My Life at 30 + Two Months (and two days)

Photo on 11-7-14 at 9.03 AMI’ve been thirty for two months and two days. As you can tell this post is a couple days late. The funny thing is that on 11/5, I was struggling for something to write, and didn’t even remember to post until 10:52pm. I could have written this post then, but alas: I forgot. Regardless, here I am now, and I’m ready to share about my life at 30.

The weather is officially getting colder, and if you know me well enough, you know that this always freaks me out a bit. I want to love the fall. In some ways, I think it is a beautiful season. I just can’t fully get on board when I know what follows fall…winter. Maybe this a New England thing. or maybe it’s just a Mrs. O thing. Either way, I’m bracing for the winter. Did I mention that it snowed this past Sunday? It covered the grass, which was enough to make me feel insane.

Besides my fear of the upcoming cold, I’m feeling confident and happy still two months into this thirty thing. As it’s November, the O family is upping out gratitude levels. We have a special gratitude list for each of us on our apartment door. I put it here so that we each remember to complete it, and also so that those who visit us know what we are grateful for. I try regularly share my gratitude for life, but I use the month of November to increase my level of sharing all I’m thankful for.

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I’ve noticed that I’m wearing blue in each of these three posts so far.

In the second month of my thirtieth year, I’ve fell in love with podcasts. It all started when I began listening to audio books during my commute. The problem with audiobooks is that they finish so quickly, and I need more! The more audiobooks you purchase, the more money that comes out of your bank account. So I tiptoed into podcasts. I don’t know why, but I had previously convinced myself that I didn’t like podcasts. Maybe I had listened to a few crappy ones in the past, but because I didn’t want to keep paying for audiobooks, I decided to give podcasts another go. After getting some great recommendations from friends, I’m hooked. It’s not simply that I enjoy podcasts. It’s that I’m addicted to podcasts. I listen during my commute. I listen in my headphones at work. I also listen at home. It is so awesome. Podcasts have been my jam this past month, and I’m so happy about that.

It’s been great to see my friends so happy this past month. One of my bridesmaids and my two maids-of-honor are pregnant. I’ve been fortunate to spend time with two of those three this past month, and it has been wonderful. We even celebrated with the baby shower for one this month. It is so wonderful. Seeing your friends happy and healthy has to be one of the best feelings ever. If the thirties revolves around witnessing the greatness in life, then count me in.

Work is going well. I’ve been working at home a lot lately, and I love it so much. I’ve always been really apprehensive that if I worked remotely, I wouldn’t get anything done. That is so very far from the truth. I’m super productive at home. I even write while walking on the treadmill. I’m not sure if you understand that sentiment. I walk on the treadmill. While walking, I’m working. So I get physical exercise while working. This is beautiful. I am so very grateful that I work in a company that allows me to work from home. It’s technically a temporary situation, as we do have an awesome, incredible office to work in. So I’m trying to enjoy the opportunity while it’s available.

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I’ve made a big life decision in this past month. It’s simple: I am a curious creative. This is my big life statement. I want this to define me. If I died next month, I’d want people to view me as a curious creative human. It encapsulates so very much. I’m a curious creative wife. I ask lots of questions about my relationship, and I create things to honor my relationship. Mr. O and I write in our shared journal every day (with one sentence or a few words answers). We take a picture every month on the 14th (ever since we were married on June 14th), and I journal about what happened on that day. Mr. O and I talked about this a bunch this week. I do it because I love documenting our life. He asked me if it was because I’m fearful of future alzheimer’s. My answer was no, but in some ways, I create so that our entire family can remember. I cherish the mundane. It’s these little moments we will long for later in life.

The same goes for parenting. I am a curious creative mother. I worry about Wolverine, and like all parents, vacillate between thinking I’m doing a perfect job and a horrific job parenting. I just want to give him an awesome life. I want to do all that I can do to make sure he has every opportunity in life, and that he is a well-rounded individual. I believe in reading and experiments, and we do that often in my household. Wolverine isn’t a super “I-love-arts-and-crafts type” of child, but he loves experiments, and honoring that makes me a curious and creative bonus mom.

