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Then and now: Turning thirty and being okay with it

If there was one memory that freaked me out growing up it was those that told me our schooldays are the best days of our lives. I mean if there was one thing that would make me anxious at the thought of another birthday it would be the idea that staring everything is downhill 16+. And it is a great motivator to make sure this isn’t true. Undoubtedly for some it is true, but we should all have an aim of ensuring we keep living the best life possible instead of investing energy into fond yet distant memories.

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It is easy to look back on life with rose tinted glasses and feel like everything was great. That the ‘good old days’ were nothing but that, filled with laughter and good times. However I have made a conscious effort to remember the not so great, using it to remind myself that youth doesn’t equal happiness. Effort equals happiness.

I remember the moment in school when we found out that London won the bid for the 2012 Olympic games. And I remember thinking ‘Shit! I am going to be 23!’. And now I look back envious that at one point I was 23. But when I think of reasons why I would be envious, I struggle. I mean if I am fortunate to live to 100, I was further away from it back then. But this isn’t a guarantee. Picturing life as a long road has it’s problems because some leave that road much sooner than others. Why be happy at the beginning of the journey when then end could be around the next turn?

Instead I am trying to find joy in the fact that I am still on it. Age isn’t as important as knowing we are making the most of this current moment. Instead of thinking that our best days are behind us, it is much better to think of how to make our tomorrow better than yesterday.

One reason I came to Australia in my late twenties was that I struggled to find the motivation beforehand. When I was 24 my dad died and it hit me hard. I was numb and travel was the last of my priorities. A couple of years flew by and I finally felt it was time to make the most of life whilst I could. So, I packed my bags and here I am.

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So why would I want to go back to my mid twenties? I was younger, but younger and needing therapy. I feel youth and happiness is often an illusion. Like when we think that old music was better than it is today. It wasn’t. We only remember the classics because the shit stuff wasn’t worth remembering. This is like our memories.

Also, back to freaking out about turning 23 around the London Olympics. It is pretty strange to think I looked ahead with dread, and now look back at that age as a seemingly distant memory. What I thought was only age was not, the same when I am 50 looking back at 30 I am sure. It is all relative, and I need to learn how to embrace the fact that I will never be this young again instead of reminding myself that I am the oldest I have ever been.

This helps me to have a little more urgency to do the things I can whilst I can. It is true that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now. Don’t ever regret not doing things sooner, it is better than the regret of not doing it at all.

So this is why I am happy turning 30. I feel good, I am excited about my plans and realise that this is a decade in which I could achieve so much more than I did in my twenties, if I choose to. And I aim to say yes much more than no and see where it takes me.

Keep living!

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Also, thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes. It really means a lot and I appreciate every single one of you. As I have said previously your kindness really helps me to keep coming back here!

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

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Cheers!

Sam

92 replies »

  1. You are spot on with your attitude and outlook. I am a few decades beyond 30 now and wish I had had your attitude then. The decades after 30 might have been less traumatic. 🙂 Some people have a bucket list, which just sounds morbid to me. It is much more fun to have the Look what I’ve Accomplished list. 🙂 You have a wonderful Accomplished list. So, yes, enjoy, try new things and love the moment you are in. Happy belated birthday!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It keeps getting better! I’m at the point (59 this month) when I sometimes get surprised by amazing “I’m never going to forget this” moments that over time I had forgotten. So thankful for friends and family and pictures and little things that jar those memories back to my mind. I consider it a sign of a rich life. So many wonderful things to forget.

    Liked by 3 people

    • This is a good way to think about forgotten memories! If we have memories to forget, we certainly have had plenty of great memories 🙂

      Like

      • Your post are so kindhearted, I definitely wouldn’t like to be a child again, not at all, I wouldn’t change what I have lived up until now, all my decisions led me to know amazing people, that for sure I won’t forget but makes me sad thinking of not seeing them ever again, which leads to think of the past and cherish it as a beautiful gift. I will turn 32 in 10 days but I am not scared of age now I just dare to be missing something. Keep being like you are cute boy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aw Susan, a lovely comment 🙂 32 is nothing!! But make sure you have a wonderful time in Perth and cherish every moment. I am sure you will meet more great people and maybe I will see you around somewhere! It’s a small world 🙂

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  3. Happy Birthday Sam! Hope all your years are exactly as you want them to be. We do indeed remember only the good songs and think all of it was good. Loved that line to explain memories and life in general. It’s truly an amazing way to look at life.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Happy Birthday Sam, definitely keep coming back, your insights are lovely to read. I thought I would share a quote from a woman I’ve been aware of and learning from for years, it helps me to stay ageless and excited about every day. Congratulations on recognizing that now it is the best way to live.

    Age is just a number, and agelessness means not buying into the idea that a number determines everything from your state of health to your attractiveness to your value. Christiane Northrup

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great quote Laura, I totally agree with what Christiane says here. Our age shouldn’t have a ‘what you should be doing now’ rule along side it. We make our individual rules!

      I appreciate the kind words and birthday wishes 🙂

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  5. That’s a great attitude you have! I definitely don’t believe childhood is the best of our lives. I am however making an effort to fully enjoy every day this summer and not let it just slip by!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Awesome AJ, I very much respect that and I am sure you will have some great experiences! Enjoy the weather while it lasts, as we don’t have any sunshine here xD

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Effort equals happiness…. to an extent. But maybe also ‘acceptance equals happiness’? Finding peace with what is. Enough of me sounding all spiritual. All sounds great down under! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes this sounds better actually, so thank you for that. Accepting who we are and where we are instead of wishing to be somewhere else. It takes a load off our shoulders if we can accept more things in life 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Birthday. Something I would have told my younger self….keep up a mental “audit”…things that are important to you, things you can let go.. It’s so easy to get to *ahem* your late 50s and be astonished at where that time went. It’s why we took a year off to gallivant and I will never regret doing it. Come to think of it, do you ever regret doing things? It’s more that you didn’t do something imo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am pleased to hear you had an amazing time travelling. This is what life is about, realising what we want to do and doing it!!

