New year, new decade, and another trip ’round the sun

By Chanda Alicea

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone who celebrates had a great holiday season! The beginning of the year is such a busy time in our house. We walk out of the fog of the holidays just in time to say goodbye to my own revolution around the sun and welcome a new one. As we enter a new decade, I enter the last year of my 30’s. That’s right, this lady just turned 39, insert the shocking gasp here.  According to my daughter though, I’m only turning 38 and my older brother said I can be anything I want to be when I told him, so that’s what I am going with. ?

I know everyone feels different about getting older, the aging process, the emotions that come with turning a certain number and how feel about where they should be in their life at that age. I learned during my early 30’s to let all those expectations go because I realized focusing on what society expected hasn’t been attained only caused stress, anxiety, tears, heartache, guilt and unhappiness. It took away what was in front of me that matters and was of value.

During the end of year 38 I sat and had a conversation with my mom about things that happen that I never imagined doing. The answer is yes. And they mostly pertained to things regarding my daughter. Having a daughter has taken me to places that I never thought I’d go, seen things I never thought I would and played with things that were unfathomable to me as a child. Over the last year, I’ve realized that having a daughter has made me softer, more patient than I thought I was, more protective than I ever thought possible and in a lot of ways more girly than I have ever been in my life.

She was the best thing my 30’s ever brought me. I watch silly shows like the Barbie series on Netflix, we hunt for Barbie dolls we can’t find by going from one Target to the next while making an adventure of it. Full disclosure, I HAVE NEVER BEEN A BARBIE PERSON!! But she’s so immersed in it so that means I’m into it. The best part of having a kid is watching her imagination in full swing while she plays with her dolls. I’m in awe of the things she brings into her world of play, the voices she uses, and the good time she has entertaining herself and finding ways to entertain us all.

I look at her and see so many possibilities. I see a good heart and when I hear good things from teachers or friends, it makes me relieved to know that all the hard work I’m putting in to raise a kind human being is paying off. I think the bittersweet feeling that comes with aging when you’re a parent doesn’t necessarily lie with you getting older, but watching your kid grow before your eyes.

As this last year in the 3rd decade of my life starts, I’m anxious and ready to see what the future holds. I’m ready to experience more things I never thought I’d do moments with my little lady. I’m thankful I let her skip a day of school to hang out with me on my day because I know there will come a day where I won’t be a cool mom anymore. I’m okay with the inevitable welcoming of my 40’s, I’m fine with the random stray gray hairs I already have. I don’t feel panicked about being 39 and getting closer to 40. I mean after all; age is nothing but a number.

Your life at any age is what you make of it. I am not sure why there is all the doom and gloom about being 40 or even 50. Getting older to me means you get another chance every day to rewrite your life and make things better for yourself. This year I’m really going to embrace all the things good or bad that come my way. I’ll remember every day that 39 is fine even during the hard times. I’ve decided that is my mantra this year. No resolutions, other than the promise to myself to drink more water, no picking just one word, but rather a phrase because it rhymes and it’s catchy. ?

Now while a birthday right after Christmas isn’t ideal, I always choose to enjoy it. I’m a monther, I celebrate all month in some way or fashion. I love my birthday that much. It annoys the shit out of my partner, but it’s been going on long before we met and I’ll never give it up. It got that much sweeter for me when I had my daughter because she gets just as excited about it as I do.

So, here’s to me continuing to celebrate me, and if you have a birthday this month or whenever, here is to you being ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS at whatever age you are. Whether you are as uber excited as I am, or don’t feel like celebrating your age, my wish for your next revolution around the sun is that it brings you so many amazing opportunities and people into your life.

I hope the sun shines on you and that your cloudy days are few. I hope you have great people to surround you and celebrate you because what is celebrating getting older if you don’t have the people you love around you to share it with? Remember at the end of the day the number attached to you doesn’t mean anything, other than you are getting wiser and lovelier with each passing day.