Thursday, May 16, 2013

30, 31.

30th Birthday edited iphone pics

I want to talk about being 30 for a minute.

Before I turned the big 3-0 I overdid it talking about turning 30, by a lot. I was kind of obsessed with it, so into the idea of leaving behind my twenties, what that meant for me and where I was headed. To me aging has always been this super-neat thing; it's never been something I've been upset over or felt sad about. So that birthday for me was a big-time celebration, a milestone in my life that was worth celebrating and commemorating, and talking about as much as I could.

And my thirtieth year was so good to me. I feel like with all the talking I did about what I learned in my 20s (parts one and two), this past year was a big-time refresher course in all of it. Some huge lessons were learned, and some of the biggest things were revealed to me about myself. And really, this is such a gift. We're with ourselves every moment, so to learn something new, to figure out a little mystery, or to finally make sense of a behavior or pattern that's a part of our everyday, that's awesome. And this past year I did a lot of that. I worked on a laundry list of self-improvements- not getting as angry over silly things, letting go a bit more of the uptightness I often carry around, and not taking things personally. The last being the biggest lesson of all. This has always been my problem in real life, and made a worse problem online. Accepting that you can't make everyone happy, ever, and changing my attitude about it has been the biggest stride I've made in the past year, and I'm proud of myself.

Some other changes I made:

1. I got rid of my laptop in favor of a desktop computer. I always have the idea of being "present" at the front of my mind, and even when I would be totally aware of it, there were so many times when my family would all be hanging out, and there I was, tapping away on the couch on that computer. It was just so mobile that I would often take it from room to room. Horrible! But now with the desktop, I only use it at night or early in the morning and it's made me realize just how un-present I had been from time to time. Having a set place and a set time to do online things like blogging, emails, etc. has been wonderful for me.

2. I stopped feeling guilty. This is a huge one. When you have three sets of grandparents and a huge family it's virtually impossible to please everyone. There is one Christmas, one Saturday afternoon in a week, one this or one that. In the past I would often stress that I wasn't pleasing everyone or making time for each person, and I'd feel beyond guilty. But this past year Hank and I adopted an "just do our best" attitude about all of it and it's freed me from feeling that way. It's hard to explain, but there are so many different dynamics in family like ours and when you add the one lone grandchild into it, it can get tricky. But not feeling guilty about the impossible task of pleasing every single person 100% of the time has allowed us to enjoy everything a lot more.

3. Really and finally grasping the idea that that our attitude and day is totally affected by those who surround, both online and off. We live in a world that is (and has been) making a huge shift as social media and the internet plays a bigger and bigger role every single day. Sometimes I think about 25 years from now and I can't even begin to imagine what this will all be like. It's a weird place to be, figuring it all out with everyone. There are a million posts on the topic of online stuff- what we share, how we share, why we share. On feeling inadequate due to the shiny happy online lives shared every second of every day, on being inspired online but not following through with's all been said. But that first sentence of this little blurb, that's something that is also a part of this new plugged-in world. I would never tolerate mean, negative people in my real-life space, so why would I allow it online?  Due to the nature of what I do, the online world is a huge part of my real-life world (a funny thing to say really, because at this point it's all merged), and I found that seeing negative things in Twitter or Instagram was affecting me. I don't want to read passive-aggressiveness, I don't care to be involved in weird online drama or who doesn't like this person or that person. No time for it. So really "cleaning the mean" out of my feeds has been so wonderful. Still hard to do, and still something I'm working on, but every time I remind myself of how good it feels to only see people encouraging each other, it becomes easier. And this goes for myself too- making a conscious effort to keep it to myself if I don't have something nice to say. Surround yourself with positive people and in turn your life will become more positive too, right?

And that's three of many. The more I think about this past year, the more I start to remember all of these little things I encountered, and the more the list grows. In a way I kind of feel like this is a post best kept for my paper journal, but I also like the idea of sharing things we're working on, and what we do to get where we want to be. So here you go, friends.

The countdown is on. 31, I'm ready for you!


  1. I like that..."cleaning the mean". Passive aggression is rampant online and it drives me nuts! So yes, more positivity needed! Thank you for the thoughts on your desktop vs. laptop...I am debating that issue right now. I do find myself tapping away in almost every room, and would love to be more present. So, thank you for that point! My thirties have been amazing-I'll turn 34 this October and I'm ready for it. Wishing you a fabulous countdown to 31!

  2. I love #3! I agree whole heartedly. Surround yourself with positive energies in all facets of your life, including the online one! It does wonders for your soul.

  3. I'm about to turn 30 in two weeks...and your reflections are making me think maybe it'll be awesome!

  4. totally with you on letting go of guilt. We have three sets of grandparents too, and nothing I do is ever right with all of them. SO I let go of that - we do what is best for us as a family, and I no longer try and please them all!

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  6. I really loved this entire post.
    "Cleaning the mean." I like that very much.
    I feel like a lot of this is what I am going through, too. But I'm twenty-two. (Although with a son a wee bit older than yours. But I am married.)

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. These 3 points are things I so need to do in my life! Thank you for putting into words what it is I've been trying to figure out. I struggle a lot with the negative energy online and how I let it impact me and my little family and you've really helped me here.
    Thanks :-)

  8. OKay, Okay. . .so I'm ready for 30. . 5.5 months to go. I can do it! I had a rough first 6 months thinking about it, but I am okay with it now. Loved this post. Happy birthday by the way!!

  9. feeling you on pleasing the family. we have one 2 year old and although my family is next to none, my husbands family is separated yet expect us on every holiday (ends up at 4-5 different houses). i didnt even spend mothers day doing anything i wanted, just pleasing the family!

  10. This was awesome to read. And especially for me, since I'm not going to 30 yet, but I always feel a 'Oh No' emotion when I think of it, because I think of all things I haven't yet done in my life before I'm 30. But it's good to celebrate getting older, and that just gives us more of an opportunity to do more things in life.
    And I really like your idea for not having negativity effect you so much. We just have to know how awesome we all are as individuals, and realize if someone's being negative, it's them, not us.

  11. You're stunning and don't look a day over 20! So glad to read you had a great year, many more amazing adventures to come.


  12. I love your number 3, and I can really relate to your number 2. I too am trying to adopt a "I'm doing my best" attitude, we also have 3 sets of grandparents and we are lucky enough to have 3 living great grandparents and it's very hard to make everyone happy and feel like time is being balanced- and I stress way too much about it.

  13. Hey Danielle!

    So glad you posted about not being able to please everyone. Every. single. damn. Christmas I feel this wave of guilt that puts me into tears over not being able to please everyone. My boyfriend & I both have broken families.. so it's extremely difficult to please each parent as they are all separated. Very hard. We actually talked about maybe jetting off on an all inclusive this Christmas just to avoid the argument. Sigh. That or just suck it up and tell people this is what what we are doing.. and if you don't like it, tough?

  14. This is such a great post, and makes me feel a little better about getting closer to my 30s ;)

    I think those are all huge things, but especially #3... I agree so much! And most of the time those people are loose acquaintances, or maybe people we don't even know ... why put ourselves through it? It's something I have to work on too, for sure, but your positive influence definitely helps :)