AT THIRTY

Maybe because it's the start of a new decade, thirty has me feeling a little more introspective than usual. (Not that I have been particularly insightful in decades past, because twenty, my word.)

I don't have much to offer by way of worldly advice, but I thought I'd take note of what personal enlightenment the past few months of being thirty have brought.

01: It's taken thirty years to realize it, but apparently I throw left-handed. I always thought I was terrible at sports, but I recently threw something with my left hand, expecting it to miss my target even more than if I'd used my dominant right hand. Nope. Spot on. I'm sort of tempted to make up for lost time.

02: I'm never going to turn myself into a runner and I'm okay with that. Marathons of the movie variety are more my thing, anyway. Or Arrested Development.

03: I do not fully trust anyone who cannot recite the opening lyrics to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I mean, I might still be friendly but the basis for a lasting friendship is just not there.

04: Relationships are important to me. So are ideas. Things, well... not as much anymore. I used to place sentimental value on objects and I'm working to stop. It's incredibly freeing.

05: I believe in quality over quantity. In all things.

06: Minimalism speaks to me. A lack of clutter makes me happy and I am working daily to implement that. At least, as best as I can with three kids.

07: I still don't feel completely qualified to be raising my children and I don't know that I ever will.

08: I don't believe you need to feel completely ready for something to do it, though. Sometimes the most effective way to learn is after you've hit the ground running.

09: Learning is important to me and it's empowering to acknowledge what you don't know, so that you can learn it.

10: The best teachers are those who have lived experiences.

11: The second best are books. They should be read often.

12: Reading is one of the few hobbies I had as a child that I've enjoyed my entire life.

13: I'm really glad I didn't stick with bedazzling as a favorite pastime. Most of the time.

14: I believe it's entirely possible to love what your life is now and still have regrets. Wishing some things had turned out differently in no way diminishes gratitude and appreciation for the present.

15: Not everything happens for a reason. That's not to say you can't find a purpose in it.

16: I'm in the process of untangling the God I believe in from the religion I belong to. I've never had so much clarity and doubt at the same time.

17: I'm okay with uncertainty. I realize now that I don't need to have all the answers and that sometimes, simply being present is often enough.

18: Sometimes, being present is far from simple, but it's a worthwhile effort.

19: I no longer care if play-doh colors are mixed. I wonder why I ever spent time picking pink specks of play-doh out of the green before putting it away.

20: I recognize the value of an empty sink and don't mind loading and unloading the dishwasher multiple times a day. (Though, I did give myself some grace when in the throes of my newborn and an infant era and entirely unable to so much as wash a fork.)

21: I do struggle with keeping my closet tidy and suspect I always will.

22: My closet is slowly filling up with more sneakers than heels and I'm okay with that. I'm also okay with the fact that I essentially wear a uniform for lack of diversity in my clothing choices.

23: I've finally found peace in no longer asking my husband to put his clothes in the hamper instead of around it. This might be because I realized my clothes usually don't make it in the hamper, either. Self-assessment, y'all.

24: I used to rarely admit I was wrong. I thought it because I was rarely wrong, which wasn't. I now recognize and admit my faults freely, most often with an apology attached.

25: No one stays the same forever. That's a good thing.

26: We should hope and strive to learn and grow and change for the better.

27: Allowing ourselves to become better than we once were, and recognizing that others are likely on the same journey is important in maintaining our relationships.

28: It's okay to no longer maintain a relationship with anyone that doesn't acknowledge, appreciate, or respect who you are.

29: It's okay to like yourself- as a whole and as a process.

30: It's never okay to not speak out for injustice.

31: Teaching my children to love themselves as they are and as they're becoming, and accepting and loving others as they are and are becoming, and to stand up for what is right is one of my biggest responsibilities.

32: Keeping them alive is no small feat, either. Everyone should know the heimlich. And CPR. For real.

(Thirty-two because I've been at this whole thirty thing for a quarter of a year now.)

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