Oh hey 31, its nice to meet you. This birthday sort of snuck up on me…unlike last year, when 30 felt like this looming number with so many expectations. For my early 20’s self, turning 30 meant I was supposed to have all of my shit together. And while on the outside it may look like I do: full time job, husband, house, child…I feel like I am just making it all up as I go along. I’m not sure how anyone trusts me to do all of the important things I do on a daily basis…sometimes it terrifies me. I’ve repeatedly had to tell myself “get it together, you are a grown up!” this year.
I think that is the key to being in your 30’s…accepting that you are just making shit up as you go and not apologizing anymore. At least, that’s what I’ve learned…30 was the year of self-love and acceptance for me. It started with some gut-wrenching heartbreak and ended with some more. But I did a whole lot of growing in that 365 days. Sometimes it was messy; sometimes it was beautiful. It wasn’t boring, that I can tell you.
On another note, while I certainly love making grocery lists and summer bucket lists and to-do lists at work…I’m done with them in my life life. When I was 27, I made a 30 before 30 list. It makes me laugh now looking at it…what I thought was important. What I thought I should do. What I even wanted then. I’ve done approximately 5 things on that list. Some of them I have no desire to do any longer and others I’m not sure are even possible…hello paying off credit cards every month or finding the time to be on a board or learning how to sew.
I’ve realized its more important for me to live my messy, imperfect and joyful life instead of making a list of things to check off in order to prove to myself that my life is full. Making the list put more focus on things instead of experiences. This year, the stuff that was the best wasn’t at all planned. It wasn’t catchy or sexy. The best stuff was teaching Connor how to make cookies and making a huge mess in the kitchen, playing cards with my husband like we are 70, buying new porch furniture and drinking wine out there after Connor was in bed. It was visiting with loved ones and laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. It was having my kid tell me “you are really nice Mommy, I really love you.” It was a million little things that never seem to make the big, fancy list.
So instead of a list of things to do this year, I’m just making myself a promise. I promise to celebrate the beauty in my life. Even the days that are terrible or boring or sad. Because even on the worst day, I have so much to be thankful for.
Was 30 a banner year for any of you? Share your wisdom!