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31 mosaic

1. 31, 2. Cadbike #31,….., 3. 31, 4. 31, 5. 31/365, 6. 31, 7. 31, 8. Hammered Thirty-One, 9. THIRTY ONE, 10. Bingo Number 31, 11. Calendar Number 31, 12. switch number 31, 13. 31, 14. number_31-t1, 15. 31, 16. 31-001, 17. 31, 18. 31, 19. 31, 20. 31, 21. 31, 22. 31, 23. 31, 24. 31, 25. Sur son 31

It’s such a cliche to say how fast the year went, how I can’t believe another year has passed by, blah blah blah. So I won’t.

But I WILL talk about how 31 is much different than 21.

  1. I can’t stay up nearly as late.
  2. I think about the effects of my spending a lot more.
  3. If my 21-year-old self knew that my 31-year-old self wanted kids, she would roll over in her grave.
  4. I complain with my friends about how hard it is to keep up with one another between all of our busy schedules.
  5. I get excited over the purchase of a washer and dryer.
  6. I think everyone looks about 10 years younger than their actual age.
  7. I look at young people and think, I can’t believe what kids are wearing these days! In my day…
  8. I’ve bought life insurance.
  9. Heels just aren’t as comfortable as they used to be.
  10. I never get carded anymore.

How are you different now than you were 10 years ago?


51 Responses to “31”

  1. Jenn (Bibliolatrist)

    Hey – I am also turning 31 (in just 3 days), so your post made me feel nice! I agree with much of your list…especially 1, 3, 9, 10…

    Happy Birthday to you! Hope many lovely books await you in the year ahead! 🙂


  2. Audrey/brizmus

    I feel like there’s a much bigger difference between 17 and 27 than 21 and 31, but maybe I’m wrong. I have changed SO much since 17! At 17 I was a shy little girl who spent most of her time hiding out to drink alcohol and being afraid to approach her friends for fear they didn’t actually like her. I mean, I was still in high school. Now, I don’t drink, my shyness has faded, and I am no longer in school. Oh, and one of the biggest differences – I have hair!! When I was 17, I had a shaved head.
    I take it it’s your birthday? Happy Birthday!


  3. Heather

    Welcome to the club! I’ve been 31 since January and it ain’t so bad. I had loads more trouble with 29; once I hit 30 it was smooth sailing. And I totally agree with 1-10, especially #1. I miss being able to stay up late…


  4. Meghan

    Happy birthday! I hope you’re having a great day!

    I’m only 23, but even so, 23 is ridiculously different from 13. I don’t even recognize my 13 year old self. I wasn’t even in high school yet and now I have a Master’s degree, a husband, and I’m living in a different country. I wonder how much my life will change again in 10 more years.


  5. Helen

    Ok, now I feel like a granny! I am 44, but feel about 31. 10 years ago I was newly married with no children and was teaching high school history. Today I am divorced, mom to a wonderful 9 year old, and am a teacher librarian! What a change! I am happier than I have ever been. 44 is supposed to be middle-aged, but I feel anything but that. I am more relaxed, more sure of myself, love what I am doing with my life (including discovering book blogging), and (as someone who wasn’t sure she wanted children) LOVE being a mom. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done!


  6. diane

    Happy Birthday Trish….such a kid just 31 LOL

    I think life gets easier and better as you get older, and I would not go back to my 20’s or 30’s (maybe 40’s) LOL for anything.


  7. Heather

    Happy birthday Trish! I am turning 26 in a couple of weeks, and I can think of about a million ways I’m different from my 16-year-old self. Number one being that I can drive now. 🙂


  8. nikki

    Happy Birthday! I’m 32, and when I look back at my 22 year old self, I am stunned. Back then I had just graduated from college and was moving out of state with my then boyfriend so he could get his Master’s degree. Now? I married that boyfriend so he’s my husband, and we have an awesome three year old son. I work part time and keep house and raise my kid the other part of the time. I want nothing more than to be a stay at home mom and have a couple more kids.

    If you told me when I was 22 that I’d want to stay home with kids and put a career on the back-burner I would have probably punched you in the face and called you anti-feminist.

