I remember thinking as a child that 30 was old. As old as dirt, and that at 30 you must have a foot in the grave already. You were ancient at 30. Funny how the perspective changes as the years go by.

I’m not 30 yet, but it certainly seems close as I turn 29 today. I’m feeling the weight of this milestone as I realize my 20’s are pretty much over. Damn, where did the time go? As I look around it seems pretty obvious where it went- a divorce, a marriage, an adoption, 2 moves, several jobs, friendships discovered and lost, and the addition of 2 little boys who, despite their wily ways, have managed to capture my heart as thoroughly as their sister did 9 1/2 years ago.

A small part of me wants to hold on, for fear of what’s to come at 30.Β  I have crinkling at the corner of my eyes when I smile that will probably be more and more prominent in a year or two. I wonder if my first gray hair is just lurking somewhere, waiting for a bad hair day to pop up and scare me like a monster in a bad horror flick. The weight gets harder to lose the older I get, and I worry one day it will just look at me, laugh, and say it’s there for good. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.

My 20’s were pink. I wanted to prove to the world that I was still young, despite having kids. I wore things that I shouldn’t have, thinking they made me look my age instead of looking like a mommy. Damnit, I was still sexy even if I did have kids, and I was determined to prove it! Don’t you see me?? There is still a woman under these children! Look at me!!

As I edge into the brink of 30, I realize pink is indeed the color of youth. The color of inexperience. The color of cute.

I’m done with cute.

My 30’s will be red. I have always feared red, feeling like it would overpower me, call attention to me, andΒ  show off how unsophisticated I was. Yet now at 29 I am starting to realize the power it holds. Not a fire engine red; no more of that desperate, ‘look at me!!’ here. A burgundy. The color of a finely aged wine ready to come into its own. The color of a silk gown that hints at curves but leaves them guessing. Strong and confident, but subtle. Sophisticated.

burgundy wine

The French have a saying that life is too short to eat bad food or drink bad wine. It has taken me till 29 to grasp this, and I plan to not only embrace it, but revel in it.

From pink to red, the woman emerges.

51 Comments on From Pink to Red

  1. J
    November 12, 2007 at 9:38 am (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday! Loved your post, and gosh, seems to me that the 30s are better than the 20s. (I’m in my 40s now, so I should know!) There’s so much drama in the 20s that just isn’t there anymore in the 30s.

    Enjoy this last year of your 20s, though, and don’t start being 30 for another year.

  2. tulipmom
    November 12, 2007 at 10:10 am (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday Sara!

  3. ~JJ!
    November 12, 2007 at 10:33 am (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday you Spring Chicken you.

    The grey hair’d granny from NY!

  4. Mammaloves
    November 12, 2007 at 10:37 am (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday friend!

    It’s hard not to smile when I read about your fear of grey hair–having been grey since my 20’s. But you are so right about embracing the confidence that comes along with your thirties. Red is a beautiful color. A lush, deep and intoxicating color.


  5. melissa
    November 12, 2007 at 10:45 am (10 years ago)

    happy birthday! i just wanted to tell you that, from someone who is rapidly approaching 40, there is nothing to fear about your 30’s! believe it or not, 30’s are way more fun. i’m not going to go into detail but, just trust me on this!
    take care and enjoy your day!

  6. Devan
    November 12, 2007 at 10:54 am (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday! :mrgreen: A lovely post. Enjoy red.

  7. Lynn
    November 12, 2007 at 10:58 am (10 years ago)

    I turn 30 next month.
    I’ll let you know how that goes!

  8. Lynn
    November 12, 2007 at 10:59 am (10 years ago)

    I turn 30 next month and red is a good color.

  9. Stephen
    November 12, 2007 at 11:02 am (10 years ago)

    29 is a nervous age for me–I’m still technically in my ‘late twenties’, but teetering dangerously on the edge. My wife turned 30 a couple of months ago, though, and reports that there is life on the other side, and it’s not so scary. I’m still not sure about this whole leaving-the-twenties thing, though. :mrgreen:

  10. Julie Pippert
    November 12, 2007 at 11:15 am (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday and good for you! Here’s to red!

    And I will back up Melissa, as another who is closing out her 30s.

    Using My Words

  11. Natalie
    November 12, 2007 at 11:26 am (10 years ago)

    What is this thing you call thirty? I just keep turning twenty-nine. I did it for the fourth time this year.

    Really, just as the other ladies have said, and as rough as I’ve had it personally, I really feel like I started “coming into my own” and enjoying life within the last two years. It seems to me that for many people (including myself), the twenties were just an extension of the teenage years. It wasn’t until the last year or two that I have really felt like an adult, and as wierd as that feels, it’s strangely comforting.

    Happy Birthday Sara!

