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.
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?