Confession time! (*Deep Breath*) I just turned thirty. As most mortals, age does bother me a bit, it always has. Reminiscing back to middle school, I can remember long talks with friends about what we thought thirty would be. This was prior to Sex in the City, so for us this meant many wrinkles… I was so naive! Now that it is here, I am happy to report no wrinkles here, as a whole I am feeling pretty good about this new decade. A close older and wiser friend reminded me that in this decade I know myself better than I did when I turned twenty, and I have more means to experience life more fully. This statement (post reflection) is one I am finding true. My developmental years taught me a lot of lessons, and I thought I would share a few of them now. Here are 10 life lessons I learned by Thirty:
- Age is just a number.
You are never too old to reinvent yourself or make a major change in your life. You should always keep “taking your own temperature” to see how you feel about certain things and make changes accordingly.
- Trust your gut.
Your head (well mine at least, is highly logical) and my heart is far too emotional. I feel the best instincts I have are my initial gut reaction. Whether this is about a job or defining someone’s character, my first instincts are typically right. Listen to yours and maybe you’ll find this is true for yourself too.
Staying mad about anything is a wasted emotion. This doesn’t mean you have to forget, but don’t let whatever it is take up any of your valuable time or brain space.
- Love people for who they are.
There are people in life that may frustrate you with their choices. I know this happens to me more than I care to admit. I have learned / am trying to constantly remember that everyone is on their own journey. If the initial attraction is still there, then try to remember what generated that spark of friendship and love and hold onto those positive feelings. If its not, its okay to admit that people grow apart.
- Evoke a drama free policy.
This one is hard, but basically, I try not to allow other people’s drama affect my opinions on someone or change my behavior. This doesn’t mean I don’t listen when people are going through something, but if you maintain a zen state, you can realize that these things are not happening to you. You do not need to waste your energy feeling emotions on things that do not affect your life. You can give them sound and good advice if you keep your personal emotions out of it.
- Just do you.
I had a close friend recently say to me that she feels she and her husband are “behind” because their friends have been married for a few years and in their homes for a few years where they are just starting out. Hearing this made me aware of the constant comparing that we all tend to do. This behavior is not helpful to anyone. Live your own journey and know that there isn’t a timeline for “success”.
- Define success for you, not for someone else.
After a lot of reflection, I finally know my definition of success. It’s a helpful gage that streamlines your life goals. What I mean by this is that one person may define success in owning a home. Another may define success in the ability to vacation yearly; others may feel the need to have a mansion to feel successful. What brings one-person happiness does not necessarily bring another person happiness, so why should we define success in the same way?
- Be Kind.
The one regret you will never have is being kind to someone. You know the icky feeling you are left with if you’ve done or said something mean? Why feel that way? Just spread kindness.
- Be happy everyday.
There have to be little things in life that bring you joy. Seek those out. Find something that makes you happy everyday and embrace it. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Want a simple tip? Adopt a dog. There’s never a day around that smiling face or wagging tail that I don’t feel joy.
- Practice gratitude.
Being thankful for all of your life’s blessings (no matter how small) is a really wonderful way to keep in check how wonderfully blessed your life is. It is hard to keep in check wants versus needs when you live in America and are surrounded by advertisements but try to remember the folks that are less fortunate and remember that you are pretty fortunate.
Learning to practice these ten simple rules have made me a happier person. They saved me from a state of depression. They have really directed my life in a direction that shapes my future toward the positive. I look forward to continuing my and discovering the doors that will open for me. Cheers to the next decade!
**The photos in this post are from my wonderful thirtieth birthday celebrations where Dan and Lyndsay completely spoiled me! Dan and I had a lovely overnight getaway was at the lovely Stonewall Resort, while the party images are thanks to Lyndsay’s wonderful decorating abilities which made my surprise party super special 🙂