Yes, yes, you can now welcome me to the club. I’ve finally turned 30. Most people say, “Oh you’re so young!” and while I know that’s true, I have lived quite a bit of life already. A whole 30 years of experiences that have shaped who I am today and have set the tone for what I want of the life I have to come.
I’ve decided not to take this birthday too seriously. After all, I am just grateful for another year and feel incredibly blessed with where I’m at. But, it’s natural for me to reflect on milestones, so I thought I would put together a list of some of those thoughts. Turning 30 is more of a “how I want to fully embrace + enjoy the rest of my life” cornerstone for me than anything else, so without further ado:
5 things I’m letting go of in my 30’s
- The vision I once had.
If you would have asked me in high school, I thought 30 was something it is not. I thought it was older, wiser and more mature than actuality. I had a vision of being at the peak of my life – having it all and doing it all – but know now how wrong I was. I’m not where I thought I would be in my career, in my family (i.e. thought I would be done having babies by now because fertility issues were never something I envisioned for myself), in financial security or in terms of achieving my lofty life goals. I think that is all okay though, so I am letting go of that vision and truly holding on tight to where I am in life now because my babies are going to grow up all too quickly and I have so much time ahead to achieve the rest.
- The standard of perfection.
Ahem, perfectionist at heart over here. The idea of a quintessential house with neatly dressed kids who never get messy and the perfect mom body in the most perfect stylish clothes with the most perfect husband-wife relationship traveling on the most perfect vacations with perfectly behaved little children… Yeah, not real and never gonna happen. I think the skill of managing expectations has helped me get to the point of letting go of the standard of perfection. I expect that my kids will have a hard time; I expect that it will be challenging to fit in workouts some (most) days; I expect that my house will get messy; I don’t expect my marriage to never have bumps in the road. But through it all, I make the most of it. And that is the best advice I can give to anyone else who may have a battle with any sense of perfection. Make the most of it. We cannot control everything, but we can control our attitudes — so putting my snotty attitude aside when things aren’t always easy, makes life a whole lot easier in return.
- My aversion toward minivans.
I never wanted to be a minivan mom. I was going to be the cool mom who drove a cool car because minivans meant you were sucked into mama life and didn’t have an ounce of coolness left in you. Well, now, my husband and I are discussing next vehicles and guess what we are looking into? Yep, you guessed it: the van. We’ve used them as rentals on vacation and I have been totally and completely spoiled by the automatic side doors, the ability for my three-year-old to get in and out by herself completely and the effortless lift into the car seat otherwise because the seats are so much lower than the SUV I currently drive. I now see the minivan practicality, and the luxury, so don’t mind me if you see me sometime next year cruising in my minivan with windows open and the Moana soundtrack blasting from within.
- Friendships that aren’t the true ones.
This has been a process – breaking up in relationships, that is. I really think that our 30’s are about leaning into the people that have become our people and I think that means not exhausting our energy on relationships that aren’t those exact ones. I am not saying that we become total you-know-whats to everyone else. It’s just that we now know who is there for us, who we can count on and who is our tribe. Those people are the keepers and it’s okay to let go of the grip on the others.
- Holding back laughter.
Somehow I’ve become so serious about things. Maybe it’s because I worry about my kids and focus on the serious stuff like saving for retirement and making wise career choices and raising well-rounded human beings. Being an adult (a parent for that matter) is serious business. But, life is way too short not to laugh. So you know what? I’m going to stop holding back the laughter at all those laughable moments. The ones with my kids (yeah, I know sometimes it’s not appropriate to laugh if they fall or mess up or whatever), the ones with my husband, the ones with my friends, the ones when I totally embarrass myself, all of them. I want to laugh with that deep-from-within-belly-laugh to know that I am truly and fully enjoying the joyfulness of life.
So, I guess that’s it; that’s 30 for me in a nutshell. I am really looking forward to letting go of these things that may have been holding me back and I am also looking forward to living all of what is to come. I truly do believe the best is ahead.
I’m raising my glass now to celebrate my new decade and to cheers to all of us, no matter what decade or parenting stage we find ourselves in at the moment.