Given the fact that I took thirty days to write about turning thirty before it actually happened, and ten more days have passed since then, it probably seems like a strange place to make a list of improvements I’d like to make as a thirty-year old, but things have been busy. So busy.
I am writing this from one of my favorite, most cozy writing spots, surrounded by mountains of boxes. The kids’ rooms are mostly sorted. There are a few boxes to empty, and a few more clothes to hang, but their beds are assembled and they are snuggled in clean sheets, surrounded by their most beloved things. Our room will not be unpacked for weeks, or months, and given our history, it might never be fully unpacked, but the kids’ rooms are ready, the kitchen is in working order, and the playroom will be childproof and on its way to complete by morning.
I could have done more today, but I thought it would be nice to do some exploring with the kids, so I did. We spent most of the morning outside despite the heat, which is actually similar to what we would have experienced at our last place of residence, and ran a few errands in the afternoon when it got to be too hot to be outside. We will get more done tomorrow, although we are going to take the morning to do something fun again.
There are a lot of things I would like to write about making this transition, and writing those thoughts will have to be a priority over the next few weeks, because very quickly, I will forget what it feels like to be brand new. Little by little, things will start to feel normal, and although there may be a few things here or there that stand out as different, for the most part, the strangeness will start to go away. I was already thinking earlier about how I see this place, compared to how people from our last town would see this place, compared to how people from the town before that would see it. The things they would find weird or interesting, good or bad, all varies depending on their perspective, which is, in part, dependent on what they experience where they live. Sometimes it can be hard to separate out exactly what I think from all of the other opinions I can imagine.
All of that can wait at least one more day, although I will admit now, my posts for the next couple of weeks are probably going to be on the shorter side, with a few exceptions here or there. I will be lucky if I get two substantial posts out each week until the end of the month, when things should, at least in theory, start to slow down.
Thirty changes at thirty. Part One.
- I want to write thank you notes at least 50% of the time, increasing to 75% of the time within the next five years.
- I want to shave my legs every time I shower, or at least 90% of the time. Now that I’m not going to spend ten months out of the year hiding under long pants, it seems like a worthwhile goal.
- I want to keep my car clean, or what passes for clean with four young children and a dog.
- I want to go thirty days without eating out for a single meal.
- I want to start every day with fifteen minutes of stretching and praying for thirty days, and eventually start every day that way.
- I want to pluck my stray chin hairs within two days of noticing them in the mirror.
- I want to worry 10% less about the people in my life who wish me harm.
- I want to see the sun rise and the sun set on a beach.
- I want to worry 25% less about money at the end of the year.
- I want to plant and grow something edible.
- I want to make at least three friends I actually like, who actually like me.
- I want to organize my spice rack. Not necessarily in alphabetical order, but using some recognizable system.
- I want to learn how to cry when I need to cry, even though I know I am the world’s ugliest crier.
- I want to write something every day. Whether it ends up being for the blog every day or not, I’m not sure, but I want to take that time every day.
- I want to take the time to do an honest appraisal of the relationships in my life, to consider what I bring to the relationship, what I get out of it, and why I’m in it.
When I read that list it looks and feels very superficial. I know I’m missing things, and I feel like this list is a stretch, and I’m really not happy with it, but I know I have to start somewhere.
Speaking of starting somewhere, I read an article about moms using apps, similar to Tinder, which I know about because I have young, hip friends who have social lives. I thought it was an interesting idea. I should probably clarify. When I say these apps are like Tinder for moms, I don’t mean it’s a way for moms to date, at least not in a romantic or sexual way. It’s a way for moms to find other mom friends. I downloaded one app, but I haven’t filled in any of the information, because it still feels weird, and I’m not sure I want to do it.
Online dating wasn’t really a thing when I was dating, to the extent I ever really dated to begin with, but I know a lot of people who tried it. One of my friends made a joke profile for me when I was in law school, and pointed out that I could hardly do worse if I let an algorithm choose my dates. It was a fair criticism, though it stung at the time. I do know people who used the original dating sites with some success, and I even know many people who use or have used Tinder. I’m not sure I would describe those experiences as successful exactly, but I suppose that is a matter of perspective too.
I have been fortunate enough to make some really great mom friends over the years. Unfortunately, after this many moves, I have lost touch with many of them. It doesn’t help that I can be pretty opinionated and exceptionally flaky when things get crazy. Still, I’m nervous about meeting new mom friends here. Every other time we’ve moved I’ve had some form of a social safety net, someone I knew, usually more than one person, and the networks of people that person or those people knew. I always ended up meeting new people and making friends that way, but sometimes it’s easier to meet new friends if you already feel secure in the friendships you have. I’m worried I might be too needy. I also don’t know any other women to warn me, “Hey, that woman is crazy,” and sometimes my crazy radar is not so great. Hubsy-wubsy says I describe everyone the same way after a first meeting (“He/she seemed nice”), and he’s probably right. It’s harder to figure those things out in a new place, with no other person* to discuss it with. It’s a balance, like anything, between a need to be cautious and a need and a desire to be open. Maybe that will be the theme of my thirties, and maybe that should be the them of the second part of my list.
*Of course I will discuss it with HW, but it’s different. Women are often different with men than they are with other women, and many times, men have no idea who the crazy ones are.