10 Things I’ve Learned by 31

I hit 31 yesterday. Young, but definitely the oldest I’ve ever been! Reaching 30 was exciting for me, but 31 feels…it feels like a grown-up age. Do you know what I mean? People tend to be more established in their thirties. They probably have a steady job, or may have finally decided to embark on that longtime dream. They know who they are and are comfortable with themselves (for the most part!). They can be married or single – either way, they know the kind of people they want in their lives, friends and spouses alike. Your thirties, as I’m learning, are a really great decade of life, full of confidence like you haven’t experienced before.

While I am digging this time in my life, a few thoughts keep coming to mind:

1 // No matter how old you are, you never quite feel like an adult. We’ve all seen the videos of dancing grandmas (Please watch this one!). Proof that even though our age increases, you’re only as old as you feel.

2 // As much as you may like to, you can’t control anyone else’s actions. Coming from someone who prefers to have a handle on situations, this has been a tough one to swallow in recent years. I’m learning to let go of this need and let things happen as they are supposed to. Mainly, I’m learning to trust God with it all, slowly but surely.

3 // Never underestimate the power of a hug. I don’t care who you are – everyone needs a hug now and then. The world is a much better place after receiving one.

4 // Real friends accept you for exactly who you are. I sure am thankful for those people in my life!

5 // If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I can’t tell you HOW MANY TIMES my Mom repeated this phrase in my childhood. I mean, a bunch, y’all. Now? I’m so very glad she did. Probably one of the best pieces of advice I could’ve ever received (repeatedly 😉 ).

6 // If something interests you, take time to learn about it. It’s never too late to learn something new, and we all have a few extra minutes in our day. Attempt a new skill. Try out a new hobby. Find things you care about!

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7 // Don’t waste your time in a relationship where you don’t feel loved, respected, and valued. This can be applied to a romantic relationship or a friendship – don’t spend time with people who bring you down. Period.

8 // Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. So, so true. A few years ago, I met a girl who I thought was just plain rude. She didn’t smile, wasn’t very helpful, and just kind of pouted a lot. One day, out of the blue, she was a *new* person – making jokes, being friendly…you can bet I was a little confused. It turned out that someone she loved had been quite ill, and they suddenly had a miraculous recovery! She had been so worried about them that her real personality was stifled by the engrossing fear. As soon as they were on the road to good health, she was her thoughtful, kind self again. Every time I hear this quote, I think of her, and many other people I probably misjudged in the past. Be kind.

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9 // Some people are only in your life for a season or a reason. Think back: do you remember someone who was pivotal in your life for a time, but you eventually grew apart? I think we all do. Some folks are with you for the long haul; some are just there for a sweet season to teach you something. I like thinking back to a few interactions I’ve had in the past and how those people shaped me, but they probably never knew how deeply.

10 // Naps aren’t just for kids. Can I get an amen? Sunday afternoon naps are my favorite weekend event!