I recently turned 35 and shared a list of 35 things I’ve done and 35 things I still want to do… but today’s post is slightly different.
Today I’m celebrating all the things I love about reaching this milestone age. Half way through my thirties. Half way through my life!
I’m sharing the Top 10 things I love about being in my thirties. Written especially with those of you in mind who have yet to hit the big THREE ZERO.
Often it’s a number or an age that strikes fear in our hearts… well, any number that ends with a “0” tends to do that. (Let’s not even start about my next big birthday!!)
Fortunately I’ve had 5 years of my thirties to come to terms with the fact that I am no longer in my twenties. As much as I feel I am still 21, I really am not, and although there were great things about being in my twenties there are even better things about being thirty-plus.
Top 10 Things I Love About Being In My Thirties
1. I’m more confident in myself
From what I can tell by speaking to friends in their 40’s, it would appear that confidence is an unlimited resource that keeps getting bigger and better as you get older. No, I’m not talking about over-confidence that shouts it’s presence for all to see (although I’ve been known to be loud), but rather a quite confidence in trusting myself more. I’m more secure with who I am and my life choices because time and time again in my thirties I’ve realised that my gut reaction was right about someone or something and that I really should have just gone with it. So guess what? Now I do. And I don’t second guess myself. Obviously old habits die hard but most of the time I’m much more confident in who I am and stand up for myself much more than I did before. I think it comes with not worrying so much about what other’s think of you. Don’t get me wrong, I still do. But I’m definitely getting better than I was in my twenties when I would never speak out. A lot of this is due to trial and error and looking back on situations realising that you had something valuable to add to a conversation or that you were in fact able to teach someone something that they didn’t know already. I have this blog to thank for a lot of this.
2. I’ve embraced my body
OK so my body was definitely better 10 years ago and it will most likely NEVER be the same again but that’s ok. I’ve finally embraced that fact and made peace with the extra lumps and bumps I find myself bearing. In my early twenties life was all about looks, especially when hitting the town, but due to aforementioned confidence boost I’m much more likely to focus on the other aspects of myself these days – my personality, sense of humour, intelligence – are now things which define my value far more than my physical appearance. And I’ve realised that boys (well, one boy) still likes me even when I haven’t brushed my hair, put on a bra, spritzed perfume or put on any makeup – although it does help!
3. I’ve discovered myself & have time to discover even more
For much of my twenties I was still finding out who I was and what I liked. I don’t think many twenty-something have it all together, yet there I was getting married and having babies thinking I knew it all. I didn’t. But the best thing about life is that we’re all entitled to make mistakes and start again or just try something new. (I’m NOT saying my husband and kids are a mistake…) What’s great about being 35 is that there is still so much more to discover… about myself AND the world around me. I started this blog at the age of 30 and had to learn a whole host of new skills which even led to a new career! What I’m excited about is that I still have 35 years to try new things and to celebrate the things I already know I love.
4. I’ve realised who matters most
During your twenties you often tend to flit from one friend to another depending on where the best party is at. But once you hit your thirties who has the time for that? Now I’m all about making time for friends that I ENJOY spending time with. Time together is how relationships develop and the truth is with such busy lives there just isn’t that much time to spend investing in loads of friendships. What has to happen is that the ones I cherish most need to become more meaningful. At this stage of my life it’s far easier to realise who and what matters the most. It’s an area that is still a work in progress, but I like to think I’m making some. If I am making time for God, my husband, my kids, my extended family and a few good friends (in that particular order) then I’m doing great!
5. I’m shaking the disease to please
Your thirties are not about pleasing or serving other people (except maybe your kid/s in terms of food and warmth). They definitely aren’t about pleasing your friends or extended family anymore. If the people who say they love you don’t accept you, flaws & all, then your thirties are the perfect time to cut your losses. Life is far too short to live it according to a set of rules as defined by someone else and if you reach this stage of your life with some question marks around always trying to please certain people – it’s time to say goodbye.
