Friday, March 10, 2017

The 30s: A Retrospective

I'm five days away from saying goodbye to my 30s. In July of last year, I wrote about not fearing the 30s, but I didn't want to let this milestone pass me by without a proper sendoff. In that blog post I talked about how I felt as I aged through this decade, but not about what happened during it because how do you sum up the events of 10 years?

If you're me, you take the easy way out and stick to the big things.

I got married. It's been glorious, wonderful, maddening, and ugly. As long as you come out of the maddening and ugly parts on the same page, it's all good. It's really interesting to have a front row seat to someone daily and see how they grow, change, and stay the same.
I watched my friends get married, a few get divorced and re-married/re-partnered in ways that suit them so much better. Some have had children I consider my nieces and nephews. My own blood related niece was born and she reminds me so much of my Grandmom and Mom-Mom that I sometimes cry thinking about how absolutely delightful they would find her.

I grew apart from some people I thought I'd be close with forever, and grew close with people I never imagined entering my life. I turned my back on people who destroyed my energy and peace without one regret because when it's a choice between you or me, I will always choose me. My inner circle got smaller but has never fit me so well. I see friends I haven't seen in months and it feels like sliding into my favorite chair. I don't see my friends face to face as much as I did in those endless nights and warrior weekends of my 20s, but we see and appreciate each other for who we are far more.
I had times of being flat out unable to pay bills and times of feeling so fortunate and comfortable financially that I couldn't believe it. These days I typically find myself in the latter comfortable camp, but I don't ever let myself forget how the former felt.

I left the second job of my career and started the third, where I still am. I became a public transportation commuter and that has provided me with endless rage and entertainment.

We bought a house when we were totally not ready to buy a house. A little over six years later, we did that again but this time at the shore. No material possession has ever made me as happy as owning a shore house and I don't think anything will ever come close.

We added two dogs to our family, bringing our canine population to three...which is two more than I ever thought I'd have at once.
I went to Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, New Orleans, Maine, San Francisco, Chicago, Emerald Isle; Disney multiple times including finally seeing it done up for both Halloween and Christmas; Salem and Boston, MA; Rhode Island; Riviera Maya and Cozumel in Mexico; Cocoa Beach, Key West, Islamorada, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton in FL; cruise stops in the Bahamas/St. Martin/St. Thomas/Cozumel; Niagara Falls; Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Devil's Tower, Badlands, Little Bighorn; and other places I'm forgetting. Every place I've visited has claimed a small room in my head, heart, or both.

I stopped doing what the world told me I was supposed to do and started doing what works for me in my life at that moment.

I changed a little bit every day.

I can't begin to describe the little things or the daily things, and those things...those are the things that actually make a life. Those things are one of the reasons I started this blog.
I've seen and done a lot over the past 10 years. I've been so many different versions of me.

I've learned a lot about life, myself, and the world; and forgotten about the same amount in all columns.

My 30s were full of messes and triumphs. It has been amazing and interesting with a dash of awful or exhilarating thrown in here and there for balance. I can't imagine how my 40s will top it, but I look forward to finding out.


38 comments:

  1. Here is to the 40's!! I have loved every second of my 30's they have definitely been the best for me.

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  2. I love how much you travelled girl - so much of the world seen!! Wishing you a very happy early birthday and a wonderful start to this new decade of life! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  3. Brilliant ❣️ The best will keep on coming❣️❣️ You put out so much good❣️ Sitting next to our LJBQ right now, I imagine how much joy she will bring. She reminds me of you, who I could not stay home with every day. For the best, I guess. Then you had all that precious time with Mommom and Gamma and they with you. Continued Goddess speed to my beautiful girl❣️
    Love. Your. Momma. 💖✨☮😇🦄🍀🌞😎

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  4. Wow what a wonderful snapshot of the last decade of your life!! Wishing you so much happiness, peace, love, and great experiences over the next decade. So glad to have gotten to know you and been inspired by you through your blog.
    Have a great weekend and enjoy the early birthday celebrations!!!
    PS - looks like a great destination for your 40s is CANADA. hahaha jk ;)

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  5. I love how you summed up a decade and how you pointed out that the little things are what make a life and really shape your experiences. Excited to see how you celebrate the milestone!

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  6. I could not love this more! So beautifully narrated and so accurately portrayed for so many of us. "Those are the things that actually make a life." Indeed. Cheers to the 40s. Enjoy your weekend, Steph.

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  7. I love everything about this post! So many awesome things you've done, seen, realized, accomplished, persevered through. I have no doubt that your 40s will be much more of the same--and being the best you :) So glad that I've gotten to take part in part of the journey so far!

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  8. Damn, girl, you had a very eventful decade! Love this recap. Looking back and having that retrospective view allows us to see just how far we've come, how much we've grown and all that we've endured and experienced. Here's to hoping the next decade is even better for you!

