Around the time of my 30th birthday I realized something that irritated me. I have mentioned before that I am a lover of lists. Sadly, this philosophy of setting goals and then crossing them off has spilled into areas where it is not applicable. For instance, somewhere in my late teens I decided that by the time I was thirty that I would REALLY know myself, and that I would be able to check this off the "list" and move on to bigger and better things.
When I woke up to the fact that this was not (and should not) be the case I talked it over with my friends, all of whom are much wiser than I. After telling me in the sweetest and most gentle way possible that I can be an idiot sometimes (it's true), they gave me their own stories of growth. They listed examples of truths learned at varied ages, most of these startling discoveries happening well past my 30 year deadline. Today, I heartily agree with my confidants and am excited to know that I will continue to challenge myself, my ways of thinking, and that I could wake up at 58 or 88 and find something new to be passionate about.
34 happens for me next week. I am so excited because 33 was wonderful. This year I discovered that I love to garden, that I deeply want to be outside. I made more time for my girlfriends than I have since becoming a mom and had more fun than I knew was possible. I also made time to grow my relationship with God. I discovered that homemade chicken noodle soup is worth every second of effort that I put into it. I realized that I am so fortunate to be a nurse, that getting to work along side people that heard the same call is a gift, and that I am grateful for every patient that I have ever cared for.
I don't know what the next year will bring. I do know that if it is built on the foundation of learning that I have gained so far and that if I stay open to new experiences, it will be a great one.