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Thursday, September 5, 2013

30 Is The New 20

Or is it? What does that mean really? Turning 30 has given me the chance to reflect on this statement, and it's made me realize that 30 is not the new 20. I certainly don't want to be a 20 year old again. After I turned 25, the age thing became a down hill slope for me. Ugh, I was closer to 30 than I was 20, and time seemed to speed up as I raced towards 30. Turning 28 and approaching 29 left me less than thrilled. What had I really done in life? But then 29 came and things started to look up. 30 was not going to be knock knock knocking on heaven's door. 30 was going to be awesome. It was at age 29 that I decided I was not going to limp sluggishly into the following year. When I turned 29 it looked like that's exactly what would happen, but I became determined not to let that happen. Let's look back at age 20 for me. I had my first child young, I was only 19. He was born 5 months before I turned 20. He only lived for 2 months and 12 days, so at the ripe old age of 19, I became a mother and experienced the loss of my child, a loss that would ruin a woman of any age. For a long time, it did ruin me. 20 was not a good year for me. I spent that year trying to drown my sorrows in whatever I could. I lived hard and partied harder. I didn't go into mourning, I was in full on self destruct mode. I had absolutely no direction and did nothing with my life that year, and didn't do much in the following year either. I straightened up and got on track a bit more when I got pregnant with my 2nd child, whom I gave birth to just before turning 22, but even after that it took me a good amount of time for my head to settle on my shoulders. It wasn't until I turned 23 and met my now husband that I realized my life was going nowhere, and that wasn't fair to me or my son. I went back to school, worked and graduated before our family grew again and we moved halfway across the country. After I turned 29, I made the choice to take more control in my life. Things were great, I had an amazing husband, 3 wonderful, healthy children, we had a nice home, lived in a nice area, what more could I want? Well for starters, to be my own person. I'd spent the previous few years playing wife and mother, and I felt like nothing more than an extension of my family. I wanted to do something big, something for me. Because I wasn't paying enough attention to me, while I was absolutely happy, I wasn't completely satisfied. This might sound selfish, but it's the truth. I didn't take enough care of myself. This reflected in the way I looked.
Now I wasn't by any means obese, but I was overweight, especially for me. I had no desire to exercise and ate with little restraint. I was unhappy with the way I looked but constantly putting everyone else first, helping myself came last and usually not at all. I refused to turn 30 like that, not just with the extra pounds, but putting myself last. A few months after turning 29 I made the leap and registered for the Princess Half, with no training under my feet. I was determined to make that half marathon happen before turning 30 and I did. I lost a lot of weight a long the way but I gained a lot of confidence and a whole new sense of self. I made new friends and reached out to old ones. I took time to make myself happy, even if others call that selfish. If a bit of time and work on myself gives my kids a better mother, then I'm totally cool with being selfish.
So let's look at me at 30. I look darn good after having 4 kids. Probably better than I did at 20(I went through a blonde phase, it was a bad look for me). I have a college degree, I didn't at 20. I have direction and confidence, also things lacking at 20. I was smart at 20, had plenty of knowledge, but little wisdom to be found. Now I have both. I have a better idea of who I am at 30,I have more insight, more compassion. I make smart and healthy choices now at 30, definitely not the case at 20. I take care of myself, body and mind at 30. So 30 being the new 20? No thanks, I think I will keep my 30s, and if 30 is this much better than 20 and things keep going like they are, 40 is going to be amazing.

7 comments:

  1. YES! I registered for the PHM before I turned 40 for the same reason - I wanted to DO something with myself that made me stand apart. I had no idea it would affect my life so much!

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  2. Yep....40's are pretty amazing too. They can keep the 20's for sure.

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  3. Good for you! Nothing wrong with being a little selfish for the right reasons. I agree it makes us better moms!

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  4. I agree with you 100% - gotta take care of momma too!!!

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  5. I have to agree 40's are pretty fab!

    You are absolutely right, sometimes it is good to do things for yourself as well.

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  6. Great post April! We all need me time. It makes us better mothers. Congrats on all your accomplishments.

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  7. Love this one April. You are a rock star mommy. You look DAMN good girl!

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