punchy line

...and he (Simon Peter) saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth ... not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. - Jn 20: 6-7
-Jn 20: 6-7

Friday, January 20, 2012

4 Things I Thought I’d Have By Thirty

As I soak up the last week of my twenties, I thought that I'd reminisce about those things I assumed I would have by the time I was thirty.  You know, those worldly trappings which were once ‘guaranteed’ if we worked hard, went to school and married someone responsible (hey, it’s my party and can cry if I want to, alright?).

Don’t worry, you can put away the weeping violins; I’m really very blessed.  I just have a tragic sense of humor.  Even so, here are four things I took for granted that I would have by now:

A House
I know we are far from alone on this one.  We’re part of Generation Rent, along with 38 million other people.  Still, my husband and I deeply desire to give our children what we had: a house with a yard just the way both our parents were able to give us by the time they were thirty.   

But there is a bright side!  We figure that by the time we have finally saved enough for a down payment, we’ll just give it to the grandkids and then we’ll just move in with them (muahahahaha). Until then, we do presently rent for below market rates in a nice area.  We’re lucky and I really mean that.

I often joke that if God loves the poor, then He loves us very, very much.  And He also really loves my generation because having savings and 'moving on up' is considered nearly impossible now.  We are Generation Rent as much as we are also Generation Debt. Our negative balances are one of the main reasons that couples today choose to delay marriage.  Many still believe that one cannot responsibly marry until one is completely debt free (paying off that loan will take fifty years anyway) and so living together seems like the responsible option (though ironically it ends up draining the economy even more).

Thankfully, my husband and I never had such a scruple, and so we plunged into marriage and having kids with gusto despite our student loans.  Yes, my family is poor, but that doesn't stop us from believing with all our hearts that God spoils us with what is important in life.  We have each other, our health and especially, and most importantly, our Faith. That and, as poverty goes, we live quite comfortably.  We can afford to eat out from time to time, buy new clothes and go out to the movies. In any case, God has given us the grace to love Him and we thank Him everyday for how He takes care of us, shelters us from the world's nonsense and fills our lives with His abundance.

My Own Car
I’ve already posted about my Jabba-the-Hut of a van, which is currently on loan to me out of “charity” (you know, the kind that hurts you). We used to have two cars, but we sacrificed the nice one so that I could stay home. But hey, aren’t massive family vans with stick figures of your kids stretching across the entire rear window required to be a Catholic?   If so, woot!  I'm halfway home.  And really, I’ve come to love the rusty bucket.  Really. Wait…really?  No, really!  Wait…

Affordable Health Care
Out of everything on my list, this tends to make me the most bitter because I know how much stay-at-home moms 'work.' We 24-7 child rearing-counseling-cleaning-chauffeuring-feeding-coaching-protecting types contribute to society by raising moral and productive children who will never need a jail cell.  You’d think that that would be enough of an ‘incentive’ for the government to automatically provide free medical care for stay-at-home parents for life!  For me, for now, a generous relative pays for my health care plan because it would be too expensive to add me to my husband’s much nicer plan.

I guess, on the bright side, the saints never had health care, right?  Maybe this is a gift so that I can offer up all my physical maladies for the souls in purgatory.  It's something, right? Sigh.

Looking back over my twenties, I suppose I could have done things differently, and yes, it has been impossibly difficult at times, but honestly, if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I would make the same decisions, because, at the end of the day, I truly believe that I have my what everyone else wants. I married the love of my life and we’ve made two beautiful babies.  Most importantly I have my Catholic faith. I have God, and therefore, in the words of St. Theresa, I lack nothing.

At least that’s how I feel!  Upon turning 30, I can truly say that I have everything, though by the world’s measure, I have very little.  I just pray for the grace to be able say the same when I turn forty.  And hey, things might change.  I still have two days left until my birthday.  Anything can happen.  Lotto ticket anyone?


  1. Oh. You youngster you! HAPPY BIRTHDAY. All is well; the car, the house etc. will come in its time

    An old lady friend...

    1. Thanks so much, Allison! I'm trustin' that it will all come in its time. But seriously, lotto ticket time!:)

  2. My sister has been following Dave Ramsey's plan for paying down debt and having healthier finances (my husband and I need to as well!). Anyway, she told me that Dave says there's a difference between being broke and being poor. So, I take comfort in knowing that while we're broke, we're not poor. ;)

  3. I just discovered your blog and I can totally relate!!! As I like to say..."someday, when I'm older"...

    So far I just keep getting older and the "someday" part don't show up :o).