Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Five: Reflections from 37


I tend to get a little reflective in my birthday month. In my early and mid-20s, these reflections were more of the am I on the right path, am I where I should be nature. Now I know I'm on the right path and where I should be, so it's more like what do I want to accomplish this year and where should we go on vacation? Nevertheless, I do still reflect, and I think about how I've been at different stages in my life, what's gotten better, stayed the same, or worsened. As we come to the last Friday in this lovely birthday month, I thought I'd share five things that have improved for me with age.

1.I feel like I settle into myself more every year. Like I'm more authentically me than ever before. It's hard to explain, but I really like the feeling. I also know comparison is the thief of joy. I am me, you are you, we have different bodies, minds, souls, strengths, weaknesses. That's okay.

2.  I've learned to pick my battles. Sometimes no matter what you do you can't win, and when I know that going in I'll spare myself the confrontation. Not everything or everyone is worth speaking up or out for, and I'm better at making that distinction now.

3. I have more perspective. A crisis is treated as such. Everything else is a minor inconvenience. And a lot of shit plain old just doesn't matter. I also know my modus operandi: I'll weather it better if I can make it funny and laugh my way through it. Things I will never laugh myself through: a real or perceived threat of lice or bedbugs. That shit would scar my soul. I know my limits.

4. Never one to be concerned about what others think or say about me, every year I care even less if that's possible. Throughout my life, I've been surrounded by supportive and encouraging framily. What they think matters to me. Doing what I think is right, staying true to myself, and being a good person matters to me. What people standing outside my circle have to say? I have zero fucks left to give about that.
5. No fear about how a meal is going to turn out. If it turns out good, awesome. If it doesn't, pizza delivery works too.

And a bonus for you, since it's Friday and that makes me nicer than normal. I've said this before on this blog but it bears repeating: Comparison is the thief of joy. I am me, you are you, we have different bodies, minds, souls, strengths, weaknesses, opinions, bad traits, good traits. That's okay. Don't worry about what anyone else is doing.

What's improved for you with age?
 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png Tons of love going out to my friend Gwen in Ohio today! #fightlikeagirl

Linking up with Joy as always, and the Northeast Bloggers






45 comments:

  1. OLD HAGS UNITE! i fully support each of these points and for the most part, i think these feelings of contentment and calm come with age. in your 20s, you're still figuring things out so there's always that feeling of unsettlement. as you get closer to 40, those feelings are typically gone as you have found your place in life.

    i'm happy to have met and connected with you; it's always nice to find a kindred spirit :)

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  2. I think perspective is the big one. Knowing what isn't really a big deal makes life a little stressful. The things I stressed out about in my 20's seems silly now.

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  3. Blogger just ate my comment. Eff you, blogger. Either way--I was basically just saying that this was my favorite post today. And how I'm working on all of those things!!

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  4. I really love your #1. As I'm approaching 30, I kind of sort of understand what you mean. I'm looking forward to feeling more and more like that every year.

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  5. My big thing is learning to stop comparing myself to others professionally and just do my thing, and it has worked out pretty well once I figured it out!

    Also, I love the Count picture. That is fantastic.

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  6. I gotta get better at 5, but I feel the same about 1. Especially the past few years. I can't wait to see what my thirties bring.

    Hope you've enjoyed your birthday month! :)

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  7. I agree with all of this, also I'd never go back to my 20's or even my early 30's. I'm so much happier with me now at almost 37 then I ever was then. I look at all these 20 something bloggers searching for themselves and I think just slow down and enjoy life you'll find out who you are it just takes time.

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  8. I am beyond excited to be 30 (I'm sure that will change a few times over the next 15 months). Happy Friday to you!!!

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  9. Sage and solid person, great stuff. Happy Birthday month and year ahead!

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  10. This is a great list, and exactly why I'm looking forward to my 30's. Now that I'm in my late 20's, I've learned to let go (some), but it definitely needs more improvement. I also need to better pick my battles; my emotions get in the way sometimes and I'll exert way too much energy on shit that just doesn't matter. Thanks for sharing this wisdom!

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  11. Having known you since birth you have always been an old soul. Your mind has always had a knowing beyond the age you were. You sussed out situations giving them their appropriate attention but when it was time to move on those around you best jump on the bus or the doors would close on them. You had new adventures to partake in. You are human and bleed like the rest of us. That said you heal and move on you do not continue to pick the scab. Eww gross but you get my drift. Happy Birthday!

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  12. I legit feel like I should blog today and say, "Just go to Steph's post and read"...spot on, once again! I'm learning all these things with time, my friend

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  13. I love this post. I may only be 25 (& a half ha) but I feel like I can completely relate. I feel so blessed to have such strong & supportive parents that I feel as if I learned these lessons early on.

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  14. I feel you on the lice thing. Neither of my children have ever had it. But, through 8 years of various daycares & schools, we've received many notices home about its presence among their peers. Every time we get one, I hyperventilate.

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  15. Very well said. And when I was in my 20's I didn't/wouldn't believe what my friend said about the 30's. Seriously I love the 30's. Establishing and embracing yourself is glorious!!

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  16. The lice and bedbugs would be a crisis - there is no other way to describe that! I'm still in the "am I where I should be" phase at 30. Not in everything, but in some things. As always, this post is very well written and hits home!

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  17. My original comment disappeared. It was like the 4th one in. JMJ cyberspace. Again, this is just beautiful, perfect, very wise. I am glad you know this now. I did not know this stuff at age 37! Lori is correct, you have always been a wise girl. Love you to infinity and beyond and I am always so proud of you!

