I remember how I was dreading as the big 3-0 approaches. Gosh, how I loved my 20s! Those were the selfish, rebellious years of my life. The time when the center of my universe is me, me and me. It was the period where parties and booze are everywhere and a huge surplus of human energy made me feel unstoppable. I won’t mind sleeping 1-2 hours and be back in my working shoes the next day, still managing to look refreshed. It’s the stage in my life when my only concerns would be:
- to earn money
- look great
- find a great guy
- and be loved by everyone
Surprisingly within the last 10 years, there were major changes that happened. Did I finally hit a certain level of maturity? OR it’s just that human beings are set to change their perspectives once they turned 30? 😀 So while you are thinking of the answer, let me share my list of the things that I learned as I entered the 4th decade of my earth life. 😀
1. Health is wealth.
When we were younger, we were unruly. We drink, smoke, sleep less, eat a lot of junk foods and expose ourselves to so many forms of stress without having any idea of how these things may take the toll on our future selves.
- Eat your fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Cut down on processed foods.
- Slowly step away from unhealthy habits.
- Have enough sleep – Though I still stay up late at times, but I have been a morning person for the past 4 weeks now. (Yey for me!)
We only have one body and we should take care of it very well. By the time you hit this age, you realize how you get tired easily and there will be occasional body aches and pains. As they say, “signs of aging”. 😀
2. It is okay to be alone.
I used to think that being alone means there must be something wrong with you. Who doesn’t like being with friends, right? Even Sheldon Cooper has his own set of friends who spend time with him. But after being married to an introvert, I had a better appreciation for those people who prefer not to be part of a crowd. In fact, spending some alone time has its benefits. Have coffee, dine, shop and even watch a movie alone. Yes, I did these several times.
Being around people does not guarantee happiness and being alone does not mean it's lonely either. We can be in a crowd but still feel alone.
Am I evolving to be anti-social? Definitely not! But when I am alone, I genuinely enjoy the calmness and serenity in the middle of my busy week. Being around people does not guarantee happiness and being alone does not mean it’s lonely either. We can be in a crowd but still feel alone.
3. Save for the rainy days.
It is hard to earn money but how easy it is to spend them all. Do you agree? How many pay days have passed and you were left wondering where the heck did your money go??! Yes, it happened to me and to other people, too. But we can always change the way we handle our money and the earlier you realize it, the better. For starters, list down your spending for the month and then see what are the not-so-important items that you bought. After sorting it out, come up with a REALISTIC budget for your monthly spending and savings. You can always start with a small amount of savings and increase it later on.
Still unsure how or where to start? Why don’t you try the 52-week Savings Challenge? You may start with a dollar a week or you may double the amount to have a better result at the end of the year.
photo courtesy of mommymisc.net
Also, have an Emergency Fund. According to financial experts, this fund should be at least three times of your living expenses.
Emergency Fund An account that is used to set aside funds to be used in an emergency, such as the loss of a job, an illness or a major expense. The purpose of the fund is to improve financial security by creating a safety net of funds that can be used to meet emergency expenses as well as reduce the need to use high interest debt, such as credit cards, as a last resort. Source: investopedia.com
People can have different saving techniques but what is important is that you start to manage your income properly and you will thank yourself later on. 😉
4. Celebrate your individuality.
At some point in our lives, we have dealt with the pressure of changing just to belong and feel accepted by our circles. But later on you will start questioning yourself mainly because you know that you’re not genuinely happy. That you are not being true to yourself and that inner voice is trying to convince you that it is time to let go and be real. It is okay to be different and it is definitely okay to be imperfect.
5. Work smart, not hard.
How many times have we encountered the term “work-life balance“? Achieving this is next to impossible. The term may sound good but in real life, it is all about priorities – Which should be done and when should these be done.
The idea of balance is that it is equal -- that we spend equal time, energy, and stamina on home life, on work, on our health. That's a losing battle. Work on what you need to work on, give what you can to the rest, and keep reevaluating and shifting your priorities. Mike Harden, CEO Clarity Group
Generally, we love the idea of being busy because we feel that being so occupied is a measure of success. But being “busy” is always an option. Again, prioritization is the key.
The way we deal with our daily tasks is like placing many items in our clean plate. We then binge ourselves with too much work until we reach our human limit to a point of burning out and that is not healthy. Find your own system in organizing your schedule. Have a priority list of your deliverables; include the deadlines and stick with your timeline. This helps you focus on the job. Also, refrain from too much multitasking. Notice the quality of your output when you dedicate your full attention to the task. You will realize how fast and efficient you have become compared before. Lastly, you will surely find it as a breath of fresh air to finally cross out the completed items from your list!
So what are you waiting for? Leave your office on time and spend the rest of the day with your loving family or friends.
6. Have a grateful heart.
photo courtesy of happenistaproject.com
Count all your blessings, great and small. There were times in the past when I would look at the things that we do not have, but come to think of it, how many people in this world have bigger problems than what we have? We complain about superficial things or those we call “first-world problems” while on the other side of the world, there are people without food to eat or clean water to drink.
Change your rants to “things I’m thankful for” or try having a bucket list instead. It’s really a matter of approach. Celebrate the little things such as dates on Fridays or having sumptuous lunch on weekends just because you deserve it.:D
Remember, negativity attracts negativity. Don’t let it overpower all the good things that you have.
Comparison is the thief of joy. - Anonymous
Don’t compare. Don’t judge.
Envision the life that you want. You may have inspirations and role models but never compare because if you do, you will never be truly happy. Remember that we all live different lives and we have different priorities. Putting down others just to lift yourself is never a good thing. Do yourself a favor and be a source of positivity.
7. It’s okay to say NO.
photo courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
While working in the customer service industry and sales environment, I developed a habit of being the “YES Girl“. NO is at the bottom of your response list, otherwise you might lose your clients. Sometimes, I would do the impossible just to appease the customers. But in real life, I do not have clients to please. Later on, I realized that you will not be punished for saying NO and it is fine to do so because it also means that you know your limits. We cannot please everyone – that is a fact. And if you try to do that, you will be the unhappy party.
Also, it is better to say no than coming up with lame and petty lies. 😉
8. Patience is a virtue.
I believe that as we become mature, we learn the art of patience. We tend to be more understanding and learn to let go of the trivial things. Conserving and using our personal energy to other important things will always be a good decision. 😀
PATIENCE is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
9. Embrace aging with grace.
photo by stayhungrybefoolish.com
When we were kids, we cannot wait to grow up so we can do the things that adults do. Now that we are all grown up, we are doing a lot of things and procedures just to stay young. Oh, the irony!
A lot of people are afraid of getting old and it is rare to find those who wholeheartedly embrace this nature’s process. That is also the reason why beauty products and services that can alter the signs of aging are booming in the market. They all bear the same promise: A younger looking you.
But why don’t people see the beauty of aging? While the skin sags and wrinkles start showing up, there is the beautiful side that the human eye fails to recognize. For me, aging means you have been blessed with life’s worldly knowledge. You gained experience and wisdom that the younger generation is yet to have. Isn’t that beautiful?
Don't regret growing older, it's a privilege denied to many. - Anonymous
Why defy aging? Instead, accept it gracefully and celebrate life to the fullest!
In conclusion, turning 30 isn’t a bad thing. Do I have regrets? I would say none. I believe that whatever happened in the past helped me become a better person that I am today. Am I wishing of never getting old? Nah! where’s the fun in that?! 😉
As you get older, you will understand more and more that it's not about what you look like or what you own, it's all about the person you've become. - Anonymous