This next decade looks pretty promising.
Mostly, because I’m quickly discovering what makes me happy. Not the extreme kind of happiness that is only sustainable for a few hours. This is a subtle, content, solid happiness that has become part of daily life. It fades into the background sometimes, but it’s always there.
I used to do a lot of things because I thought I should do them, not because they brought true joy or fulfillment. There was an end goal in mind or something that I had to prove. I’ve noticed lately that I’m enjoying everyday experiences as they’re happening, rather than worrying about whether the activity is accomplished perfectly or what others will think of me for it.
Five years ago, I approached yoga as something to conquer. I had to do a certain amount of yoga everyday in order for it to be worth something. I had to master certain poses. I wanted to be seen as an exemplary teacher. This past week, I started doing yoga again for the first time since Audrey was born. My back hurt from taking care of her and from sitting at my computer for hours everyday. After putting Audrey down for her morning nap, I would go into my room and do a 15 minute yoga practice. My goals were simple. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to take time to care for myself so that I could enjoy my day more. I wanted to care for my mind and body so that I didn’t feel resentful later in the day. I like this yoga. This is the yoga of my thirties.
The same goes for the kitchen. I can’t get enough of my kitchen lately. I cook a couple times a day. I love feeding my family. I try a new recipe for every meal. I’m learning more about the health benefits of my food. I daydream about showing Audrey how to cook and bake, while teaching her about the power of whole foods. This is the kitchen of my thirties.
I’ve started reading again. After my husband and Audrey have gone to bed and I’ve worked for an hour or two, I crawl into bed, switch on my book light and read until I can’t keep my eyes open. I read what I want to read and it enriches the rest of my life. It feels indulgent and all mine. This mindset has made its way into my writing. I write what I want to write. I’m not thinking about how others will view my books. Instead, I’m writing a book that I can’t wait to return to each day. That’s how I know I’m on the right track. This is the reading and writing of my thirties.
Now that my voice is clearer, I’m interacting with people who I adore, more and more. They’re jumping out of the woodwork. They’re inspiring me and their company lifts me up. I’m finding them in my neighborhood, online, and even in my own family. More often than not, I lay in bed at night and give thanks for these people. These are the friends and colleagues of my thirties.
So bring it, thirties. I’m glad you’re finally here.
PS- This was inspired by Emily P-P’s blog post, On Looking Forward.
Photo credit: colemama