7 Things You'll Appreciate as You Start Nearing 30 ...

Nearing 30 years of age will bring many things to mind, and recently as I inch closer to this aging milestone, I’ve realized just how many things you’ll appreciate along the way. I find I seem to notice things more than I used to, seem to ponder more deeply about issues, and genuinely have an entire outlook on others, myself and life in general. If you’re nearing this birthday as I am within the next one or two years, you don’t have to approach the birthday with dread. In fact, I’m actually looking forward to the start of a new decade in my life, which certainly can’t be worse than my confusing twenties was! The point is, you can’t look back no matter what age you’re at, but there are also many things you’ll appreciate and things to appreciate about life nearing 30, that you’ll soon find out. Here are my favorites and I’d love to know some of yours, so don't be shy!

1. Nature

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Appreciating nature more might sound a little hokey to some of you, but it truly is one of the things you’ll appreciate more as you get older. You’ll notice how the sky looks different at certain times each day, the way the air looks incredibly clear as fall nears, and notice that tree in the corner of your yard at various points throughout the year, appreciating the changes you see in it each season. The other day I was at my grandmother’s house, which I haven’t visited in ages. When sitting at her kitchen window, I couldn’t take my eyes off her backyard. It was filled with beautiful herbs, bushes of berries, and blooming flowers, along with freshly cut grass and a running stream just behind the bend. I also noticed she had several trees that even had a few fall colors start to appearing. I realized I was getting older at that very moment, but I didn’t mind a bit. See, these things have been there since I was a child and yet, for the first time in my life, I was actually noticing them. Take a look around you next time you’re out. Nature is pretty amazing, and is much older than we’ll ever be!

2. Family and Other People

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I find myself talking to more people in public than I used to, and appreciating small odds and quirky things, along with wonderful habits and trademarks, of my family too. The way my mom routinely gets out of bed each morning and plays with the dogs before doing anything else, the way my brother smiles exactly like my dad and tells me he loves me every night before bed, and the way a random stranger in public who smiles at you just when you need it, changes your outlook on the whole day. I find myself wanting to open doors for people more, wanting to lend them a hand with their groceries, and sending cards to people in the mail more often now than ever. Nearing 30 may be scary, but it can also make you nicer if you let it!

3. Time

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Good gracious, where does the time go? I find myself saying this more often than ever,. In fact, I feel old just saying it, but it’s true! I'm learning to appreciate the time I have each and every morning because it passes so quickly and is my favorite part of each day. It is a time to appreciate the stillness and quiet before the day starts and let my thoughts create new ideas and strategies for the day. I also find that each month, the calendar pages just seem to fall away as we ease right into each season quicker than ever. I’m not sure if this has something to do with getting older, or just appreciating every day of youthfulness we have! Either way, time is one thing I’m appreciating now more than ever, and something I’m not rushing away as I once did as a teen.

4. Coupons

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A girl nearing 30 is definitely going to appreciate a steal of a deal when she can find one! Any woman appreciates a great bargain, but I’ve noticed just how much I appreciate a simple coupon now more than ever! I got one in the mail today for a free product, and you would have thought I would have received $100. Free organic nondairy milk? Yes please!

5. Time to Yourself

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I’ve always been an introvert and enjoyed doing things alone, even though I love other people. My creative spirit seems to hoard all my time it seems, and now, I find that I don’t only enjoy my time to myself, but I crave it for stress relief. Journaling alone in the morning over coffee and sunrise, stretching in the quiet time before bed, or taking a peaceful walk outside in the early afternoon are some of my favorite times of the day to get time to myself. Even a trip alone to the grocery store can be a great way to get some time to yourself! Whatever it is for you, as you near 30, you’ll appreciate the small solitary moments and start to welcome their entrance into your day. Don’t rush them away, but instead embrace them. After all, you’ve got to live with yourself the rest of your life, so start appreciating it now more than ever!

6. Your Talents

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We become more aware that time is ticking away as we near 30, and in the meantime, we realize our talents are begging us to be used. It’s never too late to do something with your dreams and talents, but for gosh sakes, tell your perfectionist 20's self to take a hike and quit waiting already! Life is never the perfect time to do anything, and you’ll start appreciating, and hopefully using, your talents as you get older. Make 30 the year you put those talents to use and make it all come true!

7. Yourself

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Why did it take me so long to start appreciating myself more? I’ve never been perfect and certainly am not now, but as I near 30, I find that I’m embracing myself, flaws and all. Bad hair day? Feeling bloated? Didn’t get everything on my list accomplished? Not married yet? Hey, it’s all good! I’m proud of myself for what I have accomplished: overcoming the death of my father, gaining self- esteem after never having any, overcoming a ten year eating disorder, and surviving a horrible accident. I’m also proud that I’ve finally embraced my dream of writing for the first time in my life and appreciate my odd quirks that others things I’m weird for. Like it or not, you are you, mistakes and all. Start appreciating yourself now more than ever and 30 could possibly the start of the best decade of your life!

Though I joke we are going to skip next December 31st when I turn 30, I’m truly only kidding. In fact, I think I’ll celebrate this year more than I ever have any birthday before because I appreciate so much more about myself, others and life. If you’re nearing 30, what things are you learning to appreciate?

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