I celebrated my 30th birthday yesterday. It feels good to be 30. It feels especially good to be in a new decade, and one that isn’t shared with the memories, fun, and immaturity of my early-to-mid 20s.
I thought I’d share a list of 30 things I’ve learned in my 30 years.
1. It works out better when you take your time to make a big decision. Sometimes when things don’t happen immediately, there’s a good reason.
2. College was great, but there is a lot of life to live after college.
3. All those times I moved were just helping to broaden my circle of friends. And now I’m so very thankful to have friends all over the country.
4. A phone call with a far-away friend or with your parents can completely lift your spirits.
5. Being friendly, inclusive, and open-minded is always good. No one likes being the new girl, so helping someone not feel like the new girl will make her day. And you may even make a new friend.
6. When being asked to travel, always, always say yes.
7. When being asked to volunteer, really think it over and try to figure out if it will help or hurt your family.
8. Always remember that just because you think you know how to do it, someone else may have a better solution. This tid bit comes in really handy during motherhood.
9. Think really hard about the name you give your blog, if you choose to blog. You may not always want to write about wedding-related things.
10. When trying to make a decision, don’t ask the opinion of everyone you know. Instead, rely on a small group of people to offer trusted advice, and in the end, listen to what God is telling you to do.
11. We’re all working on different timelines. Some will get married years before others, some may have kids immediately, and some may choose to never have children. But don’t compare your life’s timeline to someone else’s and feel disappointed. God knows the plans He has for us all.
12. Learn how to balance your checkbook at an early age. And don’t get a credit card in college.
13. Kids are imaginative, hilarious, and they’re their own people. Dress them the way they want to dress, and let them have a few freedoms when they’re little. It’s fun to see their personalities come to life, and let them get their way when they feel passionately about something.
14. It’s exhausting (and expensive) to try to buy a new outfit for every occasion. Shop your closet.
15. Always travel with a small fan. It’s the perfect thing for white noise and hotels make it so hard to regulate your sleeping temperature.
16. Don’t make one of those lists entitled “My future husband must be/have/do…” There’s a very high probability that the love of your life and “the one” will be nothing like the imaginary man you created on paper.
17. Movie theater popcorn, Mexican food, and pizza don’t taste nearly as great without a Diet Coke.
18. Have dance parties in your house, and just let loose. It’s the perfect distraction during the “witching hour” when your babies are tiny and crying or when your toddler is so ready for Daddy to get home.
19. Be a good friend. Be trustworthy and keep your word. Be the kind of friend you want to have.
20. Don’t fool yourself into thinking your life is a romantic comedy. Perfection is boring. Enjoy the life you were blessed with and choose to be content. Your home may be messier and your cookies may be burned. Your wardrobe may not be as trendy and your car may be running on its last leg. It’s okay to stop comparing.
21. Being hospitable is really fun, and creating a beautiful home can be really fun. But cherishing your company and celebrating holidays with family is much more fun without the stress of having the perfect “welcome baskets.”
22. Tell your kids how much they’re loved, not how special they are. They’ll grow up knowing their parents adore them without feeling like they’re better than anyone else.
23. It’s okay not to do things the way you always thought you’d do them. You may take a different job or live in a different city. You may have kids at a young age or an older age than you always thought. You aren’t bound to your plan. You’re living God’s story and following His plan.
24. Life goes on. Try not to waste too much time worrying about little bumps in the road.
25. Watch old movies and don’t be afraid to admit that you never really liked Top Gun.
26. Allow yourself time to get sucked into mindless TV late at night. It may be a waste of time, but it’s nice to forget your responsibilities and to-do list for a while.
27. Reading is fun, and it’s the best conversation-starter.
28. When planning your wedding, if you want to have 12 bridesmaids, go ahead and have 12 bridesmaids. And if you don’t want to have any bridesmaids, that’s okay, too. It’s your day and you get to decide.
29. Find friends who love your children. You never know when you’ll have a middle-of-the-night emergency and you’ll need them to come to your rescue. (And love your friends’ kids, and offer to help!)
30. 30 is so much better than 20!
What would you add to this list?