Lessons from My 30s

I learned not to expect anything from anyone – not even my amazing friends – but to give. People have their own burdens. I am grateful that anyone should stop to think of me in some way. Wish I had known earlier not to impose standards in my relationships, to free people in their weakness, free God to grow them.

It was the decade I fell in love twice. With the man I agreed to marry and the baby boy I found myself cradling. I realize my guys have been my 30s. With an I.V. needling sustenance into my broken body on my 30th birthday, I had yet to imagine I would meet my husband the following year – on the dance floor. While some of the most excruciating trials darken this period of my history, these 10 years have been my best. That I should be given a companion to come alongside, hold me up and provide for me, depend on me in the mundane. That I should experience the ineffable wonder of growing a person and bringing forth that life from my own body. My hands, given to help fashion a mind and soul, feed and grow health in the person God had knit in my womb.

It was the decade I lost myself. When I plunged headlong into motherhood, Diana disappeared and in her stead emerged a little guy’s personal Hometown Buffet. Everything-From-Scratch MOM. Homeschooler. Walking Unmade Bed, way too tired to care about looking presentable.

P1030732Better late than never: on the threshold of the next decade, I began to recover that self. I hadn’t realized how I’d let myself go until I lopped off the hair that was brushing my low back last fall. I—felt—human. Eating right did not exempt me from looking okay. A photo of me and Holistic Husband when it was just the two of us presents a woman accessorized and made up. Make-up? I’d forgotten I not only once wore it, but sold it. Sigh. Last month I parted with the clothes I’d worn over 12 years. Closet’s bare! Thank God for Winter Clearance. With the help of earrings and a top that doesn’t hang on me just because it was a freebie from a friend, I now pass for a female. I blow the dust off the gifts that shape me, so I can serve God the way I was meant to.

With the intent studies in health and natural living, I came to understand how to eat the way my body needs to. Sixteen years in the formal education system impart absolutely no working knowledge of two of the weightiest matters in life: how to eat and how to manage money. I can see why Israel’s desert wanderings lasted 40 years. Some lessons take that long. I’ve learned the kind of care my body needs, and how relationships and my response to life affect me.

I’ve developed a compassion entirely alien to my nature and temperament. It’s hard to go through near-death training and come out with no empathy for those who suffer. One step forward for every 2 or 3 in reverse has made it one dogged climb against a steady rain of impossible setbacks.. I can’t figure the math on how I’ve ended up on higher ground, except for the grace of God and the stints of running He’s blessed. I have plumbed unchartered dimensions of heartache and blackness, laid bare the nemesis fear, coming to see just how deeply it runs beneath my upsets.

It was the decade I should have known better and paid heavily for some stupid decisions. But there is no stumbling block that cannot transform into a stepping stone.

189 thoughts on “Lessons from My 30s

  1. This is beautiful! I’m sitting at the dr office waiting with my girl reding this and I want to say that I too was what I refer to as invisible for 14 years! I discovered it when someone asked me my favorite color and I didn’t know! I could tell you everyone else’s favorite but mine didn’t matter! Becoming visible again was painful and amazing! I love what you have shared here! It resonates on so many levels! Blessings to you sweet friend! This is so beautiful!

  2. How lovely of you to expose the raw moments of your past Diana. Nothing is ever wasted, we live and learn and from circumstances we grow. We all tend to look back and say hindsight is always 20/20 but it is from our younger experience as you well know, that shape us into who we grow up to be. 🙂

  3. My thirties were spent in the same manner. Three kids and sixteen years later, I’m finding myself again; “just hitting my stride,” I told someone half my age last week. I wouldn’t trade this age to be twenty. I love this age and look forward to the next forty years.

    • That’s awesome, Diane. I love your joyful, confident anticipation of what’s ahead and the peace with where you are. You invested precious much in those three lives. It’s all good.


    • *Wry grin* Seems we resonate with each another. This is a difficult anniversary wknd (not talking wedding) for me, too. Sigh. Just put that foot in front of the other. Last I checked, you hadn’t been too active on the blog. Prolly were busy trying to arrange those blocks into a walkable path. Glad you’re back, P.

  4. “It was the decade I should have known better. Paid heavily for some stupid decisions. But there is no stumbling block that cannot transform into a stepping stone.”

    I like the hope that oozes through your words. Inspiring. Thank you for reawakening hope.

  5. Great post …

    I am also on my 30´s and would say that ,so far, it is a best decade than my 20´s …

    Best wishes and happy weekend ahead, Aquileana 😛

  6. Diana, this is really, really powerful. You make me remember some of what I used to feel. (I am 61 now, so it was a long time ago, but you really expressed some major feelings.) great post! 😍

  7. Stunningly rendered to the page, but I’ve come to expect no less from the ‘Mighty D.’. You have the ability to share and say more in a single phrase than many do in an entire chapter!

    wonderful, girl, wonderful!


    • You can’t know how much the feedback means to me.

      “have the ability to share and say more in a single phrase than many do in an entire chapter!”

      I’m all about saying more with less, as I ask of my guest writers. And this is largely in view of your precious time. Thanks so much, K’lee.

      • You got it, Diana. Your support and kindness means a lot to me as well. You’ve taught me more than I can say or repay!

        …thankful that I stumbled across the Holistic Wayfarer on my way through this desert we call Life… and WordPress (when we forget! hehe)


  8. Thank you Diana for liking my post “Because I CAN,” and I am glad you could look back to your 30’s with joy and gratitude. I can assure you each decade gets better and Better!

  9. D, I always find a hidden gem when I visit your blog!! This is so beautiful and I think many women can relate to. The most powerful takeaway for me… “there is no stumbling block that cannot transform into a stepping stone” Love this! ~S

  10. You write beautifully. Your words allow the reader to feel your emotions as if they were their own. The challenges we experience in life help us achieve new levels of growth and development. I wish for you a less volatile path. Remain healthy and happy along the way.

  11. There’s something about turning 40, isn’t there. I turned 40 the month before the towers fell, and just as my boys were hitting that scary transition to teenager. They were 12 and 13. Like you, I’d spent the last 13 years being the mommy. 2001 reminded me that there is an outside world, and I’m part of it. Now my fifties have brought more changes, empty nest, blogging and loving it, etc. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Wow. What a waker-upper, those Towers falling. I can only imagine how bumpy that (long) period was, esp as your kids *boyz!* stumbled through those teens!! So glad you sound happy. Thanks for the follow. Welcome!


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