Thirty-five—it doesn’t feel like a big deal, but it sure sounds like one.
I’ve made birthdays a bit of a non-event for myself since having kids. It isn’t me being “emo” about it as Sarah surmised last year when she planned out a wonderful surprise dinner with my family, but the exact opposite.
I’m not who I thought I’d be at 35, living a regular life and working a regular job. Somehow I’ve managed to build this world around me that has excitement at every turn, and though it takes a lot to keep it going, I never question whether I’m living life to the fullest. I feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose every day, getting more done some days than others.
And that’s why I didn’t make a big deal about my birthday—because it was just another day celebrating my life like I do every day.
But 35 isn’t just about turning 35—there’s an entire year ahead looking to see what I can do!
The Path to Thirty-Five.
All that said, I’m in the midst of a year that’s been incredibly busy. To put into context, I see my last few years like this:
- 2016 was when I started appreciating the value of my work as I started moving from blogging to TV and radio appearances, seeking my experience in fatherhood
- 2017 had me realise that people would pay way more for that work than I thought, opening my eyes to an entire realm of possibility I never considered before
- and 2018 started showing me the impact of my work, with friends and family still interacting with my content in an age where engagement’s all but lost in so many places!
In short, I’ve come to realise that my brand isn’t something I should take for granted, taking every opportunity to make it the very best brand I can make it.
But man does it make living the rest of one’s life hard!
Adulting is Hard. But We Can Figure It Out.
If you thought adult friendships were hard before—and hell yes they are—maintaining them with two jobs, two kids and a marriage is next to impossible. You always mean to connect with those who matter to you most, but there’s always another blog to write. Kid to bathe. Spreadsheet to fill or family function to attend. So much time can pass before you even notice what’s going on and once you go too far down that road, it’s tough to come back again.
I’m learning, though, and I think 35 might be my best year yet! Though I didn’t put out a 2018 100—because let’s be real, who has 100 goals (says the guy who just shrunk a list of 273 goals to 88 and probably doesn’t fully understand what a “goal” is)—I feel more focused than ever. And I know—it doesn’t always look it with my ridiculously inconsistent posting schedule, but I’m on the grind every night trying to write every post under the sum so I can try something new.
I want to do video. I want to grow my podcast. When most people think about getting older, they look at their futures and dread. But I look at it like this—if I’ve improved this much from 25 ’til now, imagine how much better I could be by 45 if I keep at it?
I’ve just gotta take it a step at a time.
Thirty-Five Looking Forward to Forty — Let’s Make it Happen!
It feels weird knowing I’m closer to 40 than 30, now. 40 seems so… adult. But at the same time, I’m accepting that I’m probably who I’m going to be for the rest of my life.
I see things a whole lot clearer now that God’s brought kids into my life and hope to make the most of the decades ahead of me. Thirty-five will have some very adult decisions to make, but they don’t stress me out the way they would in years past.
To be honest, these recent birthdays often take me back to the summer of ’09, where I spent my birthday unemployed. I remember feeling helpless like I’d made some poor life decisions, and I didn’t know I’d ever bounce back from that.
But I’m a few years older. A few years wiser. And I vowed never to let anyone make me feel that way again.
So I’m thirty-five and just trying to thrive. And you know what? I think I’m going a pretty good job at it.
‘Til next year!