Why 31 is Way Better Than 21

Today is my 31st birthday and I am pretty stoked. 30 has been an exciting year and I am looking forward to seeing what 31 has in store. Because I am so excited for my 31st year of life I thought I would share with you all why I think 31 is WAY better than 21*;

1. 31 isn’t 29 or 30– At 21 30 seemed so far away, and so old. But before I knew it I was my mid 20’s, than my late 20’s. When I turned 29 I was so sad that I was in my last ’20’ year. The final few months was like slowly ripping off a bandaid. Each day that ticket away I felt myself age. And the turning 30 jokes were relentless. But now that is all over. I am not 21 looking at 30 with fear and dread in my eyes. I am not 29 mourning the closing of a decade. And even better I am not 30 being teased for I guess not dying at 29. I am free, I am 31!

2. My Hair–  It is all pretty much still here!!!!! If you don’t have a bald uncle then you don’t know the stress of potential hair loss. Since I was 21 I have be constantly checking my hair, scouring for thinness, and bald spots. When I was 25 and getting ready for my wedding I was pretty much obsessed with my hairline and hair thickness. I was so paranoid I bought special shampoos, creams, and sprays all promising flowing locks forever. I was so afraid I would be bald by 30, and guess what I’M NOT!!! Also I think the touch of grey developing around my temples adds a touch of distinction.

3. Staying In–  I was not a big partier at 21. I went out a few times each month mostly to say that I did. I much prefered getting together with a handful of friends to enjoy a good conversation and maybe a little to drink. As a 21 year old single university student that was the definition of being lame. As a 31 year old married dad that’s pretty much the definition of a party with friends.

4. Going To Bed Early– At 21 I stayed up late. Most of the time I wanted too, but a lot of the time I felt I had too. ‘Who goes to bed before 1am?’ I would think to myself no matter how tired I felt. It didn’t matter to me if staying up late meant I was mostly useless the next day, I HAD TO STAY UP. Over the past few weeks I have gone to bed by 9:30pm five times and I felt great doing it each time.

5. Cartoons- Did you know that people really frown on 21 year old males watching a lot of cartoons? It makes people uncomfortable. Trying to see kids movies in the theater raised some eyebrows. BUT now I have kids who are the right age so no one questions my presence at the latest Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks movies anymore.

6. Exercise– I joined and quit the gym so many times from 21-29. I hated the gym. I wanted to build an attractive build to impress girls quickly and that never happened. Ever. Now at 31 I am concerned with my long term health and fitness. I don’t need to see major results in four weeks. I just need to get some exercise. As it turns out as a motivator that works much better for me.

7. Vegetables, Coffee, Wine– At 21 I could only eat vegetables hidden in stews, drink coffee slathered in cream and sugar, and drink white wine mixed with 7-Up. My taste buds have changed in such a way that I can none enjoy steamed vegetables, black coffee, and dry red wine. I feel so grown up.

8. Working With Teens– When I first started working with teens at 23 I was only 8 years older than most of my youth group. That is close enough in age that you kind of want to pretend you still a teenager, but too old to fool them. At 31 why pretend at all? I am a married guy with kids and grey hair, I am not fooling anyone. And yet I have connected way better with the teens in my youth group over the past year that I did with the last group over the entire 5 years I was with them. I am not trying to be ‘one of them’ I am trying to be a helpful adult in their life. I am better at that.

That is just a small sample of a much longer list. In short life didn’t end at 30, if anything it has kept getting better. So much better that I can now proudly say 31 is way better than 21.

birthday

Aren’t I Adorable

*Ok so the whole 21 thing is really for the US. In my Province at 19 I could buy lotto tickets, alcohol, cigarettes, go to bars etc. Nothing significantly changed for me when I turned 21.    

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6 thoughts on “Why 31 is Way Better Than 21

  1. You remind me of a younger me. I’m at that next awkward age; 39. Sometimes I dread turning 40 but seeing I’m fit, active and can chase the kids around I’m not feeling 39 so I doubt I will feel 40 come next April.

    I particularly loved your bit about vegetables, coffee and wine. I ate a bowl of stewed vegetables for lunch today, I used to have cream and 2-3 sugars in my coffee but now I am no sugar and a skim milk (although I am going to consider going black because my wife thinks milk should be the next love of my life to banish), and I love red wine.

    Happy birthday mate. And may God have mercy on yout hairline.

  2. Happy Belated Birthday!
    I can totally relate – especially the part about staying up late (why is it considered cool to tell people you barely got any sleep because you stayed up so late, like it’s some superpower?).
    Oh, 37 is better than 31. Trust me from where I’m sitting. 🙂

  3. I agree with all of your reasons…though I’ve had more medical anomalies since turning 35! Like my Grampy always said, “youth is wasted on the young”…I believe it because we gain so much valuable wisdom and appreciation of life after kids and with age. I only regret not having more time with this knowledge!

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