29 Reasons I Do Not Fear Growing Older

I turned 29 years old yesterday, and part of me feels like I have to say, “No, really. 29. Born in ’83. This isn’t fake-29.”

Because I have a summer birthday, I was usually younger than my schoolmates, and that feeling has followed me into adulthood – Still young! And I am. But when next year comes and I cross the threshold of my 30s, I won’t be lamenting the passage of time. Here’s why:

  1. I had my daughter when I was 20 and my son when I was 24. I won’t even be 40 when my daughter graduates high school. By having them at an earlier age, I like to think this means I will have more overall lifespan with my kids. (-knocks wood-)
  2. Plus, the mister and I will be able to have the child-free time we did not give ourselves at the outset. Consider it our reward for raising 2 (hopefully) awesome people.
  3. Medical science continues to advance. Chicken pox vaccines didn’t exist when I was a kid, and now I’m spared the major dramz that would have been my daughter with itchy skin. What will science be able to do for my cranky body as I get older?
  4. Growing up means better writing. I don’t need to write about writing anymore, since that and love was the only life-experience I had. Writing about writing is fun sometimes, but life experience is better material.
  5. I have enough perspective t0 know that many writers do not actually publish their first novels in their 20s. And that’s okay.
  6. Speaking of life experience – time passes quickly. We know this. The question is, what can I do with this time?
  7. Scheduled solitude is not scary and is highly needed sometimes. I now know this.
  8. Also, I am continually improving my ability to ask for help when I need it.
  9. I hate to say it, but the older I get, the more seriously people take me. I wish respect were based on personality, skills, and intellect alone, but I’m sure some of you can back me up when I say that this isn’t always true.
  10. Still, you’re only as serious as you want to be. Yeah, you gotta be all grown-up and pay your bills and stuff (as well as you can, sometimes, let’s be real), but that doesn’t mean you have to swap your Converse for Keds. Or band t-shirts for sweater sets.
  11. That said, I am the type to buy one cardigan in every color to put on over those t-shirts. And the older I get, the less I care about whether or not it’s “cool.”
  12. I realize that even if I’m never “cool,” that’s okay.
  13. No more shopping in the Juniors section. Do they cut those clothes based on mannequins that are half the width of others? Because a size “11” is nowhere near the size 12 that hangs across the store.
  14. Saturday night Netflix-and-laundry-folding is a perfectly acceptable activity.
  15. So is opining over the wonders of comfortable yoga pants.
  16. If I’m older, then my kids are getting older, and eventually I’ll make them wash and fold their own damn laundry.
  17. Let’s be honest, there’s a certain satisfaction to be had in “Get offa my lawn!” moments. Dang whippersnappers.
  18. Eventually, what you like is going to be awesomely-retro anyway. Just bide your time. The stuff you like will cycle back into availability.
  19. Though often begrudgingly, I start to realize where my parents were right and where they were wrong.
  20. I’m looking forward to seeing how my kids navigate life.
  21. The situations that seemed SO AWFUL AND CATASTROPHIC at 21 warrant a, “Eh. Annoying, but not my problem,” today.
  22. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” the saying goes. I hope that I am always learning.
  23. Because my metabolism is not what is used to be, I now see the point in eating better/taking vitamins/etc. I feel better. When you’re 18 and can eat whatever you want, proper nutrients don’t seem so important.
  24. Lusting after people who are 40+ seems less and less weird, ha.
  25. Eventually, I can get the “old people discount” – as my 56-year-old mom calls it – at stores and restaurants.
  26. I’m going to be a rad old lady. Decision made.
  27. Each birthday that passes is another year I am still here.
  28. Plus, cake.
  29. Perspective, perspective, perspective.

What about you? What are you looking forward to as you get older? What have you learned?

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

11 replies on “29 Reasons I Do Not Fear Growing Older”

Happy birthday Sara! It’ll be my 29th in 3 weeks and a few months ago it hit me: “I’m gonna be 30 next year. Hmm.” Ever since I turned 17 I feared each passing year, pored over my complexion in the mirror (why oh WHY do I still have teenage-style acne, yet am developing wrinkles around the eyes?), worried about the fact that I hadn’t yet got the house with the garden and the white picket fence and the dog and the 2.4 kids and the Aga… but this time I thought: “yipeee, I’m getting older, and I LOVE IT!” No more having to go out and desperately find a drinking buddy every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, lest feel like a loser for staying in, no more worries about “will boys ever like me”, no more concerns over premature wrinkles (those laughter lines are HERE, baby!), etc etc. I too can no-longer teach or even function properly on less than 7 hours’ sleep, and frankly, I am finally beginning to see the effect of all those late-night pizzas. The body’s telling me to slow down, and frankly, I’m grateful for it. Gives me time to perfect that chocolate cake recipe…

Happy Birthday, and hooray for adulting!! I have a September birthday, so I too was used to being the youngest and the last to do things. And then when my daughter started at the preschool where I was teaching, her teacher was a full 10 years younger than me and suddenly, I wasn’t the youngest in the building by a long shot.

Getting older definitely has its perks- we pay less for insurance on two cars and two lives (life insurance for the Mr. and I) than I did for insurance on my Neon when I was 22.

I sometimes miss the energy of youth- out dancing til 2am and then teaching at 8am? No problem! Now a busy morning with the kids & I’m spent, but I’m not really complaining.

I miss the energy too, but that’s less of an age thing and more of a pre- and post- chronic fatigue thing (that is not helped by age). It’s been 3 years of that, and now I’m like, “I have vague memories of being a human who could do more than a couple of things throughout the day without being spent…”

Hear hear!  I’m 27 and am only starting to realize that I can do whatever I like.  No, really, I can do whatever I want to because I’m capable of thinking through major decisions and mopping up the mess if they go south.  This hit me this week as I bought my first car (driving is awesome!).  I now don’t have to wait for my partner to get big stuff from the shops that can’t be carried on public transport.  I can drive 40 minutes to work rather than taking 2 forms of public transport that generally added up to 1.5 hours of commuting!

I love getting older, can’t wait to see what I figure out how to do next!


I love being in my 30s. There’s a certain lack of fucks to give that comes with aging. This is often mistaken for confidence, which in turn causes people to take you more seriously. Or at least, that’s my theory.

I’m also planning on being an awesome old lady. I already know how to knit, and show my love with food, so I’m pretty much there.

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