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ndann
Friend

30th birthday

hi, 

 

i am turning 30 this weekend and having a heck of a time with it.  i just feel depressed.  we lost our home and farm to a tornado last july and  i feel like things have just gone to pot since then.  even with insurance being very good to us- we have alot of new debt.  i am again worrying about being able to pay for the basics- i just thought we would be beyond that by the time i turned 30. on top of it all  my sister and her husband and son have decided to take a month vacation and want to spend a week with us.  i work full time in town and along with haying season, i am stretched for time .  any suggestions? or advice?

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14 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: 30th birthday

Well, it took me until i was 50 to learn how to say "no". Maybe you could give yourself the gift of saying "no" for your 30th birthday. Unless YOU are really wanting to see your sister axnd family, it sounds like this is a very bad time mentally, physically, and financially. A loving sister would understand. Dont let yourself feel guilted into hosting them.

On the loss you suffered in the tornado, you may be going through some PTSD. Maybe a visit to your minister or a counselor would help you deal with your loss. I imagine that in the immediate aftermath you just functioned to get through it and now, a year later, you are feeling it.

Prayers coming your way. We are good "listeners" on this site. We care. Hope you find some positives in this.

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Honored Advisor

Re: 30th birthday

Please forgive me for saying this; but, my 30-year -old daughter passed away three weeks ago.  Her sister would give anything in the world to have her spend a week right now. 

 

We are just glad she did come as much as she could, even though she worked hard and had a lot on her plate, too.  At least her new nephew will have photos of her with him as a baby to look at as he grows up. 

 

I thought I would be past the hard parts by the age of 58...my birthday was yesterday.  Take it from me...the worries you have are about stuff.  Stuff is nothing in the grand scheme of things. 

 

Thirty can be hard, because you think you have fallen short...that's what you are saying, as I read it.  I felt exactly the same way on that birthday. 

 

At nearly twice that age now, I can tell you, the depression you feel is that you are measuring yoiurself against your own yardstick of what you think you "ought to have done" by now. 

 

It is disappointment...which is the distance between your expectations and whatever level of accomplishment you have acheived, or think you have achieved.  It is probably not too realistic to think you can rapidly change the net worth of your farm, or the balance in your bank account. 

 

What you can change, to shorten the distance between "ought" and "actual" is the expectation part of the equation.  I am not saying to lower the hopes and dreams you hold for yourself; but, to make them realistic, instead of idealistic. 

 

The tornado was a re-set point in your lifetime.  You have to allow in your factoring of accomplishment that the storm set your farm back a bit....maybe a lot. 

 

I would ask myself how many years it will take to get back to where you were before the tornado, and allow yourself that much time to climb back that far once more.  If it's five years...then allow yourself to re-visit the feelings of where you 'ought to be' at 35.  Then, cut yourself some slack. 

 

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. ..at least if you are lucky.   

 

Honestly, I don't know anyone who was beyond worries so young.  Thirty sounds old, until you hit 40, 50, and start staring into the teeth of sixty.  You have time on your side to amass material success. 

 

Don't know you definition of "basics"...but, make sure that is realistic, too.  Losing everything can make you too focused on material things...shorten the list to just what is truly needed, not merely wanted. 

 

Enjoy being young...do some cartwheels on the lawn, fly a kite with the kids in those hayfields, and do what our friend Suey says...consider what it would be like if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday. 

 

Sorry if this sounds preachy...it isn't meant to be.  I have had a real earthshaking month...it changes your perspective to lose someone you truly adore. 

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: 30th birthday

It sounds like  you've been through a lot with the tornado, etc. and that certainly must play into your mindset.  Try & sit back and without stressing out, evaluate if having your sister/family would really be too much or if it could be a distraction.  Is she close to you so you could rely on a little help?  Can you talk to her & explain how you feel?

 

Hate to tell you but there are times we all fall short of our expectations at different stages of life.  I'm one of the oldest here (if not THE oldest at 65) and I'm having some real trepidations about retiring.  You know-giving up the paycheck.  Heck, I'd give up all the work in a NY minute but the unknown of what's around the corner healthwise,

etc. is pretty scary.

 

I'm not trying to put you & your depression down; it can be a real black hole that's hard to climb out of alone.  I agree that maybe some counseling might be in order.  Is there any county human resource offices that could help you being a tornado victim?  Not much of a pill pusher here, but maybe a good checkup with your family doctor - and be honest about your feelings - would be a good step.  At your age you could be having some hormones out of wack.  (thyroid/me) Also, try and get out for even a 20 min. walk to reflect and do that much for your well being.  You deserve it.  Check back & let us know how you are.

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Senior Contributor

Re: 30th birthday

Can you ask your sister to cut the visit down to a couple of days? If  you are not especially close I would suggest telling her not to visit this time as it just is not good timing. If you are close to your sister, she will understand and help you out with the extra work.

 

Each decade of our lives is different and each should be enjoyed for what it is. It is the birthdays with zeros that hard the hardest. The years move on so fast! The losses you have been through deserve to be mourned and then it is time to move on at some point.  I too suggest some counseling or at least share your feelings with someone you trust to understand. This too will pass.

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Honored Advisor

Re: 30th birthday

I didn'tmean to discount the condition of depression...I suffered with it - sometimes at what should have been deemed a clinical level worthy of care -  for much of the decade from age 35-45.  It is a difficult thing to handle, if it sets in to stay that way.  I wish I had those ten years back, to do over, with what I know now. 

