Dropping it Like it’s Hot

and other wisdoms I have learned in my thirties

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It’s my birthday month! I am not super into my birthday, at this age it’s like, whatever. There is something about waking up that morning, though, you still get that warm fuzzy feeling left over from your childhood. The “it’s my birthday” feeling. Then knowing (or hoping) your husband will roll over and wish you a happy birthday, or you go downstairs and your children will remember, or that text from your mom, and anticipating all the Facebook wishes. It always feels good, to know you’re remembered, especially when you are the absolute worst at giving out birthday wishes (guilty).

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With my two most excellent sisters who threw me the best Gatsby (30th) birthday a girl could ask for! 

I think it is safe to say I am officially into my mid-thirties… no significant number but ebbing in at the mids for sure. OK, I am thirty-four, but seriously, I don’t care. There is no shame in my age game. I am not a ‘still twenty-nine’ gal, I wear my thirties like a badge of honor. Everyone should! It is a beautiful decade from what I have seen of it so far. Thirty and flirty is true, flirt with life in your thirties, you should, you deserve it, you made it through your twenties.

Your twenties suck, let’s be honest. Sure, you’re having fun, you still have your friends and have energy to go drop it like it’s hot, but I like to describe your twenties like the junior high of your adulthood. You think your top shit, just out of elementary, a bad ass adult, but your awkward, and you don’t know what you want out of life nor do you know what life wants out of you. You don’t see it until you hit thirty then you look back and realize you were awkward, you didn’t know what you were doing, and you made a lot of mistakes. At least this was my experience.

You will keep making mistakes, don’t get me wrong, but you will just be a little less awkward at it in your thirties. My experience is a little different being that I started as a younger mom, so during my awkward, uncomfortable, middle school stage of adulting I threw in parenting, which makes you question even being a functioning human being all together. But I survived and got out alive, children still intact, and The Husband and I just barely holding on and white knuckling through the twenties.

Now in my thirties, I have been on this ride a few times, we have visited the proverbial Cedar Point quite a lot and even though the rides are always fun, we know most (MOST, we are still talking about life here) of the dips and turns, or at least which way to lean when you see them coming up around the bend and when to pose for the camera as your flying by. So, I thought, with all my wisdom in my old age I would pass on some of the most important things I have learned in my thirties to you.

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Sharing my womanly wisdom with all of you. You can thank me later. 

The most important is that you can still drop it like it’s hot past thirty, it just might not be as easy to bring it back up. I promise you, though, you will still look as good doing it as you did in your twenties. The best part about this is that in your thirties you stop caring so much about how good you look doing it, it’s fun and you don’t give a shit anymore.

Speaking of dropping it like it’s hot: this one is dropping it to a more serious note. Learn to wear your heart on your sleeve. I spent most of my twenties being emotionally constipated. I always watched what I said on social media because I didn’t want people to think I was crazy, or too loving, or that I had feelings. I never wanted to show any PDA because I didn’t want to make people uncomfortable, nor did I ever want ANYONE to see me cry. Heaven forbid I have emotions.

Now, I have realized that, well, once again, I don’t care anymore. If I love someone, or appreciate them, I am going to let them know. If I am sad I am going to cry. If I am happy I am going to cry. If I really like a song on the radio I am probably going to cry (you cry a lot in your thirties, but its good cries). I laugh harder, I hug tighter, and yes, I post all my emotions online and stopped giving a flying flit. And you know what? I am happier, and I think everyone around me likes me more.

Next: it is not selfish to take time to yourself, it is not selfish to put your husband before your children, it is not selfish to not be completely involved in every aspect of your child’s life. You are not a bad mom for saying “I am not signing you up for football because I don’t want to do it”. They are ten, you are the adult. They will not hate you forever and they will probably love you more when you are not completely burnt out and able to enjoy them instead of zombie-ing your way through their childhood, grumbling as you drive them from activity to activity.

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Just say no! 

Tell your children no, hell, tell others no also. Be honest with everyone but be more honest with yourself. If you just don’t want to do it, say that. You can say no, save yourself sanity, and go get a fabulously guilt free massage instead (this happens to be The Husband and my favorite place to go, if you are in the mid-Michigan area). It won’t make you any less of the fabulous thirty-year-old you are, and you are fabulous at thirty, so treat yo’ self, and just say no once in a while.

