Saturday, July 28, 2018

My 28th Year: A Birthday Reflection

I always felt like 28 was so old. But now that I'm leaving it behind for 29 (just one tick mark short of the big 3-0), I'm feeling like it's not old at all. Sure, I feel kinda ancient when I see that the people I once knew as "kids" are now in college, married, or having their own babies. But honestly, I don't feel that much different than I did at 23, 25, or 27. Heck, I'm still waiting to become an adult... but I assume that I am since I'm married, have a kid, and am starting my 8th year of teaching (how!?). When I look back on 28, I'll won't remember my first chiropractor visit, the insane amount of ice cream I consumed, or how disastrous my postpartum hair was. I'll remember all that I learned, the moments I loved, and the feeling that the best is truly yet to come.

28, you taught me wisdom and the importance of self-care, especially when raising a little one. You taught me to dream big, trust the Lord, and follow Him with reckless abandon- even when you have no idea how things will turn out. You taught me to choose hope and grace over fear and judgment. And you taught me to stop holding so tightly to the ways of this world, things we can't change or stop, focusing instead on what has true, eternal purpose and meaning. You taught me again and again that the plans I think I have for myself pale in comparison to the blessings that the Lord has in store- and oh, dear friends, I can't wait to catch you up soon on all He's been doing!! 

 As 28 year old Kelsie, I set big goals and I stuck to them. I trained for and ran four half marathons, setting new personal records with each of them. I rediscovered my competitive self, made new running buddies, and logged hours and hours, miles and miles of reflective time on streets, sidewalks, and trails. I survived my first year as a working mom, and gained tremendous respect and a new level of understanding for all the mamas out there who have been killing it for years. I made it through the days I thought I couldn't with the help of the Lord, caring co-workers, my sweet hubby, and some fabulous iced coffee.

I learned how to leave work at work for a change, and realized just how terrible my pre-baby work/life balance was. I watched my baby boy grow up way too quickly before my very eyes, thanking God each day for the sweet gift of him and his little stinker smile. I was reminded that I'm constantly learning how to manage relationships better, and to not take things too personally- to always assume the best in the intentions of others. I committed to and attended a Bible Study for ME for a change, and it was so life-giving. I realized it's okay to make changes in life, and that it doesn't mean I'm a failure. I grew deep friendships with some fabulous women who are "bonus moms" to E, who are there for me always, and who make life so darn fun (and full of laughter). I learned to listen more and talk less, to reflect before reacting. I was reminded that I don't have it all fully figured out, and I never will. 

And so, as I set off to my 29th year, I realize that life is pretty sweet right now. My parents are healthy and are the very best grandparents you could ask for. I have a fantastic hunk of a husband who loves me well despite my lonnnng list of flaws and selfish moments. I have the happiest little boy you've ever met, who brings me more joy than I knew I could feel. This year we have traveled and made beautiful memories that I will cherish forever. Thank you, my sweet friends and family, for loving me and shaping me into a better person this year. I've still got a long ways to go, but I'm so thankful that you're in in for the long haul. Let's do this, 29! 



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