    Not anymore 🙂

    PS-I’m still a feminist.


  9. Lu

    Well, appears I am the baby of these comments (not by much though), I’m only 21 and when I was 11… well, I was in the 6th grade. I would put Harry Potter in my textbooks so I could read during class. I would probably still do that now if I thought I could get away with it. In the sixth grade I was reading The Red Badge of Courage, Pollyanna (HORRIBLE), and this wonderful book about a Chinese-American family who owned a laundromat but whose title I can’t remember for the life of me, but which had a line in it that said, “And the trees stood over her house like sentinels.” And I just thought that was the most beautiful line ever. So if you know the title of that book, please let my 21-year-old self know, thank you!

    Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRISH. Have a fabulous day 🙂


    Fyrefly Reply:

    Lu – Is it In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson? I don’t remember the laundromat specifically, but it’s a book about a Chinese-American girl that I had to read in 6th grade, so it might be what you’re looking for.

    Trish – Happy Birthday! I’m still a few years shy of 31, but my 18-year-old self would have gotten a laugh out of your #9… I don’t think heels were *ever* comfortable! 🙂


  10. softdrink

    Happy Birthday!

    I find myself doing the “kids these days” comment way too frequently. Other than that, I still feel like I’m 31, so it’s all good.


  11. CKHB

    It’s my birthday, too! Only I’m 36.

    Ten years ago? Hell. I didn’t have a toddler, I wasn’t married, I was still in law school (in Philly)… and yes, heels used to be no problem whatsoever, and now I’m at risk of toppling. What’s up with that?


  12. Word Lily

    Happy birthday!!! 31’s not too bad of a year (well, the first 10 months of it that I can speak to, anyway)


  13. Kathy

    Happy Birthday! Wait ’til you hit 51! 50 didn’t really bother me, but 51 did a little bit.


  14. Steph

    Hey Trish, Happy Birthday! I’ll say that many of the things on your list are true for me, but I still have a few years to go until 31… is that awesome, or awful?

    I know you’ll make it a good one, so long as you remember that you’re never too old for cake!


  15. Heather J.

    I totally identify with #4, #6, #7 … but I do have to say that since I cut all my hair off I DO get carded now! 🙂

    Happy Birthday sweetie! I hope you have a great one. 🙂


  16. Jen - Devourer of Books

    10 years ago? That’s an odd thought. I can’t believe that 10 years ago I was still in HIGH SCHOOL. AS A JUNIOR. Weird. I’m not sure if it feels stranger that I’m nearly coming up on my 10 year reunion, or that it was *only* 10 years ago. Life is so very different. I’d never talked to my husband or my best friend before, had never been to Chicago, where I now live. I did still read a lot, though.


  17. Jeane

    Happy Birthday! Ten years ago? Hm- I wasn’t married, lived in a rented apartment, had no kids- wow, lots of things were different. I’m not surprised when I looks at kids’ attire, but I am constantly amazed at how they’re all constantly connected to their little gadgets- cell phones, ipods, twitter…. Just think, when my child grows up she’ll never recall having not owned a computer, she doesn’t know what a typewriter is, she’s never lived in a house where you couldn’t instantly google whatever you want to know. I still remember when email was a brand-new thing in college and I had to wait lines in the computer lab to use it!


  18. Literate Housewife

    Happy birthday! I have 7 years on you, but what I keep thinking is how old members of my favorite bands are getting. My youngest sister is 13 years younger than me. I found myself trying to explain Bono’s sex appeal from back in the Joshua Tree / Achtung Baby years. She can’t get past the Bono of today… Ah well.

    10 years ago I wanted children. Now I can’t imagine why (jk, of course – kind of…) LOL!!!!


  19. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)

    LOL I find myself saying that about kids’ clothes as well! LOL


  20. Melissa

    You don’t get carded?

    Lucky. I’m 31, the oldest of my group of friends by a couple years, and I’m the FIRST one to get carded anywhere.


  21. Kari

    Haha, I say that that I can’t stay up as late as I used to, and I’m only 24!


  22. Lisamm

    Happy birthday, baby.

    10 years ago.. my kids were babies and my husband traveled for weeks at a time so I was alone a lot with my babies, not working, and my brain was turning to mush. Now they are preteens and my brain is still mush, LOL.


