project 30 – Amber

5 Mar

I have never actually met Amber but I swear I feel like we’ve been friends for years. The blog world can be funny that way! She writes a fabulous blog, The Usual Bliss, and we’ve become “friends” over the last year- reading and commenting on each others blogs. When writing a list of woman to interview for Project 30, Amber immediately came to mind. She’s such an honest, joyful and smart soul. Enjoy!

sweet amberAmber, 38

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Slow down. Say yes often. Start a workout habit. Trust your gut. There’s no rush. Find balance. Invest time in bettering yourself. Your mother is usually right. Send your Grandmother more pictures. And it’s true what they say about boys who love their mothers.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

College- I wish I would have understood my true passions earlier so I could learn about what interests me. Also, money management. That pocketful of tips from working a double shift rarely landed in the bank.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

Boys who didn’t deserve the amount of attention I gave them.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I have awesome memories about that period in my life. The first time I went to a bar with my folks to hear live music. Realizing the power a woman actually has in the world. Dancing on a table at my graduation party with my Dad. My best friend’s wedding. So much fun that comes with those first few years of independence- your own timeline, choices, friends, road trips. There’s a sense of being invincible in your 20s that fades as you grow older (and wiser). It’s hard to pick just one memory. I think the best thing I did in my 20s was live alone for awhile. Everyone should do it at some point in their lives- I learned so much about who I am. Those years in my little dwellings that reflected nothing but ME are some of my very favorite times in life.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

By 30, I’d absolutely be married with a couple of kids running around. I’d be a teacher or a writer. I had fallen in love with Durango by then but always envisioned living near the ocean.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

I was married to my first husband, slowly renovating a fixer-upper in Salt Lake City with a German Shepherd and an awesome group of friends. I was working my way up the corporate ladder in Marketing and deciding it was time to start a family. I was naively happy and optimistic but not caring properly for my own well-being.

Where you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

Truth? I still sometimes worry that life hasn’t shaken out the way I thought it was going to. But there were days when I tortured myself trying to pinpoint the moment when I made that wrong turn that led me away from what I envisioned for myself. Now I know that those “wrong turns” are vital to the path my life has taken. It might not be what I imagined, but it’s better.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

A sense of self. Women in their 30s know who they are more than they in their 20s. They’ve learned to value and respect themselves more, and have a clearer vision of what they want in life and are better able to figure out how to get it.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

It’s not a distant horizon at this point! My life now is so very different than it was at 30. I hope the ups and downs continue the way they have, because I’m stronger for it and life is sweeter and more appreciated. I want the same basic things I did at 20: a loving partner, a solid, welcoming home, quality time with my family and friends, and rug-rats. It’s SO time for rug-rats.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

I have a few favorite sayings that reflect my feeling that regardless of circumstance, happiness is a choice. Perspective and attitude make all the difference.

Wag more- bark less.

“Life is like a mirror. Smile at it, and it smiles back at you.” Peace Pilgrim

“Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.” William James

 “If you want to be happy, BE.” Leo Tolstoy


20 Responses to “project 30 – Amber”

  1. barbarapotter March 5, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    I will check out her blog. Sweet.

  2. the usual bliss March 5, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    I loved being a part of this project! Thanks for including me! 🙂

  3. mylifeisthebestlife March 5, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    I love all of those quotes. Love them. And Amber is what I would imagine perfection would look like.

  4. mary beth March 5, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    love this! just started reading her lovely blog. 😉

  5. Kate March 5, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    As a twentysomething, I loved reading this. Amber has a way of breaking down the wisest advice into manageable pieces. I love reading her blog and I’m happy to have been introduced to yours! xo

    • katemcclafferty March 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      Kate, isn’t Amber the best?! I’m so happy that you introduced to my blog as well! I hope you’ll stick around! xo

  6. Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom March 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    I love reading Amber’s blog, she’s the one that inspired me to make my own bucket list and to try and look for the bliss in everyday things.

  7. Hattie Wilcox March 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Have you heard the saying that a woman is most beautiful at 35? It’s very often true. For some, it’s 40. 30-somethings have so much to look forward to!

  8. Sarah March 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    As a late 20 something who in the last few weeks has been in a spiral of emotions about how my life ‘lacks’ all the things I thought i would have sorted by now… I needed this today.. thanks to you… and thanks to amber..

    • katemcclafferty March 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      Sarah, I am so happy you enjoyed the post. Don’t feel like you need to have it all sorted out! Enjoy the ride

  9. Kate Hubbell March 6, 2013 at 4:33 am #

    Kindred Spirit (noun) a person who shares beliefs, attitudes, feelings, or features with another; also called kindred soul…
    Thank you for sharing Amber with us McClaff! and thank you Amber, for sharing.

  10. hunting for bliss March 6, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    i love amber and reading this 🙂

    • katemcclafferty March 6, 2013 at 8:16 am #

      I love Amber too and I also love having you as a new reader! I think your blog is FAB:)

      • hunting for bliss March 6, 2013 at 11:50 am #

        Thanks! Somehow, I’ve managed to miss your blog….oh well, I’m here now 🙂

  11. righteousbruin9 March 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    This is an awesome project- and you will learn so much from these amazing people. 🙂


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