I’m turning 30 on the 5th of September. I couldn’t be happier about it. I haven’t been this excited about a birthday since 21 but for very different reasons.
30 is one of those years that when I was younger I thought of as being “so old” and then there was a list of things I was sure I’d have checked off my life list by this age. Owning a home. Being set in a goal driven career. Etc, etc, etc. Most of the things on this list of random adult tasks are not checked off. Yet I am happier than I have ever been.
Part of the reason for my happiness is that with each passing year I get to a new glorious level of “don’t give a fuck-ed-ness.” By that I mean, I become more in touch with who I am, grounded in my strengths, aware of my weaknesses and less concerned about the opinions of the peanut gallery. My close friendships become closer. My life and daily actions reflect my values. I don’t compare myself to others. Instead I am focused on my journey and personal growth. And while I absolutely care about how I affect others and want to “do no harm,” beyond that I keep becoming more and more comfortable being me. That feels great.
As someone who has always been secretly ashamed of my shortcomings (my war with my body and other feelings of unworthiness), feeling good about being myself is pretty huge. Especially now.
If you follow me you know that I have been injured and side-lined from my weight lifting bad assery for a little over a month now. I’m happy to report that with modifications I am back in action as of TODAY! This has been a trying time for me. But I knew there must be a lesson. From this prolonged period of rest I have been forced to deal with old issues with my body again. Both because I gain so much body confidence from the physical act of weight lifting and because my body has changed in this past month in ways I don’t enjoy. The lesson? While exercise is important to me and my mental health, physical well being and body image… it cannot be the thing that keeps me going. I had gotten a little too caught up in lifting and neglected the other parts of my being. So the side-lining left room for reflection. What other ways could I satisfy my need for “bad assery”? How else could I find body confidence even when things are headed in a direction I less enjoy? What do I find uplifting mentally outside of the gym? My focus had been too tunnel visioned. And while exercise and weights will be a permanent and important part of my life, I needed to make it a smaller part of my well being to give room for other things.
And so we arrive at my 30 for 30 experiment.
I like to think of my birthday as my personal new year. 30 being a new decade feels like a big one. In an exciting way, not an intimidating way. I’ve decided that each month I will take on a new daily practice. incorporating simple things into my life for an entire month. Some of these things may stick with me and others may not.
Originally I wrote out what I wanted to do each month for the entire year. But I decided after talking to a friend who has been doing such challenges for the last year, to wait until the next month is about to begin and see what I need. This feels better to me both because I won’t constantly be looking toward the next month’s goal and because I will be able to organically see what my soul/body needs from me each month.
September, inspired by my need to ease back into regular exercise, is 30 days of yoga. So far I’ve been incorporating it into my morning and evening routines. I’m also meditating for at least 3 minutes everyday. It may seem silly but I found an app that gives you a quote to meditate on and then counts down 3 minutes. This seems a manageable way to make meditation a habit. It’s one I’ve always wanted to have but never felt I had the patience for.
Other things I’m thinking of focusing on: journaling, intimacy, food, distance running (again =) ), consumerism, family…
I have a lot of ideas. But I will let them unfold and if nothing is pressing then I will stick to the original schedule I have written out.
I love exercise. Nothing can replace the feeling I have at my squat rack. Perhaps unless you are a “sister in iron” that sounds ridiculous. But it feeds the parts of me that sometimes feel inadequate. It gives me endorphins. Makes me feel powerful. Even special. But I’m excited to focus on other areas of my life and apply the kind of goal setting that has worked for me so well with my health to them.
I’m in a great place. In spite of my injury and the small changes in my body I’m embracing where I am at there too. I have a new job that allows me to be myself and hang out with great people everyday. My family is all off to new ventures that are all about forward movement and bring much happiness. I feel surrounded by love. 30 feels like a great stamp to put on this time in my life. With it; new goals.
Here’s to being (as my good friend Karen calls it) ”twenty-through.”
Join me? What kind of goals would you set?