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When Your 30th Birthday Doesn’t Involve Fancy Attire — or Pants

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Turning 30 can be a huge milestone in one’s life, especially if you’re a woman, in my opinion. By the time you reach 30, you might be settling into a career you are passionate about. You are possibly married and are starting a family. Paying a mortgage, and saving for your kid’s college tuition. Turning 30 is your “big bash” before your life starts revolving around carpools, soccer practice and orthodontist appointments. So what do you do? You get together with your girlfriends, go away for the weekend and end your time as a 20-something dancing and laughing the night away.

Not everyone gets to celebrate their “dirty 30” like I just explained, though. When you have a chronic illness, like me, turning 30 means something entirely different. There were no girls’ weekends away, no city lights, no nightclubs. Instead, I spent the morning of my 30th birthday in tears because the pain was too much. I took an hour-long hot bath and spent two hours in a dark, quiet room, in hopes I would feel somewhat normal by the time my husband got home from work.

When he did get home, he brought me ice cream and coffee (my weaknesses). He then rubbed my back and put lotion on my feet. We spent time talking about everything and nothing, and I fell asleep in his arms while he rubbed my head — my favorite way to fall asleep. And guess what? My birthday was perfect.

My birthday didn’t involve fancy evening attire. In my case, it didn’t even involve pants. But it was still a wonderful night I will never forget. Why? Because I spent it with my best friend, not having to worry about life, bills or my upcoming surgery in a couple weeks, which by the way, makes this brain surgery number seven. For a few hours, I got to experience what I imagine is a “normal” quiet night in that most people take for granted, and it was exactly what I needed.

I woke up the next day, and nothing had changed except I added one more number to the times I’ve circled the sun. I was still in pain, and I was still sick. Turning 30 for me was nothing fancy, but it was the greatest night I’ve had in a long time, and I will never forget it.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: January 19, 2016
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