Today is a “cold” day off from work and school for the boys and me. It’s -25 without the windchill and around -53 with the windchill. There is no way that our door will be open. I’d like to call the post office and tell them that we don’t need our mail today and that our postal worker should stay warm!
I’ve been very reflective lately on myself and my actions, which has led me to really discover some strong realizations about myself and how I’ve grown in my 30’s.
My birthday always hit me hard. When I turned 30, two years ago, I cried. Sobbed. Think about the Friends episode where they all turn 30. That was me. Thirty meant that I had to get my sh*t together. I was a professional, I had just switched positions in my school district to a non-teaching one, I had two kids that I had to put in daycare and spend a ton of my income on and a husband, a mortgage, car payments, life insurance, health insurance, IRA’s, union dues, gas, groceries, etc. I had to maintain these safeties for my family. I am in charge of the finances so I had to come up with how to save money and be responsible. It was/it is overwhelming at times.
Over the past two years, I have learned to really embrace my 30’s. I am not in my 20’s any longer – I hate bar hopping, prefer to drink coffee over booze, haven’t smoked a cigarette in almost seven years, dislike Miller Lite and prefer a craft beer that isn’t too dark.
I’ve accepted the fact that my house will only stay clean for about an hour and that there is always a mountain of laundry to be done and put away. I will step on a Lego or toy tractor piece daily. Empty fruit crates and books decorate my house. Stacks of books, yarn, knitting needles, toy tractors, legos, and random other toys are scattered around my house to make it look lived in. I’m okay with having next to nothing on my walls or near the floor as decorations – it’s less to be broken or cleaned around.
My refrigerator is stocked with fruit, veggies, and homemade goods. My pantry shelves are filled with homemade jams, sauces, pickles, wild rice, brown rice, beans, whole wheat flour, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, homemade breads, rolls and snacks for the kids. As my husband has said to me, “It looks like we live on a commune.” I love knowing that my family is eating healthy, at least in our home.
I’ve really learned that my husband is my rock. Steve is beyond supportive of me personally and professionally. He has helped me grow to be the person that I am today and I’m not sure that I would be where I am without him. He accepts that I’ve grown from the party girl he met in college over 11 years ago, to a granola loving, gardening, knitting, reading machine. We have found our love of camping, being outdoors, and canoeing together.
I have learned to appreciate and love my boys more and more each day. I am not like them each day, but my heart bursts with love for them always. They are growing into some pretty amazing people.
I’ve surrounded myself with supportive people that are excited about what I do personally and professionally. I don’t deal with other people’s drama. I do whatever I can to keep my life drama-free.
I’ve learned that I do truly love the field of education and what I went to school for. From being out of the classroom for two years to now being back in it, I understand that this is something I am meant to do.
When my birthday rolled around this year, the day was a breeze. After 32 years, I feel like I really do have my sh*t together, even when I feel like I’m failing at life. My family is healthy and happy. We are financially secure and stable. By no means are we rich or totally debt-free, but I’ve done a pretty good job of getting us close with only our mortgage and my student loan left and the beginnings of a down payment on a new house started. We are close to each other, support each other and love each other and there isn’t anything else that I could ask for to make my 30’s even better.