I think there is a country song that sings about “my next 30 years”… and while I do not listen to or really even enjoy country music, I get what the guy was singing about. As I hit 30, I was surrounded by a huge amount of frustration at what I had contributed to the world. Or better yet, at what I had contributed in the few years I had been giving it a go on “my own”. It hardly seems right to count your first decade or so as accomplishments.. which honestly discounts a great deal of my big successes to date.
In my infant years, I was content baby…. walked early, talked early– heck, I even swam well ahead of the curve. I taught myself to tie my own shoelaces, which is pretty big stuff. Which is a solid half-a-decade I have under my belt as being top notch.
Elementary school was a success… I passed all grades! Even was in Mrs. Says First Grade honor class, and sang in the chorus of “Peter Pan”. Took dance, piano, had birthday parties, pets, brothers. I mean this kind of record in my twenties would have been amazing. No major glitches. I was a happy-go-lucky kind of gal.
Junior high was another success, I mean, from this decade long record you would think I was destined for greatness. Yet again, passed all grades. Weathered a move from New York to California and then to Virginia without any major psychological breaks. And, not to brag, but I did pass junior high two or three times since my family moved a lot. Outside of some standard pre-teen obnoxiousness, I was still doing well.
High school was a strange blend of friends in Virginia, and a new adventure in New York City’s all-girl high school. I met some life-long friends, got a new car on my 16th birthday, had boyfriends, did well on the SAT’s and got accepted to college— geez, it just doesn’t get any better.
College came along…. a first test of life on the outside. And, from what I remember, I wasn’t a complete basket case. 🙂 College was amazingly fun and I met some incredibly dear people. Learned a lot, experienced a lot and enjoyed the ride. Met my husband my junior year. Spent summers in Key West with friends, and working at camps riding horses. Ahh…the good ol days…. And while the waters got a bit choppier, the were not hard to navigate.
Enter my senior year of college. Lots of decisions now. I was not real happy with my major choice, and about to embark on marriage and jobs and finding my own way. So there was stress… in rhetrospect… there was baby stress. Little, tiny, cute stresses. Stresses that were filled with promise… like, ” which career path should I take?” Because, after all, I could choose any!
Graduation, weddings and newlywed life were a piece of cake. We moved to Florida, and got settled. We both missed our friends, and missed Virginia, and the adventures that were so much a part of our dating. But, we got by. Stress was higher, life was harder….but not unbearable. Then came babies, and mortgages, and debts and car payments. Then came in-laws and finding friends as a “grown-ups” and countless other stresses that could spin the head of a seasoned decision maker, much less a late twenty-something.
The odd thing is… those years where life got so stressful were the years that I was supposed to be accomplishing great things! Climbing ladders of success, and helping people in pain. I was supposed to be finding my niche in this world. I don’t really think that went so well for me. I think when my niche was supposed to be discovered, I wrestling babies and trying to figure out what APR means. Or maybe what a mortgage actually is, and why debt is bad….very, very bad.
And some may argue that my niche was wrestling babies, and maybe that is where I need to stay. But I just don’t know. Though wrestling babies is wonderful, and worthwhile, and the most challenging job I can imagine- I still find myself wanting a career, or something. And I tend to change hobbies, and interests and ideas A LOT. And I might not feel the same way tomorrow, because that’s how I roll ( as Jackson would say). But I plan on tackling the next 30 a bit more systematically.
And I am busy making my list…. my 30 for 30… which will cover my goals for the next year…. this pivotal 30th year.
I wanted to make goals for the next 30 years, but for a beginner goal setter that seemed outlandish.
Any of you goal setters? Like, write them down, kind of goal setters? Any topics you always cover?
Any way to organize my list? In order of priority? Importance? Or just let it flow….
Let me know… I am actually 30 and 1 month and one week today. So I obviously need to get a move on it.