Time doesn’t just fly. . .

. . . it seems to travel exclusively in warp-speed.

157 days have already passed since I casually passed through a life-checkpoint that regularly pitches scads of people into a significant existential crisis (if my anecdotal observations can be generalized). That’s right. On December 24th of 2016:

I turned 30.  

 

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For whatever reason, aside from feeling slightly more mature (in this case pronounced: MUH-TOOR )  whenever telling people my age, I seem to break the mold a bit as far as existential crises go, because I don’t feel particularly freaked out about being 30. In fact, I feel like I’ve been 30+ for a while and my age just finally clued in.

I guess I’ve always been slightly out of sync with my peers. When every girl I knew was drooling over Jonathan Taylor Thomas or young Leonardo DiCaprio, I was falling hard for Cary Grant and Gregory Peck; and I was the only 2nd grader I knew who hadn’t read any Goosebumps or Animorphs, but was a huge fan of Trixie Belden and the complete works of Andrew Lang. So it stands to reason that my experience turning-30 differs a little from my peers. Despite not experiencing the Thirties Freak Out, however, I do think I’m starting to feel a little bit more like I possess the mysterious and hitherto elusive quality called “life experience”.

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Okay, maybe not universally, but still. I think I’ve officially gotten to the point where I can say this is not my first rodeo. So, in the interest of preserving a few of the lessons that life has seen fit to teach me thus far, I have decided to return to my oft-neglected blog to list the ones that come to mind. This way, if life continues on at the hyper-speed it seems to prefer and I start to grow (more) forgetful, the bits of wisdom I’ve gathered will be stored in the cloud as backup for my soon-to-be-if-not-already-failing brain.

  1. Registering complaints does nothing to ease them.
  2. Being old does not equate being wise. Nor does it equate being boring.
  3. This too shall pass.
  4. People will relentlessly ask questions about your relationship status, weight/appearance, reproductive plans and countless other uncomfortable topics that don’t concern them. Try to forgive them for their predictable thoughtlessness (they’re usually not strong conversationalists) and find the humor in those moments. 
  5. There is no medal awarded for out-doing the emotional experiences of others.
  6. Being content to be ignorant is a serious flaw.
  7. Most people should carry a good book, band-aids, crayons, and safety pins. 
  8. You can only do what you can do. Theodore Roosevelt is credited with saying “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” I think that’s pretty phenomenal advice. 
  9. Being a good listener takes significant practice and only rarely becomes a natural character trait; be mindful of bad listening habits sneaking into your life.
  10. Associating specific accomplishments with specific times in life is often asinine.
  11. Spending time with little kids is refreshing to the world-view; when feeling glum, I highly recommend it.
  12. Being wrong about something is not as bad as refusing to admit you are wrong about something.
  13. Public Libraries are seriously under-used resources.
  14. When you encounter somebody who specializes or has significant experience in a field, it is generally advisable to defer to their expertise, unless you also specialize in that field. 
  15. It is much easier to talk about yourself than to be a good conversationalist, but they are not the same thing.
  16. When you ask for advice, you should always listen to the answer, because you asked.
  17. There is a wealth of information at the disposal of anyone seeking it; With enough perseverance and curiosity you can figure out solutions to most problems.
  18. Not everybody has the capacity to be mature; proceed accordingly.
  19. Hard work and perseverance are of incredible importance for managing life.
  20. It is far too easy to always work or always play, and far more important to strive for balance between the two.
  21. Simple skills are important to master; sew that button back on, mend the hole in your sock, separate the white from the yoke, and write that thank-you note. 
  22. There is great value in having an “unplugged” hobby (i.e. one that doesn’t require a charger for availability). 
  23. Don’t skip visits to the dentist, because it doesn’t get easier to go back.
  24. Knowing why you believe what you believe is intrinsically valuable. 
  25. When somebody is sharing a hardship or frustration or sorrow, do NOT try to solve it for them. They have trusted you with a vulnerability, and have assuredly already given it MUCH more thought than the few moments that you have. So, be supportive, offer assistance (or gentle advice) if it is solicited, but for heavens sake don’t respond by offering them your ideas for “easy” solutions or a to-do list.
  26. When it is hard to feel loving towards somebody, intentionally act lovingly towards them; this almost always helps to remedy the situation.
  27. Be sure to go outside and breath deeply from time to time; it does wonders for morale. 
  28. You should ALWAYS be kind to Cashiers, people directing traffic , Flight Attendants, janitors, and secretaries. And if you don’t know why, go work one of those jobs for a day and then come back and we’ll talk.
  29. Everyone could benefit from practice treating people as inherently valuable and worthy of respect. 
  30. Very few objectives in life can be achieved without process.

Here’s to the next 30 years of building perspective and (hopefully) increasing in wisdom. 

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