Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Birthday Round-up

My birthday was this past February 23rd, and keeping with my tradition of posting something to Some Guy's blog on my birthday, here it is... I'm now 30.

Some women freak out at 30 because 30 means not in your 20's any more. Some women freak out at 30 because they're not married yet. Some women freak out at 30 and their ovaries start punching them in the gut reminding them to squeeze out a rug rat.

I thought I'd be different, and that I wouldn't have a Turning 30 Freak-Out. I thought that I was way too logical for that bull, that 30 is just a number, that I'm already happily married, that I wasn't even sure if I wanted children at all and so it wouldn't freak me out if I didn't have children by the age of 30.

And I was on the right track! If you had asked me six months ago if I was okay with turning 30, I WAS! I wasn't just saying I was... I really was! And then... if you asked me five months ago, I said I was okay with turning 30, but I was having doubts. And then... if you asked me at Christmastime if I was okay with turning 30, I was definitely not okay.

It's not the "getting old" thing. In fact, since I work in marketing, it's actually better for me to be 30 instead of 29... Women don't like other women in their 20's, from what I've been told; Women in their 20's are threatening. But being in your 30's... a horse of a different color! And the number was never what creeped me out or made me feel old... just that there was so much I wanted to do, and every year that passes indicates another year less I have to do it... so it's not 30 per se, just the idea of running out of time...

And it's not the unmarried thing, because I am very happily married...

As to the knocking ovaries thing... It's not that I never wanted kids, I was just unsure if I wanted them... not because I wasn't sure if I wanted them per se, but rather because I was unsure if I was unselfish enough to put my career aside to make the sacrifices I knew I would want to make when I became a mother. Children require attention and work... they need to become a top priority in your life. My career and my marriage are my top priorities, and I was unsure if I wanted to add yet another top priority that could push those two out of the way.

I love my career: do I really want to "sidetrack" my advancement to have a child? I just never understood how intelligent, career focused women could justify putting aside their hard-fought and won job advancement...

And I love my lazy Sundays with my husband... do I want to sacrifice sleeping in until 10am on Sundays and watching him play video games while I poke around on the computer? I guess I just never understood why a couple would want to add another responsibility to their lives that would take time away from spending time with just one another...

But then, this past year, so many of our friends have either become pregnant or are trying to become pregnant. My sister has now had her second baby, and my brother in law gave us our first niece on my husband's side, and I love my nieces and nephew more than I ever thought possible. I see our friends and close family members expanding their families, and I understand it now. Seeing that precious little person smile up at you, or call you on the phone and have an unintelligible conversation with you... it's priceless, and I get it now.

But that's not the freak-out...

It is that we are renting, and don't own a house.

My big f@*king freakout is that we don't own a house. How messed up is that?

You can justify buying a house way you want... It's a buyer's market, and so we're wise to buy a house now as opposed to a year ago. Interest rates have held and are holding steady, so it's wise to buy a house now as opposed to later when they may rise. Housing prices are also holding steady, or dropping slightly, because homes are staying on the market for longer periods of time. Buying a home is a wise investment due to the tax breaks of being able to deduct your interest payments.

And while all of those reasons are important, and good, and definitely support our decision to buy a house in general or at some point in the future, that is not the reason we have started looking at houses now. I will be 100% honest with y'all and with myself that the reason we are buying a house is because I'm freaking out about turning 30.

In my defense, we are being wise about it, and have done lots of research about what to expect when house hunting and buying a home. We have used mortgage calculators and renting vs. buying calculators to ensure buying a home makes financial sense for us. We have put an artificial deadline of one year for our house hunting, but we really have no time frame by which we need to buy a house since our lease is month to month now, and the house we rent is really large enough to raise children in if we chose. We researched housing prices and neighborhoods, and have selected the best locations we can afford.

But yeah, we're looking for a house because I need to feel that stability and security... I need to feel accomplished, and that I am an adult. I need to feel like I have something to show for the past decade of hard work, and for some reason that means I need to have a house.

I'm turning 30, and I see my friends having children, and I realize that yes, I want children. The "plan" always was to have children when I turned 32/ 33, and I didn't want to have children until I had a house, and I wanted to live in the house for a year before having children to get used to the responsibility and financial burden of having a house, and that meant that I needed to buy a house when I turned 30 so I could live in it for a year before trying to have children, and then we'd start trying to get pregnant at 31/ 32, and then (depending upon how long it took to get pregnant) and we'd have the baby when I was 32/ 33... If I didn't buy a house this year, it would screw up the plan!

So we're house hunting now, and have put a bid in on a house, and they counter-offered, and then we countered their counter, then they accepted our counter. We close at the end of March, which is scary and exciting all at the same time.

So this is my freak-out. Welcome to my insanity...
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