30 Lessons in 30 Years

Hello my lovely readers!  Today I turn the big 3-0, which I don’t feel is a big deal (my husband’s mom gave them huge surprise parties for their 30th birthdays, which I don’t really understand, but I love her anyway!).  It was tough, but I managed to scrape up 30 lessons I’ve learned over the years that I wish I had learned sooner. But of course, with age comes wisdom, so here goes!

I tried to organize them by category (finances, life, kids, etc.) but it made my head hurt, so these are in no particular order.

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  1. Be SUPER careful when telling work “friends” anything personal. A listening ear is also a running mouth. Some people can be manipulative douchebags who wait for the just right time to show their true colors, and by then, you’re screwed.
  2. Don’t share long term goals with anyone, unless you’re trying to keep yourself accountable… “put up or shut up,” so to speak.
  3. Toxic people aren’t worth being around. Your mental health is too important to get sucked into someone else’s drama.
  4. Your dreams WILL change over the years. Your life experience tends to determine what you want to do with your life. Mine has been to such extremes that sometimes I don’t even know what I want.
  5. Trust your gut. It actually isn’t anxiety, it’s really your intuition.
  6. As long as you’re trying, you are succeeding at whatever you’re doing. Quitting is the real failure.
  7. Fighting within your relationship isn’t always bad. It means you’re communicating. It’s better to argue it out than hold everything in.
  8. Marriage is hard work. Everyone said “everything is different once you’re married (we were already together for 6 years before we got married).” It doesn’t happen right away, it happens over time. Life changes people sometimes, and you have to be able to evolve with them.
  9. Not everyone is going to like you, nor should they. Being you and doing the right thing is more important than being liked. If everyone likes you, you’re doing something wrong.
  10. DO NOT under any circumstances allow ANYONE to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do in terms of a career. I wanted to be a makeup artist growing up, and my dad thought it was stupid, so I didn’t pursue it. Now I see women making thousands of dollars doing makeup and I can’t help but think “that could have been me.” I also wanted to be an archaeologist, but was told by a family member that all I’d be doing was teaching with a degree like that. Now I just have to live vicariously through Josh Gates on Travel Channel.
  11.  Always find something good about other people. It will make you a cranky, judgy bitch otherwise. Negativity is not cute on anyone, and no one will want to be around you.
  12.  Learn how to use Office, because more opportunities are available to you if you’re good at it.
  13.  Speak your mind, even if you’re worried how it will come out. Keeping it in only magnifies the problem. Get it out, then explain later if necessary. I’m still working on it.
  14. If you paid for it, USE IT. Use everything you have before buying more, and don’t wait until you have the “perfect” thing in mind to use it for. For example, I’ve started using up some of my art pastels as chalk for my family board, because otherwise it’s just going to sit there forever until I think of some fabulous project that I’ll probably botch anyway.
  15. When you’re expecting a kid, don’t bother with a birth plan. Things more than likely NEVER go exactly how you want them do. In my case, everything was opposite due to a high risk pregnancy and labor. I intended to breastfeed, but guess what? I couldn’t produce anything because I have PCOS (which I found out like last month). Oh and don’t overpack your bag if you live less than 15 minutes from the hospital. Just send someone to grab whatever else you need.
  16. Don’t use credit cards unless it’s for stuff you absolutely NEED. It is not worth that huge balance you’ll eventually rack up.
  17. When you move in with your SO, make sure some of the utility bills are in your name, or at the very least set up authorization. It is a giant pain in the ass to try to call up for something just for them to tell you they need permission to speak to you. My husband was always working during business hours, and they’d never talk to me without speaking to him first.
  18. DO NOT let people get used to you doing everything for them. You are an enabler, and they will never learn to truly be independent. It’s not worth sacrificing your mental health to take care of other people’s shit that isn’t your responsibility. Just say NO.
  19. Even if you don’t have kids, re-watch your favorite kids’ movies anyway. There’s almost always some sneaky, funny innuendo that will make you laugh.
  20. Words are just that: words. They aren’t inherently good or bad, it’s context and intent that make them good or bad. The word “fat” now just feels a descriptor, when 5+ years ago it would have felt like an insult. I think of it as “would you be pissed if a little kid said it?” Nope, because for them, there’s no positive or negative context attached to it, it’s just a way of describing you.
  21. Take care of yourself BEFORE you decide you want kids.  Pregnancy can take a lot out of even the healthiest women. I didn’t take care of business before I got pregnant and ended up in a high risk situation.
  22. Never say or think anything about yourself that you wouldn’t want a kid to say or think about themselves… and always give kids compliments, especially about things you know make them insecure. I think if an adult complimented me on things other than how smart I was, my adolescence would have at least been a little easier.
  23. Get out of the house and get involved in the community. That’s how you make friends and end up with an-in person “tribe.”
  24. Don’t forget that you were someone BEFORE you had the job, spouse, kid, etc. Take time to do things that remind you of that every once in a while.
  25. Self-care IS NOT selfish. How are you going to give others the version of you that they deserve if you have nothing left to give? I read somewhere that it’s just like the depressurization masks on a plane: gotta put yours on first before you can help anyone else.
  26. Unfollow people on social media that don’t motivate or inspire you, or ones that make you feel like crap. It’s human nature to compare yourself to others, so if you can’t see it, you won’t be tempted.
  27. 5-4-3-2-1… go! I have never agreed with someone as much as I agree with Mel Robbins when she says that motivation is bullshit. You will never feel like doing what you have to do, regardless of how insignificant it might feel, especially when you’re not in a good place mentally.  You have to just get it done, and it will be so much easier to keep going. It’s basic physics: a body that’s in motion, remains in motion. Count back from five and FREAKING MOVE.
  28. Try not to let things you used to enjoy feel like a chore. If you can get help, get it. I used to love cooking, but when that required washing a sink full of dishes, I started to hate it. 
  29. Stay flexible, and don’t give up on finding things (routines, schedules, etc) that “work” for yourself or your family. Situations change, so something that worked a year ago (or even yesterday) might not work now. Keep adapting and evolving.
  30. Work first, play later. I used to be this way almost my whole life. Over the last few months however, I’ve been having trouble with it. And when I say “play,” I don’t mean with your kid. I mean sitting your ass in front of the TV for hours instead of getting anything done. Just get that shit done so you can chill and have fun later.

 

Thanks for reading, everyone. I really miss writing for you when life gets crazy! I fully intend to be a little more unplugged than normal tomorrow, but you might catch some glimpses of what I do with my family tomorrow on my stories in the next few days if you follow me on instagram. Find me at @lcour710!

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