Today is my birthday.
I've been pondering lately what exactly I should think about turning 31. It's not old. It's not young. It not middle-aged. It's just 31.
I have nothing particular different planned. My wife and I will celebrate my 31st birthday on Saturday in much the way we've celebrated most of my birthdays the past few years – a visit to a water park followed by a trip to a Japanese steakhouse, two of my favorite places in the world.
I didn't once consider using skydiving or bungee jumping or some other death-defying activity to commemorate turning 31. A lazy river will serve that purpose just fine.
Furthermore, I know I won't feel any older after turning 31. I'll still wear T-shirts with cartoon characters on them. I'll still keep my Legos on the off chance I feel like creating a building-block masterpiece. I'll still play video games (though hopefully not as much).
In many ways, 31 just seems like an extension of 30 – and I have a feeling 32, 33 and 34 will feel much the same way.
Certainly, I have goals for the 31st year of my life – get my book published, continue to improve my columns here at Going for Gusto, possibly find a few papers or websites that I can write a column for on a freelance basis – nothing too exciting, but enough to keep me busy. But these aren't too far removed from my goals at age 30 – to write a book and start writing columns regularly again.
In the end, 31 for me represents continuation – continuing to try to improve my skills and hone my craft, continuing to treat others how I would wish to be treated, continuing to try to become the person I most hope to be.
In that way, 31 is no different from 30 or 29 or 28 or even 21.
Which means, I suppose, that I can stop trying to figure out exactly what turning 31 means and just enjoy today and then Saturday. There are far more delightful things to think about than what a certain age means.
Delightful things such as lazy rivers and Japanese steakhouses.
• Joe Grace is a writer and journalist who lives in Chicago with his wife. If you would like to get him a birthday gift that is both free and easy, you can make him happy by liking Going for Gusto on Facebook.
Filed under: Columns