This past week I turned 30… I know, I’m getting old right!?
Up until recently I could have forgotten that this year would be my 30th. I say could have forgotten because the constant reminders from friends, whose pleasure in reaching that milestone after me was palpable, meant that it was impossible to.
Not that I’ve been trying to. Yes 30 is a ‘big’ birthday but I’ve never been upset about finishing my 20’s. Equally neither have I got overly excited about it. Having always had my birthday in December (that’s the way it works!) it’s often been an underwhelming time of the year to celebrate getting another year older. There are worst times in December to have a birthday than mine, but it is still just close enough to Christmas for the latter to overshadow my birthday. My sister sent me this Buzzfeed post before my birthday which nicely sums up the woes of a December birthday.
Recently there’s been the added (dis)advantage that because of my December birthday, friends have taken much delight in reminding me I will be 30 next year since January 2014, quite a build-up.
So maybe it’s because I’m a December baby, and yes it’s a cliché, but I’ve always felt that age is just a number, and I’ve never put too much effort into celebrating or fretting over the increasing years. I don’t feel any older than I did when I turned 20, I mean once you reach adulthood nothing really changes does it?
Well yes and no, there’s also no getting away from the ageing process and though I may not feel any different the signs are definitely there. I’m heavier than I was, and there’s a few more wrinkles than there used to be. Over the past year a few (more than a few) grey hairs have appeared, which I don’t mind. What I do mind is that I’ll most likely lose my hair before I get a chance to be a silver fox.
But these have all been happening throughout my twenties so turning thirty doesn’t really change anything. So it was a little surprising to me that in my last few days as a twenty something, I did think a lot about what I’ve done with my nearly thirty years.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, looking back have I always made the right decision or done the right thing, no, of course not but sometimes those decisions are only easy in reflection. I look at other people and wonder if I should have achieved what they have, earn what they do, have bought a house like they have? Everyone measures their achievements in different ways maybe money, houses, cars, titles, awards, likes, shares, all of which are great, but the two things I’m most proud of are my relationship with Sian and our beautiful baby girl. In fact the question I’ve asked myself most recently, is did we wait too long to have Quinn, but that’s one for another day.
I saw something recently that said life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards, which I thought was a great way of summing it up. As far as I’m concerned there isn’t one way to live your life, everyone’s is different and who’s to say one is better than the other. So when I look back on 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years I’ve always wanted to be able to say that I did my best and where I didn’t, I learnt from my mistakes, and that I was kind. More recently I have a new hope to add to that list, that I’m the best dad I can be to Quinn.
When the day came, Sian and Quinn made my birthday really special. After morning cuddles, which are a rarity as I normally have to get up and leave for work, the two women in my life decorated the living room and surprised me with chocolate cake and champagne for breakfast. Quinn even got dressed up for the occasion, feather bower and all.
After Quinn helped me to unwrap my presents including a new wallet, which presumably she’s bought with the help of her mummy so that she can borrow it later, and Coldplay tickets from Sian who hasn’t decided if she wants to go with me yet. I was surprised with a video… thank you to Sian, Quinn and auntie Megan for going to such effort, this made my day.
And so we went ventured out to Denmark street to pick my present but not before a birthday lunch at Steak and Lobster which was amazing! For the first time ever Quinn fell asleep in her buggy at exactly the right time as the food was served, which may sound like a small thing but when you’ve spent four months of eating out with a baby in your arms, this really is a big achievement. Denmark street is really cool and is just music shop after music shop. We chose to go in Wunjo guitars as it looked the busiest, and after a little help from Sebastian I left a very happy man with a Fender in hand. Quinn wasn’t sure exactly what to make of the shop, it was probably a sensory sound overload with at least four different people all playing guitars at the same time, but she likes my guitar too!
So now I’m 30 and nothing’s changed. Well no, obviously there’s been one big change in the last year. Up until this year birthday celebrations have centred around going ‘out out’ and drinks with friends, and they were a lot of fun. When my 30th was first mentioned in January 2014 I remember seriously considering I was going to go to Vegas to celebrate. The reality was much different and much better. I celebrated the day of my 30th birthday with Sian and for the first time Quinn on a family day out, before seeing friends the next day… and I can honestly say I wouldn’t have wished for it any other way!