Deep thoughts, random insights, and musings by Susan Jacobs

Friday, November 16, 2007

It seems like just yesterday...

was my 30th birthday, and here it is my 31st today. I am very grateful that the past year has been a good one -- no major events, but steady progress at work and other areas of my life. I was recently having a conversation with someone about cooking and baking, and I was realizing that I've learned to make several new dishes in the last year and am becoming generally more comfortable in the kitchen. I wasn't bad before, but I am feeling less like a novice, which is nice.

I also came to the realization a few months ago that, whereas I used to get nervous every time I got behind the wheel of my car, now -- except when I am over-tired or under pressure -- driving is not something I have to think about; I just do it and it comes naturally.

Someone, probably my rabbi, once said that the way to live life is to spend our whole lives "growing up." That is to say, like kids, we should approach life with a sense of wonder and an excitement to learn new things and get better at the things we already know how to do. It's also about continuing to discover who we are and who we want to be. I hope I never stop growing up.

American culture values youth to the point of obsession, and approaches the idea of getting older with a sort of dread. The older we are, the less useful and interesting we are supposed to be.

Of course, anyone of substance will tell you that the exact opposite is true. The older we are, the more fascinating and multi-faceted we become. If we do things right (and if we learn from doing things wrong), we get better with age.

30 was a big milestone for me, but so far 31 is somewhat easier. It also helps that 30 was really a good year. Yesterday, I went to my ballet class, as I always do on Thursdays, and realized that last year, when my birthday was on a Thursday, I had done the same. So, I spent the first and last days of the year that I was 30 in ballet class. Not too bad.

Here's to the adventures of the year ahead!


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