30 Days to 30

I’m turning 30 next month ― and though I’m not where I want to be, or doing what I thought I’d be doing by now ― I’m actually quite excited. I intend to relish the decade as it will certainly be my best to date, turning-30 advice echoed by (fellow blogger and friend) Penelope Trunk. My 20s were not “all that” (think economy crash, the dirty “U” word, and workplace bullying) and I wasn’t wild about high school either (it was a rough ride). Don’t get me wrong; my twenties weren’t all bad… highlights at USC, in San Francisco and with my beloved dog, but I’m ready to leave my 20s behind. In my 30s, I hope to finally feel like my age. After all, my grandmother used to tease my mother that she’d hidden me under a table for 30 years (I was an odd kid), and in fact, I always felt older than my years.

Google “Turning 30” and you’ll find a wide array of advice, bucket lists and freak-out blog posts. Among the most interesting… an insightful turning-30 post with social media business lessons from Caitlin McCabe, a list of 30 skills every woman should have before turning 30 from an editor at theFrisky.com (phew, I can check off each one!), and Glamour’s advice for facing society’s 30-equals-old cliche with a shot to celebrate (advice I intend to take)

In many ways, I’m looking forward to my 30s. I also recognize that change is harder to make as a person ages. In that vein, I considered the bad habits I wanted to replace with better ones before I hit the big 3-0. I envisioned the best version of myself, the person I want to be, and how to live more in alignment. I want to be the kind of person who eats breakfast every day (even if I do pull a Michelle Williams and drink my breakfast smoothie in the shower to save time), who works out and stretches every day, who maintains excellent personal habits, who keeps in regular touch with friends, blogs regularly and writes in a gratitude journal, among other things.

Some swear by the ’21 Day Habit Theory’ (i.e. it takes 21 days to effectively form a new habit), but I thought I’d round up. Since I’m turning 30, 30 days seemed only appropriate. As is my style, I made a 30 Days to 30 graphic chart to encourage and remind myself of my daily aspirations. I’ve got one for my morning routine (which I’ve been managing in the 95-100% gold star range) and one for other daily and bedtime activities (where it’s been WAY harder to earn gold stars while juggling the rest of life, I admit). I’m sharing both graphic charts with you below.

30 Days to 30 (AM graphic chart)
30 Days to 30 (PM graphic chart)

So far, I’m doing really well on my 30 Days to 30. Ultimately, this graphic chart isn’t about beating myself up about one more thing; it’s about giving myself the best thirtieth birthday gift ― the happiest, healthiest and best version of myself. It’s about finding my way and being kind to myself along the journey. I won’t stress about being perfect, but about striving toward the light.

My 30s will be the decade when I get married and have kids, events I look forward to when the time and man are right. Sadly I’ve just learned my 30s are also likely the decade in which I’ll lose my mom to her battle with a rare brain cancer, a thought which breaks my heart and fills me with anguish (we’ve always been close and I’ve been caring for her for most of the last year). Suddenly I get why the American Cancer Society’s new slogan is the Official Sponsor of Birthdays. I would give anything to have more birthdays with my mom ― and for her to get to be a mother-of-the-bride and a grandmother. Rather than dwell on curtailed dreams, I’m going to focus on spending quality time together. That’s certainly shot-worthy celebration ― L’Chaim! (A Glamour Do at 30!)

Now I am hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Or, as my mom likes, trust in G-d, but tie your camel.

Curious who else is turning 30 this year? 
Celebs born in 1982 (Year of the Dog, Reagan was president, E.T. topped box office charts and Michael Jackson’s Thriller was released) include Jessica Biel, Colbie Smulders (from How I Met Your Mother ― LOVE that show!!!), Seth Rogen, Kirsten DunstJewel, Anna Paquin, Whitney Cummings, Anne Hathaway and a couple of the guys from Glee (and of course plenty more).

To put the turning-30 life timeline in perspective, we graduated from high school in 2000 ― when the dot com bubble burst. Facebook debuted on the large college campuses we attended, effectively making us social media experts.

Cheers to 30 in 2012.

What were your 30s like? Any advice? Please share your turning 30 tips (or just cheer me on) in the comments below!

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