  12. Mrs. Mustard
    November 12, 2007 at 11:30 am (10 years ago)

    I am 25, but I feel the same way every birthday.
    I love the pink-to-red analogy. I am still feeling pretty pink, but I think I’;ll adopt a more red tone in a few years (when I’m finished having kids and thoroughly become an adult who doesn’t long to have pink streaks in her hair at least ONCE before she gets too old).

  13. Jess
    November 12, 2007 at 12:40 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy birthday. 29 is the new 19. Hope you have a wonderful birthday.

  14. Lizzi
    November 12, 2007 at 12:53 pm (10 years ago)

    Well, I’ll echo all the others and wish you a Happy Birthday and let you know that the 30’s are only something to look forward to. I just turned 40, and everyone told me that the 40’s bring wisdom – something I could certainly use a little more of. I would have to say that, for me, the 30’s brought patience and peace. All good things.

  15. Karen
    November 12, 2007 at 1:05 pm (10 years ago)

    many happy returns of the day!

  16. TX Poppet
    November 12, 2007 at 1:15 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy birthday. Take it from an old lady, it just keeps getting better and better. I can tell you the forties rock!

  17. SocalMom
    November 12, 2007 at 1:58 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy birthday, Sara – and don’t worry. Your 30’s are going to be great! (And the 40’s — in some ways — are even better.)


  18. christina
    November 12, 2007 at 2:26 pm (10 years ago)

    happy birthday! this is my favorite post of yours by far.

  19. Jennifer
    November 12, 2007 at 2:31 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy birthday!

    Too bad we ate a Chick-Fil-A today. I suspect the French would frown upon that!

  20. Melissa Garrett
    November 12, 2007 at 3:20 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday!!

    I turned 30 in September. Whenever I head of someone accomplishing something great in their early to mid 30’s my first reaction is, “But she’s so young!” Certainly 30 seemed ancient to me, too, when I was younger. But now that I am here . . . I feel so young!

    (most days!)

  21. Worker Mommy
    November 12, 2007 at 3:43 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday!!! When I was younger 30 seemed old to me as well however as I’m approaching 35 next month I say bring it on. Each year that I live another year to celebrate, be a part of my kids life and be healthy is good!

    Cheers to you!

  22. Heather
    November 12, 2007 at 4:02 pm (10 years ago)

    Ok, clarify for me.

    Does this mean that you’re going to start drinking with me now? I know some good red wines.

    Or do I have to wait until you turn 30?

    Because really. The French start drinking WAY before 30.

    Red has always been my favorite color. Imagine that. Not the fire engine red…because I am not a cheap hooker. I’m an expensive hooker so I prefer the darker reds.

  23. cate
    November 12, 2007 at 4:10 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday!!!

    embrace the red! it’s good! i’m 33…it’s all good!
    i’ve got those crinkles in the corners of my eyes, and the corners of my mouth, but they are from laughing, and living a good 33 years of life, so i’m okay with them. the weight…well, that’s a struggle for me too….and as for the grey hair, well that’s one thing that i won’t have to deal with! πŸ˜‰

  24. Beckie
    November 12, 2007 at 5:11 pm (10 years ago)

    Red is good… much better than girly pink. There’s something to be said for “growing up” – I’ve noticed people in general take me more seriously, as long as you exclude my close personal acquaintances. πŸ˜‰
    Hope the rest of your birthday is super!

  25. Inarticulate Fumblings
    November 12, 2007 at 5:58 pm (10 years ago)

    I turned 30 in October and went through an emotional experience very similar to your own. I was finding myself overly sensitive in random happenings like a teenager working at Starbucks telling me to have a nice day and calling me “sir.” Sir? I am NOT old enough to be called ‘sir.’

    This posting couldn’t help but remind me of my days as a waiter during my University years. Cougars (50-something, zebra-print clothing, teased hair, long nails, pretending they were 29) would come in and order what we called ‘Cougar Pop.’ Cougar pop was any pink wine… blush, rose… didn’t matter. If it was pink and zinfandel, they were happy. The wine was just another way to try and pass themselves off as young but was doing exactly the opposite.

    OWN that red wine, honey! Nothing is sexier than a confident woman who takes her age and shows the world why they wish they were her age.

  26. Christy
    November 12, 2007 at 6:26 pm (10 years ago)

    Well you know I am only a little bit older than you! LOL I am excited to be turning 30. I am ready to leave my 20’s behind. I also look back and think did I really wear that? I was scared of becoming a gap mom. Now I realize it isnt gap mom its just wearing age apprioate clothes. Happy Birthday!!!

  27. Mommy Daisy
    November 12, 2007 at 10:56 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday! Awesome thoughts about approaching 30. I’m only a few years behind you. πŸ˜‰

  28. hamiam
    November 12, 2007 at 11:13 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday!!

