Call me spoiled. Call it a first world problem but the flight I had out to AZ didn’t have WIFI.
I panicked. What was I going to do? I was alone with my own thoughts. My boss handed me his Wall Street Journal and I started reading. Cover to cover I read that thing and the weird part was I enjoyed it. That got me thinking about the point in life where you start enjoying things like that. That led to thinking about just how life in my 30’s is different then life in my 20’s so on the corner of the journal I jotted down the following… can you relate?
I look ahead more than I look back
In my 20’s college was still a pretty fresh memory; a memory so incredibly fun that it was impossible to not recount the time. Anymore though, I’m so much more aware of the milestones that need to be planned for, the adventures that are to come and the joy I get from watching my kids grow. Looking ahead is about all I do.
It’s not all about me anymore
In my 20’s, I was free of most responsibility. No kids, not much of a career yet and just free to focus on me. Life in the 30’s has me shifting my focus to my kids and family. Making sure they are happy is priority number one. My happiness comes from their happiness.
I like talk radio and the WSJ
I used to lament my dad for listening to nothing but talk. What were they even saying?! But more times than not, if you get into my car, it’s not music I’m listening to. And reading the journal (and newspapers in general) just feels comforting even if the news is all bad.
More comfortable in my own skin
In my 20’s, my outward appearance mattered WAY more than it does today. Today, with a husband I love (& that loves me) and a perspective that reminds me that it’s not what your body looks like but what it’s capable of doing that is important.
In my 20’s I guess I felt more like I deserved and felt less appreciative. After losing my dad and seeing the pain in the world, I’m more grateful for every day I get, for every blessing I have.
Now it’s not all roses and puppies. There are some not-s0-much better ways life has changed but you take it all together and I wouldn’t go back if you paid me.
More responsibility less spontaneity
There was a time when you could take a “mental health” day and the office wouldn’t miss you. There were days where you could run away for the weekend and not have to find a babysitter. Those days are gone. I have a team of people that depend on me. I have kids that rely on me and that’s ok. My parents did a pretty good job at preparing me for these changes.
Mistakes cost more
The key is trying to make mistakes cheaply. With responsibility comes risk taking and decisions come with more weight and consequences. I do make mistakes but I just keep hoping that they are recoverable.
Less time for hobbies and friends
The truth is that there are just more people and things that demand my attention. The time I get to spend with friends or doing the very thing I love the most…running is just not there like it use to be. In my 20’s I could pretty much go whenever and wherever I want. Today that is not my reality.
Life isn’t perfect but if there’s one thing I believe in it’s understanding that you are where you are in life for a reason. Embrace it and don’t dwell on the things you can’t fix. These life lessons didn’t come easily. I had to go through all the above to get here. Hopefully you’ll take sometime to reflect and appreciate the person that you and the experiences you’ve had that got you there.
Have a good Thursday!