Getting it Together: One Week Till Thirty

A week from today is my 30th birthday. WOW, that happened fast!


My 21st birthday, with my cube all decorated by my coworkers at my college summer internship. That was a LONG time ago, but it doesn’t seem so far back…gg time has flown!

About a month ago, I was really excited about my 30th birthday. I felt like I was incredibly on top of everything and that I was right where I should be for 30. I have a job I love, the beautiful house of my dreams, a boyfriend I’m crazy in love with, and a group of friends who are the best. I’ve been making a lot of progress toward making every day my perfect day, and I’ve been really happy with the results. Life is just great!

But in the last few weeks, things have kind of fallen apart. Not irreparably so, but I have just been so damn busy that I feel like I’m falling behind on everything. All this culminated in a major meltdown on Monday night at 2am, set off by some family drama, and as a result, I only got one hour of sleep that night. Not exactly the way to get me back to performing at my best!

Things have fortunately been on the upswing since then, but I still feel like I am kind of buried beneath a ton of responsibilities I’ve been neglecting. It’s not exactly the relaxed, perfect place where I thought I’d be going into my 30th year! And I’m a little disappointed in myself that I won’t have things as together as I’d like by next Friday.

That said, I’ve never been someone who’s gone too crazy for birthdays. While most of my friends have organized a big trip to the Caribbean or Mexico, or rented a hall and thrown a crazy wedding-style reception, I’m looking forward to celebrating 30 years in a much more low-key way: with a bunch of my Colorado friends doing a simple brewery tour around Denver. It’s going to be super fun, and I can’t wait!

Adam and Laura Toasting Beers

In particular, Adam has been doing a whole bunch of super-secret surprise planning along with my friends… I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve!

So it seems to me that if I’m taking the low-key approach to the celebration, I really should be taking a low-key approach to the pressure I’m putting on myself to have all my obligations taken care of and things neatly wrapped up with a bow before my birthday, right? I’m taking baby steps to get things slightly back on track. It’s not all going to be stress-free by my birthday, but I think I can at least make enough progress to be able to relax and enjoy myself rather than worry about all the other things I could/should be doing.

Today and yesterday were company holidays for me, so I’m taking advantage of the days off to work on sorting out my very full work email inbox. It’s also been a great chance for me to make some headway on a really interesting report I’m writing on Colorado’s workforce of the future. Without meetings and fire drills, I can make a lot of progress!

On a personal front, I’m trying today to get my personal email down to Inbox 100. It’s a far cry from Inbox Zero, but it’s a start. I get incredibly anxious when my email inbox is overflowing, so I’m looking forward to getting it down to a manageable level – having it tamed will really prevent me from feeling overwhelmed. Once I get to 100, I’m going to then try to tackle another 20 emails per day (plus any new ones that come in) – which will get me to Inbox Zero by Wednesday and leaves me lots of room for error. Since my “work day” is just about over today and I’m only at Inbox 110, I think I may just need that margin!

Finally, I want to start getting serious this week about cleaning up my house. The construction on my basement is almost done (hoping by Thursday), and I really want to be able to enjoy the space on Friday night when I have a few friends over for dinner. There are a lot of little things around the house that I keep putting off (e.g., hanging up pictures) but that actually don’t take all that much time – so now it’s time for me to get going on GSD.

Of course, after my birthday, I want to start making sure I don’t get this swamped again – and that I’m making time for keeping up with email, house, friends, and life on a regular basis. But for now, I’m feeling a little better just knowing I’ll have things mildly under control to kick off my next decade!


  1. They say that 30 is the new 20. It’s actually better. You’re still young, but you’ve already established your career and you know where you’re going. At 30, you’ve got the best of both worlds.
    David recently posted…Race Report: 2015 Cook Park MarathonMy Profile

    • David is right on about the beautiful paradox of being 30.
      30 is:
      -being young but being older
      -being knowledgeable, but not knowing anything
      -able and willing to work hard for success, but acknowledging that working hard doesn’t define success
      -figuring out the need to relax, but never being completely relaxed

      In short, turning 30, or the 30s, is *almost* permanently living in that endorphin zone, that runner’s high. It is like that perfect race that we spent 16 weeks building up – and everything climaxing together. But it is not just a climax, it is also knowing that the solid foundation has been laid so that each passing year, for a lifetime, will only bring more joy.

