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At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; at 40 the judgment. ~Benjamin Franklin

I really liked the sound of this quote, but I’m not too proud to admit I wasn’t sure what “wit” really meant here. If I’m going to be 30 tomorrow, I figured I should know, though. I mean, of course I know what it means to be witty. But, I don’t believe that’s the right context here. So, I googled, and in addition to being humorously quick on your feet, I found it means:
Sanity; The senses; Intellectual ability; faculty of thinking, reasoning; The ability to think quickly; mental cleverness, especially under short time constraints; Intelligence; common sense.
I like the sound of that kind of decade. I’m definitely tired of the will having so much reign; it’s time for new leadership to roll in.
As I’ve sat here this evening and pondered my parting words to my 30 blogs until 30 project, I kept having all of these crossroads from my 20s replay in my head. So many things I’d love to go back in time and say to 20 year-old Alison. Things to encourage her, to lift her up, to motivate her, to shake her up, to make her stop and think and make different choices.
But, I’m glad I don’t have the opportunity to say them.
Twenty year-old Alison had to do what she had to do . . . she had to fumble around and try and figure out how to grow up on her own, in her own way. She wasn’t going to listen to anyone else – so, really, going back to tip her off wouldn’t have done any good anyway. Twenty year-old Alison would have gotten upset with me and said I just don’t understand.
I know 30 year-old Alison would gladly welcome a visit from 40 year-old Alison, though. Now, ten years later, I’m ready to listen. I’ll gladly take advice. I know I don’t know it all.
I think 40-year old Alison would say to me now . . .
Take one day at a time and don’t get ahead of yourself worrying about situations that most likely will never even come to fruition.
Trust yourself. Your internal compass will never lead you astray if you take the time to really listen to it.
Keep an open mind and an open heart.
You don’t owe anyone, anything, except honesty.
You will never need a third cat.
You are not alone. Not ever. No matter how empty you may feel sometimes.
Smile more and complain less.
It is never a good idea to take a tequila shot. It’s an even worse idea to take five. You should have learned this when you were 21, why do I have to keep repeating myself?
You need to start eating healthy and exercising. Like, yesterday. It’s going to catch up to you by the time you are 40 if you don’t change something now.
No, honestly, you do not need a third cat.
Thanks, 40 year-old, Alison. I sure hope you’re right!!!
I can officially stop holding my breath . . . . the build-up to 30 is over. Tomorrow, I can go and just have a great day, with great friends (more on that later!). Make some memories, share some laughs.
And hopefully I won’t have any other age crisis’s for another 10 years!


  1. Happy 30th Birthday Alison! Here’s to the next decade being the best yet!!

  2. See? This is the one time that I can say I told you so. Thirty brings maturity that you were silently amassing during your twenties.

    This is a delightful post.

    Love you, baby girl.

  3. I love this post! Wonderfully written as always and very insightful – I learned a few things along your 30 day blog! Thanks for sharing it with everyone!

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