Last year was the big “dirty thirty”, so that means this year (on Friday) I’m turning 31! I know entering into a new decade can bring up a lot of deep, sometimes spiny, thoughts — What am I doing with my life? This is the year I’m going to (fill in the blank) Am I really that old? — but, I’ve really enjoyed the start of my thirties.
My thirties feel like the decade I was meant to love. I have no doubt it’s going to be completely bananas, since this is the decade that we will be having a family and raising small children, but I have never felt more growth, more like myself, and more excited for the things that fill my days. I also not so secretly really like the ratio of going out to staying home in this stage of my life — which is leaning heavily toward staying home.
When I realized my 31st birthday was on the horizon, I decided it would be worth writing down what went down for me and my growth in my first year in my thirties. It was pretty darn great.
…became a morning workout-er
Several things FINALLY happened this year that I have always wanted to tackle. First, I finally became a morning workout person. AND I LOVE IT. This morning routine that I have established makes me feel so on fire about my day, and myself. I’m proud when I finish my morning workout and read and make myself a nourishing breakfast all before 6:00am. Waking up early and starting my day off by taking care of myself feels like the biggest self-care win. And I know that because it makes me a better me, it’s also strengthening my most precious relationships (Jeff and Hayes) because I’m showing up as my very best for them. I have aspired to be a morning workout-er for years, YEARS. And I finally cracked the code.
…started a blog
I also started this blog. I’ve always wanted to have a blog. I started a food blog when I first moved back to Kalamazoo in 2012 called Sincerely Food, but I didn’t stick with it. I think because while I am a foodie, and I definitely had a perspective on easy, nutrious meals, I hated that I had to document the recipe because I usually just threw things in until it was right to me — ha! In hindsight, I wish I would have stuck with it, but I also think what I am doing now is an even better fit. What’s hard is that I’m entering the blogging world when there are A TON of blogs. I know that. But I’m not going to let that stop me because I truly love showing up for you guys by sharing the things that are working for me. The message, “own your joy” that I’ve recently decided on, is something I truly believe in. And owning our joy a journey I can take with you guys, which makes it even more special. I’m figuring this out with you.
The madness that is this blog, even though it has about 50 subscribers and less than 1000 followers on Instagram has brought me immense joy. Thank you so much for reading this and reminding me to keep showing up.
I challenged my personal growth
Say no more, say yes to my best
This past year I did a lot of work on myself. I know it’s not the type of work that is one and done, it’s the type of work I will always be working on, but I made so much progress. Like many people, I have deep feelings and fears of being incapable that come out when I’m not being my best self. These feelings often surface when I have to “let people down” (my perception and words, not theirs) by saying no. This applies to my personal and professional life. So this has been my year of learning to say no and creating boundaries that honor the life I want to live. Some days I do better than others, but I know I honor my best yes way more these days than I ever have before. It’s incredibly freeing and without a doubt contributes to my goal of prioritizing JOY this year.
Have the conversation, even if it’s tough
I also made a lot of progress with having tough conversations (or what I perceive as tough conversations). Being able to talk openly about seemingly tense subjects has helped me understand myself so much better and increased my awareness of my feelings. That awareness has made those conversations even easier. I am now faster at identifying when I need to talk through something, moving through it, and making it better. A little cycle of goodness.
Marriage and motherhood
Marriage and motherhood remain the toughest and most rewarding things I’ll ever do.
When I reflected on my marriage for age 30, I am reminded how incredibly lucky I am to have married my handy, goofy, cardio-addicted husband. Since we are parents now and time together with just the two of us out of the house is more rare, we made it a goal to go on a date every week. Honestly, we completely failed pretty hard, but we did go on more dates than the previous year. I know adding another child will add additional stress to our marriage, at least for a bit, so our dates nights are going to be even more important. Even if I do have a baby wrapped to me for some of them 🙂
And as for motherhood. Holy crap! Age 30 for me was the age of finding a rhythm and a schedule with Hayes — which felt amazing! It was also the age of blowing up that rhythm and schedule when I went through first trimester sickness, then welcoming it back when I welcomed my second trimester. I was 29 when we had Hayes and I’ll be 31 when we have the new baby — which is the same age my mom was when she had me! I have no doubt that the rhythm we finally found is going to blow up again come July and I’m pretty nervous about it even though I know it will be amazing and worth it. For my 31st year I really hope my kids decide to nap at the same time every once and a while (cue all moms telling me “good luck!!”, lol) or more likely, that I get up earlier or stay up later to get blogging in. This is going to be interesting!
It’s not that I didn’t struggle, it’s just I remember the good more vividly
I don’t think I would appreciate the progress I’ve made if I didn’t also have some struggles throughout my 30th year. With all of the progress I’m so proud of has also come struggles — self-doubt and fear, moments of overwhelm that end in breakdowns, a nagging physical injury that continues to resurface, my stubborn unwillingness to release control, growing pains in our marriage, the start of toddler tantrums and doubting my parenting — the list goes on.
Maybe it’s my work of the year, JOY, sprinkling it’s magic dust, but when I went to reflect on my 30th year I didn’t think of these things. I saw a heck of a lot of good. I saw the fun, the growth, the JOY. And I’m grateful for another year.
I am thrilled to continue to build on all of the progress last year. I will keep going to bed early and showing up for myself each morning, I’m committed to keeping this blog going (even though I know our new baby is going to rock my schedule and force our family into new rhythms and it will be painful), I will continue to bring awareness to my feelings of being incapable and tell them they are FULL OF IT :), I will honor my best yes and say no without apology, and I will have the conversation, even if it’s uncomfortable. I want to be the best version of myself so I can be the best wife and mother to Jeff and to Hayes. I know that my definition of best wife and best mother are unique to me and I’m still figuring out who she is, but I’m enjoying the journey.