I’m also a curious creative friend and family member. I put a lot of effort into personalized gifts. I’m inquisitive in conversations. If you’ve read any of my creative writing/publishing bios, you may have noticed that my first sentence starts off by saying, “Erin Ollila is an emotional archeologist…” Funny side story, someone once asked me if I was a professional archeologist who was an emotional human. Not quite what I was going for.

I’ve decided that for the rest of my life, wherever my career takes me, I want to be creative, and I want to embrace my curiosity in life. I’m not sure of anything else beyond that at this point. I’m so lucky to work in a creative profession at this point of my career. It meets my professional goals while stimulating my brain as well.

I made the decision in my late twenties that I was finally comfortable in my own shoes. My entire life, no matter how great things were or how “put-together” I felt, I wasn’t quite comfortable with myself. I was either suffering from low self-esteem or rode a roller coaster of emotions, but I finally felt content, comfortable, and at ease with myself in my late twenties. Maybe that is why I felt so relaxed about turning 30. I feel good being myself. Now, I think things are just becoming more evident. I’m loving learning about myself, and I can’t wait to see where life takes me.

My Life at 30 + 1 Month

Erin OllilaI’ve officially been 30-years-old for one full month now.

September was a wonderful month. Life is less about getting ready for back-to-school time, and has now settled into a nice comfortable routine. Wolverine has adjusted real well to his new school. He even got an award for the month of September – the Best Foot Forward award. We are super proud of him, but in all honesty, I’m proud of him all the time.

Speaking of Wolverine and awards, he won a baseball award at the baseball banquet as well. He was chosen as the MVP of his minor league team this past year. Because his coach didn’t make it to the banquet, the league president spoke a little on why he thinks Wolverine deserves the award and recognition. It was such a nice impromptu speech, and he spoke so highly about Wolverine, calling him a “golden glove” and then another coach called him “the future of the park.” How incredible is that to hear?  Like I said before, I’m proud of him all of the time, but it is so wonderful to hear other people talk so highly of your child.

So yeah, basically, I’m very proud of Wolverine, and still – of course – so grateful that he is in my life.

I’m still so happy to be a wife. Marriage suits me well. There isn’t a day that goes by, even the days when Mr. O drives me crazy, that I’m not beyond grateful to be married to that man. He is so great in so many ways. His birthday was last month as well, and Wolverine and I tried to spoil him for his birthday weekend. I’d say we succeeded.

Now that I’ve mentioned the obvious, I wonder how to sum up the first full month of being 30. Normal and full of change at the same time. Normal in that this past month was quite routine: work, school, home stuff, fall ball, and dates with my husband. It was also full of change: working from home a couple of days a week (awesome), changing bank accounts, the fall weather finally settling in. I guess I could say things feel different in some moments, but overall, everything is the same in a very nice, calm way.

Yesterday  I organized my closets and drawers, throwing some items away and donating others. It is so wild to see how much you accumulate over time that you never use or wear. My goal for the month is to continue cleaning, organizing, tossing, donating, and being mindful about what I own. One example – I turned all of the hangers backward in my closet. My goal a month or so ago was to wear more of the clothing I own, but honestly, I wasn’t doing good keeping that in mind when I got dressed in the morning. Usually I’m rushed when I’m changing and I grab the first item of clothing I see. By turning my hangers backwards, I’ll be able to see what clothes have gone unworn, because after I’ve worn and washed something, if I decide to keep the item, it gets hung back up in the closet normally. If at the end of the year, there are still backward hangers, I’m going to donate the unworn clothing, unless it is something that I do in fact need and will wear, but not something I wear regularly, like a blazer. If I need to get dressed up for work, I’ll wear one, but I can’t imagine I do more than a few times a year. Heck, maybe I should wear a blazer more often!

I have a lot to organize in our storage. We were so fortunate to receive so many wonderful gifts at our wedding shower, and I have so much from my old apartment just stuck upstairs. It desperately needs to be organized.

The first month in my thirties was wonderful. I’m looking forward to the continued organization month two brings. I hope October is full of treats for my little family.