Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life Begins at 30

I think that life begins at 30. 12 years ago I would have guessed that it began when I graduated high school. That once I had that diploma that I was an adult. I had most of the knowledge I would need to trudge through life. If I had only known what was in store for me when I walked across that stage in that hot gym on that Friday evening in May.

I had planned on college. I wanted at least my bachelor’s degree in accounting. Then I was going to become a CPA and auditor, in hopes that one day I could work for IRS as an auditor. Little did I know that God had other plans.

Instead I graduated high school, spent a year doing the college thing, met my husband, got married and begin a new chapter of my life at 20. I couldn’t even drink legally at our wedding. Neither could he. J I thought that was the beginning of my life.

I was moving up in the crop insurance industry, and I spent the next few years learning how to be married and working on a career. Then we decided we needed to add a chapter, or two and begin a family. Once again, God had different plans; plans that didn’t include adding a child to our team. But, it was another chapter.

It was titled moving on. We have spent the last 2 years trying to do that. Which is hard, especially when all your friends are having their first or second babies. I have two babies too, mine just bark and don’t provide me a tax deduction. They do suck money out of me at an incredible rate. I also have the benefits of missing the terrible two’s, and the teenage years. So I guess it’s an even trade.

This year, at age 29, I started another chapter of my life. College student. So I’m a little late, I never was into doing what everyone else was. My theory is, I was never normal 10 years ago, why start now? Finishing a college degree at 34 and beginning my career, isn’t what I had in mind at 18. But, it’s what I’m doing. Better late than never I guess. At least I’m not alone, my husband, who has never stepped foot on a college campus, except for an occasional football and baseball game, will be joining me. So at least I’m not alone. We may even start our own sorority/fraternity. We are thinking of calling it a Spouseority. He and I will be the only members, and I really can’t see any wild parties or hazing rituals gone wrong. But there is still hope for all of that, it’s only in the early planning stages.

So what purpose does this have? Other than to give me something to do at work? In a little over a month I’ll turn 30. According to my 8-year-old niece I’m ancient. I remember thinking that at 8 too. It was just last week.

My plans for my 30’ies have changed from 10 years ago. They have had to be adjusted around a bigger plan and a bigger picture. I can’t tell you what my plans are for the next 10 years. Neither can you. You don’t know what God, and life have in store for you. We could be divorced, widowed, have 5 kids. Be missing an arm, an ear, our minds. Sure, I know what I want to happen. But life doesn’t always work out that way. It’s constantly changing, moving, growing, shrinking. I could be just making the first turn, really getting ready to run, or I could be in the final lap. No one really knows.

What I know is this – In 4 weeks I’ll celebrate my 30th birthday. My life isn’t where I expected it to be. There have been a few detours, and wrong turns, and road construction. My car has been off road, on course, through tunnels where the light took a few miles to be seen, even flooded out. But each bump, hill, mountain and canyon has been ironed out, or a bridge build. I’m still out there driving around.

It’s a birthday that many dread. It’s the ending of a chapter and the beginning of another. You are no longer a child but a person with little credibility. You are no longer a college student. You are an adult and have responsibilities. I must have missed that memo.

There are so many possibilities for the next 10 years, so many plans, goals and dreams. Some will be reached, others traded in along the way, and some that we will still be chasing in another 10 years. Life doesn’t end at 30, or 40, or even 80. It ends when our time is up.

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
~ Abraham Lincoln

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