I found some great articles recently that have helped me articulate why, so I hope after reading this, that if you have an impending ‘milestone’ birthday you will feel a sense of excitement rather than impending doom…
the things that I have learnt
I LOVE reading articles about the different things that people have learn at various stages of their lives. When I read this one from the Huffington Post, 47 Things I’ve Learned in my 40s, it struck me that there were many things in it that would actually make your 30s, or any decade of your life, a sweeter ride.
Here are some of my favourites:
- It’s OK to say no as long as you learn the art of doing so graciously. (may not seem very year of the yes, but we keep telling you sometimes you have to say no to say yes to the things you really want)!
- Everything you see depends on how you look at it.
- Listening to someone — really listening — is one of the most important, respectful and rewarding things you can do.
- Experiences are infinitely more memorable than stuff.
- Laugh lines are worth it.
- You’ll never regret going out of your way to brighten someone’s day.
- Being super-busy is not a badge of honor, importance, popularity or success. It’s perfectly OK — and actually healthier and preferable — to be not so busy.
- Eye cream is your friend.
- Some stuff just isn’t meant to be. The sooner you accept it and stop trying to force it to happen, the better off you’ll be.
- Life is what happens while you’re waiting expectantly for the next big thing on the horizon to come to fruition. Savor the everyday.
You can read the rest here, but it’s also worth thinking about the things you have learned in your last decade, so that you can look forward and be open to the things you are yet to learn.
My 20’s taught me that sometimes life isn’t fair, but if you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and concentrate on living life to the full; love, happiness and laughter is right there waiting to try and redress the balance.
list of cheering things
I know that I am trying to extol the virtues of milestone birthdays, but I also know that there are times when it all seems a bit much. When the thought of getting a year older fills you with dread.
For those times, the incredible Lauren Laverne has come to the rescue by encouraging us to whip out our List of Cheering Up Things.
Well, in preparation for when the big 3-0 birthday blues kick in, here’s mine (I spared you the soppy stuff but obviously my boy, friends and family rank highly on this):
- Hugging it out.
- A meal out, or a takeaway. Food is my friend when it comes to cheering me up.
- Galaxy, pure and simple. Or marshmallows. Better still both.
- Watching an episode of Friends, laughter is the best medicine.
- Taking a walk (or maybe even a run if I am feeling energetic).
- A trip to the beach, if time and the weather allows – the seaside cures all ills.
- Curling up for a good read. Doesn’t matter what it is, it’s the escape.
- Singing along to a good tune, loud and proud.
- Looking through photos with friends and family.
What would be in your list of cheering up things? Let us know in the comments box below.
Lauren also wrote a pretty awesome article about why her late 30s aren’t all that bad. If you are worried about an impending birthday you should give it a read, she speak a lot of sense.
when things haven’t quite gone as you planned
I read Louise’s post on her blog Sprinkle of Glitter with interest, because she talked about the thing that I think gets most of us about milestone birthdays. Your perception of what that birthday will be like, and of what you might have achieved when you get there, and the perceived gap between that and reality.
There are many things that I hoped I would have done before I was 30, that just haven’t materialised for a million different reasons. But I have also achieved a lot of things that I hadn’t even imagined. The most important thing is that I am happy, and fully resolved to tackle any of the areas of my life that I am not happy with.
If you want something to be different make it happen. But stop dragging yourself down with expectations of what might have been. You might miss something even better.
As Louise so beautifully puts it:
“And so here I am, fine with being 30. I don’t feel old or ‘past it’. I feel motivated to enjoy this new decade as much as the last and to redefine my life plan. My twenties were so good to me, better than I could have hoped, so if my thirties follow suit, I’m going to be a really happy 40 year old in 10 years time!
Here’s to all the wonderful 30-somethings out there who are laughing at themselves for being so afraid to leave their twenties.”
So I encourage you all to embrace any impending milestone birthdays. To focus on the things you have achieved. And to make a list of yeses to tackle in your next decade. When you reach the end of it you may not have ticked them all off, but that isn’t the point. There will be many that you didn’t list that you have done and achieved. Focus on living life to the full in your own personal way, one that makes you feel happy and accomplished.
We only get one shot at it, make the most of yours.