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Monday, June 8th, 2009

A Decade in Review

Today is my last day as a twenty-something-year-old. I've wasted the better part of the past year trying to dig in my heels and slow the arrival of this birthday but for some reason the calendar ignored my tantrums. Maybe that's payback for the impatience of my teenage years, when I couldn't grow up fast enough.

Trying to fight time is akin to tilting at windmills and besides, surviving another spin around the sun beats the alternative. Still, while only a day separates being 29 and being 30, the psychological distance between the two is an abyss. A birthday divisible by 10 inevitably inspires taking stock of one's life. For purposes of laziness the third decade of my life can be summed up by the following data:

# of husbands at age 20: 0
# of husbands at age 30: 1

# of cats at age 20: 0
# of cats at age 30: 4*

# of former churches owned at age 20: 0
# of former churches owned at age 30: 1

# of alien abductions at age 20: 2
# of alien abductions at age 30: 6**

*not by choice
** mostly by choice

Andrew threw me a surprise party on Saturday. Many people gave up a chunk of their weekend and drove a number of miles through the fruited plains to be there. At the risk of turning this into a Hallmark blog, I have to say I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the effort that everyone put into it. I had a real drop-to-your-knees-and-count-your blessings moment. And that's the real story of my last ten years: the unquantifiable strengthening of relationships - with God, family, and friends - and the cultivation of new ones.

During my 20s my brothers got married and our family grew. Many cousins got married and our family grew. Some had children and our family grew. That guy I met online who lied about his height became my boyfriend and later my husband, and I gained a whole new family. Classmates became acquaintances who became lifelong friends.

There were also heartbreaking losses during my 20s, namely my grandma and more recently my cousin Brian. Their absences are an everlasting presence. Time can only soften the sharpest edges of grief. It's a stark reminder that tomorrow is not promised to any of us, but it's also a call to action to appreciate every day that we do have and be grateful for those we care about. So rather than bemoan turning the big 3-0, or regretting the time that I spent regretting it, I say bring it on. I've got my cane ready to shake at neighborhood kids who walk on my lawn.


32 Comments
Much like talking to Iran, I need no pre-conditions to say your the hottest 30 year old I've ever been married to.

Also I checked, and Alien Abductions are covered by our insurance as long as the aliens are in Blue Cross's Probe Provider Network.
EyePulp   Monday, June 8, 2009
nheinzel
On your birthday thirty years ago tomorrow Dad and I were given a marvelous gift - a beautiful, bright, witty, compassionate, thoughtful little girl who has bloomed into a beautiful, bright, witty, compassionate, thoughtful woman. How blessed we have been to have you in our lives. You have brought us so much joy and happiness and a wonderful son-in-law and four adorable grandkitties. Thank you for being you. We wish you a very happy birthday and the best year ever. Once you get over the shock of the 3-0, I think you will really enjoy your 30's. I love you.
!   Monday, June 8, 2009
lgrant
Sounds like the 30s will only get better. Happy last day of 20s!!
LGrant   Monday, June 8, 2009
spike
Happy Birthday Sally! I wish we could share a toast with some of the Highland Gaelic the Deaton's turned you on to. Live, Love, Listen, and Laugh!
Spike   Monday, June 8, 2009
_DELETED_soundchick
Ha ha, you're going to be old like us now! Party like a rock star! I know I did on my 30th.
soundchick   Monday, June 8, 2009
What a beautiful blog, Sally!
I agree with all the adjectives your mom used to describe the outstanding young woman you have become!! It is such a joy to be your "AJ" and I am so excited we will be spending some quality time together in just a few days!!!!
And as I know you are aware, Brian loved spending time with the cousins and loved and respected you so much. If he could, I know that he would be sending birthday wishes to you as turn the big 3-0!!!
Much love and Happy Birthday to YOU!
Love,
AJ
AJ   Monday, June 8, 2009
hawkwolf
I wish that I could write a blog, so beautiful.
BeanCounter37   Monday, June 8, 2009
stevenheinzel
I agree with mom about the "beautiful, bright, witty, compassionate, thoughtful woman." You have indeed brought us a lot of joy. We are extremely proud of you for what you have done and accomplished in your first 30 years (well, actually only 29 years, 364 days). I think you will find the 30s to be very enjoyable.
Looking forward to sailing out of New York with you. This will be a great trip!
Love you, Dad
stheinz   Monday, June 8, 2009
GoodNews
Happy Birthday Sally!!
Good News   Monday, June 8, 2009
Happy Birthday Sally! Such a great blog! Welcome to Thirtysomethingdom. It's really not so bad....I still got carded buying a bottle of wine today - it was awesome! Life goes on :)
Hope you have a great day!
And thanks so much for the card. You are so thoughtful.
Alison
Alison   Monday, June 8, 2009
SallyPants
Thank you all for the nice words and good wishes - truly means a lot to me.

