As I delve further into my thirties, I’ve come to realize there is so much to love and appreciate about this decade in my life. So much of my 20s was spent on who I wanted to be or who I thought I should be, and then my 30s hit and I figured out that I could just BE. I’ve had enough struggles, successes and life experiences now that have given me the validation I searched for and was trying to prove to myself in my 20s. Through all of my experiences, good or bad, I feel a sense of contentment about where I’m at.
As a mid 30-something woman, I know that I don’t have it all figured out. Nor would I want to. That’s the beauty in getting older. But, I have learned a few things along the way and want to share some reasons why I love my 30s.
Reason #1: Feeling established
My husband and I have owned our home for seven years and I love the sense of fulfillment and security it provides for us. But more importantly, our home is the sanctuary where we have endured our biggest heartaches and disappointments, where we’ve celebrated our successes and accomplishments, and where we are raising our family. I’ve learned that feeling established and secure about where we live is a contributing factor to my overall happiness.
Reason #2: Free to be myself
It’s taken me a long time, but I finally feel secure enough to be myself. I’ve learned that creating healthy boundaries for myself is a necessity for my mental health. I’m learning to let go of the “people pleasing” mentality that’s ever so engrained into my soul and to start putting myself first. To love myself and be the best version of Katie, so that I can be the best for the people who matter most in my life.
Reason #3: Gaining perspective from motherhood
Since I became a mother, I find myself recalling memories from my childhood and moments that made me the happiest. A random smell, song or something that my kids do is all that it takes to flash me back to a time and place when I was little. What I’ve learned through recalling these memories is that my kids will never remember the trivial mistakes that I make. They are likely to remember whether or not I sat down to play with them over the fact that I forgot to pack their school lunches one day. Lessons like these present themselves often now, and I am always appreciative of the perspective I gain from them.
Reason #4: The relationship with my parents
This is the stage in my life where I’ve been able to relate to my parents the most. I believe that this is the decade where my mind shifted and I truly have been able to appreciate my parents for all of the sacrifices they made for me growing up because I simply “get it” now. My parents and the bond we share are definitely a big part of why I love my 30s.
I value and treasure the relationship that I have with my parents so much. I’m old enough now where we can be friends, best friends for that matter, but they still offer guidance and wisdom to me about life and I no longer try to act like I know it all because they have proved time and time again that they usually are right.
Reason #5: Appreciation for family dynamics
Growing up in a close knit family I have always appreciated being close to my family members. But now that I’m in this phase of life, I get so much joy out of seeing my kids creating memories with my husband and I’s families. I love watching my five year old daughter interact with a great-grandparent and the questions and concerns she has for them or when a grandparent shares a special moment with me about an interaction they had with my kids. It all makes me feel so good and is another reason why I love my 30s.
Reason #6: Embracing solitude
As a person who spent most of her childhood, teenage years and 20s being a social butterfly going out and gaining new friendships, I have come to love and appreciate being alone. I still enjoy being social, but I’ve discovered that having a healthy balance of being social and spending time alone is much needed for my sanity. It’s during my moments of solitude where I’m able to physically and mentally rest, I can express myself through journaling/writing, read a book or listen to music. At a time where I have two little people exhausting most of my time and energy, I now welcome and require the quiet moments to rejuvenate my soul.
I realize that there’s nothing overly profound about what I’ve pointed out here and why I love my 30s. With a decade ending and a new one beginning, it’s been good to self-reflect on where I’m at in my life and how appreciative and grateful I feel at 34. I’m feeling hopeful and excited for what’s to come and look forward to the continued perspective life brings to me.