      I have found that living in the paradoxes of life is ultimate barometer of my happiness and satisfaction. It is when I know I am doing *the right thing*.


    • I completely agree with you about 30 meaning I have a solid foundation – I definitely feel so much more settled than in years past! (Thanks, 2014.) I am more annoyed at the micro-tasks that I’ve gotten behind on in the last few weeks rather than the macro picture… so that isn’t a terrible thing at all.

    • Exactly!

  2. First of all Happy Birthday! Second no one ever has it together. It only gets more crazy the older you get and you just have to learn to roll with the punches. i get your frustration though. I think we’re a lot alike in this way and expect to always be on top of everything. That’s our consultant heads. The truth is life just isn’t that way. Just do the best you can everyday and enjoy the day. That’s all that matters. PS how’s your foot? My doctor believes I have a 3rd stress fracture starting in my good foot. Going for an MRI and getting a bone stimulator.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Red White & Blue Chickpea MuffinsMy Profile

    • My foot is a LOT better, although still hurts randomly sometimes. I did a run this weekend (in Arizona) with no bad consequences though! I hope your MRI turns out well… can’t believe it’s in your good foot :(

  3. The good news is, you’re so busy because your life is so full on all fronts. That’s a blessing!
    I have a lot of years on you. For me, in my teens and early twenties I couldn’t wait to be older and have everything figured out. The joke was on me, though, because Megan is right. It only gets crazier. Just know that it’s like that for anyone who is firing on all cylinders. Even the people who you think have it all together really don’t. Ease up on yourself,
    take a deep breath, and enjoy your birthday!

    • So true on life being full, Elaine! That makes me feel better to hear that everyone feels the same way sometimes :)

  4. Shelley says:

    I dreaded turning 30 I was no where near where I “thought” I should be by then and felt like a failure. But in the last two years I have made big progress and realized its not about the number. I am making a huge job change in a couple weeks and while its stressful I know the new job is much less stress in general and should make me a happier more carefree easy going person. Happy Early Birthday and hope your week leading up to the big day is great! Can’t wait to see what your friends and Adam have planned for you.

    • Congrats on the job change, Shelley! I am REALLY happy with my job right now, but am also at the point in my career where I’m supposed to hyper-specialize in just one thing… and I’m not ready to do that yet. Have lots of things to think about on that front!

  5. Every now and then, I have a massive panic moment/breakdown when I think that I’m totally behind on life, especially now that I’m in my 30’s. My best friends are all married, one just had a baby, one just finished her PhD, a couple of them own houses – and I don’t have any of that. But like you said when you opened this post, you really do have a lot going for you. Sometimes we get caught up in the details of what we don’t have and forget what others may see in us – a successful career, a solid relationship, a life filled with fun things that others would love to have in their lives. It’s totally okay not to have everything together at 30 because I don’t think anyone ever has it fully together – it might just look like it from the outside.

    And as a side note, doing some blog stalking recently has made me notice how good your skin is. (Is that creepy? Not sure. Anyway.) Do you have any secrets? Really good genes? This 31 year old with skin that has taken a wrong turn would like to know. :)

    • Thanks, Susan! I feel like I have it together at a macro level, but lately I have just been SO overwhelmed. I need to get better about saying no to things!

      Unfortunately for the “tip” side of things, I don’t really do much for my skin – though I’ve never had it complimented before, so thank you! I use coconut oil as makeup remover, and that also works as an overnight moisturizer. I usually don’t WASH wash it too frequently – about once a week I’ll use a light exfoliating scrub in the shower. And then I put on moisturizer with SPF every day – sometimes Neutrogena Daily Defense, sometimes Olay Complete, and sometimes Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream, just depending what I happened to buy that month. If it’s one of the first two, I also use Skin79 BB cream over top of the moisturizer; if it’s the Garnier, I just spot-apply that to hide redness/etc. Does that help at all??

  6. Can I say I love how your birthday came together? I have to admit / pat myself on the back that it was nearly a perfect day in almost every sense. There were a few bumps towards the end, but SOOO much fun before that. SO SO much fun. :) Loved sharing it with you!
    Boring Adam recently posted…Briefly Boring: Scars and BeerMy Profile

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