I recently came across an article on my Facebook feed titled “10 Life Lessons to Excel in your 30s”. To give you a bit of context, I’m not usually the type to step into a bookstore or library and head straight to the “self-improvement” or “self-help” section. However, when I saw this link, I couldn’t help but click on it – I mean who wouldn’t want to excel in their 30s right? I gave the article a quick flick and would like to mention 3 of those lessons in particular that resonated with me. They are not groundbreaking “life lessons” as such but they just ring so true…
#1 Start taking care of your health now, not later
Don’t you think Lesson #1 is more common sense than anything else? Yet, I don’t think I’ve really looked after my health since 1978. I sleep late, I eat unhealthy, I never exercise and worse of all I am a stress pot. I stress when I have lots to do and I stress when I have nothing to do. Around Christmas last year I started getting hives. Initially, I thought it was no big deal and continued my unhealthy lifestyle like it would never catch up to me. Three months later I’m still suffering from this debilitating disease. It is now chronic. No matter what I do these hives just will not leave me alone. I look back and think what could have possibly caused this? What have I eaten? What is the trigger? Was it stress? I’ve been asked by 2 GPs whether I was “stressed”. My response was always “No, I don’t think so”. But in actual fact, and when I come to think about it now I actually was under a lot of stress. It could possibly have been from my new role at work, house renovations, renovating and painting our investment property, wedding etc I had so much on my plate I didn’t even have time to realise how stressed out I was. At the moment, all I know is life BEFORE hives and life AFTER hives. I can’t even begin to describe how much these hives have affected me both physically and mentally. I’ve even cancelled my trip to the Maldives because of these hives. I have come to accept that these hives may never go away. Instead of finding a cure, I’m learning to manage these hives and live a more healthy lifestyle so that it won’t have such a big impact on my life. Sometimes I really do wonder, if I looked after myself more would this have happened?? Don’t ever take your health for granted as you can wake up one morning and your whole world has changed. Take steps to prevent that NOW.
I find this quote particularly true: “The way you treat your body has a cumulative effect; it’s not that your body suddenly breaks down one year, it has been breaking down all along without you noticing”
#2 Start saving for retirement now, not later
As I have probably previously mentioned, I have never budgeted for anything in my life. Budget? What budget? There was never a need to budget as I never really needed to save for anything. I mean I don’t even “save” for anything NOW much less for RETIREMENT. Gosh retirement is so far away! Who thinks about retirement NOW? All this has since changed after meeting one of my friends. She has started planning for her retirement since her late 20s. She is now in her 40s and she is already set for life. I look at her and I look at myself. Whilst I was recklessly spending my hard earned cash on handbag after handbag (and shamefully admit that I still do) she was spending her mula on house after house. Do you remember an episode of Sex and the City when Carrie said “I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live?” Well, I don’t want to be Carrie. It really does make sense to think about salary sacrificing into your super, saving for a deposit to buy investment properties, holding on to some blue chip shares etc NOW rather than later so that you can retire comfortably in your 50s and not have to work till you are 70. Having said all that, I don’t know how far I will succeed with life lesson #2.
#3 Don’t spend time with people who don’t treat you well
I think even a 5 year old would be able to come up with this “life lesson” for you. It really does not take a genius to figure this one out. But in actual fact, I do spend time with people who don’t treat me well and I’ve realised that it is so important to get rid of poison in your life for your general well-being. As one of my friends would say “just hit the delete button“. Once you hit that button you’ll be wondering why you didn’t hit it earlier.