10 Things I Appreciate in My 30’s That I Never Appreciated in My 20’s

10 Things I Appreciate in My 30’s That I Never Appreciated in My 20’s

Here are ten things I appreciate now in my 30’s more than I ever did in my 20’s.


I used to be a REAL talker.  I remember one time riding in the car with my old roommate and her brother, and he turned around asked me if I ever stop talking.  Lol.  I am sure if you ask my husband, he feels this way at times too.  So, saying I USED to be a real talker is probably not correct.  I still get pretty chatty.  But, I always used to have music playing.  Or I would have the TV on in the background while cooking dinner.  Now I have learned to enjoy just sitting or working with no noise.  No music.  No TV.  No talking.  Often I am halfway through a task before I realize I don’t have any background noise turned on.  Having a little one, I always hear some baby-associated noise going on.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that Chulengo communicates with me through babbling and different types of cries, but when it is silent in this household, I am in a special place.  My favorite place to take in the silence is on a hike.  Sitting and looking at the scenery of the earth will get me every time.  The photo above is actually one I took in Chile while hiking.  We just sat in silence mid-hike to take in this mountain.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Man, in my 20’s I was regularly going to bed after midnight.  Now I am lucky to make it past 10 pm.  I also used to pass out on the couch at the end the day.  But, now I love getting ready for the night and climbing into our comfy bed and resting a few minutes before dozing off.  If I get a night where I sleep through the whole night, I feel like a million bucks.  On average, Chulengo sleeps through the night 3-4 nights per week, waking at least once the other nights.  So now I try to take advantage of those 3-4 nights and go to bed as early as possible to a full night’s sleep.

Onsite Parking

Anywhere.  At the grocery store, at home, at a restaurant, you name it.  I love onsite parking.  After living quite a few years in major metropolitan areas where parking is a premium, I have learned to covet those places in which I don’t have to drive around looking for a street parking spot.  My parallel parking skills have probably gotten rusty, but I will choose a place that has onsite parking over another place that does not.  Especially now that I have a little one, I can take my time getting in and out of the car without worrying about the street traffic.

A Well-Baked Cake

When I first met my husband’s family, they had a fresh cake from a bakery at every dinner event we attended.  This was so odd to me, because when I was growing up didn’t really have dessert after meals.  I have made a couple boxed cakes here and there.  But now when I get my hands on a well-baked cake from a bakery, I am a happy lady.  We try to save these yummy cakes for a special occasion, but every now and then my husband and I will pick up a “just because” cake.  Eating a piece together after Chulengo goes to bed is a perfect little bonding time for us.

A Walk Around the Neighborhood

I love going for walks.  It’s a great way to explore the area, get some exercise, and enjoy some fresh air.  Every day we go for a walk.  When I was in my 20’s the only walking I did was to school or to work.  I always had a destination to get to and a limited time to get there.  Therefore, I didn’t take in my surroundings or find walks relaxing.  Now, when life gets crazy, overwhelming, or stressful, a great walk around the neighborhood can be calming.

Advice From my Peers

As I get older, I admit I know less and less than I thought I did when I was younger.  I used to pretend like I had all my sh*t together.  Now I realize there is no way to have it together all the time and it is okay for others to know.  I love chatting with other moms or friends my age to discuss what they are doing to make life easier and more enjoyable.  I always get great ideas from the ladies around me.  In the past, I would have never been so quick to ask for advice from those around me, being too embarrassed to ask.  Now, I seek out the help on a regular basis.

A Well-Cooked Meal

Good food — YUM!  Last year my husband was asking me what I wanted for my birthday.  Honestly, I didn’t want any “thing,” but I wanted a great meal — that I didn’t have to cook.  I have realized that my favorite way to splurge is to have a great, well-cooked dinner made by someone else.  Bonus points if I don’t have to clean up either.  When we went to Vegas recently, I made sure we had dinner at a fantastic restaurant.  And to be honest, having a meal sans toddler can make any meal a bit more relaxing and enjoyable.  I have also been exploring some new recipes lately, and it’s incredible how cooking a great meal can perk me up.  So, a well-cooked meal prepared by me or someone else is something I love now.

Fresh Bed Sheets

Clean fresh bed sheets make me narcoleptic.  I can fall asleep in an instant when we change the sheets on the bed.  I definitely didn’t appreciate this as much a decade ago.  The smell of fresh laundry and the crispness of the sheets are something I no longer take for granted.

Grocery Shopping Alone

Grocery shopping used to be my favorite thing to do in my free time.  I loved planning which stores to go to and what I would get at each store.  Walking up and down every aisle meal planning was a real high for me.  Now that I have Chulengo in tow for most grocery store trips, it’s not quite as enjoyable as it used to be.  So when I get a chance to head to the grocery store alone — I LOVE IT!  No one is reaching out of the cart for nearby items.  I also don’t have my husband deterring me from my list.  If you know me, you know I love lists, and when I have to stray from the list, I get stressed out.  Some women want a day at the spa to relax; I want a morning of grocery shopping alone.

Getting Up Early in the Morning

I am so excited when I can get up and get most of my tasks done before noon.  Then I have the rest of the day to relax.  A decade ago, I used to love the idea of sleeping in until 10 am.  Now, I love to get up and at it before 8 am.  To be honest, I don’t get to sleep past 7 am now because I have a baby, so I have been forced to embrace mornings.  But I have also gotten to see what a productive morning looks like — and it’s fantastic.

What are some things that you have learned to embrace and appreciate over the years?

10 Thing's 30's I Have Learned to Appreciate in my 30's

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