  23. zibilee

    Happy Birthday!! I agree that the difference that 10 years makes is quite large and I recognize and agree with most of your list, especially number 1. I think the biggest change for me has been that I accept myself so much more now than I did when I was 21. I don’t really spend as much time worrying about the outside as much and I am more comfortable in my friendships at this age. I hope you have a great birthday celebration and that your next year is a great one!


  24. Petunia

    I spent my 20s making and raising babies on vertually no money. Now the kids are bigger(16?!) and there is a steady income. That means I spend more time taking care of myself, buying clothes I like, having fun. Makeup and jewelry have made a comeback. And I still get carded but I think it’s because I FEEL younger so I ACT younger. Plus I understand more about myself now than I did at 20(24 to be exact since we’re talking about 10 years ago) and more about how the world runs. The 30s have been much better for me than the 20s.


  25. Alita

    Happy Birthday Trish!

    10 years ago I was still in high school, cringing every time I was asked the question: What are you going to do after graduation? And now I find myself asking that same question to cringing teenagers!


  26. Florinda

    Happy birthday, Trish! It’s quite a trek from 21 to 31 :-).

    10 years ago I was 35, and in the midst of one of the worst periods of my life – my mother had just died, my marriage was unraveling, and my son was in the middle of adolescence. You never met someone so glad to end her 30’s, although the first year of my forties was still pretty rough. Since then, things have looked up a LOT – a great second husband, the expansion of my world through blogging, and a (step)daughter in the middle of adolescence. Well, some things may not have changed all that much :-).


  27. Kiki

    I am 41–10 years older than you! Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and happy inside?



  28. sarah pekkanen

    Happy Birthday, girl!

    Oh, my life has changed so much in the past 10 year… I now have 3 kids and have a whole new career. I have a few more wrinkles (mostly laugh lines, which I’m happy about) and I appreciate life more now, I think. I wish for you all the good things in life this year – love and friendship and laughter!



  29. bybee

    Happy Birthday!

    In answer to your question: Calmer. Happier.


  30. Belle

    Happy birthday, Trish! I do actually look at least ten years younger than my real age 🙂 Especially when I go anywhere without wearing makeup!

    I’m in my 40s and the last ten years have been amazing in terms of inner growth – I’ve learned a lot and become a whole lot more comfortable with who I am. And unlike when I was younger, I realize now that this inner expansion never ends, no matter how old you are. At the same time, I still feel like the child me, the young adult me, the in my 30s me … they’re all here still! 🙂


  31. nat @book, line, and sinker

    happy birthday!!!

    i’m 35 and can’t really remember what the heck i was doing when i was 25. i seem to recall a soulless job at an HMO where i canceled peoples’ policies for non-payment of premiums…but that might just be a nightmare.

    life is grand at 35…hubby and i are having a blast! he’s going to be 37 on wednesday and we’ve been dating since he turned 19!!! scary. can i really be that old? i still feel 16 inside, but my gray hairs and laugh lines give me away.


  32. Nan

    Oh the staying up late one is so true! Now, at 38, I prefer to go to bed early and get up early. I used to be such a night owl!


  33. Stacy

    Happy Belated Birthday! You share a birthday with my Mom – who I spent yesterday with. Her middle name is Pearl. Your parents didn’t do that to you did they?


  34. Lisa

    Ten years ago I was a stay-at-home mom with two boys in grade school and my daughter was a year away from kindergarten. I was up to my eyeballs in volunteer work at the school and as the team mom for my kids swim team. And I was nearly wrinkle- and grey hair-free!


  35. Sadako

    I go to the gym by choice now. Chocolate chip cookies are just as awesome, though. Thank god.


  36. Emily

    10 years ago, I was much thinner, drank a lot more, much prettier, and had a lot more money to spend on myself. I had a lot more friends, but it turned out that none of them stuck around. I would have spent a lot more time liking myself. But I did trade it all in for the world’s best husband. I would wish you a happy birthday, but I don’t celebrate them. Hope you don’t either. But you and I both know that in 20 days I turn the big 31 too! Hooray for me! (That was sarcasm.)


