I’m not exactly sure what I expected my thirties to look like, but for the longest, I was not a fan. Motherhood was okay. My kids are gorgeous, but I felt that being thirty was for the birds. I was still young enough to appreciate my youth, but old enough to see it waning away before my eyes. I was living life and loving life, but I just was not as excited as I had been in the past. It was like a dark cloud loomed over my head to remind me that every day I was one step closer to “being older”… because 30 is not the new 20.
At some point, I decided to start a blog. Looking back, I believe this is one of the main reasons I have learned to thrive in my thirties. I mean the blog is what it is, but the lessons…the lessons in my face in plain black and white are tough to ignore.
So without further ado, I will share how I learned to thrive in my thirties…so that you too can thrive in your thirties.
1. Recognize toxic people.
Some of us are in toxic relationships. Some of us are in toxic friendships. Some of us are in toxic work environments. Some of us ARE the toxic in our environment. In my thirties, I have learned to watch the words that others feed me. I watch conversations – both direct conversations that involve me and indirect conversations that take place around me but do not directly involve me…I watch the words I feed myself. I guard the conversations that take place within me. Life is tough enough. It needs no assistance from intentional toxicity. Recognize it as quickly as it invites itself in, and impolitely escort it out.
2. Find your tribe.
After you have eliminated the toxic people, make sure you surround yourself with people that love you, with people who want to see you win. Your spouse should want to see you win. Your best friends should want to see you win. You should be able to feed off the energy of your tribe.
This is not to say that your tribe never needs your energy in return. Part of tribe life is your ability to help them see the light also, to encourage them, to be a shoulder for them. My tribe wants to see me succeed – as a mother, as a blogger, as a teacher, as a coach, as a wife, as a Christian…They silently and not so silently cheer me on. It takes a village. Find a good one. Find your tribe. Love them hard.
3. Make new friends.
Too many of us find our tribe, then stop looking. We live and breathe the words of DJ Khaled’s song “No New Friends.” We are closed. Point blank period. This is NOT life as intended. Seasons change. People go, but people must also come. You have to let them in. I am forever grateful for my co-workers at my current school. They have seen some of the lowest moments of my thirties. They accepted me no questions asked. In addition, my husband pretty much pushed me out the door to attend a wine club that one of my former acquaintances (now friend) hosts in one of the neighboring cities. I now meet with those ladies not only for wine club, but for birthday parties and outings at the lake. We need people like this. We need new perspectives. We need new life.
4. Never stop playing.
My orders (for those who do not know) for 2018 have been to play with my children. Yet, not only children require the power of play. Adults need to have fun too. As I dance around the house to Bible songs, and my kids intentionally pick one of my favorites, I find that I am having as much fun if not more than the kids. I like going to the pool and the beach as much or more than the kids. I love to create and decorate and DIY (the kind of DIY that does not require power tools). Every one of us has a little girl still living inside of us, that we shush many times in our thirties. We tell her we are too old for that. We tell her that her time has passed. Love her. Let her out. Let her live.
5. Learn to love yourself.
AS IS. We look at old pictures. We reminisce. We appreciate the beauty of a life we are no longer living and we begin to resent the person we are now. Yes, you need to love the little girl, but you also need to love the grown woman you have become. Doll yourself up. Unleash the super in your natural. Take care of yourself. Love yourself right now…not after you lose a few more pounds…or make a few more dollars…or whatever else it is you are waiting for in life. Right now is all we have.
6. Lean on the Lord
Some of us are living the hardest days of our lives. Our circumstances are staring us in the face. We cannot think about people – toxic or otherwise. We cannot think about loving ourselves, or playing, of finding a tribe or new friends. We are just trying to survive. And rightfully so, may I add. Some of us need guidance. Some of us need a helping hand. Some of us are struggling to hold together all of the pieces. Some us us are taking life one day at a time. Some of us are riding amazing highs. Some of us are stomaching heart wrenching lows. Wherever you are, leaning on the Lord is absolutely essential in order for any thriving to take place. I recently began to collect and create printables of God’s promises to hang around the house. I need constant reminders of who God is and what He can do.
You can grab this one for free now for personal use around your own house. (One of the plans God has for me in the not so distant future is to make a little extra selling these bad boys.)
We live in a world that tells us “no days off.” People tell us to hustle, sleep, repeat. They tell us to make to-do lists and section off time in our days to get all of these things done. You can do it all…for a little while, but eventually your body…your lifestyle…even if everything you are doing is amazing…will require rest. In order to flourish, you must carve out time to take a time out. A moment alone with a book, or with sunshine, or with nothing but the company of yourself.
We were born to shine. Not just in our twenties, but in our teens, and thirties, and forties, and fifties, and sixties. If you are still here, then you have a purpose, and your job is to make sure you see that purpose through until the very end. Thriving is not an exclusive event made available only to those with special invitations. It is for all to enjoy from our unique perspectives with our unique gifts. Thriving happens when we recognize our ordinary is extraordinary.
What are some things that you do to thrive?
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