In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion

I ran a 3.5 mile obstacle course race today, on this last day of my 30s. At some point out on the course, shortly after I took the lead in the race, my thoughts turned to this being my last day in my 30s. I considered what I was like at age 30, compared to who I am today. And this is what I concluded... my 30s came in like a lamb and is going out like a lion.

Things I've learned in my 30s...

  1. Your husband should be the most important person in your life. Not your kids. One day they will become independent, and you will be left alone with your husband again. Date him now like you did before you got married.
  2. Be a great Mom, but don't let that be your identity. If your biggest concern is pleasing your children, you are out of balance. 
  3. Eat dinner together every night. At the table. And talk to each other. This is probably the single best thing we've done as parents.
  4. No cell phones or other electronic devices at the table. 
  5. Don't let your kids be your best friends. I cringe when I hear parents say this. Your burdens should not be theirs to bear. They don't need to know every detail of your personal life. 
  6. Talk openly with your kids. All of the time (but see #8). Ask specific questions about their day-- one of my favorites was, "What was the best part of today?" And "I don't know" is not an acceptable answer. Don't settle for "Nothing" in response to "What did you do today?" or "What's wrong?"
  7. Have "the talk" with your kids. It starts when they're young and make it age appropriate. If you wait until you're ready or you think they are, then I'm guessing you're about 2 (or 10) years too late. Talk about difficult things.
  8. Don't act shocked by anything your kids tell you. Remember, you're trying to keep communication open. Freaking out because they finally open up about something just confirms that telling you was the worst thing they could have done. And you can be certain they won't come to you next time.
  9. Be a spy. But don't be a jerk. My kids will have privacy when they move out. They know that I might enter their rooms and rifle through their stuff at any time. Have I ever? No. But I just might.
  10. It's never too late to become an athlete. I thought I was done being an athlete when I left high school and organized team sports. But being an athlete is about training your body with purpose, not just going into a gym and sitting on machines and moving your arms and legs for a bit.
  11. Working out can be FUN. Really. I'm not lying. If it's not fun, then you need to find something that's fun for you. Life is too short to have miserable workouts.
  12. Love your body. Treat it well. Consider ALL the things it does and has done for you. Those scars and stretch marks and imperfections tell the story of your life.
  13. Food is not the enemy. Food is the fuel that you need to sustain your activity. Don't skip meals. Don't obsess about calories. Enjoy it. In moderation. 
  14. The scale is the enemy. Just throw it away. The number on that scale does not tell how strong or fast you are. That number doesn't tell how beautiful and determined you are. 
  15. Laugh a lot. And at yourself frequently.
  16. Enjoy the little things. A hot cup of coffee. The feeling of grass on your feet. A deep breath. 
  17. Forgive often. Especially yourself. 
  18. Say you're sorry. Often.
  19. Pray. All the time. 
  20. Believe. You've heard the quote: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." 


  1. These are beautiful lessons! Thank you for sharing them. It's like you read my mind ;).


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