Lady Pastor: No longer loco about the big three-oh

There was a time in the not too-distant-past when the thought of turning 30 seemed comparable to moving into a tiny, dark closet filled with spiderwebs and mothballs. I avoided even thinking about the start of a new decade, for fear of somehow making it arrive sooner.

As much as I believed aging was a wonderful, beautiful process for everyone else in the world, I was trying to avoid it at all costs.

But then one day last week, it happened. I woke up a 30-year-old. And it wasn't so frightening after all.

As it turns out, 30 does not feel like being trapped in a dark, dreary closet. Instead, 30 feels refreshing, like taking a giant breath of fresh, crisp morning air.

I was on an airplane last week flying to Alaska for a five-day adventure with my mom. As we prepared for landing, the pilot shifted the plane lower and lower in the sky. The ground below revealed spectacular sights. Endless miles of snow-capped mountains and thin, wispy, white clouds.


The young boys in the row behind me became increasingly excited. "It's amazing," one eight-year-old said to his seatmate. "It all looks so pretty." He was right. It was the most beautiful terrain I had ever seen. Uncharted. Peaceful. Filled with history and possibility at the same time.

Thirty feels a little like that view from the plane. I have a suspicion and a prayer that every year from here on out will be of a similar vein. I don't want to fear the years ahead. I want to greet them with the same words as the boy on the plane. "It's amazing."

Singer-songwriter John Mayer wrote a great tune several years back. I brought it along for the trip. The song is called "Stop This Train," and it's about the reality that time always keeps moving. There is no way to change or manipulate it. In the song, John quotes some advice from his dad:

"Don't stop this train. Don't for a minute change the place you're in. … honestly, we'll never stop this train." He's right, the train of passing time doesn't stop. It keeps moving, so we may as well jump aboard and be ready to soak it all in.

As I move ahead into this new decade, I feel thankful to God for the gift of being alive. There is no way to slow life down and no way to travel back and relive all my favorite moments, so it's time to be present right here and now.

Hello, 30. Goodbye, worry. I have a feeling the decade ahead will be pretty swell.

Whatever the year of your birth, I truly pray you're able to enjoy the view from your seat on the train, too.

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