Turning 13 or 16 or 18 or 21…or 30…or more…

Two weekends ago I turned 30.  My darling husband threw me quite the party, I went out dancing with friends after, and we started a major art project in our front yard.  Quite the perfect weekend, for me.

Since then, I have been ruminating on age and on these milestones.  I was talking with a dear friend who also turned 30 this year, and I asked her if she thought 30 had significance.  She said it only had the significance we gave it.  Which made me think, at first, that she did not give it any significance.  But when I asked, she said turning 30 did hold importance to her.  We got distracted at that point, and did not go into detail on how turning 30 had changed or influenced either of our approaches to life.

Because 30 does hold significance for me.  Just as 13, 16, 18, 21, and 25 all held significance for me.  I enjoy getting older, seeing what’s next in life.  Children and teenagers often relish getting older because they know what they are waiting for – permission to drive, smoke, vote, date, drink alcohol, high school, college, etc.  Adults often don’t have the same kinds of activities they are putting off until they are a certain age (retirement aside), and so we can loose the joy of aging and birthdays.  But the next year always does hold new things – perhaps not as obviously as driving or college, but interesting and important in their own right.

This year I am relishing being 30 – and 31 is looking pretty good from here too.  My children start planning next year’s birthday party as soon as this year’s is over.  I find myself doing the same thing – next year instead of inviting 100 people over to do a massive art project, I think I’ll do an intimate dinner with just a few very close friends.  It might still be followed by dancing, but only because I’m a sucker for dancing in the same way my oldest daughter is a sucker for pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.

Every day, regardless of your age, is just one single day.  And as the only day you have today, it is the most important day in your life whether you are 15 or 50.  Or even 37.  So enjoy it!

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.


  1. Wonderful post! Personally, I have enjoyed getting older. Each decade is easier than the last; growing older has many benefits: more wisdom, more perspective, better self-knowledge and awareness. Getting older is far too much maligned in our youth- and beauty-oriented culture.

  2. Happy birthday Dr. Rayne!

    I agree with Ruth – wonderful post. Too often people focus on the perceived negatives of growing older because they forget that year ahead could hold great adventure if they want it to. Thank you for the wonderful reminder to embrace the joy of living every day.

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