      And I totally agree, it is the things I didn’t do that I regret. So much more powerful.

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  8. Great attitude to have! It’s so important to embrace every moment and live life to the fullest! I only understood that in my later 30’s but better late than never!! Wishing you a very happy birthday Sam and all the best for the next decade!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Happy birthday! I’m only a couple years in but so far I’d say my 30’s are better than my 20’s. Perhaps it’s because I feel less lost overall, or maybe it’s because I learned to finally embrace and accept my flaws and eccentricities rather than try to hide them. Overall, life is less manic and the decisions that shape it are more deliberate and well-thought-out. Now that I have a family and big person responsibilities I don’t travel as much as I used to, and being a 30-something mom apparently made me invisible, but every phase has its pros and its cons. 😉 Great adventures await you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe it is both of those things, having things together more however also accepting that it is impossible for any of us to be perfect. I wish you and your family all the best throughout your 30’s and beyond!

      Thank you for the lovely words.

      Like

  10. Happy birthday and welcome to adulthood! I care for my 97-year-old uncle. He is amazing. He is active and sharp as a tack. I take more medicines that he does, and he’s 40 years my senior. He is a great example of somebody who lives one day at a time. One time, when I was trying to get him to slow down, I said, “We’ve got all the time in the world.” His reply to me was, “I don’t know about that!” His name is Theodore. He was born in 1922 and I love him with all my heart. Through example, he has been a great teacher of how to live life, as you say, to the fullest. Best wishes to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is such a cool story, your Uncle Theodore sounds like a very fun person to be around. This is what life is about and I am glad you are making the most of your time together. All the best to you both Russell 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  11. You are doing it (living your life) the right way. I never understood the fear of growing older; each day of my life brings some changes, and that’s what makes it really interesting. When I look at my pictures where I am 30 (and I am 56 now), I can’t stop thinking – how naive (=not smart, =stupid) I was, and how it can be read so clearly on my face.

    Besides, you never know what life has for you. When I was 33, I was absolutely sure that everything in my life HAD HAPPENED already. I was madly in love; I had three children, I had my Ph.D., I had a position at a university, and I knew for sure, what will happen in my life till it’s very ending. And turned out, my life DIDN’T EVEN START! The same year I’ve moved to America, and so many things had happened – it’s hard to imagine. Even now, at 56, I am not betting on “I know how the rest of my life will go”

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is good that you have had so many great things happen in your life though! And I am sure they aren’t over 🙂 All the best moving foward and here’s to many more years of happiness!

      Like

  12. The greatest failure is in taking something for granted. If you spend too long feeling anxious of this new age, you miss out on the positive of enjoying your age and embracing this new time of your life. Don’t look back, just keep looking forward. Good blog btw, captures my country in a optimistic light

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for commenting and the kind words towards my blog. I agree taking things for granted is a failure and time can really show this. The best we can do is make the most of the moment and realise how good we have got it! (mos of the time).

      Like

    • Thanks Jeni! I really appreciate the kind words, thank you so much for reading. I had a great birthday 🙂 All the best to you and your blog!

      Like

  13. Happy birthday! I used to freak out about my aging….but there’s no stopping it. I’m 54 now (EEEK!). It;s been a good run. I like who I am and the life I’ve had. That’s the key, I think. Still, if you are freaked about turning 30, I’ll trade places with you in a heartbeat. Ha! CHEERS!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well you have said that you are happy with the life you have so far had, and that is key. As long as we look at all we have done well instead of dwelling on the what if’s, then our lives will seem a lot more fulfilled. Thank you for the kind words, and keep living the good life!

      Like

  14. Your 30’s will be a fantastic decade of discoveries about yourself, those around you and your place in the world. Enjoy every minute of the ride…it goes quickly, but is sooo worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sam, a friend of mine suggested doing a life review with each passing decade. What did you learn in your twenties? How have you grown? What was the theme for this decade. Ten years from now, I have a hunch you’ll smile at yourself for trepidation felt on turning 30. It seems to continue for all of this way. Love where you are now and be open to change. (New to your blog, by the way. Nice!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Evelyn, I appreciate the kind words and welcome! A life review sounds fascinating… I should consider doing something similar or writing about that as it sounds like a very interesting thing to do and reflect on.

      I hope you are having a great week so far!

      Like

  16. Hi Sam, this post resonated with me. It also reminded me of a line in a book I read a few years ago. Paraphrasing, it was meant to illustrate “the cruelty of time, in which it makes us romanticize the good, and forget about the bad.” For that reason, I like the idea of making “a conscious effort to remember the not so great.” Great post, Sam! Thanks for sharing, and happy birthday again!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “It is easy to look back on life with rose tinted glasses and feel like everything was great. That the ‘good old days’ were nothing but that, filled with laughter and good times. However I have made a conscious effort to remember the not so great, using it to remind myself that youth doesn’t equal happiness. Effort equals happiness.”

    I’m a little (ahem) older than you, Sam. But what you said above is so true. You’re already wise beyond your years. I like your blog!

    P.S.-Thanks for following me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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