Achieving Dirty Thirty

At first, every birthday that we have is a joyous celebration of finally getting older. Yet, as we grow, more and more women dread their birthday and the new, ahem, higher number that comes along with it. That number means something different to everyone, but if we all look at it as a way to appreciate what we have in our lives up until that point, we can once again find happiness in living through another year and, yes, getting older.

By Justina Barone

The day of doom is finally here. I used to laugh at my girlfriends who wanted to stay in their pajamas all day, sit on the couch, and drown their birthday sorrows in a half gallon of Blue Bell. I couldn’t understand why anyone in their right mind would want to ignore the celebratory occasion of the day they entered the world. Then it hit me. Dirty Thirty. The big Three Zero. Dun Dun Dunnnn.

Achieving Dirty Thirty

Especially in light of recent announcements I have begun to think about what I have done since sliding down the birth canal 30 years ago to make my mark on this planet. What have I accomplished? What have I achieved?

The short list certainly was not what the seven-year old me dreamed of achieving. In her head I would have become the first bi-racial female president,  walked on the moon as  an astronaut, flew around the world as a pilot, and be recognized as an acclaimed litigation attorney  AND I would have achieved all of this after winning a gold medal at the Olympics, of course.

A grey cloud of despair fell over me as I pictured my 30-year old self telling my seven-year old self that I would not accomplish anything on her list. Sad face. Droopy shoulders. Head hanging in shame.

My presence on this planet is certainly not a national secret and just by going to work each day, I’m not making the world a safer place in the eyes of the global environment. Dirty Thirty should be called ‘The Horrendous Age Where You Realize All of Your Failures and Take Two Steps Closer to Your Mid-Life Crisis.’ De-Press-ing.

So, in order to prevent wasting my whole day watching the clock until it strikes 6:00 p.m. and to make sure that when I’m finally released from the daily grind I don’t dive head first into a bottle of birthday bubbly — I’ve decided to focus on what I do have.

I have hope — that my story of “survivorship” will save one life, or at least make the journey for a young woman diagnosed with breast cancer after me a little less scary.
I have love — in the support system of a fiancé, family, friends and many others who won’t allow me to focus on my shortcomings and may even adore me because of them.
I have faith — as the chosen Godmother, who is able to pass on so much to my Goddaughter and Godson.

We may not see or understand the big picture but as long as we focus on being genuine and good, the path will lead us where we need to be.

I have killer shoes, a crazy laugh, a fabulous rack, a membership to the hot sauce of the month club, a funny little puppy, a college education, all my teeth, a job, a home, and the ability to realize that although there may not be any stories of me in the history books, my story is just beginning.

Every day, you are achieving something. With every moment, action, word, gesture, thought and feeling, you exert influence on your world.

You are constantly achieving, so point those achievements in a joyous and meaningful direction. You achieve, so use those achievements to make your life the very best it can be.
~ Ralph Marston

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