What Does Turning 31 Mean To Me?

Here is my confession: I don’t really like to acknowledge my birthday. If I had my way I would let the day go unnoticed each year. I think I started to feel that way when I got into my late 20s and birthdays were no longer fun or exciting. Now, they are just a reminder of the years that are passing by so quickly. Even when I was younger, I was never big on attention and so I didn’t really ever make a big deal out of my birthday. But here I am, sharing on a public blog that my birthday is approaching. How’s that for ironic?

So turning 30 last year was sort of fine. I remember being terrified of 29 because OMG ITS MY LAST YEAR IN MY 20s. But then you get to 30 and its kind of like, Ok…I made it. And it’s not so bad. I think you kind of get distracted by leaving your 20s and you forget that you are now in your 30s. I was also probably distracted because I ran a marathon on my 30th birthday. TIP: If you want to distract yourself from a birthday, run a marathon on it.

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So here I am, 2 days away from 31. The first thing that comes to mind is that I turned 21 ten years ago. Holy crap that is an entire decade what have I done in 10 years? My 21st birthday was pretty epic. I was a senior in college and my friends/roommates made it the best day/weekend ever. They had shirts made that say “Lisa’s Legal” on the front and “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning” on the back. They hung up signs on the wall that said “21 reasons why we love Lisa”. I mean, it was really awesome. Do birthdays even matter/count after you turn 21? Probably not.

lisas legal

This is a current picture because I still have (and wear) this shirt

I also feel like now I am really “in my 30s”. Growing up, 30 was SO OLD. Like you would think by the time you were in your 30s you would feel a certain way or act a certain way or be in a certain part of your life. I don’t really know what I expected to feel but I don’t think that this is it. I think I am caught in this weird space between being too old to be in my 20s and too old to be…I don’t know, a real adult? But then I remember I have been out of college for 9 years and that snaps me back into reality a bit.

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It’s also really scary to think about how fast time has gone since that 21st birthday. 10 years gone in the blink of an eye and I don’t even know what I did during that time. I mean, I guess I graduated college and grad school, met and married my husband, started a career and began a life in a completely different state. Oh, I guess that is sort of a lot of stuff.

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So does that really mean that in the same amount of time I will be in my 40s? Yes I guess so. Will I be ready for that or feel like that’s how old I actually am? Probably not. Is there anything I can do about it? NOPE.

This year on my birthday I will run zero miles. That is because it’s on a Sunday and Sunday are my rest days and the day before I am planning/hoping to run 20 miles. Then I will eat whatever I want and drink all of the wine. Even though I don’t really care for my birthday, I might as well take advantage of some of the benefits, right?

30 bday30th bday- celebrated with 26.2 miles + steak+ wine + chocolate cake 

Ok so now that you know all of this about me please don’t wish me a happy birthday or remind anyone at work that this weekend is my birthday.

How do you feel about your birthday? Love it/hate it/don’t care/start counting backwards?

What was your most memorable birthday?

Do you feel young or old for your actual age?

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37 thoughts on “What Does Turning 31 Mean To Me?

  1. I always loved my birthday and decided that is not allowed to change. It’s just a number and although I am 36, I think that’s funny lol. I don’t look it (I don’t think) and I don’t feel it (I don’t think). So it’s fine. And I love cake and sprinkles and goodies and all those birthday feelings so I refuse to give up the fun. Happy early birthday and you better have an awesome cake!
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…Pure Barre Craving & Random Friday StuffMy Profile

    • I wish that I had that same type of excitement! I just get really embarrassed with getting gifts, singing, cakes, etc so it that stuff can be avoided it’s not so bad:)

  2. What a cool look back in time! I’m also not huge on birthdays, except for thinking about how things have changed in the past year or so.
    My best birthday was my 21st! My friends threw me a party and we went out of course. Then the next day we were out to lunch for the Ravens game and my Mom showed up at the bar – she flew down from NH for the day and my friends were all in on it. It definitely made me feel special and nothing will beat it.
    Sam @ The Running Graduate recently posted…Running Lesson Plan UpdateMy Profile

  3. I’m kind of ehhh about birthdays. Reading this made me feel better though. I’m 27 and I keep thinking I’m close to 30 so I’m supposed to feel differently now and have everything figured out, but that hasn’t happened lol. Glad to know I’m not the only one that feels this way. It’s crazy how fast time goes by sometimes.
    Chrissy @Pink Polish and Running Shoes recently posted…My Friday Five 10/10My Profile

    • Yep, I am starting to realize that the number really doesn’t mean anything. I don’t feel any different than I did when I was in my late 20s, that’s for sure!

