This year has had it's share of firsts for me, first child starting kindergarten, second child starting preschool, and first time I'm approaching a new decade without the zeal and excitement that accompanied me from the leap from 19 to 20. I was thrilled to be out of those teenage years. And of course the hop from 9 to 10 was awesome, I was in double digits, baby.
But 30.....how does one handle 30? I would like to say I would handle it with grace and an 'I'm so blessed' sentiment (which I am). But I feel a little unsteady. Like maybe I would have my life a bit more together at this step. And then I laugh at myself realizing that that is exactly what a girl in her twenties would think. Only a twenty-something year old would have the naivety to think life could be 'together', let alone halfway figured out at the ripe old age of thirty. Cue furious bits of uncontrolled laughing followed by bouts of weeping on my part. So, in an effort to calm my anxious aging heart, I thought I'd make a very short list of some of the things I have come to terms with in my last thirty years (maybe not always put into practice, mind you), probably for the main purpose of looking back on it in my forties and giving myself a good hard laugh.....the kind with snorting.
1. Every age is rough and wonderful. My four year old is completely thrilled about the prospect of baking cookies, gets to lick the spatula and doesn't have to clean up afterwards. He also has to go to be in bed at eight..... I guess that's a bad example.
2. Expect to get wet at bath time. I would (and still sometimes do) get so upset when the kids splash water all over my yoga pants during bedtime bath. But, water happens. Just plan on changing socks afterwards, or better yet, don't wear clothes at all.
3. Don't make a trip to the Y with a potty training two-year-old in the middle of winter. More on that here.
4. Still haven't figured out what's better for my health, staying up late to watch comedies with my hubby, or going to bed early and actually feeling somewhat rested in the morning. The jury's still out.
5. There is something extremely therapeutic about soft scrubbing the stains off of a porcelain sink.
6. Getting up earlier than the kids really is a good idea. Nothing brings order to my day like a good shower, a little bit of makeup and a made bed.
7. Its important to not hold it against anyone when getting up before the kids doesn't happen. Try and smile anyway, remembering that my attitude will affect my day (and everyone elses) a whole lot more than a clean head of hair.
8. Kindness matters.
9. So do words, and tone, and facial expressions.
10. There can be great joy in chaos. There is something truly wonderful about having neighbor children over, running around the house like rabid bunnies while I'm trying to fix dinner.
11. FB, Pinterest and blogs are time and attention suckers, boundaries are a good thing.
12. Finally accepting the fact that my children associate dinner being ready with the smoke detector going off, and laughing about it. Almost. Every. Time. Fortunately I have trained them to grab a dish towel and whip it around below the detector until it stops. Noble is a pro.
13. My children are getting older at an incredible rate of speed, but so are we all. Make time for those you love. People matter.
14. Let go of the guilt.
15. Reassurance in my imperfection. Nothing I do or don't do will change my Heavenly Father's love and view of me. At my worst, He sees me as the complete person I am in HIM.
16. In order to be positive, I need to stop dwelling on the negative and make my thoughts positive, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
17. God's plan for my life is perfect.
18. The world is wrong. God is right.
19. Exercise and eating healthy really do make you feel better. So does sleep.
20. When I'm in a really horrible mood, stopping, hugging the nearest child (or dog) and putting on some happy music to dance around the room to does wonders to lift it.
21. Actions do speak louder than words. James knows I love him, but he really feels it when I pack him a lunch, or get up early to fix breakfast, or make dinner (notice I said or, not and-now that would be a remarkable day!). Which leads me to the realization that the statement, 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach', is remarkably true.
22. Good friends are rare, wonderful, and a real sanity saver.
23. I can (and do) learn how to handle life from my children. Case in point, after unexpectedly passing gas in the car, my daughter giggled and said "Oh, my! That sounded like a plucked dove."
If only I could handle embarrassing situations with that much light hearted humor and poise.
24. I wash my hair much less frequently than I ever thought I would.
25. I have mastered the art of brushing my teeth/showering/dressing/'styling' my hair and applying makeup in under 10 minutes.
26. Changing out of flannel pajama pants and into yoga pants is now the standard of getting 'dressed'.
27. My relationship with James grows sweeter every year, and my love and appreciation for him deeper.
28. Children really did make me realize that this world does not revolve around me.
29. I will constantly be trying to make them realize it does not revolve around them either.
30. Saturday evenings are now spent all piled together on our bed, watching Disney movies and getting tiny pieces of popcorn scattered underneath the sheets, not out on the town.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
So there it is. I'm officially 30, and life is very, very good. And earlier, when I mentioned the whole responding to life with an 'I'm so blessed sentiment', well, in an effort to do that, the fam and I have a special way to celebrate the big 3 0 this weekend.....more on that later.......:)