What I Love About My Thirties: A List

My Thirties  – What A Gift

A few weeks ago I celebrated another birthday in my 30s … 33 to be exact.  It was somewhat of a non-birthday being that I was so exhausted from the weekend leading up to it, which included no less than 1 wedding, 1 toddler birthday party (which I threw), a family brunch and family 4th of July party.

So, knowing that I had that weekend coming prior to the birthday, I went to the spa to recover … by myself.  Yes, alone, just me, myself and I. Going to the spa on my birthday has become a ritual of mine over the years, and I happily indulge when I can.

It was a beautiful day (more to come on the spa I love later this summer), I got a great massage from the best masseuse I have ever had … she worked through every massive knot in my body.  Then, further exhausted from the massage (trust me she found knots I did not know I had), I relaxed by the kid-free pool and enjoyed this view …

And this for lunch …

Now, I don’t often get days alone when I am not: 1. working, or 2. doing something task-oriented of some sort.  So, while relaxing by the pool I took a little stock of my life — where I am, where I am going and what makes me happy. And I wanted to share some of these with you as my “what I love about my 30s” list.

  • I am old enough to be confident in what I know, but not feel I know everything. In my 20s I often felt that I had to feign some know-how to prove I was worth someone giving me a chance at something I knew I could do — a new employer, a community or volunteer leader, and even myself at times.  But now, at 33, I know a lot. I know how to do my job, I know what I am good at and what I love to do — yet I am confident enough to say when I don’t know something, or know how to do something.  There is no faking anymore, no pretending.  I am who I am, I know what I know and if that is not good enough for you, well, we’ll just part ways and I’ll move on to the next challenge.  This confidence took time for me, it took experience and yes, sometimes, it took nervous guts to know that something else will come along or, if I make a mistake, that is OK — because each mistake makes me a better person and increases my knowledge (often more than a success does).
  • I know where I want to go. The vision is clear. Some people grow up knowing where they want to go in life, what they want to do and have a goal in mind from a very young age.  I was never one of those people until recently. I spent most of my 20s trying every opportunity that came my way, learning, growing and finding what I “want” in life.  And you know, it simply just took time, and the perspective that can only come by being a parent and being responsible for the life of another.  This has helped me figure out what I really want and what I think I have been put on this planet to do. Much of it is being a mother and raising my family, but it also includes making sure I pursue my passions – personally and professionally – without guilt, without looking back and without questioning every single step.
  • I can say no. Yes, I can say no, and not just to my toddler who, when asked “what does momma say?” responds with “no” as she curls her lips and lets out a mischievous smile. It is saying “no” to opportunities that come my way that don’t fit in my dreams, saying “no” I can not do that volunteer task, and “no” I don’t need to clean today — it does not matter that the house is a mess, playtime is more important today.  Essentially it is keeping what is important to me in my minds-eye at all times and saying no to those things that do not fit. It is saying no without regret.
  • I am a mom & wife. Becoming a wife a little over 6 years ago changed so much.  It was not just about me anymore, it was about us.  Two became one, our lives were combined forever in love and faith. We traveled, exploring our world and ourselves in the process.  We celebrated successes together as we both climbed the business ladder, and helped each other through our failures.  But, as Mr. Man says, “the most important thing we will ever do” was to become parents to a wonderful, fun, spirited and joyful child.  My munchkin, my love.

It is not about me anymore, it is about us — it is about making sure that we grow, thrive and love life as a family together. That is what I love most about my 30s — that I get to go through them with an amazing and wonderful family at my side.

Julia Montgomery Stewart

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

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One Response to “What I Love About My Thirties: A List”

  1. Amanda — July 18, 2011 @ 8:16 pm (#

    I love this post. I felt like I thought these things and you wrote them. I needed this reminder today. 🙂


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