I was certain once I hit 30 years of age I would be content.
Happy with life.
Life equals good equals no more looking for the outside to fulfill the inside.
I was certain that would be the case.
I was wrong.
I am about to hit 40 in a year. So, I guess “about to” is a bit exaggerated.
Anyhow. 40 is around my corner. A few miles off (or kilometers, depending on which side of the world you are reading this) and I have come to the beautiful conclusion that age does not bring about contentment.
Attitude most certainly does.
We continue to live in a rented home and I don’t have the Jeep that I really, really want.
My belly remains squishier than I desire. My bank account smaller.
My bedroom doesn’t have a closet, and I really only fit in one pair of jeans. Unless maternity jeans count.
And as I look at everything around me, I am just so plain content it’s crazy.
When I was younger, I was certain that life would begin at 16. That is until I turned 16 and realized that life began at 18. But then I turned 18 and realized life didn’t really begin until 21. 21 came and I was certain that adulthood began at 22, along with the disappearance of my acne. Both didn’t occur. Well, I guess I grew up a little, you know, getting a professional job and all…
But 22 came, and that is when I was 100% without a doubt certain 25 must be the age of magical, grown-up, beginning. And, even though I was married and now living in a foreign country at 25, 25 just didn’t seem to be that age. 30…Finally with a baby in our life. Nope.
But as I near 40…what many call “Over the Hill”…I smile.
And I look back 38 years and see.
I see the little girl that had a muddy, sand-filled, boy-chasing, big-mouthed childhood. And I love looking there.
I look back to the awkward teenager, too skinny, with braces and absolutely horrendous hair. Still a big mouth. Rather athletically talented. And I love looking there.
I look back to the young adult, still too skinny, sinking grades, tumor at the base of her brain, and dating a guy she might just possibly marry. I look back to that girl that bought her first car with the help of her parents and the one that moved away and back home again. I look back to those young adult years and I love looking there.
And then I look at my married years. Exciting. Fun. Adventurous. Hard. Compromise? Say what!? Different country. Poor as a church mouse. No car. Cold. Walking everywhere. Different. And I love looking there.
30 came. Ah beautiful 30. I loved turning 30. With 30 my body changed. I finally graduated out of the child-size clothes. I birthed a baby. I matured emotionally. And I love looking there.
And the rest of my 30s have gone by with so much trouble and heartbreak and success and excitement, it’s unbelievable how much less than a decade can cover. And I look at it all. The sadness and gladness. The senseless and the secure. And I realize I am different because of them all. And I smile.
Even though I always thought that there was a magical age when contentment came and life changed, I learned I was wrong. Age has nothing to do with any of it. Attitude does. That is what I was missing over the last 38 years. The attitude of contentment.
I love my children’s hand-me-down clothes. I love our rented house. I love our 3 dogs—one being a ridiculously ugly farm mutt. I love our small rooms and no closeted house. I must admit, I am not in love with my stove nor stove fan (contentment is still obviously a work in progress in some areas, apparently 😉 ).
I love my husband and his graying hair and his endless wit.
I love my daughter despite her idiosyncrasies in being a child of 2 cultures and not much at all like her momma.
I love my son and all of his health issues and all of the money he costs us just to merely maintain his little lungs.
And I love my daughter, my youngest, that came in way too heavy, where I was cut open, and her cheeks that literally melted off of her little face. The girl that smiles and wrinkles her nose.
Contentment. It’s definitely not an age. It is not an item.
Contentment. It’s an attitude.
And I am glad that I finally got it right.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.