    Love your Momma

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  18. You make excellent points!! I find myself caring less and less each year about how other people perceive me as well. The count has a way with words!

    Choosing your battle is the best advice ever! Something I have realized I have become better at in the last few years for sure!

    I hope that you had a fabulous birthday month :)

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  19. hahaha the zero fucks Count, love it!! I'm trying to be better about #2. I'm a battle-er by nature - I really, really like it. I like to choose the opposite side just for fun, even if I actually couldn't care less about the topic. I like to go against what everyone else is doing, all the time. I suppose I picked the right career but I should probably choose my battles a little more wisely in my personal life.

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  20. Awesome post! You know I love this since we've talked recently about the whole birthday-evaluating-reflectiveness and the wheels are turning for me as well. You always have such great insight, keep it up! :)

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  21. I'm actually enjoying being almost 37 (just over 2 months to go!). I look at some of my friends in their late 20s and sometimes, I just feel bad for them because of how many fucks they still give about everything and how everything is a crisis and bogged down in drama. Being an old hag is liberating.

    I heart this post. I agree with every. Single. Word. Also, The Count.

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  22. Is "everything" an option? Haha. I've learned to take care of myself. To think about the consequences of my actions and my words.

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  23. I love the one about learning to pick your battles. I also have learned how to fight to make it more bickering and not an all out war!

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  24. Former lurker, first-time commenter. Felt compelled to chime in today b/c I love the "Comparison is the thief of joy" quote and reference this all the time (shout out to Teddy Roosevelt). I always want to post in on Facebook, but not sure people would get the irony. But seriously, why compare yourself to someone with completely different values, background, desires, traits, etc? It's completely pointless and counterproductive.

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    1. Hi Suki! That quote rings so true for me, it's always at the tip of my mind. I happen to think our individuality is so interesting...I love finding things I have in common with people, or areas where we differ...but I want to be me and have them be them. We don't all have the same things, materially and otherwise. And that's life and it's good.

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  25. I hold myself to a more realistic standard as I get older. I'm over worrying about what I wear every time I leave the house, or who I'll run into, or what the fuck ever. Over. It. If I'm in the mood to look nice, I go to the effort. If not, I don't bother. If I terrify you, look away.

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    1. i.e. please look away from me every weekday except possibly Thursday or Friday. And also any time you see me after 10 p.m. or either weekend morning. hahahahah

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  26. Comparison I agree is such an unhealthy outlook on life. I am turning 30 this summer and I cannot wait. I am done with my 20s and love the wisdom I get with each passing year!

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  27. Definitely my cooking skills have improved! Your "no lies, I didn't leave anything out" recipes helps out too!

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  28. you are pretty awesome. i'm impressed with your zero fucks given attitude, we all need to adopt that a little bit more, the world would be a happier place!

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  29. I'm definitely with you on #4. I care what a select handful of people think and value their opinions, everyone else. PASS!

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  30. I like this. In my 20s I always worried about what I was "supposed" to do with my life. Then when I was 29, it hit me that I'm not "supposed" to do anything expect enjoy my life the way it is and be content. It complerely transformed my outlook. That's not to say I don't have goals, but I've learned to be happy with my current situation and not worry so much about everyone else's success.

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    1. That's where I am. I always have goals, but I'm happy with what I have and am now. I think that's important!

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  31. Isn't it grand to finally find yourself once you hit your mid 30's? It's like finally....I know who I AM!!! I am still working on the crisis mode situations and what other say and think about me. I am a work in progress but getting there!!

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  32. I completely understand what you mean by #1. With each year, I feel even more confident in who I am. I am still in my mid-twenties so I just went through the whole "Am I on the right path? What am I doing? Can I do more? Is this good enough?" inner battle when I turned 24.... then I realized there's no point in questioning it. I'm happy, I'm doing what I want to do, I might as well just own it and move forth. Those were a weird few days though!

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  33. I didn't know you were 37?!?! I've become more confident and to not care what people think (even though sometimes I do). I've became more fearless and taking risks and coming out of my comfort zone.

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  34. I get sad that my metabolism isn't what is used to be or that my boobies aren't as perky as they once were... but I wouldn't trade how I FEEL now to have those back for the world. No. Way.

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  35. Honestly, every decade gets better. :-) It's amazing how our perspective changes...there's peace that comes with aging...much of what you described. It's all good. Cheers! :-)

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  36. Totally agree on the meal/cooking thing. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. The more you try, the more things WILL turn out though. When people use "I hate messing up" as an excuse for not cooking, I wonder what else they never attempt…

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  37. I'm getting ready to be attempting many meals and pizza won't work at the moment, so I'll have to find a back up for my back up! I am me, you are you...definitely, absolutely! Being comfortable with who I am and where I am in life does seem to get better with each year that passes.

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  38. I love getting older, hope it always stays that way. I could use a little help with number two but definitely agree that all of these things have gotten better with age. Happy last few days of your birthday Steph!

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  39. great reflections! i definitely feel more comfortable in my own skin too as i get older. i know "who" i am and i'm ok with saying no to things i used to just do to be a people pleaser. and the best thing about getting older is having more amazing experiences to reflect on.

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  40. I always forget you are my brother's age. You look and act like you are in your 20's, which just goes to show that age is just a number! It's great that you appreciate what comes with growing older like settling in to yourself and picking your battles. I think wisdom is the best part of aging ;)

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