I’m going to be totally cliche today. Today I turn 30. While most people like to make lists of things they want to do by the time they’re 30, I don’t have the foresight and planning ability to achieve anything like that. I also don’t like to feel let down or like a failure because I wasn’t able to achieve the things on my list.
SO, I’m going to be optimistic and list 30 things I’m glad I did by the time I was 30. Kind of a reverse bucket list. Here goes.
1. Played in the mud. As a kid I can remember making mud pies and letting the wet earth squish through my fingers. I just hope I can be free enough with my kids to let them experience the same primal fun.
2. Got married young. People are often terrified of young marriages, but I’ve loved having all this time with my husband and growing up together.
3. Gone on vacation. Sometimes when you’re a stay at home mom vacation can feel like the work and returning home can feel like the vacation. Still, I’m glad to have made the effort to go places and see things with my kids.
4. Said no. There are times when things just aren’t a good fit for your life and you need to know when to say no. There is such a freedom in allowing yourself this word, and you don’t need to make any excuses as to why you need to use it. If no is what’s best for you right now, just say it.
5. Said yes. Sometimes yes is scarier than no. It means taking a risk or trying something new. Success is sometimes more frightening than failure. If you want to say no just because you’re scared, chances are you should be saying yes.
6. Given birth naturally (3 times). This is not to judge anyone who hasn’t done this, but I’m so happy that I’ve had the chance to experience this with all three of my children. It gets more terrifying every time but is also a sweeter, more intimate experience with God and my baby. Double ups for nursing them all to a year.
7. Started a blog. I love this little space and the people it has brought into my life.
8. Swam in the Atlantic Ocean.
9. Swam in the Pacific Ocean.
10. Been alone. Not only in the small moments of the day, but for several days at a time. You’re free to go where you want, when you want, eat what you want, and stop and do something completely different without anyone to get in your way.
11. Accepted myself for who I was. I don’t thrive in social situations and my healthy body weight is distributed in an unfortunate manner after having kids. It’s me. Focus on the real issues.
12. Had a unique job. Doing different things really rounds you out as a person and gives you great stories to tell at parties. At different times I have done every job at a swimming pool, been a sandwich artist, edited videos for a home shopping network, worked at a toy store, been a hostess at a restaurant, created videos for a nature conservancy, and taken pictures of food to spread around the internet.
13. Gotten out of and stayed out of debt. When you aren’t crippled by school loans, car loans, or credit card debt it’s amazing how you can just live your life.
14. Seen a band live that is so good you feel like everyone in the room is sharing some existential dream. Ben Folds and Mute Math hold two favorite spots in my musical heart.
15. Stood up for what I believe in. Oh, I’ve made a fool of myself. And maybe sometimes I’ve even been wrong. But if we don’t know what we believe in and protect it at all costs, then what do we have in life?
16. Eaten raw cookie dough. Of course you can make it without eggs now so it’s “safe,” but the real stuff still tastes better. I’ve never once regretted licking the bowl, in fact I might have to go do it right now…
19. Put someone else first. It’s funny how when you let go of the things you think other people need to do for you and just do something nice for someone else everything falls into place.
20. Accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. Sounds cliche, but that dude’s got my heart and soul. Everything in my world revolves around Him, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
21. Let go of worry, fear, and anxiety. What’s the worst that could happen?
22. Been in the middle of a mosh pit. I’ve never been so close to other strangers or shared so much sweat with someone. The electricity running through a crowd affects everyone. Don’t let it turn into a riot.
23. Complimented people. People really love knowing how awesome they are. My oldest son has learned to give genuine, thoughtful compliments and it’s amazing. Total spirit lifter.
24. Freed myself from my schedule. The schedule is there for a reason, but sometimes it’s ok to deviate. The world won’t fall apart and you can just enjoy the moment.
25. Sacrificed sleep for experience. Late night talks. Looking into a baby’s eyes. Singing with friends. All worth it.
26. Done something nice for someone else that can never be repaid. They don’t even know about it. I just hold it in my heart.
27. Been in love. I feel my eyes perk up and my chest swell with emotion when I come across my husband, my kids, my friends, a meaningful song, or a great movie. Love can take on so many shapes and mean so many things, but ultimately it just makes us better people.
28. Spent way too much money on a meal. Expensive doesn’t always mean better, but sometimes IT REALLY DOES.
29. Forgiven. This is not easy and I’m not going to pretend like I’ve forgiven everything that needs forgiving. But this life is only a breath and we can just move past the ugliness and have fun.
30. Quit waiting and just. done. it. Time is going to pass no matter what, just do things now and they will already be done!
You can take those words of wisdom and chew on them for a while, along with a piece of Boston Cream Pie. Thanks Mom for baking mine this year!