Today is my 30th birthday. I am 30 years old! And I am being completely forthright when I tell you, I have never been one to shy away from aging. My life gets richer and fuller each year. I learn, I grow, I make new mistakes and try not to repeat the old ones. I have become a wife and mother over the years. I have lost dear friends, family and fur babies and have gained more along the way. I wanted to share with you the most important lessons I have learned, thus far. Some have been the simplest of epiphanies, and others have been heartbreaking realizations. Here are 10 thoughts on turning 30…
- Be true to you. Find out who you are, and what you want in life and honor that. For the longest time I tried to do the things that my friends did. I tried to be as social as they were, I tried to have plans every weekend. But I am an introvert, through and through. So all of my efforts to be a social butterfly just drained me. I would much rather spend an evening baking or with a book than out on the town. Yes, even on New Year’s Eve. That’s just me! And I’m finally at the point in my life where I won’t apologize for that.
- Family is everything. My family members are my best friends. I rely on them for so much, and I am that support system for them as well. We have an insane amount of fun together. Playing The OC trivia, having spaghetti eating contests, and staying up too late eating candy. There is no deeper friendship than that of a family member.
- Trust your instinct. Becoming a nurse has taught me this lesson the hard way. I can’t tell you how many times I ignored my instinct, only to later regret it. If you listen, your gut will tell you the right path. You owe it to yourself to listen.
- You are the company you keep. Like all of us, I have been in toxic relationships simply for the sake of ease and familiarity. I cannot begin to explain the relief of saying goodbye to a relationship that does not serve you. Just because you have invested years of your past, does not mean you need to ruin your future happiness. Surround yourself with people who really matter. People who lift you up. Who listen to your crazy ideas and encourage your wildest dreams. You are too valuable to be stuck, for any reason. And don’t ever look back. I haven’t.
- Embrace what you excel at. There’s a reason I only blog about a few subjects. Those are my strengths. They are a few things I truly enjoy and do relatively well. Whatever your strength is, do that. Do it often and make it your own. There’s a reason I don’t blog about DIY crafts and how to eat on a budget. Not my strengths!
- Be your biggest advocate. No one else can do this like you can, so do it yourself, for yourself. My husband has innumerable qualities, but knowing (telepathically) that I need a break, is not one of them. Becoming a mother has taught me to advocate for myself and my wellbeing like I’ve never had to before.
- Take care of you. My mom has instilled this in my from a young age. This circles back to #1 for me. Taking care of myself means being true to myself and having plenty of me-time. For me that means baking, reading or writing. For you it may mean playing video games, reading Harry Potter fan-fiction or watching Real Housewives. You can ask more of yourself when you give more to yourself.
- Practice gratitude. I keep a gratitude journal, and regularly write down the things I am most thankful for. Even on the craziest days, chances are your life is full of blessings. Even if nothing goes my way that day, I am able to write “I am grateful for being a wife to Jeff and a mother to Julian,” and it reminds me of what is most important in my life.
- Celebrate the little things. I’ve mentioned this before in this post, but I am a professional at celebrating the little successes of the day. A glass of champagne, a new read, whatever does it for you, be sure to treat yourself!
- Eat the cake. No one, but you, notices those 5 extra pounds. Trust me, I’ve done lots of research. So eat that slice of cake, or pie, or that last slice of pizza. (Man, I really enjoy slices.) It was Jennifer Weiner who wisely said “No woman ever said on her deathbed, ‘I wish I’d eaten less cake.’” Indulge, enough said.