    Can I just say, “Me too, me too!” I’m 28 and had my first kiddo at 21, so I’ve been saying I’m “red” for about a year or so now – I’m excited for the 30s. When I’m 30, I’ll have my MPA completed, both kids will be in school, and I’ll be starting a newer, more confident chapter in life.

  29. GHD
    November 12, 2007 at 11:45 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday, Sara! I just turned 27 and I can’t wait to be “red”, too!

    Great post!

  30. Moving Mama
    November 13, 2007 at 8:46 am (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday!!!!

    I’ve got to say, I love being in my thirties. I wish I could freeze this time of my life – it seems like I finally have a better understanding of what I want in life… There’s a lot to look forward to!

  31. Heidi Hyde
    November 13, 2007 at 10:53 am (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday to you! This was a lovely post. I will be red sooner than later!

    PS. Congrats on your Wise Owl Award.


  32. motherofbun
    November 13, 2007 at 1:02 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday. Hope this year turns out to be a wonderful one for you.

    And you may find (as many of us have) that your 30’s are much happier — mainly because you feel more comfortable in your skin — not just physically but emotionally. You start to not just accept yourself, faults and all, but embrace yourself, faults and all.

  33. Krista
    November 13, 2007 at 5:23 pm (10 years ago)

    Oooo, I’m only 27 (er, make that 28 next month) and I already have gray hairs. πŸ™ I look back at pictures of my mom from when I was a kid and I see the progression… ugh!
    Happy Birthday though! And I think you can still wear pink, just not a baby pink! πŸ˜‰

  34. karen meg
    November 13, 2007 at 10:51 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy birthday!!!
    Well, I’m in my 40’s now, my 30’s were definitely happier than my 20’s; and my 40’s, well, they’re actually better than my 30’s on a certain level, so far. It’s all been pretty good since we’ve had the kidlets. And aren’t the 40s the new 30s anyway, so you’re really still in your 20s.
    Now I’m totally confused.

    You are still a young, albeit, red one!

  35. An Iowa Mom
    November 14, 2007 at 3:48 am (10 years ago)

    Speaking as a woman on the latter half of 30 … but only by one year, let me clarify … at 36 I have finally come to realize that these are the best years of my life … thus far. Because my life just seems to be getting better and better the older and wiser I become … I can’t wait to see what my 40’s and 50’s bring.

    Did I just say that?

    Oh jeez, maybe I really am an old geezer.

    Oh and the time does just seem to fly by, faster and faster. So irritating that our parents told us this over and over as youngsters (teens) and we never believed them. I mean, what the hell did they know, they were … in their 30’s? They were surely losing their minds.

    Enjoy the red! Relish in it. It just keeps getting better. πŸ˜‰

  36. Dee
    November 14, 2007 at 9:05 am (10 years ago)

    Happy Birthday Sara I hope it was great

  37. In the Trenches of Mommyhood
    November 14, 2007 at 10:56 am (10 years ago)

    You spring chicken you with NO gray hair!
    I’ll be reaching the 1/2way thru my 30’s in February and am already feeling melancholy. Maybe it’s because I’m 2 months overdue for a hair appointment and the grays are rampantly spreading?

  38. jackie
    November 14, 2007 at 12:22 pm (10 years ago)

    I love this post!! πŸ˜€

  39. Gunfighter
    November 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm (10 years ago)

    The thirties were great.

    So far, my forties have been rockin!

    I’m a pillar of my community… and for some odd reason, women still pay attention to my fat ass!

  40. Veronica
    November 14, 2007 at 4:20 pm (10 years ago)

    We share the same birthday! Happy happy birthday for Monday. I hope you had a wonderful day πŸ˜€

  41. Deborah Robinson
    November 28, 2007 at 2:50 pm (10 years ago)

    Thank you for contributing this article to Mom’s Blogging Carnival.

  42. Dev
    December 18, 2007 at 6:12 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m turning 29 in a couple months…found you through Google…loved this entry! Your outlook is great! πŸ™‚ ~Dev

  43. Yoka
    February 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm (8 years ago)

    Wow, I just recently turned 29 this month. My husband woke me up and said baby how does it feel to be 29. I looked him in the eyes and said old, I feel very, very old. He smiled at me. It seems like only yesterday I was 24 just getting married. Hello 5 yrs later. I don’t know I guess it’s a wonderful milestone look at it this way we are still living. Well, I had many goals in my twenties I caan truly say that that I’ve completed most. However, I never returned back to college to finish my BS in social work. So, I’ve decided to make this year and next year my year of completion. I have less than 4 semesters in school and I would like to have a child so I guess being 29 isn’t so bad. I’ll enjoy it and look at next year as my year of completion.


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