Last week my birthday quietly passed by and I slipped into the last year of my 30s. Such are birthdays the older we get: less fanfare and more tendency to forget about them in the midst of our busy lives.
I am one of those people who (annoyingly?) doesn’t care too much about getting older. You won’t find me coyly answering, “29” when someone asks my age. (Ask away! Not offended.)
Besides a strange preference for even-numbered years, 39 seems like it will be as good a year as any. Maybe it’s because I just have a natural tendency to embrace my age. Maybe it’s because I learned of the delicacy of life in my 20s.
Maybe it’s because my 30s rocked.
As I look back on the past decade, I see some of my best times of my life. Interestingly, none of it is exactly how I pictured it. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t as wise as I thought I was in my 20s.
Here are 10 reasons I loved my 30s so much, in no particular order.
10 Reasons I Loved My 30s
1. I stopped caring what people think.
It’s so exhausting to care what other people think of me or my choices. Thank God I was able, for the most part, to shed that part of me with my 20s. It feels good to be comfortable enough with myself to not give a flying you-know-what about what the gossip folks are saying.
2. I had my babies.
How could I not love a decade that gave me two precious lives to care for? Sometimes, I look at them, and am still in awe that they are mine. Motherhood, with all its chaos, is a beautiful mess that I love.
3. I learned so much about what real health is.
In my 20s, I thought having a Slim Fast shake for breakfast was healthy. I’ve spent the last decade consuming as much information about health as I can, and knowledge is power.
4. I understand how much I have to learn.
In my 20s, I thought I had it all figured out. Now I know I don’t and am focused on growing and learning everyday.
5. I feel better than I ever have.
See #3. Taking care of yourself goes far. I know it has everything to do with eating a lot of fresh, whole foods, exercising, and being intentional about managing stress. I get sick less, am energetic, and just feel good. It’s nice.
In my 20s, I was insecure about so much. In my 30s, I became confident in my style, with my body, and who I am. It feels good to be comfortable in my own skin. I think #1 helps with this a lot, too.
7. I get to make up the rules for my family.
My 20s was largely about being independent and figuring out adulthood. Now I’m settled into family life and it’s a totally different, but good, world. New traditions, figuring things out like dinnertime rules, how we spend our time, and what defines our family are all things my husband and I get to decide together. Does anyone else find this so fun?
8. The experience of long-term love.
I met my husband Tim at 25 and married him at 28, s0 I guess you could say part of my 20s was dedicated to long-term love, also, but this whole decade has seen our love grow and develop. The love we’ve experienced in our 30s is different than the I-just-found-you-and-am-head-over-heels love, but it’s a love that is grounded, safe, and extremely satisfying. I love what our relationship has become as it’s matured.
9. I created something out of nothing.
I’m talking about this space I call Happy Healthy Mama. At the start of my 30s I moved to a new state (Ohio, where we still live) and was very much alone in that I knew no one besides one couple and my husband in our new place. It was during that time that I started this blog and love the way it’s evolved into a creative outlet for me to share my passion about health. My 30s would not be my 30s without Happy Healthy Mama.
It took me the better part of this decade to figure it out, but I’m finally at a place where I know that I can’t let other people’s choices, past or present, define my happiness. Grudges put a burden on my soul and I can’t hold onto that baggage. I am in control of my happiness and it feels good to be able to let go and forgive.
Everyone has different life experiences that define their best and worst decades, but for me, my 30s will be hard to beat. I’m looking forward to enjoying this last year as a 30-something.
I love reflecting on life when my birthday rolls around. Here are some past musings if you like that sort of thing:
38th Birthday: My 38 Favorite Books of all Time
36th Birthday: 36 Things I’ve Learned in 36 Years
34th Birthday: Embrace Your Age
33rd Birthday: When Life Hands You Lemons
P.S. Thank you to everyone who has purchased Conquer Dinner so far! It was such a scary experience putting a product out there, but your response has been overwhelming and the early feedback has been heartwarming. Thank you for validating the time and effort I put into what I do. I cannot adequately express what it means to me.