30 Lessons in 30 Years

It's official. I'm 30.


But age ain't nothin' but a number, right folks?
30 Years in Birthday Lessons
Seriously, though.. In 30 years, I've learned a lot.

In no particular order, here are 30 lessons I've learned in 30 years:

1. Time flies.

Seriously. The older I get, the faster the years go by.

2. Sleep is a commodity. 

Late nights will not be alcohol-induced. Nope. "Hangovers" consist of babies-up-crying so mommas-up-crying... Eyes burning and all. Sleep when you can.

3. Friends change. 

People will keep in touch with you and make time for you if you're important to them. Others won't. That's okay. Surround yourself with people who bring happiness with them.

4. Take chances.

When faced with a decision, ask yourself, "What's the worst that could happen?" Learn from your failures and successes, and don't be afraid to take risks.

5. Politics matter. 

The older I get, the more I realize I must also care about politics. The future of our children matters, and sometimes this means advocating for policy-changes.

6. Dreams change.

If someone would've told me five years ago I'd be a stay-at-home mom, I probably would've laughed. It's funny how life experiences can influence and reshape your heart.

7. Priorities shift.

From school, to marriage, to work as a TV reporter, to motherhood -- priorities change. Be flexible. Accept different priorities during different seasons in your life.

8. Share your voice. 

Stand up for what you believe in even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone or facing criticism from others.

9. Be confident.

Your life experiences and opinions matter. Don't forget that.

10. Watch what you eat.

Yeh. When you hit your mid-20's that metabolism slows down. We all get one body; take care of it as best you can.

11. Work out.

See #10.

12. Fresh air is good for the soul.

Never underestimate the importance of fresh air and sunshine. Even if it's a short walk around the block over lunch break, fresh air can be an automatic mood-booster.

13. Family matters.

Family is #1. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow with our spouse or parents or children or siblings. Make time for the people you care about before it's too late.

14. Work is important, too.

Find a job you enjoy. Money and insurance are important, but finding a sense of fulfillment in what you do is equally important.

15. Never stop learning.

Pick up a book. Watch a documentary. Grab coffee with a mentor. Sit back and listen. Soak in the experiences of those around you and learn about life through them.

16. Take care of yourself.

The house will always need cleaning. Dishes will always need to be done. Yard work will never be finished. Laundry will always need to be folded. Toys will always be sprawled across the floor. Don't forget to sit and breathe. Whether it's waking up 15-minutes early to chug a cup of coffee in silence, or it's a pedicure or massage or scoop of your favorite ice cream...do something for YOURSELF. You are worthy.

17. Money can't buy happiness. 

It might buy you chocolate and an expensive bottle of wine, but more money wouldn't necessarily make you happier, so quit wishing it would.

18. Stop comparing.

The grass isn't always greener on the 'other side.' And keeping up with the Jones' isn't always a great idea. Quit comparing your life to others and be content with where you are and who you're with.

19. Forgive others.

You know the friend who hurt you terribly? The one who said horrible things behind your back? Or to your face? Or cut ties with you completely? Forgive that individual -- that friend, that family member, that stranger. Even if no apology has been extended, forgive those who have hurt you and move on.

20. Forgive yourself.

It's easy to kick ourselves for saying something we shouldn't have or acting out of line. Own your mistakes, apologize to those you have wronged and forgive yourself.

21. Trust.

Even when life is crazy (Let's say, your husband is transferred for work and you're trying to sell a house with two children under the age of two and you suddenly break your foot...) and then find out you're pregnant, trust that things will work out.

22. Pray.

Over the years I've learned to pray specifically for wisdom and guidance rather than a certain outcome or specific need. God knows what He's doing. Pray. Praise. And pray some more.

23. Be grateful.

Every night before I go to bed, I find something be grateful for. I write it down in a gratitude journal. When I started doing this, I realized I spend my day searching for things to be grateful for, and when you search for things to be grateful for, you can find happiness in even the toughest days.

24. Less is more. 

Sometimes less is more. Get rid of cable, and you'll watch less TV. Get rid of 20-pairs of jeans, and you'll only have your favorite pairs to choose from.

25. Travel.

Travel somewhere new. Whether it's a few days at a spa in the Rocky Mountains or camping in the rolling hills of northeast Iowa, make time to get off the grid.

26. Watch your budget.

It's so easy to justify meals out and entertainment with friends, but be responsible. (Click here to see how we saved $10,000+ with our fixer-upper.)

27. Be loyal.

Stand by your friends and family members. Let them know you care. And treat others how you want to be treated.

28. Plan for the future.

Whether it's planning meals for the week ahead, or putting extra funds away for retirement, plan ahead.

29. Be honest.

Sometimes the truth is painful, but never underestimate the importance of being honest. Your integrity says a lot about your character.

30. Have fun.

Life is far too short. Smile, have fun and find joy in the journey

Related content:
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7 Truths About 7 Years of Marriage

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