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Reflections on turning one year older, priorities, and the early-mid 30s

I turn 34 in less than an hour. It will be the first in several years in which I haven’t planned an extravaganza or a night on the town. I’m housesitting until tomorrow, and I’ve enjoyed having a little R&R while taking care of some adorable Shih Tzus in a quaint and quiet home.

After pooch-sitting duties are over tomorrow, I plan separate get-togethers with my parents, who missed out on a lot of my birthdays because of distance and scheduling conflicts. Mostly my dad. That’s another story altogether. But even though they haven’t been married or lived in the same state in 22 years, they each made a conscious decision to move to the area to be closer to me. After years of partying and celebrating my birthday with a bang (and often a bad hangover), I have no desire to go back to that time and would really rather live a simple life.

I’ve seen this trend in a lot of my friends my age who are married and/or parents. But I don’t fit either of those descriptions. I think I just found different things to focus on. There’s my dog, my mom, my dad… things that keep me grounded.

But I must admit: There is a teeny, tiny part of me who wants to have a biggol’ Birthdaypalooza. Maybe next year. Or maybe I’ll just rent a cabin with a jet bathtub and call it a day.

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