It's my birthday! 30 things I learned in my 30's

It's my birthday today! I'm 37 and am happy to enter into my late 30's. I've actually really loved being 30. I spent my 20's having babies and generally making the sacrifices that come with parenting young children. I feel like once I hit my 30's I finally had time to focus on me and start figuring out who I really am. 

Today, I'm sharing with you 30 things that I have learned in my 30's.

1. People don't change but you can change your attitude towards them.

I spent a lot of years thinking I could change people. Once I let that go and started working on forgiveness and acceptance, life was so much easier.

2. Dogs are the best companions

When the kids are all gone at school, the dog is right there with me keeping me company or nudging me to go on a walk. 

3. Create healthy habits

I started working out when I turned 30. Prior to that, I had never really made my health a priority. I have loved learning how to work out and started running races. I found that I was pretty good at it. Plus, working out keeps me sane, so bonus. 

4. Asking for help doesn't make you weak

My mom will tell you that my first sentence was "baby do it". I have had that mentality through most of my life and still struggle asking for help. I'm still learning to ask for help if I need it, but I know that asking for help doesn't mean that I'm weak.

5. How you treat people matters

I have a tendency to go straight to anger as my first emotion. I've found that that's not the most successful approach. Treating others how I would want to be treated usually works better all around. The golden rule saves the day.

6. More is caught than taught

I've got eyes watching me and my behavior. It's shocking what kids pick up.

7. The teenage years aren't as scary as you thought they would be

I have shockingly loved having teenagers in my home. I was deathly afraid of these years when they were younger, and now I can't believe how much I enjoy them. 

8. Not all battles are worth fighting

I like to be right, but being right isn't always worth it. Pick the battles that are important and learn to drop the ones that really won't matter in the long run.

9. Different doesn't mean it's wrong, it's just different.

There are a lot of different ways to do things. They aren't all wrong and don't need my judgement. 

10. You don't know it all, so ask questions

I don't like to look like I don't know something, but heck, I can't know everything!  It's o.k. to not know it all and to ask. No one will think less of you. In fact, they may regard you more highly because you are trying to understand.

11. It's o.k. to say no

I can't do it all but I have tried! It's o.k. to know your limits and to say no to something you really don't want to do. 

12. If you don't like it change it, don't just complain about it

This has sometimes led to me taking on too many things and needing to remember #11.  So, if you don't want to change it, don't complain about it.

13. Find time to travel

Traveling with young kids is hard. And because I spent years nursing each one of them, I was sort of tethered to them.  I have so enjoyed traveling with my husband but I've also enjoyed taking time to see the world with my kids. 

14. Get out of your comfort zone

It's easy to get stuck in your own rut especially when you have little kids under foot. Sometimes you have to seek the things that are out of your comfort zone, sometimes they get handed to you.  Either way, get out of your comfort zone, say yes and enjoy a new experience. You never know what you will find that you enjoy.

15. Slow down and be in the moment

I'm so thankful social media wasn't a stronghold when I was parenting young kids. I intentionally didn't get a smart phone for years because I knew I would get sucked up into it.  I am so thankful for this because I was able to be in the moment with the people who are most important to me and that habit (see #3) has carried on.

16. Find what you are passionate about

My passions have shifted and changed, but there are common threads that go between them. I have enjoyed finding those things that I am passionate about and focusing on them.

17. You won't always be liked

This is not only important to remember in parenting, but it's also important to remember when you tackle those things that are important to you.  I was PTA president for a year and man, that was tough, because most people didn't like me.  What I had to remember in that situation is that most people don't like change, it's not that they didn't like me. 

18. Treat yourself sometimes

If you are a loyal reader, you will know that I am thrifty. I save money like a champ and like to get the best deal possible, but sometimes it's o.k. to treat yourself. It's o.k. to spend $5 on a coffee or to get a facial.  Just buy a Groupon for it first!

19. Point out the good

It's easy to pick out the negatives but it's not often that people point out the positives.  I try to take a second to compliment someone because we all prefer a compliment to a complaint.

20. Take time to do what you love

I started this blog as an outlet for me. A chance to intentionally focus on being creative and sharing my passion with other people.  Who knew I could do what I love for a "job"?!

21. It's o.k. to be too old for some things

I'm not saying this should be your excuse, but I have learned that I am too old for things like off brand ziploc bags. See #18

22. Be bold

It's scary sometimes but I have to remember that the worse thing someone can say to a request is no and is that really the worst thing ever? As a blogger, this is a big part of my job. It's gotten easier to be bold the older I get and I am embracing it.

23. Getting carded is awesome

So is being told I look too young to have a senior in high school!

24. It's o.k. to be yourself

I spent a lot of years trying to be someone and something I wasn't. Once I started being myself life was a lot easier and more fun.

25. You don't have to compete with anyone

Life isn't a competition. See #9

26. The world is big and complex

I spent the better part of two decades in middle America not caring much about history or geography. Once I started traveling and doing #14 I realized that I needed to open my mind to the world. I still have a lot to learn and doing #10 helps a lot too.

27. You get to pick who you spend time with

I'm an adult. I get to do what I want and I get to spend time with people who I want to spend time with. Mostly my family wins here.

28. Pray more, worry less

This is a big life lesson. I love the quote "have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it?" So important to remember.

29. Listen to your gut

This whole adult thing is hard sometimes, but usually my gut reaction is right. And if it isn't, it's o.k. because you can learn from that.

30. You can learn a lot from other people

I love asking questions and learning more about other people's life experiences. I love digging into and being part of different cultures. There is so much to learn from other people, which is why I want to hear from you! If you have made it this far in this post, as a birthday gift to me, how about you comment on a thing or two you have learned in life.

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