Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thirty and growing

I say quite often that I don't like to think about getting "old." It's really sad watching other people struggle with the ailments that come with old age. That being said, I actually enjoy many aspects of getting older.

I turned the big 3-0 this year. Well, actually, last year. Oh yeah, Happy New Year! I'm just going to ignore the fact that I haven't blogged in six months or so and pick up where we left off. Sound good?

Me on my 30th birthday. I think the baby monitor
in the background accurately describes my life at 30.
I did A LOT of reflecting before turning 30. More than I thought I would. For the first 29 years of my life, 30 always seemed really old. Until I was turning 30. Then it didn't seem old at all. Maybe all of the big milestone birthdays feel that way. After all, you're only as old as you feel, right?

I did find two grey hairs in my eyebrows tonight, though. And that sure made me FEEL old. Until I tweezed them and vowed to forget I ever saw them. What grey eyebrows? I don't know what you're talking about...

I try to pray every night before going to bed and one of my reoccurring prayers is for help becoming the best version of me that I can be. I know that we are works in progress until the day we die and I want to continue striving to learn and grow with each day. Sometimes this causes me to really over-think and stress about situations which isn't good either, but I really try to learn from all of my experiences and improve upon my weaknesses.

Here are some of the things I have learned about myself in the last decade:

I need to make lists to get things done. I get overwhelmed easily and when I feel overwhelmed, I do nothing which then makes me feel more anxious. So both personally and professionally, I need to make lists and get things out of the chaos in my mind and onto a piece of paper that I can then cross off when the task is completed.

I need to do things right away when I'm thinking about them instead of putting them off. For example, when I buy fresh produce or fruit at the grocery store, I need to clean it and cut it right away or else it will go bad before it gets eaten. I don't even like to think about how much fresh food I have wasted as a result of putting off this process.

I have learned that I need to forgive myself and accept the fact that I am not perfect. Of course I know that I am not, but yet, I strive to be and when I inevitably fall short (quite often), there is no one harder on me than I am on myself.

One of the most important things I have learned is that I have the ability to take control of my thoughts and feelings. It mind sound crazy or something that should be really simple but for most of my life, I have struggled with letting my thoughts and feelings control me - like I was a helpless victim at the mercy of whatever life threw at me.

But as I've gotten older, I have realized that I do have the ability to take control of my thoughts and I can determine my attitude. Just because I have come to this realization doesn't mean it is easy, though. It's hard to change your way of thinking, especially when it happens so involuntarily at times.

We had a long-term substitute teacher in eighth grade who said, "your attitude is everything." It took me about 15 years to fully understand how right she was. We can't always control some of the situations life throws at us, but the one thing we can control is how we respond.

In my next thirty years, I hope to continue to self-reflect, learn, grow and strive to become the best version of myself.

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