thoughts on turning 30

no, i'm not 30 yet. i still have 4 more days, and i'm not conceding a moment sooner. that said i keep oscillating between this whole birthday thing being a big deal, and being somewhat insignificant. i mean, it is just a number. [or is that just something people say when they don't want to admit the truth?]

i came across this a few weeks ago, and it made me laugh because of how very true it is.

{via someecards}

when i was a teenager i remember thinking: "i don't understand why anyone would stop shopping at stores like american eagle, and abercrombie and fitch, and delia's, and hollister. why don't moms and other women still wear these clothes? don't they know how much cooler they'd look if they did?"

and now i laugh at my younger self. every once in a while i'll still go into american eagle. at certain times of the year they have a few things i'll consider, and often they have a pretty good jewelry section, but most of the time i walk in and think: "oh, right, this is why i don't shop here anymore."

and it's crazy how you think you won't change, or even that you haven't changed much, and then you remember or encounter a thing like that, and realize just how much you have changed. and if you're anything like me, you're pretty sure that's a good thing.

no, i'm not 20 anymore, and i loved 20, but i'm glad i am where i am now.

in our culture we hate the idea of getting older. and it's not that i love the idea. there are plenty of things that aren't so fun that happen over the course of the aging process, but at the same time - it's not all bad. [no, i'm not saying i actually think i'm old just because of the whole 3-0 thing, i'm just saying in general…]

there are pluses to the perspective that age brings. wisdom often comes from experience. from the little experience that i have i think that it's best to try to enjoy where you're at, no matter where that is. when all you want is to be somewhere else - it shows, and it does not make a person shine. most of the time, it dulls you.

that is not to say that this is easy, or that we should never try to change a situation we're in, but more to recognize where we have control, and where we don't, and behave accordingly.

peter is much better at this than i am. he's an engineer - he's logical. i think with my heart, and emotional thinking gets you into trouble a lot. this is especially true if you're a bit of a perfectionist, and an idealist like i can be.

in case you don't know this already; perfection is a myth. it's really easy to think it exists. perfection existing is a tenet of our culture in many ways. we chase it all the time, but it doesn't actually exist. obviously you can get a perfect score on something, or have a perfect season. a perfect life, though? no. those of us who are merely human and not God cannot have a perfect life. we try to make our lives look perfect all the time. we try to throw the not so perfect things out the window and pretend they don't exist, but they do. they exist for all of us. the rest is just a façade.

perfectionism is bull s***. pardon my french, but it's true. and when it comes to idealism… we live in a hurting and broken world. period. waxing eloquent about an ideal world is one thing, expecting it to happen is another thing entirely.

this doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for excellence, or try to make a difference to bring our world closer to an idealistic state, but we can't change the past, and we cannot fix the world on our own.

in my almost 30 years i've learned something - peter is mostly responsible for teaching me this, though having a baby certainly intensified the truth of it:

it is what it is.

this is true of many many things. i don't have control of much. in fact, most of what happens on a daily basis is entirely outside of my control. this doesn't mean that i cannot affect change, but it does mean that i cannot change everything.

at the end of the day what should have happened doesn't matter if it didn't happen. you have to take things as they come. you have to start with the hand you're dealt, and go from there. it's not that we just have to take everything we're given lying down, but we do have to start with what we're given. pretending things aren't how they are screws with you a lot more than admitting the truth and moving on. sometimes the truth is ugly, and sometimes it hurts, but chasing after lies doesn't make anything any better. it just makes us delusional.

there. doesn't that make you feel better? ha!
i know, i know, i'm spreading the joy today :o)

here are a few other [hopefully happier] things i've learned:

  • we all want to grow up too quickly, only to learn that responsibility kind of sucks, and you don't actually get to do whatever you want all the time.
  • no matter how much you love kids, and baby-sit them, and feel like a third parent to them, being a mom yourself is a whole different ball of wax.
  • marriage is tough, but the best marriage advice i ever heard still rings true: every day i wake up and decide to love my husband. i refuse to give up on him - i refuse to give up on us. some days that decision is harder than other days, but i make it every day, and i've never been sorry for making it. 
  • pain is not all for naught. we all have struggled, we all have struggles, but God can use that pain to redeem us. the struggle makes us stronger in the end, and i've found the importance of holding on to that nugget of truth in the midst of trials.
  • sometimes you have to call a spade a spade before you try to move past it, or put a positive spin on it. 
  • honesty is the best policy, but you don't always have to be honest out loud.
  • truly forgiving someone who has really hurt you and isn't sorry is one of the hardest things in the world. and it's often a slow process.
  • perspective is so important. taking someone else's perspective encourages grace and understanding. 
  • truly loving people is incredibly difficult. God's grace is the only thing that allows us to do it.
  • really good food can change your life.
  • exercise makes me feel better - endorphins are amazing.
  • traveling really does open up the world. seeing and gaining a better understanding for different cultures make a huge difference.
  • my grammy was right - coffee is fantastic.
  • a new pair of shoes really does help make the day brighter. 
  • community takes time to cultivate, and is really important for growth.
i could keep going, but this post has grown to a mammoth length already. so, i'll leave you with this video of keane… he got a hold of my phone last weekend and took a little video. it makes me laugh EVERY SINGLE TIME i watch it.

video


happy memorial day weekend!
xo

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