Happy Birthday
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Today, I’m 33. (I think. Does anyone else constantly forget how old you are? There are too many things filling up my brain.) (This forgetfulness may also be a clue that I’m in my thirties.)

However old I am, I’m pretty sure today is still my birthday, and it’s something I care less and less about every year. Maybe I’ll care someday. Maybe 35 will be a birthday of reckoning. Maybe 40 is where I’ll finally crack. (I hope not.)

My thirty-third year brought around a new theme in my life, and it seems to be whispering about life stage and the mark of years I’ve worn into these soles.

Like, I can’t wear contacts anymore for longer than 2 hours because my eyes are dry. Drier than they’ve been for the past 20 years, I guess, during which I’ve worn contacts all day, every day. (The optometrist said, “Honey, you’re still young, but lemme tell you: After 30, EVERYthing starts drying out.” That was the hardest I’ve laughed at the eye doctor ever.)

Or, I’ve met a few kindred spirits this year who have the audacity to be younger than me.

My metabolism is perhaps maybe slightly slowing down. (Ahem.)

And when we get together with our friends, sometimes we talk about how we can’t understand the youth these days.

And so starts a long line of clues that I’m in my thirties after all.

I am promising you, right here and now, that I’m going to love the hell out of the rest of this decade.

Instead of losing weight, I want to be healthy so I can live longer for my kids. Instead of striving to be a better wife, a better writer, a better human (what does better mean, anyway?), I want to open my eyes to the gifts right in front of me, say yes to my life as it is and the possibilities that I walk into (not force) tomorrow. I’m actually happy that age and experience seem to be helping me shed some insecurity, to let the angsty concerns of youth fall away. I’m standing up straighter, seeing more clearly. (Well, as long as I’m wearing my glasses, because contacts are clearly not happening anymore, and the same optometrist told me I shouldn’t get Lasik either because I’ll need bifocals in 7 years anyway. But still. Still.)

I don’t want better, faster, shinier, but I do want richer, fuller, closer. I want my ‘Jesus year’ (an idea perhaps even funnier than the optometrist was) to be fueled, marked and defined by love, love, love.

I want to love recklessly where I’ve been guarded before. I want to give until it’s painful and spend it all while I have the chance. I want to learn to love, to really see, those who don’t look or act or think like me, to see the face of God in people so different that it reveals more beauty than I thought was out there, takes me further outside myself into the wild beauty of the human family.

This year, I want to open my heart wider than ever, take in the achingly beautiful along with the weak and painful — to soak it up and spill it out until it all runs together in a gorgeous landscape, a beautiful tapstry, and I want to taste it, touch it, really see it all.

I’ll be sure to bring my glasses.



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9 comments on “Thirties

  1. Happy Birthday Kim! And may it indeed be the best year yet. Your post made me smile. And laugh. And feel like cheering you on while at the same time be inspired myself. Enjoy your special day!

  2. stacey says:

    I always forget how old I am.

    Happy Birthday, Kim. I hope you have a blessed day with that beautiful family of yours.

  3. Jules says:

    Well, even though you are some years younger than me, I find you inspiring and a mentor – so go get ’em today, woman, with glasses in hand – the kind to see and the kind to toast – and I toast to you!

  4. Happy birthday lovely! So glad I met you this year…both online and in person. You are a gift to me.

  5. Vanessa says:

    Happy birthday! Go and gobble life down with a spoon and a smile! It only gets better from here.

  6. Claire says:

    Kim! Super glad you were born! I feel your 33 pain and joy! Just the other day I was talking to someone about first jobs and I was like, “Oh, yeah I got my first job babysitting when I was 13….which was like…20 YEARS AGO!” I then I sobbed. Thirty-three is an awesome age, though. I think the big JC was around 33 years-old when he, you know, sacrificed himself for all of humankind.