Wednesday, June 12, 2013

To the Next 10 Years

I turn the big 3-0 in a week and a half.  Does it make me sad?  No!  Does it make me feel old?  Not one bit.  Do I feel different?  Not really, but when I reflect on where I was at 20 vs. where I am now, it’s incredible to think about how I’ve changed, how my life has changed, and how much will change over the next decade.  In some ways, it’s sad to say goodbye to my 20’s, but I’m excited about my 30’s too.  I think your 20’s are when you grow into yourself, and I’m entering my 30’s with confidence and contentment.  A milestone birthday is bound to make you a bit more introspective, and this one has me thinking about what I want for myself going forward.  Here are the promises I’m making to myself.

I vow to leave dirty dishes in the sink once in a while. 

I’m a compulsive cleaner.  Few things irritate me more than a cluttered, dirty house, and when you have 3 big dogs plus a husband who tracks in 12 hours’ worth of police work every day, it sometimes feels like I’m perpetually cleaning a house that’s never truly clean.  Now that I have a beautiful baby girl who grows and changes every day, it seems like such a waste to stress about the pile of stuff on the coffee table or the unfolded laundry on the love seat.  I’m not saying my house will be a disaster zone (although sometimes it feels that way to me), but I’m still working full time so every moment with Loralai is precious.  I don’t want to look back in 10 years and regret all the time I spent cleaning instead of cuddling or playing with her.

I vow to be proud of my body.

Like pretty much every woman on the planet, I have stressed about the way I look.  As my 20’s progressed, I went from thinking my athletic frame was “fat” to becoming really confident in myself for being strong, healthy, and unique in my own beauty.  When I got pregnant, it was surprisingly one of the times I was most confident in my body.  I loved my round belly and the weird little changes from the dark spots that appeared on my face to the dramatic change to the shape of my belly button.  They all symbolized the miracle inside me.  However, since giving birth, I feel that I’ve regressed in a way. I spent 29 years getting comfortable in my own skin, and just when I had gotten to a place where I had embraced what I had to offer, “flaws” and all, the aftermath of child birth changed almost everything about how I view myself.  My already huge boobs got bigger, my belly pooch got poochier, and things that were once firm have gotten… squishier.  Others may look at me and think that I bounced back from pregnancy really easily, and I know that I’ve been blessed in that way.  But it doesn’t change the fact that my body is somewhat unfamiliar to me now, and I have to learn to love and embrace it all over again.  I am in awe of what my body accomplished and the beautiful little life it produced, and I have to remember that the extra pooch and tiny stretch marks are reminders of that.  I bought 2 bikinis for this summer.  My body may not be as bikini ready as it was pre-pregnancy, but I still honor all it has done for me.  Those little “imperfections” leftover from childbirth are simply battle scars, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of them.

I vow to splurge on a fancy vacation.

Ever since honeymooning in St. Lucia, JD and I have been dying to go back.  It will be expensive, but it will be worth it (it was the first time)!  To me, part of celebrating life is splurging once in a while to travel and do the things you want to do.  Also, I think an important part of remaining connected as a couple is to make time for each other, especially once you have kids.  What better way to do that than escaping to a tropical paradise?  I’m sure there will be smaller, more local vacations that we take as a family, but I want to make sure that he and I have our own getaways once in a while.

I vow to make my 30’s even better than my 20’s.

When turning 30, some people mourn the end of their “youth.”  Really though, why would I miss a time when I was insecure, chasing around boys who didn’t deserve me, and broke?  I’m not trying to say my 20’s were miserable.  I met my best friends when I was in my 20’s and we had some really fun times together.  I took the heartbreaks and lessons of my early 20’s and built a healthy, fulfilling marriage with a man who treats me like I deserve and who loves me for exactly the person I am.  We built a foundation for our beautiful family and now I get to look forward to the next 10 years, secure and content with them.  I’ve never been happier, and ultimately, that’s what your 30’s are all about.

Here’s to the next 10 years.