One year ago today, before I even closed the book on my first day as a 33-year-old, I was already looking ahead to turning 34. This is what I wrote: I can’t stop thinking that next birthday will be so much different. Yes, turning 34 isn’t a “sexy” number so to speak, but it will be the first birthday that I will have TWO children helping me celebrate it.
It wasn’t just the two children thing that made today different.
When blowing out the candles on last year’s cake, the thought of making a wish that would find me soaking up a gorgeous northwest October evening surrounded by my wife, two kids, my parents, my siblings, and their families never crossed my mind. If it had, I would have dismissed it as impossible and not wasted my wish on it.
But life happens and things become, well, different. Working at Washington State University, living near my parents/siblings, and being a father of two are all blessings I didn’t have when I turned 33 but I have now as I turn 34.
Of course I have to take the good with the bad. The term “COVID birthday” wasn’t in our lexicon a year ago. Remind me, what did I say turning 34 would be like? Oh yeah…So. Much. Different.
Although life as a new 34-year-old is waaaaaay different than life as a new 33-year-old, my attitude about inching deeper into my 30s is still the same—I’m not sweating it. There was a time in my late 20s when I felt anxiety about getting older but that sentiment has been replaced with contentment. There is no need to be anything but happy when you have a loving family, strong faith, and rewarding career—no matter how many trips around the sun you have taken.
There is also no need to be anything but happy when you get to eat pizza. The whole family came over to our house tonight for a celebration. I was 18 the last time I spent a birthday in Spokane so you better believe I savored every moment of this evening’s festivities.
As I spend my last year in the coveted 18-34 age demographic, I do have a wish that I hope comes to fruition before my next birthday: that our world is back to normal and an effective vaccine is widely available. That would be the best “35” birthday present of all. Don’t Blink.