So today I turn 30!
I did some bucket list things and some housekeeping things in anticipation of this monumental birthday. I ran my first half marathon last weekend and yesterday I got the tattoo I’ve been wanting. Also yesterday, I finally took down Christmas and pulled my house back together after much neglect. I cleaned out my closet and my pantry for a fresh start of a new decade.
Everyone keeps asking how I feel about it with a little edge in their voice like they’re expecting my answer to be negative. With my kids, I always get emotional.
But honestly, I’m so excited!
Since I got married as a baby and had babies as practically a baby myself…I feel like I’ve been living the 30-year-old life for a while. I’ve driven a minivan for more than half of my 20s. I rest my case.
As I have taken inventory of who I am over the last few days, I have discovered a lot of things I’m so glad that I have grown out of.
- Letting other people define me: I don’t have to be what other people think I should be anymore. I’ve finally settled right into who I am, and I have finally become okay that it’s not always everyone’s cup of tea. What freedom!
- My need for perfection: Messy house, cluttered car, kids in pajamas and slippers at the grocery store…they’re all a part of a full life. If I stop the meaningful things that we are doing to make sure that everything is perfect, we’re all missing out. So not worth it anymore.
- Creating unrealistic expectations: Did you know that a road trip will not be magical and full of learning and wonder? Did you know that eating whole, organic food is amazing and also not always feasible 100% of the time? Did you know that brothers will not hug and express how much they missed each other after school? I do too, now.
- Judgment of myself and others: Life is so messy, you guys. We’re all walking different paths and have our different pains. Everywhere you look, life is hard. There is so much good in unexpected places, and we need to stop judging and start seeing each person right where they are. No one is perfect, and neither am I. It’s time to let us all off the hook.
- Excessive planning: I’m a planner. I even have a degree in it. But you know what’s so fun? Not having a plan. We’re going to Disney World next week, and I have planned…where we are sleeping. That’s all. We have a hotel room and a wide open week. I can’t wait.
- Being annoyed about nothing: If Ty leaves his clothes on the side of the bed every single night and morning…who freaking cares anymore? I’m gonna pick up his clothes and let him live his life. When my kids leave their shoes RIGHT OUTSIDE THE SHOE CLOSET…Well…it’s a work in progress.
- Jockeying for position: When you first get married, become a parent, get a job…there is so much thought that goes into what my specific responsibility is, worrying if I will get lost in the shuffle. No more. I know who I am, I know what I’m good at, and I know what my contribution to the world is.
- Saying yes to everything: You guys. Did you know that “no” is a holy answer? I’m NOT good with 15 children at church – NO, I cannot do this. Holy because I’m saving all of our lives. You’re welcome.
- Settling into life: We have hustled the last ten years. We got married, bought houses, started a business, and had kids. Now it’s time to spend our time helping those things to grow and flourish.
- Enjoying our teenagers: I know I said that I was getting rid of unrealistic expectations. But seriously, though. I really think that despite their hormones and moodiness and teenagerness, we will really enjoy our kids as they grow up.
- Loving people differently: Now that my eyes are adjusted to the realities of life, I have developed a different love for people. A love for people and their stories that runs deep.
- Running in my own lane: I’ve nailed down who I am, what I’m good at (and what I’m not), and what I’m about. Now I have some direction for staying in my sweet spot.
- Learning new things: I plan on learning Spanish and exploring and traveling to so many new places. There’s a great big world of people to teach us so many things out there. I can’t wait to take our kids and go learn about it all.
- Trusting God’s plan: I’ve finally learned that when I trust what God’s asking of me, no matter how hard or uncomfortable, life gets so spacious and full of adventure and love. And there’s no better place to be than in that life.
- Laugh lines: Yes, wrinkles can be a side effect of growing older, but they’re also battle scars and a record of our life lived. They’re representative of those we’ve loved, those we’ve grieved for, the laughter we’ve shared, babies we’ve raised. They’re from confidence gained, tears shed, and journeys hard fought.
Getting older just doesn’t have to be the tragedy I keep hearing about.
I see my mom, who’s age will remain a mystery because I value my life, and I am proud of her and what she has accomplished, survived, and become. She’s full of wisdom and dignity. She’s got grandkids to adore, an empty nest to enjoy, and a kitchen she uses frequently to bless everyone around her. She does P90x because she knows that getting older doesn’t have to mean you stop moving. She’s found her lane and she’s running it so well.
I see my Grandma Kay and all of her growing grandchildren and great-grandchildren and I see so much enduring love. She’s constantly fundraising for her Assistance League, event planning, and enjoying the family all around her. She’s rich in knowledge and history – her stories cover so many different major events and smaller, more personal histories.
30 is just a step in that direction – growing in wisdom, life, and love. I’m committed to leaning into this aging thing. Let’s start changing our minds about this idea that growing older is something to be mourned.
Let’s celebrate instead!
I’ll bring the cake.