On the First Day of the Last Year of My 30s

Older. Wiser. And quite a bit blonder.

I’m 39 today, which strikes me as odd. This is the last year of my 30s. That’s bizarre, right? I mean, there are still days where I don’t feel like I know anything more than I knew at 19. But the best news is that I’m just one year away from moving up one age group in my races. I’m thinking that if I keep training, I should be able to nail a top three finish in my age group by the time I’m in my 70s. Maybe 80s. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, I’m here in Boston, spending my birthday in a conference room, which isn’t exactly a lifelong dream. But it’s a great conference and I’m here with some fabulous friends.

Here are some things I’ve learned in the last 20 years.

  • At 19: I was a college girl with a small circle of friends.
  • At 39: I can fly 3,000 miles and attend a conference where everybody knows my name, and they’re always glad I came. (Yeah, a Cheers reference really dates me, doesn’t it?)
  • At 19: I couldn’t run down the block without getting winded.
  • At 39: I’ve completed three half marathons, countless 5k races, an 8k and two 12k trail races. I’m a Team in Training captain. 19-year-old me would be shocked. 39-year-old me still is, just a little.
  • At 19: I figured I’d be at least 39 before I got married.
  • At 39: I’ve been happily married for 14 years. (Yes, to the same guy.)
  • At 19: I knew how to cook three meals in my dorm room using a hot pot and a toaster oven; two of them involved pasta.
  • At 39: I post an endless stream of recipes on a blog, and try new things weekly.
  • At 19: I could have regaled you with a litany of superficial things about my body that needed to be changed.
  • At 39: Who has time for that? I don’t have to look like a model because I’m not a model. (Shocking, I know.) I’m strong. I’m healthy. I’m certainly not going to obsess about my freckles, my breasts or that birthmark.
  • At 19: I didn’t have a passport.
  • At 39: I’ve taken my kid to four countries in five years. Both of us could be packed and out the door in 20 minutes if you gave us the opportunity.
  • At 19: I went to the TV lounge every night to watch Letterman as an evening study break.
  • At 39: Who can stay up late enough to watch Letterman?
  • At 19: I rarely wore makeup.
  • At 39: Ok, this hasn’t changed much. I’m traveling with nothing more than eyeliner and lip gloss. But good eyeliner and good lip gloss. I have standards.
  • At 19: I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.
  • At 39: I still don’t know what I want to be, but I’m ruling things out as I go.

What have you learned about yourself in the last 20 years or so?

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2 Responses

  1. misszippy1 says:

    Happy birthday! I’d say you’ve done quite well for yourself! It’s always nice to be able to age and look back on life with satisfaction. Here’s to another fabulous 39!

  2. Alisa says:

    Thanks! It seems so weird to think that I’m almost 40. I thought I’d have more answers by this point in my life! 🙂

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