Entering a New Decade, and Ten More Things I’ve Learned
Today’s my birthday, and it’s a very significant birthday indeed! Multiply the candles on the cake times ten, and that’s the decade I’m entering. I know, I can’t believe it either!
I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I wrote a light-hearted little post about Sixty Things I’ve Learned in Sixty Years! But time keeps marching on doesn’t it, and today I’m having another milestone birthday. So far it’s really been pretty great because my 39 nieces and nephews and 75+ great nieces and nephews have been sending me birthday cards for days, with lots of sweet messages that have really touched my heart. And today I’m going out for a very carb-indulgent birthday lunch with all my siblings who live close enough to come to Salt Lake. And for sure having amazing parents who created a wonderful family is one of the things I’ve always been grateful for during the entire 70 years I’ve been alive.
However, it did take some processing time for me to get used to the idea of announcing to the internet that I’m turning 70! How did that possibly happen? But as any older person can confirm, celebrating your age is really the only alternative that makes sense, no matter how old or young you are.
And the one thing many people seem to be asking me when they find out I’m going to be 70 is, “Are you going to stop blogging?” The answer to that is an emphatic NO, although I can’t promise I won’t slow down a bit and take more time to travel and enjoy life. But when I think about not working on Kalyn’s Kitchen I honestly wonder what I’d do all day if I didn’t have this blog. And hopefully the constant changes in blogging are keeping me mentally younger, even if they annoy me and I’m not quite keeping up with them all!
And even though I’m now undeniably in my senior citizen years I’m not going to stop watching my carbs, exercising with my trainers, and speaking my mind either! I hope I’m at least somewhat of an example to younger women that you can take care of yourself and still be active and involved no matter how old you are. I’ve been continuing to learn life lessons over the last ten years since I wrote that first list, so as the milestone birthday was approaching, I’ve been making a mental list of Ten More Things I’ve Learned. Hope you enjoy reading it!
- Don’t be too quick to decide what you want, because when you’re young you have absolutely no idea how your life will turn out! I say that with total and complete gratitude in my heart for some of the things the last ten years have brought me, things I could have never imagined when I was younger.
- It’s never too late to realize and admit you made a mistake! I’ve made (and admitted to) plenty of mistakes in my personal life. But after spending more than a year dealing with the editing and updating involved in switching Kalyn’s Kitchen to WordPress, I’m definitely admitting I should have made that change about 10 years earlier! But I’m happy to have done it now, even if the editing of older posts is still going to be happening for quite a few more months.
- One of the most crucial parts of good self care is learning to set limits on what you can do! I’ve gone through some mental wrangling the last few years as younger and more tech-savvy bloggers have passed me up in blog features and social media participation. And a few years ago I decided to be okay with just doing it my way. There are some things I’ll never add to my blog or do on social media, and that’s fine. And there are some features I’d like to add to this blog eventually but can’t do until I’m through editing the WordPress changes I talked about above. (And that includes calculating nutritional information for the more than 2,000 recipes that are on this blog. I know people want it, but I just can’t do it right now!)
- For almost all the little decisions you could stress over every day, however you do it is probably fine! For me this lesson is related to setting limits on what I try to do, but also about realizing that so many of the little choices I worried about when I was younger didn’t really matter at all. And these days I’m trying to be more relaxed about the details (something that isn’t easy for a controlling personality type like mine.)
- The older you get, the more fun and important it is to spend time with young kids. Kids see the world in a pure and simple way that’s easy to forget when you’re older and possibly a bit jaded about some things (like maybe politics, you think?) I feel lucky to have spent 30 years working with kids, and now that I’m not doing that any more I’m grateful to my nieces and nephews and younger friends who let me spend time with their kids so I can enjoy the young energy that kids bring.
- If you want to stay healthy and relatively thin as you age, exercise is definitely as important as eating well. I’m a carb-conscious recipe blogger and not an exercise blogger, and that will never change! But a few years ago I started working out several times a week with a personal trainer, and it’s been positively life-changing. I love that my trainers help me keep all my muscles equally strong and working together (in a way I never managed to achieve when I worked out on my own.) But any kind of exercise is always better than no exercise at all!
- Nothing is more satisfying than spending time with like-minded friends! And I would add to that and say that people who aren’t compatible with your values or way of seeing the world will never be worth spending much time with. I feel so lucky to have great like-minded friends to hang out with, both on the web and in real life.
- The older you get, the less it matters what you look like. I know there are hundreds of older women in public life who wouldn’t agree with this statement. But for me, there was a time during the aging process when I realized, “This is as good as I’m ever going to look.” And thankfully that felt okay. And to all the young women worrying about their looks, let me just say I wish I could get back some of the time I wasted in my younger days worrying about how I looked!
- No matter what age you are, following your inner voice is the only way to be comfortable with yourself. This was something that got reinforced for me after I started blogging, and making early decisions about things I wouldn’t want to do for the blog has saved me a lot of mental aggravation through the years.
- Not everything about getting older is enjoyable, but it beats the heck out of the alternative! This was actually #27 on my list of Sixty Things I’ve Learned in Sixty Years, but it’s well worth repeating. And I’m grateful and feel lucky to be enjoying my later years so much.
And if you’ve read my list clear to the end, thanks for making it all the way through this post that doesn’t even have a recipe! I’m grateful to everyone who visits here and I appreciate all the good thoughts readers send my way on a regular basis. And here’s looking forward to many, many more years of cooking, recipes, and healthy food coming up!