This month I turned 30.
Oh. my. gosh. That sounds so old.
But wait it’s not that bad.
The one lesson I’ve had to learn and learn over the years is this:
Events happen when they are supposed to. Things have a way of working themselves out.
It’s a lesson that is phrased differently depending on secular or spiritual context but ultimately it is:
Trust God’s timing. He has a Plan.
In our teens and twenties, we often set a bunch of self-defining goals—goals like “I’m going to graduate.” “I’m going to get a job.” “I’m going to get married.” so we begin to measure our success in life by achievements. These goals are often perceived as hurdles we need to jump over to get to some kind of promised land, some state of ultimate-happiness.
We imagined for ourselves a life of events, when in actuality, there are a few major events and then the rest of our lives is kind of living with our choices and hopefully being happy with those choices and their consequences.
I’ve achieved most of my goals in life so far (Except for the one about speaking five languages. What was I thinking? I barely speak English!) but most of them did not happen when I thought they were “supposed to.”
Now that I’ve the big three-o, I feel like there is little to “achieve” because I’ve made it to adulthood and wifehood and motherhood. What next? Well, I still have a few goals left but mostly, I’m just enjoying the young adult life for what it is: good health, relatively low stress with just one child (compared to multiple children), and a sense of the fact that we’re still kind of cool, good-looking and tech-savvy. We’re still the current and up-and-coming version.
I like this phase.
In a way, this phase is really good for me as a mother and for Baby.
He was a textbook baby from the start but then a year ago, I expected him to eat real people food as most one-year olds do. But he only had eight teeth so he hated “real food” and for a whole year, I had to feed him pureed food, i.e. baby food. And I hated it!
I thought to myself, “I have failed. This is not supposed to be happening! This baby supposed to be able to eat.”
But the fact of the matter is he wasn’t ready.
Nothing I could do was going to change that.
We started slow with crackers and teddy grahams, things that turned mushy quickly. And we worked from there.
The day he ate bread, I think I cried.
Now that Baby is 2, he eats like a champion but he still has his moments. Is he a picky eater, despite all my attempts to give him veggies? Duh! Of course.
Is he still learning? Yes! Is he making progress? Yeah!
So why was I creating this stupid timetable for him, only to stress the both of us out? And for nothing.
Obviously, there are milestones that, if not reached, should require medical attention. But normal, healthy kids grow up when they are supposed to, when they ready. We can encourage, love, and motivate, but they learn and grow when they are ready.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that life happens when it’s supposed to. And yet, we as adults, easily forget. We are impatient with ourselves and demand progress or achievement when it’s not ready or not optimal.
Turning 30 forces me to slow down and focus on family and motherhood. I have the next eighteen years to raise my son and I will never “graduate” from being a mother. So it’s almost like time does not exist anymore. Timelines, deadlines, etc. are only created in our minds. I have to let things run their natural and proper course and I’m learning to enjoy the fruits of my labors from my younger days.
I look back and now know that I often stressed out for 30 years over nothing. Things happened the way they were supposed and I guess there’s enough evidence in my life now to support this theory. I got to where I needed to be for 2015; I’ve made it to where I dreamed I’d be as a little girl. And it is awesome.
Work hard and do all you can to achieve the happiness you want but know this: in life, God will give us plenty of unexpected surprises. We may not love them all. But we can still choose to be happy. And things will work out.