Thirty-three! Isn’t it funny how when we’re kids and teenagers, our current age seemed so darn old? Thirty-three to 18 year old Kate sounded ancient. And now I’m here. It doesn’t feel so bad. I always think of the wise words of my dark-humored grandmother, who scoffs at people that complain about birthdays and aging. She says: “Isn’t it better than the alternative?” Heck yes it’s better, how lucky we are. This birthday, while a bit of a random stop along my mid-thirties, feels monumental to me. For starters, I’ve decided this is the year I’m going to (attempt to) stop being a birthday brat. It’s a difficult decision to come to, but it’s time, ha. I have a bit of a history of making unreasonable demands about birthday celebrations, and this year, I’m closing the book on that chapter. I made myself a birthday cake this morning (funfetti, duh!), my hubs is picking up Indian food from our favorite take-out place on his way from work, and my birthday treat to myself is a night-off from emails and work and instead digging into a stack of magazines and a good book.

To my surprise, this low-key birthday sounds pretty darn wonderful. I think that’s the second reason that this birthday feels unusually monumental this year: I think maybe I’m finally feeling like a grown-up? I always wondered when that feeling of adulthood might hit. This week it’s started to feel real. Jane is turning one in 10-days (gah!), which means I’ve been a mom for nearly a whole year! Then I spent a good chunk of yesterday making appointments for a car alignment, calling someone to service our heating system, and then tackled some invoices and tax stuff for my business. Nothing makes adulthood more real than that.

The real reason I think the birthday, and general adultness feelings, are hitting me today, is that I feel a little bit less of the chase this year. It’s not a feeling of losing my ambition or drive. That, my friends, is alive and well. It’s more a feeling of not having to chase after every little prize to feel like I’m doing better than someone else; that I need to get the right car or house or find the right outfit to fit in or land the right client or project to compete. I’m finding today that I’m quite happy right where I am. Which really feels like the best birthday gift of all. Cheers friends, I’m off to eat my cake!