As I am nearing 30 I am painfully aware of how different life is now. It doesn't even look the same as it did when I was nearing 20. When I was 20 I would hang out 'til dawn, sleep a short while and do it again. When I was 20 I could eat anything and it wouldn't affect the way my jeans fit. When I was 20 I didn't make much money, but I usually had enough to go buy clothes when I wanted, eat out when I wanted, and buy gifts for those I loved. I went to the grocery at 11pm because there was no one waiting for me. No one cared where I went, who I was with or how much I spent. I was responsible for myself. I was accountable to no one.
Now I am nearing 30. If I don't get 7 hours of sleep a night, I feel it the next day. I have little lines starting around my eyes and my skin isn't quite as low maintenance as it once was. I watch what I eat or I can't zip my jeans and I don't even look at the sizes I once wore. Now it isn't my money, my house, my stuff...it is our money, our home, our stuff. There is a budget. I go to the grocery store with my kids during the day because I am in bed at 11pm. I don't buy my clothes when I want, but rather the socks and underwear of the little people in my home. If I want to go out to eat, I have to schedule a babysitter or go somewhere with a cheap kids menu. I am responsible for several now. I am held accountable by them all.
But I have something at almost 30, that I didn't have at almost 20. I get "big squeezes" every night as we say prayers. I get sweet little kisses and "I love you Mommy" for no reason at all. I perform a concert every night for the most wonderful little audience who always asks for more. They think I am the smartest person in the world, a world-class chef, the best story-teller, capable of anything. They believe in me 1,000% all the time. I see now, that while I have given up some convenience and freedom, I have gained more love than I knew was possible and the freedom to be a woman who can look beyond herself. And those lines around my eyes and the hips that don't always fit into my clothes, I earned those