So today is my 34th Birthday and although I really don’t think of myself as old, sometimes in some groups I am the oldest. Scary thought but take for example when I hang out with my three kids I out-age them easily, or when I am working at the farm I am “the old gal”, I am not sure when this happened by the way!
Above is me celebrating a single digit birthday.
Below is me celebrating my last year in my 20’s!
In all seriousness though, I love my thirties, and was so excited when I entered them. Now, almost half way through, I thought it was time to reflect and see what I have learnt. I kinda wish I could go back and tell my younger self some of these lessons but I worry if I did I wouldn’t have become who I am now and I kinda like this Carly:)
- You can and will change, who you are today is not who you will be tomorrow. This has surprised me! The younger version of myself was far more rigid, organized and serious. The younger me also knew way more. As I age I realize I know nothing and have so much to learn. I have slowly, through time and experience, become more flexible, way less organized and I like to think a lot more fun!
- Don’t let money rule all your decisions. I am not promoting debt but sometimes making the most practical decision (usually involves finances) isn’t the decision that will make you happiest. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, make some decisions because it feels right, you love it or because it was on your bucket list. Take a risk! It’s okay to do things that scare you (once in a while). These are the things that usually lead to something great.
- Becoming a parent is the most amazing and rewarding thing I have done to this day done, it is harder than anything I have ever experienced (physically and emotionally). I should have appreciated my own mother more growing up. I am so thankful that I have found the right partner to share this experience but to also help raise our kids with. The struggle often isn’t for the big things it is in the every day little stuff with kids. And this is also the stuff that is the funniest. I wouldn’t change a moment of it. My kids and my babies daddy have shown me what life is all about and I am thankful for the lessons they teach me almost everyday.
- Work hard for things that matter and stay true to your values. When we stray from our values we end up feeling bad about ourselves and our life. It is important to make decisions for ourselves not for others. It is your life and you are the one who has to live it. You will know when it is time to give up or move on but somethings are worth working for.
- Your future is not set and you can change your own life, be brave enough to take risks and follow your happiness. I am a bit of a dreamer but the idea is that you shouldn’t stay with something because you have to, you are never stuck! You do not have to do anything (well except maybe pay taxes). I am so happy I didn’t stay in my first marriage, it was safe and easy in some ways but it wasn’t right for me. I have changed jobs, school and career plans and I am so glad I did. Every job I had I loved but I knew when it was time to leave or make a change and I think thats important to take note of and act on. Sometimes these changes are scary and hard but so worth it.
- It takes a village, you can never have too many true friends. Make sure you have friends outside of your family. When you make changes in your life you might have changes in your support systems and “your” people. I know as I made some changes in my life I gained and lost friends and in our case we even lost a big chunk of family. In my experience when you make a change it is scary for others and they cannot always be there to support you, everyone makes mistakes and has times where they are not their best selves. It is in these times our family and friends should be there to support and help us live our best life. Sometimes it is good to re-evaluate people and who you want in your life. Remember you have the power to make changes and stay true to your values. My friends are all extremely diverse and definitely don’t have the same parenting styles, lifestyle, financial or family dynamics but we all are honest, supportive and open minded. I love the group I have around me at 34. Some have been their since the beginning, some have come and gone and are back, and some I may not talk to or see often but when I do it just fits. I used to think all I need is a few good friends (which I still believe) but I feel in my own life I am so beyond blessed not only with quality people but a big quantity too! I think a big lesson for me is it is okay to have LOTS of friends (just make sure they are quality). There is lots of love to give. Also make sure your friends (and family) inspire, lift you up and leave you feeling good. IF they don’t maybe it is time to re-evaluate.
- Live your best life. I am a true believer in when you live your best life the rest falls in to place. When we are truly happy and living our values the money, family, relationships, etc all fall into place. Of course it is hard work but this is the hard work that is so worth it.
- Don’t wait, make now count. We seriously just have one life! We don’t ever know how long it is so do things now, make changes today. Live in the now, let go of the past and try not to over plan for the future… this will forever be an ongoing focus for me as I tend to dwell and love to have a plan!
I could go on but I think these are some of the big life lessons for me. Cannot wait to see what this next year has in store for me. Every year I worry that this is the year life will start to decline in quality and every year it just gets better and better. I definitely think that is what living your best life means. Just loving the life you are living.
Cheers to Sunday, living my best life and of course another year of life! Xo