Getting older — hard or easy?

30 Aug

Tomorrow, Saturday August 31st, is my 30th birthday. I’ve had quite a few people ask how I’m doing with this reality and share that secretly they really struggled when they reached this “milestone” number.

It’s not that I don’t understand, but I just don’t have those same feelings. Honestly, I feel the opposite.

I’m relieved.

Josh and I were married young. In fact, we got married 3 weeks exactly before my 19th birthday. I had my first son at 21 1/2 and my fourth child when I was 27.

This wasn’t odd or surprising in the previous decades, but our generation seemed to decide to “wait” on everything and sow wild oats. Obviously, that isn’t a blanket statement that is true for everyone, but more than ever before there was this boom of staying single longer, living together unmarried, and waiting until your 30’s to have kids.

I remember on a number of different occasions being at church (which I think is what made it sting a little more) and talking about marriage, kids, work, life and one or more older women in a group saying “how old are you” upon which I answered 20 something, and they would laugh and jeer “oh, just you wait honey, you’re young, yada yada yada.”

It was painful to be treated that way. I knew in my heart they thought they might be paying a compliment. Because most people struggle with getting older, so to tell someone they’re so young or look so young is supposed to be a kind gesture.

But what I’d like to say to them then, and to anyone reading this now, is that a kind gesture is only kind when you’re not diminishing or dismissing someone.

I felt like I couldn’t put in my input, suggestions, ideas, thoughts, emotions, solutions, or even yes – wisdom, because I was being laughed off as “young, naïve, and not yet accomplished.”

Godly wisdom is not born with age. It’s born with maturity in Christ. Which is exactly why Paul told Timothy not to allow anyone to look down on him because he was young, but to be an example anyway. (I Timothy 4:12)

I’ve taken note of how that felt, and how actually immature in Christ it revealed them to be with this behavior, and have added to my “Book of things I never want to forget.”

((What is that? It’s a list of things I’m learning so when I’m older, I’ll remember them and do it differently.

What else goes in there?

Things like – serve in the nursery. It’s unfair to ask mom’s who need the break to do it when it costs so little for older women to take turns and give them a break.

And – go babysit every so often for your grandchildren, for free, at THEIR house so you can put the kids to bed and your kids don’t have to rush home or load up sleeping kids.

As well as, go visit young mom’s who stay home. It can be some of the loneliest days of your life having only interaction with children all day, every day and wishing someone was available to listen and laugh.))

Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to thirty since the day I got married. I don’t feel old. I don’t feel like I look old. I don’t have anxiety about aging. I’m madly in love with my husband and am experiencing a wonderful life with him. My children are reaching ages where it’s fun to take trips together and watch them grow into their abilities and personalities. And I know my Savior and am finding ways to witness and share Him with others.

Why is that so awful? Or anything to be sad over at thirty years old?

Practical Application –

Rejoice in all the successes that have happened in my first thirty years instead of being pessimistic and negative about “aging.”

**If you struggled with thirty, please know I say all of this tongue in cheek — because I might feel TOTALLY different when I’m turning Forty 🙂


12 Responses to “Getting older — hard or easy?”

  1. Jenn August 30, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Happy Birthday to you…tomorrow! I did, infact have a hard time with 30, but part of my reservation is that Dan is almost 2 years younger than me. He will soon be 30 and I think it’ll make things easier…mentally. 🙂 I quickly was able to deal with it because it was a time in my life where life was at ease, I had my two children and great husband, I was feeling better about myself because the “baby weight and then some” had come off, things were up. Things will continue to go up and down, no matter the number that is tied to you as your age, but one thing that I cannot get over is that I have grown in Christ more at 29, 30, 31, than I had ever before. My wisdom took a little longer and will continue to grow as I continue to learn, but boy am I glad to be here now. And as always, life will throw at you plans that you cannot even begin to think about, so be always ready for change! After all, this decidedly family of four, will soon be five. Oh the plans of the Lord!! Happy Birthday!

    • Kayla Gulick August 30, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      Thank you!! And boy do I know what you mean. I’m so thankful to keep growing in the Lord. I wish I had always been disciplined and grounded. AND – I feel you on the plans of the Lord — I was only going to have two kids. Period. And I ended up with four?!

  2. howsyourlovelife August 30, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Welcome to your 30’s, it’s a wonderful time, and it just keeps getting better!

  3. Gleniece August 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Have a wonderful birthday, Kayla. Keep learning, keep growing, keep smiling, and keep teaching by your example. Some may have more experience but have they learned wisdom along the way? That’s what matters. You ask the hard questions and are open to shaping from the Almighty. That’s what we all need to do no matter our age. Love to you from Arizona.

    • Kayla Gulick August 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      Thank you! And I love the encouragement and friendship. Can’t wait to give you a hug someday – either on this side or the other side of eternity 🙂

  4. learning1 August 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    I could have written this as well – so similar in my life! Thank you for this encouraging post!

  5. learning1 August 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    And Happy, or rather, Blessed Birthday to you, Kayla! 🙂

    • Kayla Gulick August 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      Thank you!! Good to know it isn’t just me who has felt this way — but also even better to know we can learn from this and do it better when it’s our turn 🙂

      • learning1 August 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

        Yes! I have a list of things not to forget as well LOL! I think I started writing things down after I started having kids. So many similarities between you and me in this post! I got married early… HATED being told “just wait until…”. You hit so many things on the nail about that. I appreciate that you take the pain of your difficulties and instead of being jaded and stabbing at younger women with it, you are in fact, preparing to help them through those times. Yes!! This is how something can be worked for good in times like you mention. (Marriage and children being real challenges sometimes!)

  6. Mandy August 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post. This is definitely me. Still in my mid-twenties with a husband and baby, I can’t count the number of “just-you-wait” comments that I’ve gotten recently. It pains me to see so many women who are bitter toward life and the blessings that are in it. Thank you for looking for the good things, for choosing to see the blessings for what they are, and not giving into the cynicism of others around you. You are a great encouragement to me, and I so appreciate your thoughts.

    • Kayla Gulick August 31, 2013 at 7:15 am #

      You’re welcome Mandy!! I’m so glad you know your worth and value and have such a positive and happy spirit even though you face being diminished. I know so many women out there who just jump on the wagon, and then go back and degrade others in the same way they were just because it’s what they know. Thank you for standing with me and knowing it speaks more about them, and FAR LESS about us and what we really have for wisdom and experience.

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