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  9. I love this so much. I don't know if you had to reflect long on this or not, but as I get older (and have been reflecting just the last five years of Jason being away most of the time for school (also most of our marriage)), I realize it's a lot of small everyday things that make up the big picture, and I never used to look at it like that. I think your 30's had a great run, and I'm thinking 40's will be even better!

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  10. I love this so very much, at 32 I'm definitely going through a lot of these myself so I hope I emerge at 40 as fabulous as you have. Maybe not with 3 dogs though, I don't think I could handle that.

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  11. You did some pretty awesome things, so many wonderful accomplishments in your 30's, I'm sure your 40's are going to be amazing!! Happy Birthday!!

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  12. 40s are the new 30s! like wine, we just get better with age. Love this post; happy (early) birthday and goodbye to the 30s.

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  13. What a great way to reflect on the past 10 years. It sounds like you experienced so many amazing things & had so many great adventures while learning a lot along the way!

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  14. Cheers to a new decade! So much amazingness these past few years including travels and an awesome canine population <3

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  15. I was always so afraid of being in my 30's... if I read this back then, you would have made me look forward to it... & now, here I am in my 40's... welcome to the club. Where the older you get, the more content you get.
    You are so right - it is so strange to have a front row view on someone elses life - but they do to you as well.
    3 dogs... to me, that's the perfect number of dogs to have. Always entertaining
    That picture of you laying your head down on that fence - that is a beautiful picture of you.

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  16. What a lovely tribute to your 30s. I grew more content and grateful as I got older. I recognize and appreciate blessings more and find my voice more and more every day. 40s are when you really step into your power (and that will turn to 50s when I reach that milestone) and welcome to the club!

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  17. A lovely tribute to what sounds like a brilliant decade. I am turning 38 this year and have had similar experiences, that paragraph about friends really hit home. It has all been so cathartic really. I hope your 40's are even more amazing! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  18. Sounds like you have had one fabulous decade!!! Getting married, buying a house and changing careers...all big steps!!! And of course adding to your dog tribe, always so adorable! You visited so many places!!!! And I am so glad that you guys enjoy your shore house. What a blessing to have that space to call your very own!! Cheers to the next 10!

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  19. What a great recap of the last ten years, and all the places you've traveled.. well done, girl. Here's to your 40s, may they be as rich as the last decade and then some. :)

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  20. You sure have done a lot in your thirties! Love to see the list of everywhere you've traveled. That's awesome. I'm sure your forties will be amazing too!

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  21. Love this! So many great things that have happened this past decade. I love your perspective how the little everyday things are what makes a life.
    Happy Birthday! :-)

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  22. It was a decade worth honoring. You experienced and accomplished so much. Thanks for sharing. Cheers to the 40s. Welcome to the club!

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  23. I love every bit of this post! It's the perfect send off to your 30s. I love how much you embraced your 30s. I hope to be able to do the same. Happy early birthday!

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  24. I think you know this already, but I want to be you when I grow up. Your honesty and ability to reflect gracefully is so rare and refreshing. Cheers to a new decade, and a life so well lived already!

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  26. (Oops I was signed into my work gmail for the previous comment so deleted it.) Happy soon-to-be birthday and cheers for hitting this milestone! You've achieved so much, traveled to so much, learned so much, and grown so much in 10 years all while figuring out the kinks in life that needed to be fixed or got rid of. All things necessary to find your happy place and balance in life. The shore house is such an exciting investment and I'm sure provides an actual physical happy place to spend some of life's best moments. Those sunsets!! May the road ahead be just as beautiful and fulfilling.

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  27. Lots of good things in here... pictures of the pugs and you and MFD make me the happiest... though knowing that I'll have another season of sunrises on the shore coming soon is a close second. Happy (early) birthday, friend. You encourage, inspire, and challenge me. Thank you for that.

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  28. Lovely post! I am just at the beginning of my 30s but I hope they are as awesome as yours!!

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  29. Loved this! I hope to be in your same position of tranquility, gratitude, hopefulness and security when I leave my 3rd decade!

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  30. I love this post! Happy Birthday, Snotty!

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  31. This is such a great way to look at a milestone birthday! I have to admit that the thought of 30 totally freaks me out, but when I start to look back at my 20's it just makes what could happen in my 30's seem endless!

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  32. This is such a great recap :) I hope my thirties are equally fulfilling. First I have to finish my 20s ;) Haha!

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  33. Thanks for sharing the information. It is very useful for my future. keep sharing

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  34. I admire you for knowing when to turn your back on people. Many people feel obligated to "forgive" too many times and hold on to every friendships/relationship. It's not always suitable for someone to remain in your life.

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  35. 'a front row seat to someone daily'. I love that.
    this really sounds like a fantastic decade. i hope your 40s are amazing as well, and selfishly i hope my 30s are pretty fabulous. happy birthday for tomorrow!

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  36. i loved reading this. You are a fabulous woman.

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