  37. Valerie

    Happy Birthday!

    I actually feel younger now (and I think I look younger, too– when I look at pics of myself back then) than I did ten years ago!

    Ten years ago, my kids were very little and much more high-maintenance (actually the third of my three had not been born yet) and so I felt perpetually tired and drained (it didn’t help that hubby had a demanding job plus MBA school). Now that the kids are older and more independent, I have a little more of my life, and myself, back :-)!


  38. Aunt Becky

    Truthfully, I am dying to hit my 30’s. My twenties were so chaotic, I am ready to put them behind me.


  39. Beth F

    I think of myself as being 32, so all is good. Never mind that my math is all off . . .


  40. Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog

    Happy birthday (again)! Ten years ago, I was 16, dating a guy who wanted to be a minister (and who thought it was a sin to touch boobs!), and I thought I was going to grow up and become a therapist. I just assumed I’d get married and have kids, but now that I’m married (to a guy who’s not afraid of boobs), I’m re-thinking the kids thing, and my 16-year-old self would never have believed it.


  41. carol

    Happy Birthday!
    I turned 35 last month. Differences from 10 years ago? I honestly think I’m happier. My daughter’s now 9 and a joy, I have a wonderful, loving husband. I think in general I do more to make myself and my family happy and tend to care less about what others think.


  42. Alyce

    Happy Birthday!

    I am 32, so I am feeling a lot of the same things that you are.

    Ten years ago my husband and I had only been married for two years, and I had been out of college for one year, and already worked in one horrible job, left it and settled down to work at a place I loved.

    I remember being more discontented then though (desperately wanting kids). I took sleep so for granted before having kids. 🙂 Even though I seem to be exhausted most of the time it doesn’t take much to keep me happy now. (Family and good books, what more do you need, right?) 🙂


  43. Lorin

    You may not want to say it, b/c its a cliche, but I’ll say it: wow! this year has gone fast! =)

    Happy birthday! Have a blessed and fun year!


  44. Dreamybee

    I’m much better about drinking water, and I eat more vegetables.

    That’s the best I can come up with…I don’t know if that means I’m really immature or just young at heart!


  45. Alessandra

    Happy belated birthday! I’ve never been able to stay up very late… and I’ve always known I want to have children when I’m older… and even when I was a teen I thought, “I can’t believe what kids are wearing these days!”.

    So I’m a bit worried about what I might turn out to be in 5 years’ time, when I turn 31 too.


  46. Nick Ruffilo

    Happy Birthday from me and all of us here at BookSwim! 31 is an awesome age. I too look back and think of how I’ve changed – but I like to call it growth. As long as you are happy all is well!


  47. Kristen

    I love this. I’m a couple years older than you are (and a lot closer to the big 4-0) but I often find myself looking at my life and thinking that I’d probably have been shocked if you told me 10 or 20 years ago where I’d be, what I’d be doing, and everything else. Oh, and I have to say, when I work concessions at football games, I am appalled at how very, very young 21 is! or maybe they’re really 12 and they just switched the numbers to appear legal!


  48. Les in NE

    Ah, what I’d give to be 31 again. I just turned 48 (on the 13th) and I think the biggest change is how much I ache in the morning. Just walking downstairs to fix my first cup of coffee is a bit of a challenge. I’m very active during the day, working at B&N, but my knees are really taking a toll with all the bending & squatting to shelve books & magazines. I’m considering glucosamine to see if that will help. Other than that, I think I’m calmer and less of a worrier as I’ve gotten older. Maybe I just let things slide of my back a little more readily than when I was younger. Oh, look! It’s 9:30. Way past my bedtime! 😉

    Happy belated birthday!


  49. Eleanor's Trousers

    Happy Belated Birthday!
    I’ll be 33 next week and boy, has it been a long strange trip since 23. But next summer I’ll be celebrating the ten year anniversary of meeting my best friend. Who I still drink with, and laugh with, and travel with, and roadtrip with jus the way we did ten years ago.
    Maybe things aren;t all that different after all.

    Well, except for skinny jeans. Screw you skinny jeans!



    Its my birthday 28 years but stil look 14


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