Well, I AM 30…

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I turned 30 in December. I was actually really excited about it. I figured not much would change. Truthfully, we had been living beyond our years for quite a while, and I figured by turning 30 I was really just catching up with the 30-something lifestyle we had. And that has been true. Not much around me has changed since I turned 30. My life is largely the same as it was when I was 29. Lately, though, I’ve noticed small changes in myself. Little things that always make me stop and think, “Well, I AM 30…”

Superficially, I’ve noticed that I am 30 in my appearance. For the first time in my life, I am wearing my hair straight every single day. My whole life I have believed that because I had thick, naturally curly hair, it was impossible to do anything with it. Plus, I am pretty lazy. So, I just washed my hair and let it naturally dry. And get frizzy. And big. But a few months ago, my sister introduced me to Moroccan oil for my hair and my life has never been the same. I can now wash and straighten my hair every other day, rub a little Moroccan oil in it, and – voila! – it stays straight and smooth for days! I think it makes me look older, and bit more put together than my crazy curly hair did. I always looked a bit like a college kid who had slept past her alarm, and now I think it is a bit more polished. And that makes me feel 30 years old.

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I am also noticing what other 30-something women are wearing around me and, for the first time in my life, I am not put off by it. My shorts have become a smidge longer. My shirts have become a tad looser. My shoes have become a bit more practical. Personally, I still think I look young and even cute on some days. It’s not that I have ever dressed inappropriately (except for that one time in college that I wore jeans to a meeting when everyone else was in a suit…), but I’m just not in my 20’s anymore. My clothing has a different purpose and different needs. I don’t need short shorts. I need shorts that I can get on the floor and play with my kids in. I don’t need a tank top that shows off my tan. I need a shirt that won’t bunch up or hang open when I bend over a stroller. I don’t need shoes that make my legs look longer. I need shoes that will hold up throughout a day of teaching, and afternoon of chasing my kids, and an evening of running around the neighborhood. I used to think to have those kinds of functional clothes, I had to give up the cuteness and instead had to look frumpy. But that’s not true. I can still look cute. It’s just in way more comfortable and age-appropriate clothes.

Another thing that turning 30 has done for me is opened up the “who the heck cares” side of my brain. I love to sing and dance, but I am equally as bad at both. But who the heck cares? I now sing and dance all day long in my classroom. I sing and dance while I run. I sing and dance when I’m driving my car. If I feel the need, I sing and dance no matter who’s around to see. Same goes for how often I blog. This one I have struggled with because I do loves me some blogging. But I’ve been blogging on almost a daily basis – often more than one post a night – for over five years. And who the heck cares if I don’t get a post up one night? Or two? Or even seven? The world isn’t going to end without my daily rantings. I was doing things like turning down plans with friends because I knew I hadn’t blogged the night before, so I needed to blog that night. Or I would spend almost every evening with my face in a computer screen while Chris sat by himself watching TV. Now, I sit with him and we read or talk or watch TV together. And who the heck cares? I blog and you all graciously keep coming back. And, oh how glad I am that you are here, imaginary friends! But I am willing to bet that the universe will continue if I slack up on my blogging.

Along the same lines, I am cutting myself some slack in areas where I have always been really hard on myself, and I’m learning to say no. The other day, I sat in a meeting where they were looking for a volunteer to do something really simple and I literally had to BITE MY TONGUE – for real – to keep from speaking out. But I didn’t, and I left that meeting feeling really good about that. I am learning that just because I CAN do something doesn’t always means I SHOULD do something. Taking on something new may seem easy and small, but when I take on 50 easy and small tasks, I am suddenly overwhelmed and I don’t do anything well. Same thing with birthday parties from Bean’s class at school. He gets a ton of invitations to birthday parties these days, and you would think, “Well, it’s just a birthday party…” But one birthday party means buying one present, figuring out which parent is going to stay home with Gracie and which is going to go with Bean, and then giving up at least the afternoon. And every once in a while that isn’t so terrible, but do it every weekend and it can become draining very quickly. So, now we only RSVP to parties of kids that Bean talks about at home a lot. And I don’t feel guilty about that. I mean, I AM 30, you know…

I don’t know if these things are tied to being in my 30’s now or not. Maybe it is just a shift in perspective I’ve had lately. Or maybe I’ve reach some kind of limit on my self expectations and so I’m finally giving myself permission to lower them. Whatever it is, it has given me some real peace of mind. I’m sleeping better, laughing more, and feeling good.

