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It’s March 4, 2018, and I am thirty years old today. I don’t really think there’s anything new that can be said about turning thirty. I know it sounds old to me. And to most of the people reading this who are older, that’s laughable.
I just saw a post on social media yesterday from someone who turned 40 this week. She wasn’t looking forward to her birthday, but then she decided to embrace it. She considered all the wonderful things and people in her life and it made her grateful for her 40th year and all those ahead. I like that approach. So, I’m ready to celebrate and share with you 30 things I’m thankful for today.
30 Things I’m Thankful for on My 30th
The Big Stuff
1. A partner who understand me to a tee, can help me get through anything and challenges me to be my best self every day. You know I’m not one for the mushy stuff, but Scott’s my favorite.
2. Supportive family and friends. You know who you are. I’ve so grateful for the people who are there for me no matter what – even when I’m thousands of miles away or we haven’t talked for awhile.
3. A healthy body and mind. A year ago I decided to stop taking my acid reflux medication and manage it with a better diet, moderate exercise and listening to my body’s warning signs of being overstressed. I’ve been RX free for a year – yippee!
4. Being from MN. As we’ve traveled, it’s really opened my eyes to see just how lucky I am to be from a little town in Minnesota.
5. Learning how to cook. Making and sharing meals with others is one of my favorite things. I’m already itching for a good home-cooked meal when we get back to the states. Mashed potatoes, anyone?
6. This trip. I knew that going on this adventure would be life-changing. Six months in, I’m still in awe of just how much Scott and I have learned about ourselves and each other. I can’t wait to see what the next nine months will bring.
7. Time. As I get older, my perspective on time changes. How fast and slow it can pass by all at once. I’m sure my observations will only continue to change as more birthdays pass. Right now, I know that time is the most valuable thing we have. When we share our time with someone, it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give.
8. My education. Think of all the things that would be so much harder if I hadn’t gone to school: basic communication, reading, writing, critical thinking. Stuff I do every day.
9. Jobs that challenge my right brain and left brain. If we’re counting, I have four different jobs right now (three side gigs and working part-time for my job back in Winona). All of them keep me challenged and energized in different ways. Who knew I’d be a business owner by 30?
10. The desire to be good money managers. My attitude towards money has done almost a complete 180 since I turned 20. How Scott and I manage our money and make financial plans is something I’m extremely proud of.
The Little Stuff
11. Chocolate. All things chocolate. I’m really looking forward to those European bakeries…
12. My planner. It’s on paper and a little old-fashioned, but it’s totally worth lugging around from country to country. It helps me stay on track and means I don’t have to rely on my brain to remember all the things.
13. A good movie night. Scott and I used to go see movies in the theater, but lately, we’ve just been watching them when we can. It’s fun to wrap up in the blankets and settle in for a couple hours of entertainment to relax for the night.
14. A pop socket. It’s a thing I just bought that attaches to the back of my phone and makes holding it easier. I know they’ve been around for a while but I’m a pop socket newbie. So far, I feel like it’s minimized the chances of me dropping my phone (which is the thing that has all our trip pictures), so I’m very thankful for it right now.
15. Sunscreen. If it didn’t exist, I would have been in awful pain the last six months…or I guess I just wouldn’t have gone outside.
16. Thin crust pizza. Who else is with me on thin crust? A really good pizza is such a treat for me. Now if only I could find some toppings I really loved besides cheese 😂
17. The Harry Potter book series. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read the books. Each time I start over, it’s like reconnecting with an old friend. They are pure nostalgia for me.
18. The color aqua. I feel like anything that in color looks happy and it’s taken over as my reigning favorite color in the last seven years. Sorry purple.
19. Romantic comedies. I am listing these separately since Scott and I don’t watch them on our movie nights – haha! I am a sucker for romantic comedies and all of their predictable plot twists. I relish getting to watch them on Tuesday nights when Scott’s at guy’s night. (PS – If you have any you’d recommend, leave them in the comments. Movies are a great way to burn through a flight.)
20. White noise from a fan. It’ll put me to sleep in minutes.
And Everything In Between…
21. Having creative outlets. I love my creative hobbies (knitting and quilting) and really enjoy the process of making something with my own two hands.
22. Technology. It’s made things so much easier on this trip – making plans, staying in touch with people back home, running our businesses.
23. The opportunity to volunteer. In the past two years, I’ve been involved with lots of local organizations and I’ve really come to value with community volunteers can accomplish.
24. Family traditions. One of my favorite things. I cherish the family traditions I have with my immediate family and love making new ones with Scott, especially around the holidays.
25. An awesome DIY and a handy husband. If you saw our apartment, you know I’m all over DIYing. It’s another creative outlet and having a colorful, put-together home makes me happy. Doesn’t hurt that Scott knows his way around power tools too.
26. Feeling protected and safe. This is probably something I took for granted before we left on our trip. I’m lucky to live in a country where I’m generally safe from harm in my day-to-day life. Not everyone gets to experience that kind of life.
27. A sense of humor. I find this to be a pretty essential part of daily life. Laughing just feels good.
28. When I get to sleep in (which now means around 7:30 a.m.).
29. Getting a good deal. This sort of lines up with #10, but we try really hard to make every dollar count. I love that “good deal” feeling, especially if it’s something I’ve been holding out on buying. It’s a win-win…I get the thing and I get to save more money.
30. Inspiration all around me. Every day I meet new people and see new things that make me look forward to what’s ahead.
Thanks to everyone who has made my first thirty years so memorable. I’m looking forward to many more to come. Cheers!