A week ago, I hit one of those milestone birthdays. 30. I truly believe I would not be where I am today had it not been for the support of my awesome family. Once again, I enlisted their help to put this birthday in perspective. I asked various family members what they wished they had known at 30. Some answers were practical, like check your credit score yearly, think about your next step professionally, save for retirement, and lose the weight now because it gets harder to lose. But some answers really got me thinking about my next 30 years…
Lessons learned for my next 30 years with some help from Tim McGraw, my family, my experiences, and my interactions with LifeShare users.
“Celebrate my Age”
“I held this view that at some point, because of my previous efforts and life experiences, that life would ‘get easier.’ What I’ve come to learn is that effort and experience just get you perspective and a framework for making better decisions. Life will always have challenges and unexpected difficulties, accept that and have the confidence that you can meet those challenges.” —Dad
There was a time when we were younger that we longed to be older. As we get older, we long to get younger. What I am starting to realize is that with age comes so much more perspective and experience. Every age definitely has its challenges, but through living life, you are given the tools and the people to help you deal with those challenges.
“I’m Gonna Have Some Fun”
“I wish I knew how to take better care of me. To put me into the equation of life.” —Aunt Cindy
Everyone I have had the pleasure to meet isn’t eager to tell me about the day-to-day of their lives. They want to talk about the fun times and experiences that took them on a sometimes unexpected adventure. In the last couple of years I have realized the value in saying yes. Saying yes to a late night with friends. Saying yes to a new experience. Saying yes to a new travel adventure. The common saying is that you will only regret not doing something or not taking a chance.
“Find a World of Happiness”
“It is okay to be who you want to be and not who others expect you to be. It is okay to put yourself and your needs ahead of others sometimes. That most of the time people really are trying to do the right thing as they see it.” —Mom
This can be a tough one with all that is going on in the world these days. It is important to find your own happiness. Find your happiness in the small moments in life. Do what makes you happy. Be around the people that make you happy. You too can have your own little world of happiness.
“Figure Out Just What I’m Doing Here”
“I wish I had known that time flies by. That at 30, I was smart enough and strong enough to be and do whatever I wanted. That my wildest dreams were not too wild to pursue.” —Aunt Mary
This is a lesson that is ever-evolving. It is crazy to think that in America the average retirement age is 63. Jobs change. Careers change. Lives change. People go through many changes in a lifetime. Finding purpose in your life can be as simple as finding a purpose or a goal for the day. Or purpose can set you on a path towards something greater. Whatever your journey, know that you are strong enough and smart enough to get to your destination.
“Spend Precious Moments with the Ones that I Hold Dear”
“I wish I had known how happy I could be just being me. I think I took myself too seriously. You don’t have to do everything correctly right then. You know, smell more flowers. It works just as well taking it a little easier. Now I try not to rush into too many things.” —Grandpa John (Buddy)
As much as we hope to hold on to loved ones forever, the reality is that we never know how long any of us have. The important thing is to cherish the moments that we have. So often we are rushing through life that we don’t stop a take a breath every now and then. Bake cookies together. Tell stories together. Have a conversation. Play a game. Take a drive together. Just be present. Precious moments and memories are not made with cell phones and tablets, they are made with the heart.