It’s 11pm in New York, Monday February 15th, 2016. In an hour I will turn 30. I’ve just come home from a sensational Japanese dinner at BondST in Soho (trust me and order the tuna tart appetizer). I went with my parents who are visiting from Florida; a vacation from their vacation – I can’t wait to retire.
I’ve been approaching this birthday with trepidation for the past 6 months or so. For some reason, 30 feels like a big deal. In a way it signifies the end of innocent, care free youth. My 20s were a decade of plentiful play, a little studying, that brutal first job learning curve, and trial and error in every aspect of life. 30s seem to signal a time when life becomes more serious: where you might meet the man or woman you’re going to marry, find the career you actually want to be in, and potentially pop out a child or two.
It’s terrifying and exciting at the same time. Especially, I think, when you don’t yet know the career you want to be in, the person you’re going to end up with, or anything else that’s coming your way.
I want my next chapter to be about choice, assertiveness, love and gratitude. About saying the phrases ‘I shouldn’t’ and ‘I can’t’ a lot less. About trusting my instincts, which never lead me astray. About surrounding myself with positive people and energy. About putting in effort with the people I care about, doing everything I can to empower and lift them them up. Having more patience, acting with more kindness and opting for glass half full thinking. It’s also about pausing regularly to appreciate life, health, joy, people and everything in between.
On that note, I’m going to leave you with a list of 30 things that I love, and appreciate:
1. Being with people who really, really know you
2. Sunbeams breaking through the clouds
3. Sinking my chilled body into a hot bath
4. Running for a train or tube and timing it perfectly
5. Looking at the ocean
6. Snuggling under ridiculously soft blankets (the furry velvety kind)
7. Healthy sharing meals of multiple salads, veg, proteins…the works
8. Having time to leisurely browse for the perfect greeting card
9. Cooking for other people (and myself!)
10. Massages; is there anything better?
11. Being the only one in a quiet sauna, naked
13. Knowing that every day you wake up is a fresh chance in life
14. Looking into the eyes of someone you love
15. When a song comes on you’re totally into (right now: Robin Shulz – Sugar!)
16. The invincible endorphin kick-in moment during exercise
17. Getting home to mum’s fully stocked kitchen
18. Hotel robes
19. Laughing with people
20. Playing games (like actual games)
21. Hitting the perfect drunk on a night out: relaxed and happy but still sharp
22. Menu ordering debates with my family
23. Markets: food or other
24. Giving presents
25. The smell of lavender
26. Shabbat dinners
27. Buying a perfect, unexpected outfit you never thought you could pull off
28. Exploring the streets of a new city
29. When strangers surprise you with kindness
30. When you finally make a decision and know in your heart it’s the right one