6. I’ve learnt to forgive – myself and others
One of the very best things you can do once you hit your thirties is to learn to forgive. Starting with yourself! So often we hold on to things and beat ourselves up about our own failings and mistakes, but holding on to that unforgiveness does nothing to propel us forward in life. In fact it makes us stay exactly where we are: stuck! Another aspect to forgiveness is that it’s often not only ourselves we need to forgive. We also need to find the freedom of forgiveness with regards to other relationships in our lives. The tricky thing with relationships is that they are sometimes so. very. hard. Friends, Partners, Parents, Kids. They can all be freaking COMPLICATED. And the truth is you can’t kick everyone to the kerb just because they annoy you or say something you don’t like. You sometimes have to work out your issues with certain people for far bigger reasons than just you…. it’s part of growing up! A big aspect of this is learning how to forgive and let go. Harping on about something never really makes one little dot of a difference. Waiting for the other person to apologise will get you nowhere. Best to just be the bigger person and forgive and forget. But don’t TELL them this. That will not help the situation at all and only create more bad blood. Rather just do it and move on quietly with your life. You’ll find yourself in a far healthier place in the long run. I have found true freedom in forgiving and I’m so grateful for this gift that has allowed me to enjoy my thirties even more!
7. I now know it’s the little things that count
Now that I’m in my thirties my idea of happiness is spending the night on my couch with my husband, chocolate, fire and a good TV series or snuggling my two kids while watching a new animated movie with them. It’s getting between fresh sheets with a good book or taking a hot bubble bath. It’s singing along to my favourite song on the radio, a bunch of fresh flowers, a scented candle, having a braai with friends while the kids run around…. It’s a delicious dessert or a slice of brie cheese. It’s Lindt chocolate. Painting my nails a new colour and then doing my daughter’s too. Going for a walk in the fresh air or spending a weekend camping in the country. These are the things that bring just as much excitement as airports (although I still like those!) It’s also about spending time at home – at this point in my life that is often even more exciting to me than a full calendar because it just doesn’t happen that often anymore. Basically I’ve got to a point where I notice the little things and appreciate them far more than I ever did in my twenties. This quote from Roald Dahl sums it up quite nicely…
‘A life is made up of a great number of small incidents and a small number of great ones.’ – Going Solo
8. I’ve come a long way and I’m going somewhere too
Now that I’ve hit my mid-thirties I have a far better perspective on life. I can look back and see where I’ve come and what I’ve accomplished and and also know where I want to go. Finding the right path for me took time and for a while I lost my way amidst nappies and night feeds, but once I entered the next decade I finally hit my stride. I allowed myself to think past my current position and pursue my passions – personally and professionally. I’m pleased to say it’s got me here… and I can’t wait to see where it will take me next!
9. I’m braver than ever before
Two natural births will do that to you. In fact, any type of birth will do that to you. Overcoming the fear of the actual process is one thing, but actually mothering little pieces of your heart walking around in the world without your constant protection with make you braver than you ever thought possible. And now I know I can do anything I set my mind to, I’m quite keen to take up the challenge
as often as I can occasionally. I’ve zip-line one of the highest, scariest, insane-ist (not a real word I know) zip-lines in the world, scuba-dived even after my whole body tried to revolt against me and can even have blood taken without having to hold someone’s hand – now that’s brave! Bring on the teenage years. I can do it!
10. I’ve given up on perfectionism
Maybe it’s got something to do with being a mom of almost 9 years that means I’ve finally conceded that it’s never going to be perfect. Nope, nothing is – not my body, not my home, not my baking, not my garden, not my children and not me. Perfect is a pretty impossible standard to live up to. I’ve learnt to stop being so hard on myself. I’ve left behind the pressure of being perfect and rather now give myself and others the gift of grace, the freedom to make mistakes and the chance to start over. I’ve started caring less about the outcome and caring more about the process…
Lancôme recently launched their new #LoveYourAge campaign which is why I felt it was fitting to write a list of all the things I love about being in my thirties – 35 – the half-way mark on my life journey of self-discovery.
For the first time, 4 Lancôme ambassadresses, Kate Winslet, Penélope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o and Lily Collins, are featured in the same campaign, one that breaks the rules of traditional beauty product advertising. Watch the video here…
As you will have noticed each of the ambassadresses reveal their own age, announcing it with pride, while still maintaining their own unique youthful aura – that indefinable quality that makes all women even more beautiful!
So how do you #LoveYourAge?
Whether you’re in your thirties, forties, fifties or even still in your twenties there’s always something to celebrate about being the age you are RIGHT NOW, no matter what the number is!
Tell me what you LOVE about your age in the comments below or even better send out a Tweet or Instagram using the hashtag above…