Monday, March 7, 2016

Day 7 SOL 16: A Little Advice for the Thirties

Recently I celebrated a milestone birthday.  If you don't mind, we'll leave it at that.  I'm not a fan of big birthdays for a variety of reasons.  To begin, just the reality of flipping the tens digit can be overwhelming.  The thought of entering a new decade brings much trepidation.  There's also the looming possibility that someone is going to try to make a big deal of your day.  This year, I found myself in a reflective mood as my birthday came and went.

Looking back I've enjoyed different ages for different reasons, but if you were to ask me my favorite age I would tell you thirty-three.  Yep, without a doubt, thirty-three.  It was the best.  There's certainly a little magic in the number three, but two threes is twice as nice.  It isn't just the number I love; it was a great time in my life.  I had all the people I love by my side.  My children were all born.  We were enjoying their early years of 3, 6 and 9.  My grandparents were all still here, as were my in-laws.  Life was good.

My life was full of love, but I was also enjoying my work.  I was teaching first grade and Reading Recovery.  My masters' work was behind me, but there were still so many opportunities to learn and grow.  Life seemed to be finding a rhythm.  

Life was good, but it was also terribly busy.  Most days I fell into bed exhausted.  I was busy trying to have it all, do it all, and be it all. Looking back I wish I would have known what I know now.  If my "older, wiser self" could talk to my thirty something self it would say:

A Little Advice for the Thirties 
  • When you are tired, sleep.
  • Take time to read for pleasure.  It's okay to save the housecleaning for another night.
  • Go out and play with your kids.  Yes, it seems there is a lot to do, but they'll grow up before you know it.  
  • Your kids are cute, but don't forget to take pictures of the people who come to celebrate birthdays and spend time with them.  Later your children will appreciate the picture of Great Grandma wearing the princess hat while playing a game, Grandpa building the swing set, or their childhood babysitter greeting them at the door.  
  • Quit worrying about your house.  Let's be honest, it's going to be a mess five minutes after you pick it up anyway.
  • Plan a time to meet with your friends.  Better yet, plan a set time to meet with your friends each month.  You'll need them.  
  • When things are hard, ask for help.  
  • It's okay to say no.  Be realistic about what you can take on and prioritize.  
  • Plan a vacation.  You won't regret it.  
  • Do what you love.  That thing you have been wanting to do - do it!  
Yes, thirty-three was fabulous.  I'd go back and do that one again.  However, looking back I realize that often what seemed important wasn't important at all.  Sometimes what was most important took a back seat.  I'm learning to live by this list, but it hasn't always been easy.  

For the month of March I will be participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  Stop by today's link up to join the conversation or find some great reading.


  1. Good advice at any age! I don't know what I would say was my favorite year. Maybe 29 because I'm still that age (Ha!)

  2. I love how reflective you are, and as I age, your sage advice seems so applicable and timely. Asking for help and saying no are two things I'm still working on. I'll be 37 this summer, so I hope by 40, I at least start making progress in these areas. P.S. My favorite age was 8!

  3. Well said. I guess I don't have a "favorite" year, but I do know every age has contained many blessings. Each new year is a gift and you have to remember to open it!

  4. I so love coming here!
    Your post rocked!

  5. Cathy -- thank you. Everything on this list is perfect and precious. This is slice I will keep close at hand and try to live by even if I am no longer 33. Lessons for us all in this slice.

  6. Great advice Cat! I like the advice to your younger self - it seems like we got to enjoy that year with you - lots of birthday parties and euchre nights. You handled them then as you do now, with laughter, joy and craziness!

  7. Fabulous advice, and I don't just think for someone in their 30's -- this is great advice for all of us. But all the stuff about spending time with kids, taking pictures of celebrations and wonderful moments - ditto, ditto!!


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