By 30

Both my husband and I are celebrating the beginning of the last year of our 20s this year, and I've seen several articless floating around on the Internet that encourage you to reflect on where you are in life, like the results of this survey which state that no one should use emoticons over the age of 26. Oh, and no kissing in the street after age 24 or high fives after 27. Seriously, who comes up with this stuff?! :-O ;-) There are other more thought-provoking and inspiring articles about reflecting on moving on from your 20s though - like this one that was recently featured on the Huffington Post.   It inspired me to kind of reflect on what I've learned over the past decade and come up with my own list of what you "should" or "shouldn't" be doing by the time you're 30.
By the Time You're 30, You Should Know Better About...
1. Eating What's Good
Sure, we could probably all stand to eat more fruits and veggies, am I right? (I know I need to!) But more than should eat what makes you feel good.  The French have completely embraced the whole mindful eating phenomenon, which encourages you to eat less but enjoy it more. So yes, eat what's good FOR YOU, but save some room to eat what tastes good to you...even if it's not that healthy. ;-) Your diet is all about balance.
2. Doing What You Love
I love, love, love to travel. Sadly, I really only can afford (time and budget-wise) to go on one trip a year, so that means I spend maybe 2% of the year seeing the world and doing what I love to do. Is that worth it to me? Hellz yeah! Sure, I wish I could spend more time traveling, but as long as I can continue to spend 2% of every year making time to do what I love, then I can be happy.  So, find the time to do what you love, whether it's 2 minutes of your day, 2% of your year, or something you look forward once a decade.
In Greece, we met an Australian couple who literally spent their days travelling across various countries, settling in certain areas long enough to scrape together some funds to move on to their next adventure. What an amazing way to see the world! But it's definitely not for me - I have a feeling I'd be sort of anxious if I were spending that much time travelling, but not really feeling secure in my future, ya know? I love to travel and all, but sheesh - I like to have a real home to retreat to at the end of my trip! :)

3. Finding Your Dream Job
Kudos to everyone out there that's found their dream job...I'd hazard a guess that most of us won't be so lucky. And I'm okay with that. I count myself lucky just to have a job that doesn't make me completely miserable. ;-) You shouldn't dread going to work every day, but I doubt I'm ever going to leap out of bed with boundless enthusiasm to go to work.

4. Dressing for Your Body
I admit that I can watch episode after episode of What Not to Wear although I make no claims to be a fashion expert or anything of the sort. I only occasionally pay attention to trends, and I hold on to items in my closet for far longer than they are fashionable. But I have learned that there are certain standards that everyone should follow, like dressing to your shape. No one looks good in baggy clothes, and it can be easy for people to try and hide behind larger-fitting clothes if they don't feel good about themselves. I'm not saying to wear *tight* clothes, but pay attention to the shape you are creating.
5. Not Having a Plan
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you asked me, I usually don't have a very good answer. I am open to wherever the world takes me, but there are a few elements that will be in that plan regardless of the specific answer. I have a general plan: continue exploring the world, growing in my career, finding happiness with my husband...but I'm hoping to migrate out of the Midwest at some point in the not-too-distant future. And I'd really like to move to New Zealand, but that will take a much more specific plan to make happen. Keep making goals, even if you're just planning for a week at a time. Contribute to your retirement account, pay off any credit card may not have the whole picture figured out yet, but I'm sure you have a general idea of where you'd like to end up in life, and the right plan can definitely help you get there.  

Overall, you should know better that 30 is just a measure of time, and it doesn't define who you are or where you should be in life.  It doesn't make you old, but it has given you some time to learn a few basic things about life....and most importantly, about yourself. You've spent a whole decade learning about yourself as an independent individual. Take the time to feel good about yourself and make plans to have the life you want to have!  


Popular Posts