From Girl to Woman

Most of you know that I recently turned 30. It’s a milestone birthday, one that I considered pretty significant. I feel like I’ve now fully transitioned from a girl to a woman.

Okay, I know how monumentally stupid that has to sound to a lot of you who’ve read PBW for a while. I have two, not one but two, children who are turning twelve this year. How could I have possibly still considered myself a kid when I had kids myself?

Because I was. Here’s a secret that most people don’t know. Having a baby doesn’t mean you grow up right away. Being responsible doesn’t make you a grownup either. Lots of teenagers have serious responsibilities like jobs, caring for sick relatives, looking after younger siblings so that their parents can work.

This is different for everybody. It’s a very personal thing, growing up, and no one can really tell you at what point you are now an adult. Here, though, is what this transition looked like for me.

I’ve started actually caring about what I put in my body for healthy reasons.

I don’t care about being skinny, I’m just not built that way. I don’t care about being sexy, I already am. But I know that diabetes runs in my family, and I don’t want to lose a foot. So I’m careful about my diet. I’m eating less sugar, and more fresh food. More lean meats. And I avoid fast food with very few exceptions. Again, not because I care to look a certain way, but because I want to keep my health for as long as I can.

I’ve started caring more about my health in general.

Just overall, I’m becoming a healthier person. I’m taking vitamins, going to the doctors on time, exercising, meditating, getting enough sleep. You know, all the things we make our kids do when they’re little, and forget to do for ourselves. I’ve reached that age where I’m realizing that my day’s just a whole lot better if I’ve done these things.

I’ve learned what to invest my money in, and what not to.

Here’s a good rule of thumb. The longer you intend to keep something, the more money you should invest in it. If you’re one who likes makeup, consider the difference between foundation and lipstick. When you find a foundation that works for you, you can probably be comfortable using the same one, maybe a few different shades depending on the season. Lipstick, though, I change like the weather. So while I’ll put up to $30 on a good foundation, I’ll not spend more than $8 on a lipstick.

I’ve learned what to invest my time in, and what not to.

I spend a lot of time talking about time management, ironically, so I’m not going to bore you here. I’ll just say that I don’t watch as much tv as I used to. I don’t waste as much time as I used to. I don’t spend time with people I don’t want to anymore. I think this stems from the fact that every year, every single year, seems to be going faster. I swear it was just January last week. I can’t believe my kids are turning twelve, I’m convinced they’re still seven. It’s not so much that I pine for the time that’s passed, just that I don’t think that it feels real. I’m realizing, more and more, that I am going to get old. I’m not there yet, not by a long shot, but it’s coming.

This realization makes you value your time more.

I’m pickier about my entertainment.

This goes hand in hand with being more careful about my time. My down time is limited, so I am far more intentional about what I spend it doing. I just did a whole post about why I’ll abandon a book, and I have the same criteria for quitting on a movie, even halfway through. I just don’t want to waste my time on comedians, writers or musicians that I don’t like. There are too many out there I do like.

I’m quicker to say what I think, and slower to care about it.

And I can’t tell you what a relief it’s been, not hiding my honest opinion. My emotional health has skyrocketed, and my stress is way down. And it’s so simple! Be honest about how you feel, tactfully. That’s all there is to it. “Look, you’re a great person, but this thing you did pissed me right the hell off.” That’s all there is to it.

The important thing here, though, is accepting the same when people do it to you. That is to say, if you finally get the nerve to tell you aunt that you don’t like her turkey recipe, and she tells you that she doesn’t like your pecan pie, you don’t get to be mad.

You see how freeing this can be, though. You don’t have to put up with things you don’t like anymore. Sometimes those things are going to be people, and maybe that’s okay, too. But when I started being honest about my feelings on politics, social issues, food, music, clothing and every other damn thing in my life, an amazing thing happened. The people in my life respected that. The ones that didn’t aren’t there anymore, and I don’t miss them.

I’m thinking more about the future.

I feel like when we’re kids, we’re very in the moment. I have always planned, but mostly for the week, month or year I was in right then. I’m not that way anymore. I can appreciate the moment, don’t get me wrong. I’m having a good day today, and I’m living that day. But I’m also thinking about things like what we’re going to do when we retire. I’m thinking seriously about our house, whether we want to rent to own it, or if we want to move again. If we move again, should it be before or after the kids move out? What am I going to do when they move out? That day seems a lot closer on this side of ten. I have a lot of changes to plan for in my thirties, and I want to deal with these changes intentionally. I want to be playing offense, not defense. (Sorry, preseason starts next month and I’m already getting pumped. #Steelernation!)

So, what do you think? Do you consider yourself a kid still, or do you feel all grown up? Why? Let us know in the comments section.

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