My 31st Birthday was yesterday.
Looking back over the past year, my life has changed so much. I am not where I thought I would be and I am so glad!
I was dreading turning 30, but my 30th year honestly ended up being the best year of my life.
I started my 30th year off on vacation to the French Polynesian islands of Bora Bora and Moorea. I figured if I’m going to turn 30, I’m going to do it in style. It was truly a once in a lifetime trip.
In the Fall we traveled to Arlington, TX to watch the Seminoles play their first game of the season.
And then to Tallahassee in November to see them play at home.
In December, Wes and I traveled to South Africa with the Starkey Hearing Foundation on a mission to give away hundreds of hearing aids to those in need. You can read more about that amazing experience here.
We spent the holidays with family in Florida.
And then in January I became an aunt for the first time when my nephew Colin was born!
We took a trip out West to Oregon and Utah to search for new place to live.
And then Wes and I packed up our lives in Florida and took an epic 16-day roadtrip across the country to start a new life in Oregon.
Since moving to Oregon I have had more adventures than I count!
This year I started blogging about my passion for fitness and adventure here at Fit Life Pursuits. Wes published his first novel, and we’ve been enjoying the outdoors around our new home as much as we can!
30 was the year of a lot of change for me. Through all that change I feel like I learned so much about myself and about life in general. Wanna know what I now know?
1. Your life doesn’t end at 30
I had a really hard time with turning 30. I felt like I was past my prime and that my life was going to be boring from then on. But, I was completely wrong. Age means nothing. It is up to you to create the lifestyle that you want, no matter what age you are.
2. You start to think more about your health
You no longer feel invincible. You start to wear sunscreen. Always. The midnight taco bell run no longer sounds like a great idea. Fruits and vegetables become your snacks of choice, and you actually enjoy them. Your health becomes a bigger priority, but you often wonder if you waited too long to make it so.
3. It’s not too late to start your career over
If your job doesn’t excite you then it’s OK to change it. I used to think that once you picked a career, there was no turning back. That’s not true. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, there’s no reason you can’t do something else. It will take hard work and effort, but it can be done and you will be glad you did it.
4. People start to take you more seriously
Once you reach your 30s, people begin to assume you have your life figured out. Your decisions aren’t questioned as often and people begin to respect your opinions.
5. It’s difficult to make new friends
Without being thrown into the same classes and extracurricular activities it’s hard to meet people with the same age and interests. It takes a lot more effort to put yourself out there.
6. The family you are creating becomes the most important thing
Your family means everything to you. Your family may be you and your dog, or it could be a house full of kids and a spouse, but no matter how big or small, your new family is your world. You are finally separating from your parents and starting your own life.
7. Your marriage will thrive when you pursue your dreams
You can’t depend on your spouse to make all your dreams come true. If you are both pursuing your own dreams then it will bring you closer together.
8. The friends you have right now will be your friends for life
The friendships you’ve maintained over the years are real. Even if it’s only a few, they run deep. It doesn’t matter how long you go without talking, they will always be important to you.
9. It’s a lot easier to say “no”
At 30, you have a better understanding of what you want and who you are. If someone invites you to do something you know you won’t enjoy, you’re OK saying “no” and not feeling left out.
10. A Saturday night at home watching movies is the best night
You no longer feel the need to go out. A night at home in your pajamas with your dog can be your happy place.
11. You don’t have to be a “Pinterest Mom” to be a good woman
You don’t have to have a spotless house, fancy decorations, or be able to prepare a gourmet brunch to be a good woman.
12. Uncomfortable shoes are not worth it
You don’t care as much about what your shoes look like as you do about being comfortable. It doesn’t mean you “let yourself go,” you just know that you’ll enjoy yourself more if your feet aren’t screaming.
13. Creating an active lifestyle is crucial
It becomes harder to maintain the same weight as you did in college. If you’re not being consistently active, you will wake up one day and wonder where those extra 30 pounds came from. Find an activity you enjoy and do it.
14. Sometimes your own company is the best company
There are times when you want to go see a movie or go somewhere to sit down for lunch and have no one to go with. Instead of feeling bummed, you can very happily go by yourself and enjoy your own company.
15. Everything takes effort
I have learned that I am a selfish person. It takes effort to put other people first, but it’s the most important thing you can do everyday.
16. There are 6 billion people in the world. Surround yourself with the ones who make you better
There is no need to have people in your life that put you down or hold you back. You can choose your own company. Distance yourself from the people that bring you down and seek out the people that lift you up.
17. Taking risks is not a bad thing
As long as it doesn’t cause harm to anyone else, taking risks is almost always worth it.
18. You should learn to live within your means
You’ll be amazed how painless saving money and saying “no” to the new shoes can be. Cancel your cable. Make a budget and stick with it. As members of society it is important to be responsible with our money.
19. Time is the most important thing. Don’t waste it.
You begin to realize that life does not last forever. Enjoy every moment and live the life you want.
20. Tracking your goals is awesome
Writing down your goals and tracking your progress is fun. When you have something to reach for you will live your life with more purpose.
21. Don’t be afraid to do something different
Just because everyone is going to the fireworks show on the 4th of July doesn’t mean you have to go. Just because it’s out of the norm doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I’d rather cuddle at home with my dogs during the scary fireworks so that’s what I’m gonna do.
22. Pay more for good service.
A good financial advisor, a good accountant, a good business mentor. These are the things that are worth money and I am OK with paying more to get the best. Don’t skimp on excellent service.
23. Kids rule the world
All your friends are having kids. Their weekend plans, holidays, and vacations will revolve around their kids. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you don’t have kids of your own you may find yourself left out.
24. People expect you to be having kids
Once you reach the age of 30 it seems like the pressure is on. You’ve been warned about your biological clock and everyone you know is either trying to get pregnant, pregnant, or has a young child. If you’re not in one of those 3 categories, be prepared for questions.
25. You have to search out new “firsts”
You have probably experienced most of the traditional “firsts” by now. Your first job, your first love, your first house. They’ve all come and gone. To keep your life exciting you need to search out new experiences. Your first European backpacking trip, your first leadership role, etc.
26. It’s OK if your dreams have changed significantly
You may not feel the same way about things as you used to, and that’s OK. I used to think I wanted to live in a house with a white-picket fence in Florida and be a stay-at-home mom. Now I want to travel the world, live out of a suitcase and run my own online business. My dreams and desires will probably change again by the time i’m 40 and I’m looking forward to it.
27. It’s never too late to try new things
Just because you’re 30 doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a new hobby. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to surf…do it.
28. Write it down before you forget
If you think of a great idea or something that needs to get done, write it down. I don’t know how many times I have thought of something before bed and woke up the next morning with no idea what it was. I wish I would have written more down.
29. Your attitude is everything
You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can control your reaction to them. You’ve gotten past the “life’s not fair” attitude and realize that your attitude towards life is always in your control.
30. You feel so much better when you give
Give love. Give respect. Give your money and resources. When you live your life the way God intended, you will receive so many blessings in return.
Your turn. What age has been your best so far?