Lastly and more of being honest with yourself: Are you really ever going to have that bikini body? Does it really matter anymore? No! Are you happy and healthy? Because in your thirties, you don’t care anymore. I was always so worried about plucking, exfoliating, polishing, pulling, tucking, moisturizing, calorie counting, exercising, and covering everything up. Guess what? I don’t care anymore, and it feels amazing!

The only thing I am mad about now is all the time and energy I wasted on worrying about my outters when I should have been focused on my inners. I love every ripple, lump, and jiggle my body has. Every wrinkle and grey hair tells the story of how I have lived, laughed, and loved, and I don’t take an inch of that for granted.

So, remember to wear your thirties with pride, don’t hide your age. Be proud of how far you’ve come, how much you have learned, and how awesome you are!

 

Like A Stone

My Song to Cornell and All The Tortured Souls Alike

The Husband headed out at three o’clock this morning for Nashville, the guys have been planning this trip for quite sometime with a lot of excitement at the potential it could bring. I also took today off of work to get some things done around the house, because the excitement was all too much. That, and I have been putting in crazy overtime lately, have been getting behind on all my chores and the thought of having the house to myself all day was way too appealing. This morning I thought I would wake up, roll out of bed, and cheerfully do some much needed house work. Instead, I rolled over to my phone, checked my Facebook like we used to check the newspaper, and was hit with some heavy news. Front man Chris Cornell had passed late last night, in Detroit, no less (Michigan girl here). So, once I got the kids off to school, I sat with my coffee processing it all, I shouted from my dining room table “Hey, Google, play me some Chris Cornell” She answered like the steadfast computer she is and played me an all-day playlist, from his multiple bands, live, recorded, unplugged all of it. While I cleaned, and brooded, I heard the hauntingly beautiful crooning that was born in the grunge era and pulled us through the past two decades. I don’t usually mourn celebrity deaths, and it might have been with all the excitement of the husband going on the road, or too much coffee and cleaning by myself this morning, but it hit me pretty hard. This man’s voice was incredible, and the worlds music will be a little less, now.

Later in the day, I read an article that they are speculating it was suicide and it reminded me of a conversation the husband and I had a while ago. We were talking about how it seems like all great musicians are depressed. This is the stereotype, right? So many musicians we have met along the way suffer, not all, but many. My personal knowledge of artists, most (remember, I use MOST very strongly, we are not all built the same) that I have met, they seem to think more deeply, or maybe it’s that they put all their deepness in public form, rather than keeping it inside. Who knows? I see these deep tortured souls and I wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg? Is it that, through these deep tortured souls, comes the beauty through their artform; or is it that the art challenges them to become deeper, to think deeper, to process more. Who knows?

I hear terribly unhappy childhood stories, drug use, abuse, how writers drink too much and painters are always depressed. I wonder if there is a majestic part of our brain that holds a creativity that surpasses us novices. Pandora’s box, if you will, that can only be opened when something so tragic happens it breaks open, overwhelming us with the raw emotion that can only be expressed with pictures and words, music, comedy, or theater. I have seen so many people take their pain and anguish and turn it into the most beautiful works of arts, paintings, or music. Being a word girl, I have heard and read sentences of words strung together that have bought me to my knees, and honestly made me envy the gift they have. Are all these people feeling alone, lost, or scared? Maybe not, but maybe so. That Pandora art box at one point in their past was forced open and possessed them to let it flow out of their hands, through their paint brush, or maybe out of their mouths, through the pen or on a set of strings. I understand that your own thoughts haunt you, that you can wish and wish them away but you are still a prisoner in your own head. It seems endless and inconsolable. It can be a blessing, though, your outlet is another’s strength. Your words, and music, and images can be someone else’s journey into something more, something better, something that can take us to places we could never see with our naked eyes. To all the artists with the tortured souls, please remember that on your darkest of days you are always making the world more beautiful and tolerable for us who cannot find expression. When you find yourselves in despair, sing, write, play, paint, draw, laugh, dance, and act. Let your noise be your medicine and our saving grace. From all of us and the world itself: Thank you for you. You are needed, you are wanted, you are requested to take our black and white worlds beyond the shades of grey and bring us color that our own imaginations cannot create.