 

This young woman mentions being kind of depressed over a milestone birthday, and what might have been by now.  To me, that sounded more transient, recent, typical of that age. 

 

That is sort of expected in a way...that we all look at ourselves in a mirror of some sort at some point, and thought someone prettier/thinner/richer/etc., would be looking back.  Is there anyone who hasn't done that?  I've never met her, if so. 

 

That was what I meant to say in my post...that you are as well-off as you make up your mind to be, most days.  If you are in debt now, someone thought you had good potential to pay it back.  If you lost a lot, but "insurance was good" to you, then you replaced most of the necessities of life. 

 

We took a huge setback when we didn't get our way over zoning in Va when we were 38...and ended up going into a huge debt situation when we bought this place.  There is no insurance for that sort of situation.   

 

Legal fees and relocating cost us our life's savings to that point.  We moved from a beautiful modern, clean, total electric brick rancher, into a real shack and shanty...I mean, we had no windows!!!!! 

 

You would think we would have thought to borrow a bit more, and have at least a roof that didn't leak over our heads...when it rained, water ran down the phone line, where it had been sturng over a rafter, and into the fax machine.  I still shake my head when I see the photos of this place back then...what were we thinking?????

 

Now, I can say that it has all worked out for the best...that we are further along in every material way than I ever dreamed we'd be.   It's still the same ratty house, but it's home now, and we are happy here.  I never earned that master's degree. I am still a chunky dunk,l instead of a skinny dip.  My great novel still sits in my brain, just short of being put onto paper. 

 

If I used the yardstick I had in my head at thirty, I'd think of myself as an abject failure today.  I am SO glad I threw that sucker away, and decided to look at the stuff we have done, instead of what we haven't.  That is all I was trying to say....

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: 30th birthday

When we have relatives who want to visit, I tell them fine, but tell them a few things first.

I make sure they know if it will be in irrigation or haying season.  When I'm in town, I get a few pamphlets or flyers of local events or points of interest.

When they show up, tell them to make themselves at home, but I have to be in the field on this day and that day, from this time to that time, and give them the info.  They can then stay in the house, go into town, or do whatever they want at my 'busy' time, and when I get in, we can go out for a meal, or check out the sights, or whatever.  Most people are pretty decent if you just tell them you need to do this or that, and when, and will find something to do, while you're busy.

Heck, to some people, walking pipe, or raking hay is a 'novelty', and will help you just for the fun of it.  Just don't be surprised if they don't want to pick up too many little square bales in the heat.

As to the not being where you wanted to be at 30, I know of very few people who were.  If you have depression, try to see what you can do about it, but if it is just feeling 'behind', I think 99% of us had that same problem.  Life tends to throw you curve balls, and things just happen.

Also, sorry about the tornado, I know several people who lost their home to one, and the devastation can not be described in words.  Best of luck on your rebuilding.

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Senior Contributor

Re: 30th birthday

Good Advice. Every area has attractions and those who have lived in the area probably have not visited them. Local brochures is a great idea. They may just want to relax and do nothing too or maybe visit a pool. When we visit an area we like to go out on our own sometimes to see the sites as the locals have been there and done that and may not like what we like.

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Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: 30th birthday

I'm going to tell you what I went through when I turned 30. You can take it and use it or not.

Many of my relatives died young, before 45, so I wanted to get as much accomplished as possible before my fateful day. Went to places I only dreamed of going (by myself no less) before 25. Got a good paying part-time job that has led to a great paying and benefit career. Bumped head with many who thought I was expecting too much, too fast. Those are people who think the best will come to those with patience. Little did they know of my relative's early deaths. Just remember you can only control yourself, your actions, and feelings.

The tornado may have been a blessing in disguise. You now have a clean slate to design a farmstead the way it is best for you, not for its previous owners. Was it hard to move equipment through the current setup or were you just getting used to it? Maybe it was a good setup, but there were one or two things that if you got enough money you wanted changed; now is the oppourtunity to start on those changes. Starting from scratch costs money and it's quite scary to see that big number all at once. Remind yourself that you or your husband probably had paid that much debt over the past 10 or 15 years.  

Sometimes, the woulda, coulda, shoulda thoughts creep into my mind and bring doubts, but I can't change the past, only the present and future. Give yourself the gift of praise, even if you think you don't deserve it. You probably do. Every time a negative thought pops into your mind, remind youself of seven things that are good in your life.

As for your sister, is she someone who would second guess or put down your past decisions? If so, you really don't need that kind of distraction during your recovery. If she is supportive and really wants to spend time with you, consider it her gift to you. . She will understand your dilemna if you cannot spend the entire 168 hours with her. Positive family time is more precious than a paycheck in the end

Honored Advisor

Re: 30th birthday

Excellent point about thinking you won't live all that long...in our family, the "magic" number was 51.  Can't tell you how manyt had died by that point...and, I think it made me driven in a way, too. 

 

We got married at 19, built a home right away.  I graduated with a 4-year degree in 2.5 years, by slaving at it.  We had kids at 23, 25, and 27, and were building a farming business all along the way, on the side of two off-farm jubs at points. 

 

We didn't have enough fun all during that driven period.  Still don't, if I really am honest about it.  We need to change that....

 

The whole discussion about depression makes me want to interject that 75% of the effectiveness of meds for dpression is attributed to a placebo effect.  Probably the most effective antidote is exercise.  I can vouch for that. 

 

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