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What 36 Looks Like For Me

My brother texted me this morning and asked how I felt. Is thirty-six supposed to feel different? "Have I achieved old lady status?" I taunted back.

At 36, here are some things that are true for me right now.
There's a good chance this will all be different five years from now.

1) I don't feel old. I don't feel young either. My back aches when I get up in the mornings, and some weeks I feel like a new ache or pain has come to haunt me (hello back pain after camping for two nights!).

2) I have good friends that span the years ahead of and behind me. I look to the ones slightly ahead for cues on what is coming, and hopefully I encourage those behind. Really, we are all just cheering each other on... hanging on through the difficult times and celebrating the good.

3) I think the biggest thing that has changed since my 20s (besides becoming a mother) is my need for community. What that looks like continues to surprise me.
At some point I had a preconceived notion that I would find my little tribe where we worshiped, or among the other moms at preschool drop-off, or even with people in my neighborhood. And while I have developed good relationships in all of these places, I really found my people at the YMCA. 
It was not a place that I set out to find friends, but it has been the place where my strongest friendships have formed – sweating together in boot camps, and then sharing our struggles and victories on the playground afterward. Who knew that would be a thing in my life?

4) With each passing year, life continues to simultaneously speed up and slow down. 

5) The hard things have become harder, and the good things have become sweeter. 

6) Some aspects of life I feel like I have figured out, while other aspects I thought I had figured out turned out to be completely wrong, and still other things I find myself completely clueless about. I'll know everything by 40, right? 

7) I still think cooking with olive oil and garlic makes any dish better...

8) and Daniel still jokes that if you like a dish I make, you better savor it because it is unlikely that you will see it on the menu again..

9) Coffee still makes my mornings go round – though instead of needing it to get my brain flowing to crank out work at a desk, it is my kids who know that it takes one cup before I will be functional.

10) In terms of personal goals, I was able to check off "complete a triathlon" from my bucket list before I turned 36, but in reality, I have relaxed on trying to actually complete my whole bucket list agenda.

11) The things that make me happiest continue to be experiences I have outdoors with the people I love the most. The photos in this post are my highlight reel for the past year.

I can't wait to see what the coming year has to offer!


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