Featured Article / Fulfillment

Age is But a Number (Turning 30)

Age is but a number.

Said the 19-year old single mother who tried her best to raise her son alone.

Age is but a number.

Said the 33-year old office clerk who loves his job but has not been promoted for 10 years of service. So he spends his spare time building a simple start up business and dating nice girls who can possibly be his future wife.

Age is but a number.

Said the 40-year old former top cardiologist of the country who had to suddenly stop practicing her craft to take care of her child who got a rare disease but is now thankfully recovering.

Age is but a number.

Said the 73-year old man who has suffered a stroke, just finished with therapy, and is still driving his own car, gardening, and enjoys playing with his grand kids.  


“Number” by definition is a value typically used to indicate position in a series. This is why we love making marks and defining life changing moments and important milestones every time we age. We set certain goals for ourselves and we work so hard to meet them. Naturally, when we don’t meet them, we get disappointed, making it harder for us to get back on track. Sometimes these goals become limitations and we end up already boxing our own potential to grow even further or to discover a new path we haven’t thought of before.

We get so hard on ourselves, or worse, let society dictate what should be done at a certain age. We should “graduate by 21”, “own a property by 25”, “get married before 30”, “retire by 35” (because early retirement means you’re very successful), “be a billionaire by 40”, “still look a certain way at 50”, etc…

Age is a mark – a value that may or may not be used to define success or achievement, BUT not on a preempted, highly anticipated, somewhat staged, and almost forced manner. Don’t get me wrong. I am pro goal-setting, especially when it comes to tasks and work related activities. Pro-activeness and a having a go-getter attitude will definitely get you far and make you reach your potential. Yet, to me, the real value of our age is how we can actually look back, evaluate, and be content with how much we have done during that time given to us.

The value is about reflecting and being grateful for your blessings and achievements, big or small, instead of dwelling on the negative, being extremely pressured, or being depressed because your boyfriend still has not proposed when you’re already turning 30 next month. It’s about giving more value to the lessons you have learned, the people you have met, and the opportunity to have helped or make a difference in someone’s life. It’s about making the most out of what is in your control instead of regretting why you did not take that new job offer that could have easily earned you triple and would have made you retire at your goal of 35. It’s about looking back and saying “I’m glad I did that.”

Personally, I have always set my mind on getting married and having at least my first kid before 30, having my own successful business by now (30), traveling as much as I can and seeing at least half of the world by 40, and retiring by 50… So far I met one of my goals and almost half of the other one, but I discovered that there’s really something deeper than that. I stopped focusing on the timeline and started concentrating on the journey itself. 🙂

Aside from the pressure, each one of us will also encounter setbacks while trying to reach our goals. Not all of us will be able to walk the path we chose for ourselves. These setbacks may hinder us from meeting the goals we have set but for sure there will be MORE highs than lows. You just have to learn to appreciate more.

Age is a value, often just associated with quantity. But don’t you think value can mean more than just quantity? To me, value can also mean QUALITY, which is a greater value that could definitely entail more happiness and contentment. So, I encourage you to count the things of “real value” in your life.

It sounds simple but I know it’s difficult. Appreciate the greater value, count your blessings, and be more grateful, instead of always asking why you did not meet your desires. With these, I think we will be able to sincerely say and mean “Age is but a number”.

Besides, as Gertrude Stein said,

“We are always the same age inside.”

And that would make me forever twenty five!

About the Contributor

A newbie mom of a baby girl and doctor’s wife; A former marketing practitioner, now a dedicated home maker, entrepreneur, and part time blogger, collaborator and stylist; An ultimate foodie with a huge appetite and a preschool teacher wannabe; Enjoys traveling and dreams of becoming a food connoisseur; Loves her family and God above all things.

See all of Abby Borja's posts →

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