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My Grandma is in her 80’s and is still a world traveling, charity volunteering, card playing, department store shopping, cake baking machine. We all have a hard time keeping up with her pace, and she is forever telling us, “You’re only as old as you feel.” If she is right (and she usually is), then I am loving the feeling of 30.

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19 thoughts on “Well, I AM 30…

  1. Heck yeah! Being 30 isn’t all that bad…you’re only as old as you feel!

  2. I’m 28 and if I’m not constantly studying, writing, working, or cleaning, I feel guilty. I think this may be a symptom of nursing school and just where I am right now. Thirty sounds pretty good though. I like the idea of wearing clothes that you feel comfortable in. I always feel like you have great style without showing off a ton of skin. Bring fashion diaries back!

  3. I love my 30s (I’ll be 35 this summer.) I grew into them. I had Porter when I was 30 so I also grew into parenthood and grew into my marriage (I got married at 28) and overall I just feel more like my adult self. And it feels good!

  4. Love this. And I think I need to try some Moroccan Oil! Your hair looks great!

  5. Caitlin

    Please do share this Moroccan oil secret that Ginny bestowed upon you!
    Sincerely,
    Crazy frizzy curly haired girl being attacked by Florida humidity :)

  6. 30 ROCKS! It’s the liberating decade, when you get over all the stupid stuff and feel so……legitimate! Like a ‘real’ grown up! Happy birthday and keep dancing and singing. PS Take it from an older woman: You are going to really enjoy your 30’s.

  7. 30 was pretty great but 31…I’m definitely noticing a change this year. I totally agree on the clothing thing. I cleaned out my closet and got rid of so many cute dresses and tops that aren’t feasible for my life with a 2 year old. And can I tell you how many pairs of gorgeous high heels are just sitting in my closet, staring at me? Lots. I keep them for the rare date night I actually feel like teetering on 3 inch spikes.

  8. Moroccan oil??? Any particular type? I’m in the same boat as Caitlin =) On a different note, I just turned 31 this past weekend and it was weirder than turning 30! I have no idea why, but it just felt so permanently grown up. that makes absolutely no sense, but I’m going with it…

  9. AC

    What a beautiful post! Moroccan oil was a game changer for straightening my curly hair. I discovered that Argan Oil is the magical ingredient, so I started buying pure Argan Oil for cheaper on Amazon. I also use it as moisturizer- that sounds so weird but it dries without being greasy and leaves your skin so calm and smooth. Love it!

  10. This was great! I am going to turn 30 this year and feel the same. My husband is older most of my friends are older so pretty much I will just be the age I am living at! I do want to go up in a hot air balloon for my birthday though! Much to my husbands dismay. He has agreed but we will see how he feels when it is time to get up in the air!

  11. Katy Shaw

    I love being in my thirties…a co-worker of mine once told me that she thought that women were by far their pretties in there thirties. As I sat back and thought about that I would have to agree…and it is not just because of their looks…there is a confidence that comes with being thirty, I think you are just more comfortable in your own skin and that is a wonderful feeling!!

    Continue to dance and sing your heart out and know that you have a friend in Ohio doing the exact same thing!! :)

  12. Becky

    Good for you Katie! 😀
    You are an amazing woman and you deserve to enjoy all the blessings and balance you and your family work so hard to achieve.

  13. I love this post! I turn 30 on Monday and it struck a cord! I have to ask…please tell me more about the moroccan oil on your hair!! I looked on amazon, but seems overwhelming:)

  14. Jill

    I LOVED being 30… I feel like I really became comfortable in my own skin for the first time. I think you finally realize that no one’s really looking at you anyway…so just love your life and be who you are… Enjoy!

  15. 40 is even better!
    But even at my advance age, having kiddos and doing everything that you do just means you get better at setting your priorities.
    And I would kill for curly hair….

  16. Marci

    Katie – you rock!

  17. I feel like I am just catching up to myself! I’ve never really felt my age but I am about to turn 27 and am feeling it. But it feels good!
    x

  18. You definitely still look young! 30 is a great age to be. It’s totally true what the others say about feeling confident in your skin. Enjoy!

  19. Thanks for sharing this post Katie! I am turning 30 one week from today and I am discovering many of the things you discussed. And I am excited about them! I’m ready to put my 20’s behind me and move into my 30’s as a more confident and practical person!

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