It’s funny how time changes your perspective. When I was a kid, I remember thinking that people in their 30s were old and outdated. I mean 30-year-olds were people who enjoyed knitting and snacking on frozen yogurt and diet cokes and embarrassing their offspring at ball games and such. But then time happened and I found myself on the other end of life’s cruel joke.

Just recently, my church co-hosted a weekend retreat for teens in our area. My husband is a youth minister which really helps with keeping us feeling young—that is, until this particular weekend. A few of the adults were in charge of leading the junior high girls for the duration of the retreat. During the sessions over the weekend, we had all been sitting on bleachers, just like the ones you would find at a ball game. Without a second thought, one of the leaders I was working with commented on how uncomfortable the bleachers were. She said (and I quote), “My back hurts from those bleachers. I feel so OLD like I’m 30 or something.”

Checks mirror for wrinkles.

Cue the irony, my friends. This day was inevitable. How did my young, whippersnapper self think I could bypass the reprehensible results of my thoughtless words?! If you need me, I’ll just be over here drowning my sorrows in my tub of frozen yogurt. I could carry on a pity party of sorts, falling to the floor with fists in the air, but I’ve decided not to waste my time on such trivialities. I am, after all, a “mature” adult now. So I am going to instead share what I think makes thirty the best age yet despite what all the “young people” think.

1. For starters, I am no longer the newbie mom. I realize that more and more couples are starting families later in life, but I had all three of my children in my 20s. Now, I have one in school, one about to be in school, and one closing the baby chapter in my life. My world is still chaotic, but I’m embracing it now, realizing that what those veteran moms have been trying to tell me for the past six years is actually true. They grow up too fast!

2. Attaining my goals is more important than EVER before. I may not really be old, but the reality that life is short is becoming more apparent to me. Suddenly there’s a fire within me, and there are no more excuses or procrastination. There’s only today and my dreams are ready to bust down the doors of opportunity and change everything. Thirty is my time to shine!

3. Suddenly people seem to take me more seriously than before. I’m no longer just a young adult finding my way or “discovering myself.” Thirty sounds stable. Settled. Secure. And even though my life is far from perfect, those three S’s feel closer than they ever have before!

4. Now that I’m thirty, I can totally rock a minivan and yoga pants with no shame. Practicality is IN and being cool is such a relevant term and a thing of the past. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Or at least this 30-year-old doesn’t.

5. My idea of a “good time” has changed, and I’m okay with that. Sure, I still enjoy going out with the girls, but I get almost just as excited about a night in with my new love affair, Netflix. Bring on the Gilmore Girls reruns!

Ah, yes. Thirty is here, and life is just beginning. Let’s just not talk about thirty-one.

Stephanie Gilbert

Stephanie is an OCD mama of three "spirited" children (four if you count the big boy posing as her husband) who blogs at where you are sure to find lots of love, laughter, and honesty. She dreams of being a published author one day, winning a lifetime supply of Reese's peanut butter cups, and surviving the toddler years. Most of all, she loves her God and desires to point others to Him. She believes there is always joy to be found amidst the junk in our lives and nothing should keep us from laughing out loud.