Many people say they loved high school or college and would go back to that care free time in an instant given the chance and although my adolescents and young adulthood were cool, there isn't a chance in hell, I'd want to go back. The last 5 years are where it is at for me so far in this life. This weekend, I was reflecting, why I feel that way and what would I tell Addie now about looking forward to her 30's when she is 16! I believe it's a combination of a few things...
1. Foremost, I KNOW much more who I am and who I want to be and I am confident in my choices that I make to get there everyday.
2. My children have added such a needed balance in my life to remind me that the BIG things that stressed me out 5-10 years aren't even on my radar screen now.
3. I try hard to surround myself with genuinely good people that love me and want me to be my best and everyone else that doesn't, I have learned to easily separate them from my everyday life. I really related to Oprah's recommendation, "surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." That was the easiest big change in the last 10 years that made the biggest positive impact on loving where I am now.
4. I like being responsible for myself and not having to answer to anyone for things I want or don't want. That is a big difference to being 16!!!! ;)
5. The relationship with my husband that has continued to grow and develop over the past 7.5 years where I truly for the first time in life have a partner that is there with me in every aspect of life and for me during the bad weeks and the good weeks.I was lucky enough to find this man who works hard with me everyday to continue to seek to understand each other more and more.
Speaking of 7.5 years ago - April of 2003. That is the beginning of this whole new chapter I love in my life. I met Blake when I had just moved back from a 10 month stint working as a computer programmer for Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Arkansas right out of college. My new Lilly partner, Amy Hernandez, had told me to meet up with a fellow overlap partner, Blake, in some random HEB parking lot.
Who knew what scene that parking lot would set in our plot of life. On our way to Tyler this Thanksgiving weekend, we took a detour and found that very parking lot for the first time since laying eyes on each other. Although Bealls had taken over the HEB, we quickly recalled how Blake's dark gray Ford Taurus was parked when I jumped into his car for the very first time!
Who'd of known 7.5 years ago, we would have our own personal photographer traveling with us full-time?!?!
So here's to 31 years old and my mother-in-law, Diane, remembering (when I had even forgotten) how much I LOVE rum cake! I wouldn't change one thing at 31... well except a few of the gray hairs trying to make their rude and early entrance.
The other thing I would love to remember to tell Addie about 31 is how my desires in gifts have SO TOTALLY changed! I am ecstatic about my automatic labeler, couture 36 traveling cupcake holder and first chemical peel! How old does that trio of gifts make me look?!??! But I wanted EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!!