I will be turning 39 soon.
I won't bore you with the gory details of turning 30. It is enough tell you I did not step into my third decade gracefully. My life was over. I was no longer twenty-something and what did I have to show for my thirty years of life? True, I was happily married with two children. But I wanted personal accomplishment. I thought I would be famous for doing something by thirty. And yet I felt more like a Jack of all trades, master of none. I flitted over different interests, but I was impatient and bored easily. I had been juggling for eleven years, and had some success as a party entertainer and circus arts instructor, but I had children now, and every year it seemed harder to make any money. I had jobs teaching afterschool programs, but only one of them allowed me to bring my own children with me. After paying for childcare, I wasn't even making enough money to pay for weekly groceries. Thank goodness my husband had a "real" job.
At 30, I was also just starting my journey as a homeschooling mom. Marina was 5, and any time someone asked her if she was in kindergarten she would reply, "Well, I'm homeschooling now, but when I turn 6 I'm going to school!" There's a confidence booster. I had no homeschooling friends in the area. I felt very alone, very inadequate, and I was very much in danger of giving up. If not for the support of my juggling friend Katie, who was homeschooling her daughter in Connecticut, I might have let Marina go to school when she turned 6.
And so I faced 30 with a cloud of doom hanging over me. But life was not ending for me. It was just beginning. I had found my local support group, the Tri-County Homeschoolers, and my children and I began making friends in the homeschooling community. In May, when I asked her if she wanted to go to school, Marina decided she would like me to teach her. The following year, we moved into our first house on my birthday. My thirties have brought me my third child, enough homeschooling experiences to create my own comic strip, new friends in real life and here in the blogosphere, and a new love for my oldest talents, writing and art. All this, and I still have another year of my thirties. Every year is a gift.
If you happen to stop at my blog next Tuesday, be sure to wish me a happy birthday. My wish is that my happiness radiates in the lives of all of you, friends and family, who have taken the time to read my blog and encourage me. 39 promises to be a very good year. I'm looking forward to it.