams, wishes, and plans come to fruition at the perfect expected moment.
What’s the purpose of this post? Where I am going with this? You ask. The real reason I sat down to type this is because I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I’ve made and I want to celebrate the life of the man who will forever own my heart…whether he’s breathing next to me in the flesh or in spirit.
Life…we get so wrapped up in the day to day we forget to stop and take a look around and realize we’re living. Life is all about the journey. “Traveling” is where we spend most of our time. So, while planning and goals are great (and they are necessities for moving forward, upward, and onward) they aren’t the game itself they’re the finish line.
I ask of you a few things…enjoy the ride, love, hug and cherish those around you. Take the time to see people, to visit with friends, to laugh with family. Make it a point to at least spend one day a week doing something other than running from dance practice to work, from class to the gym. MAKE it a priority. You’ll never regret those times spent with your loved ones. I promise. You never realize how many memories you have until your loved one is gone—and no matter how bittersweet those memories are sometimes they are the only thing that will help you through.
And secondly, embrace your number! What does that mean exactly? I can’t tell you how many times people say oh it’s my 29th birthday when we know it’s not. We’ve all heard it if we haven’t said it ourselves. Knowing my husband will never age more than 29, hearing that phrase hits me hard and heavy every time I hear it. Why are we so afraid to be proud of our age? Surviving another year is a blessing. Always remember that. Things might not be the way you expected them, life might not feel the happiest, but embrace your number! Be proud of your age. Not everyone makes it 30, 40, 50, and so on. So, be proud and be grateful. I say this not only for you but for myself.
Tomorrow I’ll be 31 an age my husband will never reach and there’s so much heartache in knowing that. I don’t want to celebrate it (and I usually love birthdays.) I’d prefer to not acknowledge it, but I will. Because for whatever reason I’m here and while 31 looks nothing like I hoped it would it’s still a blessing, because life is a gift even if sometimes we’d rather exchange it or return it for a new one…it’s still a gift.
For every year you’ve lived—you’ve been blessed. Don’t dismiss it. Don’t be ashamed of it. So, you’ve got a few wrinkles or your hairline is receding. Or you just aren’t at the place you’d thought you’d be in your life by now. Smile. Stand tall. Be grateful. Embrace your number. You never know which birthday will be your last—so make each one special.
Finally, to my husband in heaven, happy birthday! I’ll keep celebrating my years on earth until it’s time for us to celebrate together on the other side. <3