  4. Oh wow, we really do have a lot in common. I also have an October birthday and I hate acknowledging my birthday for all the same reasons! In fact I was freaking out a little deciding if I would mention it at all on my blog and then decided not to! I mean it’s not relevant unless I it’s just this is what I happened to eat that day, right? Funny :) Won’t say happy birthday because I get it :)
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Perfectly Paleo Pumpkin PieMy Profile

    • It’s nice to know that other’s can relate to these feelings! Did your bday already pass or are you still deciding if you want to mention it? I find it kind of hard to completely ignore it on the blog, but I’m sure it can be done:)

  5. I looooooove this post!!!!!!!!! I am 32-turning 29&31 was harder than 30- for the same reasons you say “omg last year in my 20s!” And 31 was hard because “30” was fun to say-but “31” not so much. But 32 was easy peasy!!

    I love that you ran a marathon on your bday-I’m jealous!! I have always wanted to do that!
    I know you said no wishing you happy bday but I’m going to wish a REALLY GREAT DAY on Sunday and also a FANTASTIC long run in Saturday!!!!
    Nicole@TheGirlWhoRanEverywhere recently posted…Thursday randomsMy Profile

    • I’m glad that turning 32 isn’t so bad- that is one less thing to worry about! And thank you for the positive wishes!:)

  6. I’m big on my birthday if I can celebrate it with people, but mostly because it is an excuse to do something special with the people that I love. But I don’t care what day we “celebrate” on. This year Alex had a day off the day after my bday, and as his bday was 2 weeks before, we went to dinner and movie and called it our joint birthday. That is all I care about–that’s the best present of all.
    And if I forget/am busy–Happy Birthday (pretend it is Sunday)!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Fun, Functional Fueling for Fitness and RunningMy Profile

    • Getting together with friends and family is the part I like. I don’t like all the silly stuff like signing and gifts- it just makes me feel uncomfortable! This year we just did a small dinner out with my family and it was perfect.

    • Thank you! And running a marathon 4 days after your bday definitely counts- but the vegas part will make it extra fun!

  7. I’m not a big birthday person and never have been. It’s probably because my parents never put much of an emphasis on it. It’s just another day, really. Running a marathon on your birthday is SUCH a good idea! How perfect. But resting and refueling after a long run sounds like a more relaxing way to spend your day. Happy early birthday!
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…TOL: All the ExcitementMy Profile

    • Thanks, Sarah! My parents really like to reminisce about the day I was born and past birthdays, so while they don’t put a big emphasis on it they do really like to celebrate in some way. So I go along with it for them:) Lately I have been happy with keeping things simple for my bday.

  8. Oh my gosh!!! Birthdays are to be celebrated!!! Think of all the people who love you, and the people you love! Think of all the wonderful things you’ve done, and accomplished! It’s because you were “BORN”, and this day should always be celebrated! I had a surprise 21st birthday party which was awesome! My most recent birthday “60” was probably my favorite so far! I moved near my kids and Grandchildren, and they made me feel so special and we had a wonderful time! I don’t feel my age. It really is just a number, but always a number to celebrate!

    • Very good points, and for those reasons I do like to do something special for my birthday. But I don’t like to tell people its my birthday, and I get embarrassed by getting any attention for it. Having people sing to me in a restaurant is pretty much the worst way I could think to have my bday acknowledged:)

  9. I was a big birthday person as a child, I mean who wasn’t… presents! But as I’m getting older, they’ve become less and less significant. There are some pretty good things about them still though, like you said, it’s an opportunity to drink all of the wine and let’s not forget birthday cake!
    Nessa @ Ness Runs recently posted…TRAINING UPDATE AND LIFE LATELYMy Profile

    • I think as I kid I also loved the presents part, and I remember being SO excited to drive when I turned 17! Now wine and cake are good enough for me:)

  10. I totally get the birthday ambivalence. (I actually have a post about turning thirty next week in my drafts…) I also love the idea of running a marathon on your 30th! It’s a bit weird to think of being an old, responsible adult now, but then I remember how much better my late 20s were than my early 20s. I hear your 30s are even better. Plus, no more competing against these darn spritely 25 year olds at races!
    Hilary recently posted…Top Three Running InvestmentsMy Profile

    • Yes I think there are definitely good things about being in your 30s! I know I am much different than I was in my early 20s. I guess it’s really just a number though, you are only as old as you feel!

  11. Aw, I love birthdays! I’m the one who convinces my husband to actually celebrate his and I spend weeks all excited for mine like a child. I’m distracting myself from my 30th next year by taking a big vacation but I’m also excited for it just because it’s a birthday, even if the number is scary 😉
    Emmeline@RunForThePizza recently posted…What to Work OnMy Profile

    • I know so many people who also love their birthday and get really excited for it! I used to love taking trips around my birthday, its such a fun way to celebrate! Lately this time of year has just been too busy for us so we haven’t done that in a while.

