30 After 30 at 35

I’m trying to make my motto for this hard time Flannery O’Connor’s, as she struggled with lupus:

“I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing.”

So, that being said, I’m trying to look at my thirty-fourth year as a time of growth and blessing, even with the losses it brought. (To see my original list, click here.)

Not a fashion blogger, but: the Rowena Wool Dress from Wool&, belt: vintage; glasses: my unfortunate $10 backup pair

Work on refining my signature style. I used ThredUp during the spring to buy a half dozen cotton, knee-length, washable dresses to get me through the summer, embracing the size I am and not holding off in the hope that I’d be immediately pregnant. (ThredUp sharing code here — $20 for each of us) For my birthday, I’ve ordered a merino wool dress and I’m thinking of trying the 100 Day Challenge.

Learn how to cook at least five cuts of red meat well. We got another 1/8 of a cow, in addition to about 40 pounds of chicken breasts through a farmer friend.

Making an Advent wreath with the help of Baby Yoda

Celebrate one liturgical event a month. I haven’t kept track, but we have done weekly readings of saint biographies and some baked goods to celebrate — and we said a prayer for the dead every time we ate a piece of Halloween candy in November LIKE WEIRDOS. (I loved it.)

Find a church ministry I can be a part of. I led a book club for our parish chapter of Blessed Is She, reading In This House of Brede, The Color of Compromise, and The Awakening of Miss Prim.

Fit in long walks at every opportunity. Hey, thanks, pandemic!!

Discover new shared interests with J. We’ve done a lot of hiking this year, and for awhile we were baking a lot of Great British Baking Show-inspired desserts.

Grow my own herbs each year. Thyme, sage, basil, peppermint and rosemary, but also tomatillos, tomatoes, potatoes and pumpkin this year.

Start treating myself to fresh flowers each week, even if it’s the bargain bouquet. I still am not great about buying them for myself (especially when I’m not in the store), but between nursing along sympathy bouquets through February, my own blooms from March through November, and now birthday arrangements, I’ve done pretty well.

Hey, that mask really brings out the silver in your hair!!

Keep going gray. Me and everybody in 2020, am I right? My sister trimmed my hair in October, but otherwise it’s just been doing its own (aggravating) thing since the day in January I last had a real haircut, when I was pregnant but not sick and starting to get worried.

Try to get back up to the book a week reading average that’s been my adult standard. Voracious reading post-miscarriage, the inability to concentrate on anything for several weeks as the pandemic unspooled, and then back to my weekly average or so.

Make time to write well. So many letters and emails and journal entries this year, even when I was feeling less sure about what I wanted published for all the world — though I did get published in Dappled Things and Pray Tell.

Give myself and the people around me a little more grace. Mixed progress. I’ve definitely been more tense during parts of this year, but I think I’ve done a good job keeping in touch with friends without taking their lack of communication personally. We all have so much to deal with, we get a free pass to be a little erratic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s