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.
*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.