I'm going to spend the final hours of my 20s doing laundry. Seems pretty fitting.
SallyPants   Monday, June 8, 2009
dennydeaton
I've been lurking you blog all day Sally. Waiting until everyone else had left there mark so that I could leave the most profound and long-winded statement of all. Unfortunately, I lost the long-winded statement that I wrote down at lunch on a set of napkins. I walked out of Wendy's and away the napkin(s) blew into the wind. I chased them down the street, at times risking my life in oncoming traffic, in hopes of recapturing the irreplaceable sentiment once again. I was at a loss as they blew into a small river and floated down stream into a forest of trees. I ran after it, potentially ruining my slacks, and got waist high in the river. At that point, I realized that you would understand and the effort I had put into the birthday wish would be appreciated regardless of if I actually possessed it or not. With that said, I don't remember what I wrote on the napkin(s) but it was really sweet and nice. It was some of the best stuff I've every written. It was genuine and from the heart for sure.

In summary it said, Happy 30th Birthday! Remember, there are two types of people in this world. Those who like Neil Diamond and those who don't.
Denny Deaton   Monday, June 8, 2009
SallyPants
So...is the check in the mail or not?
SallyPants   Monday, June 8, 2009
dennydeaton
Your Diamond tix are in the mail.
Denny Deaton   Monday, June 8, 2009
SallyPants
Dang yo :(
SallyPants   Monday, June 8, 2009
lgrant
Denny, sounds like a video I recently viewed. Did Dave follow you around with a Mac notebook?
LGrant   Monday, June 8, 2009
daveheinzel
When I turned 30, I realized that it was way worse being 29. You spend a whole year dreading the day, but when it comes it's a relief. Hope you find yourself well-adjusted and ready for the next 9 years. I'm sure 39 will be much worse.
Dave Heinzel   Monday, June 8, 2009
RickMonday
Just think, in 5 more years you can run for President!
RickMonday   Monday, June 8, 2009
Ames
What a great blog. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Happy Birthday Sally!
Ames   Monday, June 8, 2009
Today is your REAL birthday so I wanted to say an official "Happy Birthday, Sally" right here on your Humzoo website!!!!
Lots of love to you and have fun today!!
Can't wait to see you tomorrow!!!
Happy Birthday!!
AJ
AJ   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
stevenheinzel
Happy Birthday, Sally. See you tomorrow in Richmond!!
stheinz   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
_DELETED_carriepassante
Happy Birthday Sally!!!
Carrie   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Joe
Happy Birthday, Sally!
Joe   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
lgrant
I'm with AJ! Happy Official 30th Birthday, Sally! Hope it is a fun one!!
LGrant   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
SarahS
Happy Birthday!
Snelly   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
nheinzel
Sally, this might help a little bit. Your official birth time was around 6:30 pm so actually you're still 29 for several more hours!! Happy Birthday to my favorite daughter!! Can't wait to see you tomorrow in Richmond!! I love you.
!   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
SallyPants
Woohoo! I'm still 29!

Thank you all for wishing this old woman happy birthday.
SallyPants   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
daveheinzel
Better count your blessings. Probably within the next 5 years you'll need a pair of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0
Dave Heinzel   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
SallyPants
God help me, I sat there and watched the whole thing.

Sorry I "missed" your call Dave. In other news, caller ID is a wonderful invention. J/k, thanks for the call.
SallyPants   Tuesday, June 9, 2009
ppike
Beautiful blog, Sally. I am right there with you re: loss and how it effects the way I approach life -- and the deep appreciation I have for the beautiful, loving people who fill my life. Gratitude has proven to be the most fulfilling emotion I have ever experienced. Just by sending it out there, I receive more.

Bless you, dear, sweet niece. Happy 30.
pegi   Wednesday, June 10, 2009
nikideaton
Happy Birthday! 30 is way better than 29. You don't feel older, but rather empowered...
niki   Wednesday, June 10, 2009
_DELETED_BigDog
Look at it this way, you'll always be younger than me.

Happy birthday!
BigDog   Friday, June 12, 2009
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