I was talking with the girls tonight at the dojo. It came up that my birthday is coming up in the next couple of weeks and we were discussing how it sucks to get older. And, in many ways it does. The body starts aching where it felt just fine the year before. It isn't quite as easy to get up out of bed in the morning, it takes a while to get all the joints moving again. That pound you put on a few years ago just seems to hang on without going away. You know, stuff like that.
Yet it occurred to me tonight, that although I am going to be 36 in just a few short weeks, the number doesn't bother me so much. My mother-in-law told me that my thirties would be the best years of my life. And so far she is absolutely right. To be younger would only mean that I would have to give my time back. I'm not giving any of my 30's back, they have been the best. I don't want to give back my 24th year, that was the year Amy was born. I don't want to lose my 27th year, that's the year Abby was born. If I gave back my 23rd or 24th year, I would have missed out on building a house and getting married. So many things too great to give up!
Not to say that I wouldn't be happy to give back a few days now and then. Like the day my husband (he was my boyfriend at the time) wrecked my cute little MR2. I'd like to give back the days I spent with my sick grandmother in the hospital. And it would be okay with me if someone took back the day that my dad was hurt in a terrible accident. But even those days shape us into the people we turn out to be.
I am not looking at my age anymore as just a number. It is a compilation of years and memories and events that changed me in one way or another. And so this year I celebrate my birthday and have no problem saying that I am 36! After all, I earned them!