The title says it all, my friends. I’ve aptly re-coined Jenna Rink’s catch phrase, “Thirty, Flirty & Thriving,” in 13 Going On 30 with my own uniquely tailored rendition. A lot has taken shape since I’ve posted a blog to rouse deep thoughts and careful considerations - all this to say, the last ten months of my “29” were hard. (Insert blood, sweat & tears here). Fortunately for me, the tale did not end there and life has done a wildly wonderful and much appreciated flip.
Today, I encourage you to join me in this sweet nudge in a new direction. With this refreshing, new take on life, I am hopeful that you too will be gently coaxed to embrace the small “now steps” in our present, all of which build the foundation for our imagined ideal and full-well self in the future.
How do we accept our present situation and self? Especially, if we find that it does not align with our long-term ideal?
How to live life presently: The Small “Now-Steps” of Today
Choose to be and do better for one day. Today. Make the decision to shift from stinkin’ thinkin’ to embrace your present life in ways that, overtime, will build the foundation for your better-best self.
I bet you thought there were going to be 8 more steps. This one is simple, friends. The only requirement is to be action-oriented. We need to rally together, get ourselves out into the world and embrace the day with a double dose of fun and sun.
Would anyone like to join me in downtown Victoria for a mid-day mental health fuel up? I have been absolutely killing it at Zumba this week! Please, join me.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with my earlier reference, I highly recommend you spend a cozy fall evening watching the sappy but well-intended rom-com: 13 Going On 30. Albeit, a bit cheesy, this flick favourably illustrates what we should aim to achieve: a refreshing, youthful and optimistic take on getting older, wising up and living in the challenges of true adulthood.
My Big 3-0 is quickly approaching. Previously, a birth date of dread, I’ve finally surrendered by actively deciding to warmly welcome the dawn of this new age. With you as my witness, I go full in with acceptance and excitement, whereby, I actively grab my “older age” by the collar, look it square in its metaphorical peepers, and boldly proclaim: “Hey 30, you ain’t gonna be half bad. In fact, you never looked so good.” Thirty actually surprised me with its timid reply: “How? I’m old. I’m not as far along as I had hoped to be. I feel like I have a lifetime of failures and what-ifs. Now, when I laugh, I see tiny wrinkles beside my eyes. I am a fearful 30”. To my vulnerable 30-aged self, I responded kindly, “Precisely, 30. With the dawn of your new age, you have wrinkles that come with the journey that brought you this far. Those aren’t regrets but rather stepping stones needed to propel you forward.
Thirty, you are now beginning this new chapter with a sharper and wiser mind, experience and humility – all characteristics that were dependent on your past experiences and hardships to become ‘real-life’ ready”.
This year has been one of the hardest and most defining of my life. It was full of sudden and sad goodbyes and beautiful hellos. The journey the past year has been a time of redefining friendships, community and dreams, and the exciting opening of my private practice. In retrospect, far too many days during 29 were surrendered to a dwindled hope and fear of bad news. Here, I plead. Learn from the error of my ways. I challenge you to embrace your own excitable “thirty” or whatever age and season you find yourself in. Live now by choosing today. Spritz on some sparkle, challenge despair by embracing hope, and do not fear bad news.
Following my stint of stinkin’ thinkin’, I’ve now since chosen excitement as the lens of which to see through to the dawn of my new decade. I will not shrink away from my 30 and have even decided to try it on one month early.
Glorious gumdrops! Thirty has never felt so good.
Embrace the Now. Do not live in what was or in what could be. Find your Flirty Thirty. Your Fun Forty. Your Fantabulous Fifty. Friends, we must remember that even when life is hard we hold the keys to the freedom of choice. We can CHOOSE to live in happy even if our situation presents unhappy.
Today’s question for YOU: What will you choose for your today? Choose it and do not let it choose you.
Tips on How to Choose Today
Embrace Your Health. Quite frankly, I had found myself slacking in this area, succumbing at times to unhealthy junk food. In my new era, I’ve said an eager goodbye to sugary drinks and unhealthy treats. I choose better health. I invite you to embrace this challenge with me. Let’s fuel our body with leafy greens, healthy fats and lean proteins. It is time to trade high caloric lattes for some delicious steamed rice and beans. Let’s toot our way into better health.
Find Your Feel Good Friends. Some of you might already be there. If so, hold tight to your inner-circle friends. Embrace these positive friendships with love and kindness as these friends will hold us accountable for our stinkin’ thinkin’. For those of you who are not quite there, join me in an effort to develop your own bestie crew. Is it time to recalibrate? What do you love to do? How do you want to spend your time? What kind of people are you drawn to? Once identified, go there. Let’s find our true-blue friends.
Embrace community. Do you value sports? Join a team. Do you want to make a difference in your community? Get out there and see what others are doing to make a difference. Is this a season of healthy dating? It may be worthwhile to frequent local shops and cafes. Take a quick gander to see if any other lovely singles might also be ready to meet over a steaming cup of joe.
Replace Your Stinkin’ Thinkin’. Glee is free, friends. Too often we unknowingly buy into the lie that we cannot control our own thoughts. The truth is we hold the power to choose what we think about. Are you feeling low about life? Stop. Choose to feel high about life. While at first it might be hard to believe that the grass is not greener on the other side, I firmly proclaim the truth: grass is greenest where you water it. Water your “now” thoughts with hope, positivity, and jolly good cheer.
Friends, I excitedly welcome you to join me in the budding of my new age. I am beyond thrilled to be back in full force as director of a growing team of wonderful mental health counsellors at The Budding Elm: Counselling & Consultation Services, a place that welcomes visitors, old and new to Rise Up. Take Courage. And Do It. Here at The Budding Elm, we truly envision lives where mental health can be redirected, strengthened and purposed.
If you’re in the neighbourhood, we would love it if you would stop by. Our address is #205-2187 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, BC.
So happy to be back.
Happy Fall, my friends.
Katie is a Victoria-based clinical director, therapist and mental health blogger who loves to challenge the many matters of the mind. From identifying what is the true definition of joy, to attempts at silencing the negative impact of harmful negative health, she will attempt to tackle everyday life hiccups and lessons along the way. When Katie is not working alongside clients (which is her heart) at The Budding Elm: Counselling & Consultation Services she’s off gallivanting in youthful adventure, trying to find the pieces of life that build hopeful expectancy. Hear more of her shenanigans, and delve into her many attempts at sorting through life on any social media platform, forever @buddingelmsite