  12. Awesome fun pictures – and totally agree that your friends made things extra special for 21! To put it into perspective, when I turned 21 (a) the drinking age had just been raised to 21 over the last few years in Mass and NY, (b) I lived in a fraternity house (before strict drinking controls on campuses were a thing) and (c) Ronald Reagan was president! haha

    I love reading all of the comments as well … it is always interesting to see how people deal with birthdays. I have always had a great enjoyment, an my family is awful about ‘on the day’ stuff so I am used to it sprawling across a week or so. My brother STILL *sends* cards the day after the birthday! (he’s improving, Lisa got her card only one day late this year!).

    My Lisa had awful birthday memories growing up, never special, just as willing to let them fade away. Of course, not gonna happen with me involved! But we got creative – on her 30th we took a cruise on one of those small ‘adventure’ boats down the west coast of Mexico … it was glorious and spared her the inevitable disappointment and heartache of dealing with her family.

    Now it is a struggle because our older son (the one who just turned 18) has his birthday 2 days after hers (she is Sept 30, he is Oct 2). But I work to make it special. And she had an awesome day this year :)

    So happy birthday in advance … and remember, there is no ‘right’ or ‘on time’ way to live – it is different for all of us. Enjoy the wonderful life you have!
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Run-Fessions, Blog-Fessions and Third Quarter Running SummaryMy Profile

    • Thanks for your awesome comment! I am sorry to hear that Lisa didn’t have enjoyable birthdays growing up. I feel kind of bratty that I just complained about mine when some people probably would love to have them celebrated but can’t for whatever reason. She is very lucky to have you around now to make the day special! It can be difficult to have a bday around another big day or holiday or something…like my sister in law is the day after Christmas. We try to always make it a separate celebration but it can be tough! But you are right that there is no right or wrong way to celebrate. These days I am perfectly happy doing a small dinner with family and close friends!

  13. This is a great reflection! I feel like the years go by faster and faster the older I get – my best friend and I were just talking about this the other day, how we always thought we would have a kid by the time we were 32 or 33 but now that’s suddenly only 5 years away and seems WAY too soon to have a child. Interesting how our perspective of age and “adulthood” or being “old” changes as we get older ourselves, huh?
    Brenda @ Don’t Lose the Trail recently posted…Five Things Friday – Review: Garmin Fenix for trail runningMy Profile

    • You’re right, it’s so interesting! I feel like now its perfectly fine to take things as slow as you need to. It’s better to be sure of the choices you make than rush into anything! I had always thought I would have kids around this age too, but I didn’t get married until I was 29 so it just didn’t work out that way!

  14. Here I am totally NOT wishing you a happy birthday :-)

    After I turned 27 I kind of stopped wanting to count my birthdays. At 26 I still felt like I was maybe in the later stages of my early 20s? Or at least I could pretend I was …. but that went out the window at 27. I definitely know what you mean about not feeling like you thought you would at this age. I still feel so much younger than 28, but I wouldn’t want to go back and do any of my younger years over again! haha. They were fun while they lasted but I sort of like the freedom of being where I’m at now – able to afford nice vacations, nice dinners out, all the running shoes I want, you know the important stuff in life, hah! There are definitely some benefits that come along with being a bit older!
    Kristina recently posted…First Post-Marathon Workout + Other Odds and EndsMy Profile

    • I feel exactly the same way about the positives to being a little older! As much fun as college was I don’t think I would want to go back to that stage in my life. It’s nice to be in a more comfortable place now, even though its scary to be getting older!

  15. I hated turning 30! It could have had something to do with the fact that I was 7 months pregnant. Not the most fun way to spend a milestone bday. Since 30 birthdays have been… meh. No big deal. Not that they were a huge deal before that but much more celebration than now. I’ve actually gotten to the point where I forget my age!
    GIselle recently posted…Have fun and get fit with fitmob!My Profile

    • I do the same thing with forgetting my age! I think 30 was was easy to remember but 26-29 I always forgot where I was. The nice thing is my husband is a year and a half older so he is always a few steps ahead of me, making me feel “young”:)

  16. I am probably the Debbie Downer of birthdays. I LOVE other people’s birthdays. I love doing stuff for them, but then I always expect my birthday to be the most amazing day of all time. One of these years, I am going to have normal expectations! You’d think I would have learned by now. Really I have good birthdays, but I guess I just always think birthdays are the greatest, but they’re just kinda good. Ok, now I sound like the biggest debbie downer of all time.
    Amy recently posted…Trying New Things!My Profile

    • That’s kind of funny! I just hope you don’t end up disappointed with your birthdays. I have a feeling as we get older they probably get less exciting:/

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