Is there really such a thing as a “heyday”?

My brother and me on my 28th birthday. That was eight years ago (gasp!)

I overhead a conversation the other day where a couple were discussing their heyday. That was their term, not mine. I don’t believe in a heyday.

The definition of heyday according to Merriam-Webster is, “the period of one’s greatest popularity, vigor, and prosperity.” I have no problem with term when it refers to an object, place, or business. My problem is when it is used to describe a time in a person’s life.

When you think of a person’s heyday, you generally think of a 20-something dressed to the nines dancing her heart out at a bar. That is how most people assume is the greatest popularity, vigor, and prosperity in life. You don’t think of a woman in her 60s celebrating retirement in an RV. Maybe you do. But in general most people associate heyday with 20-somethings “in their prime.” But my question is why does your 20s have to be the best time of your life?

Although I did have a good time in my 20s, I believe I’m having a better time in my 30s. And no I don’t believe 30 is the new 20 and all that mumbo jumbo. I just believe each time in your life is unique and should be celebrated.

And I realize that I am only in my 30s, and cannot speak from experience of someone who has lived a full life. I also realize that I am single and do not have children, so you could say that my life is still like it was when I was in my 20s. Believe me it’s not. My hangovers are definite proof of that.

I went to a meeting the other day with about 20 20-year-olds. The meeting was at a bar and they were drinking and smoking. And it reminded me of my nights out in my 20s. There was a pang of nostalgia. However it was very fleeting. I had a headache which the smoking made worse. I was tired and just wanted to home.

My friend Lagena, right, and I super stoked to score backcountry permits in the Grand Canyon. This probably made me happier than anything in my 20s.

And I realized going home to my puppy, my book, and my bed was what was going to make me happy. Not trying to pretend I’m 10 years younger. But that doesn’t mean I’m any less happy than I was in my 20s. I’m actually more happy, because now I’ve figured out what is true. And I’m sure in 10 years, I’ll look back the years of my mid-30s and think the same thing.

So I wouldn’t call my 20s my heyday. And from my experience, I don’t think I’m going to call my 30s my heyday. I’m actually looking more forward to being grey in my 60s and traveling the country or thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail after I retire than I reminisce about my 20s.

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