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A Year Older, Still Younger

A Year Older, Still Younger

I have about a month until I turn 34. My 30s are nearly halfway over!

In many ways, I still feel so young, and sometimes I look at Mazen and my friends and remind myself “We are the grown-ups now.”

A year ago I’m not sure I could have pictured where I’d be today. When I imagined turning 34, the word divorce wasn’t something I would have ever predicted. But I don’t look at it with a negative connotation either.

Life is always full of twists and turns, and instead of viewing the end of a relationship as returning to the start, or a U-turn, I see it more as a fork in the road. After Matt and I had separated, I knew I should approach my future with optimism and confidence. My life is not in reverse; I am still moving forward. I am lucky to have an amazing little boy. I am still me.

When I think about the future, I have to think about what decisions will be best for Mazen and me. The time we spend together, the trips we take, the friends we make, the activities we do. I have to ask: “What is most important to me?” That’s how I came up with this bucket list of sorts as an outline of the components of my life I find most impactful.

Staying Connected

I am an extrovert who needs to be around friends. When I was a bit distracted with my situation at home, I let a few of my friendships slide this year, and I want to rekindle them.

At the same time, I want to pour my energy into the friendships that matter the most and not worry about those friends who don’t reciprocate. True friends stand by your side no matter what, and those are the kind of friendships I want to cultivate.

And to my digital friends, thank you to the moon and back for all of your support and words of encouragement!

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Friends

Travel Internationally

I haven’t been to Europe since I studied abroad in college 12 years ago! I am seeking experiences, memories, and new cultures, and I would love to visit Italy and taste fresh Italian pasta and red wine.

The freedom to travel is one of the silver linings of separating. We used to travel together, but now we have the freedom to go one at a time and switch off care of Mazen. Matt spent 10 days in Mexico in June, and I hope to take a trip next winter or spring somewhere I’ve been dying to go.

It is somewhat taboo to admit you might want a little space from your child. Taking a trip alone doesn’t mean you don’t love your child wholeheartedly or that you are a bad mom. It’s quite the opposite for me: I come home from a little time away so excited to see Mazen again, and I am a better mom to him in the weeks that follow.

Be Financially Confident

As I continue to wade through my 30s, I am working to gain financial confidence. With two people working, you have some sense of diversity and sharing of financial responsibilities, but now I must be more driven in my career and my goals. Retirement is also starting to feel a lot more real than it did in my 20s.

When Mazen was younger, at times, I felt that I could barely keep my blog afloat. Now that he’s in school five mornings a week, I have more time to devote to creating and writing and, thus, continuing to progress with my business.

I’ve studied my income and spending and met with a financial advisor to know what goals I need to meet to ensure I’m saving enough for retirement, building long-term wealth, and protecting Mazen’s future with products like life insurance and a 529 college savings account.

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Simplify Life

It’s no secret that I am a neat person, and I keep a tidy home. These days I am into quality over quantity. I want to love every treasure in my house and at the same time, I want to own less stuff.

I want to spend more time maintaining the dill, basil, parsley, and greens I have planted and learn to use gardening as form a stress relief rather than see it as a chore.

I want to manage the cooking, cleaning, and bill paying as efficiently as possible and always have healthy meals in my fridge. Planning tends to help me simplify things and avoid the chaos of last-minute decisions. For the remainder of this decade, I will plan more.

Salads

Feel Good Every Morning

As I get older, I want to just feel good. Usually, that means eating lots of fresh food, drinking less wine, getting great sleep, and waking up with energy and enthusiasm to tackle the day. As I mentioned in my recent Laid Back post, when I start each day I am following cravings that lead me to feel my best, whether that’s a walk or a hard strength class, a home-cooked meal or dinner out with friends.

Choosing A Positive Path For My 30s

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

There are so many beautiful quotes about choices, and as a Harry Potter fan that is one of my favorites. Nothing makes you reflect quite like turning a year older.

Your 30s are often said to be one of the best decades of your life for personal growth. So far, I’ve had to make a lot of big choices in this decade. I’m optimistic about where I’m headed with the choices I’ve made and empowered to explore new horizons in the remaining six years of my thirties. Just because things don’t end up how you pictured, doesn’t mean that they can’t end up being even better.

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