Tuesday, July 5, 2011

30 Is Not The New 20, Its The New Me

I celebrated my 30th birthday today.  I didn't anticipate celebrating.  I anticipated a lot of moping, whining and possibly even tears.  But I didn't do any of those things.  I truly celebrated.

It didn't hurt that my husband had a little "Come to Jesus" meeting with me a few days before today.  (For those of you that don't know what a "Come to Jesus" meeting is, you clearly haven't experienced one yet.  During a "Come to Jesus" meeting, the facts are laid out on the table for you and you have a choice to make.  The right choice brings you to Jesus, aka the right choice, or the second choice brings you a lot of pain.  I have led and received many "Come to Jesus" meetings over the last 30 years.)  So yes, Matt and I had a "come to Jesus" talk and I made the choice to change my attitude.

My 20s were spent wanting.  I wanted to graduate college, have fun, buy a house, get married, have a child, etc.  I got everything I wanted and more.  But I also didn't enjoy everything I had because I was worried about fulfilling the next want.  These past 30 years have gone by quickly and I imagine the next 30 will go by even faster.  I don't want to look back 30 years from now and wish I would have been more present, worried less, or enjoyed myself more.

I have decided that my 30s will be different.  I am going to appreciate what I have instead of worrying about what I don't have.  I will live in the now instead of worrying about what's coming next.

A few months ago, I read a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  Gretchen spent an entire year focusing on 12 areas, one area per month, that she wanted to improve upon.  While I am not going that far, the book inspired me to set some new goals for myself.  As I was discussing this post with Matt he asked me if I realize that putting my intentions on the internet means that I am now accountable for these resolutions.  Accountability is exactly what I need to succeed. 
Be present.  Put down the phone and pay attention to what's going on around me.  Spend time with people and projects that are important to me and my family.

Do something with the pictures I take. Print them. Update my picture books. Hang them up. Stop leaving them on the camera for 8 months.

Get out from behind the camera and be in more pictures. 

Capture more family pictures.

Take better care of myself. Get plenty of rest. Eat better. Exercise more. I have to take care of me first before I can take care of anyone else.

Find my clothing style.  I would love to wear yoga pants everywhere but I realize that's not socially acceptable.  Getting dressed should not be a struggle and I can stop buying clothes that aren't really me.  (I have already started this one and I have a massive Goodwill pile started.)

Find my house style. We still have the furniture I got from my cousin when I first graduated college. It works and it was free but we are ready for a change.

Keep an eye on the future, but my feet in the present.  As Matt will tell you, I have a habit of over analyzing and worrying about things that haven't happened yet or may never happen.  And that makes it hard to appreciate what's in front of me.  I think its important to plan for the future but I can find a way to balance planning for the future while still enjoying the present.
Let go of expectations.  (Click the link and read the article.  Its a game changer.)

Its not a complete list.  But its a start.  I also like that there is a lot of "me" resolutions.  I think women have a tendency to put our own needs last and as a result, our needs are usually rarely, if ever, met.  I am a very important person in my family and I have been told more than once, usually via "Come to Jesus" meeting, that I set the tone for the day and how everyone else's day is going to go.  If I don't take care of me, then I can't take care of my family.

A few weeks ago, I thought today was going to be a sad day.  Today was better than I expected and the best birthday I can remember.  We didn't do anything fancy or even out of the ordinary.  But Matt, Daulton, my family, and friends made an effort to make sure I had a great birthday.  The fact that so many people made an effort for me, is quite frankly, a very overwhelming feeling.  So overwhelming that I can only write about it as speaking the words would end in happy tears and its not pretty when I cry, so I am going to stick to writing.

My 20s were great, but I have a good feeling that my 30s are going to be even better.



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