I turned 30 this past weekend. I knew it was coming, and I did my best to ignore it. Ultimately it was a very low-key day featuring breakfast with the family, a nap and then dinner and drinks with friends. There was very little fanfare (friends gave me a whispered rendition of “Happy Birthday”) but it was nice and now it’s passed so I only need to think about it when I have to check the little boxes for ones age range. I hate the age boxes.
Rather than whining about the birthday, which we all know I can do, I thought perhaps I should share some of the wisdom I think I’ve gained over my 30 years. So below are 5 things I’ve learned, many the hard way, and that I think are important.
- Don’t smoke. I’m sure your doctor, your mom and your local news channel have all told you this but I’m going to reiterate it. It’s very difficult to stop, it’ll haunt you forever after and whatever you tell yourself about why you do it, it’s a very self-destructive act.
- Try to enjoy what you do. I’m not saying love your job- that would be fantastic and by all means aim for that, but let’s get real: not everyone is going to love their job. What I’m saying is look at the job you have and try to find one thing you do that you really like. And then, if it’s within your power, try to do more of that. Ask your boss for more time, try to justify it, and if all else fails and there’s no support, do it anyway whenever you can. You’ll do it well because you care and eventually people will notice something that’s well-done. Even if those people work at another company.
- Get a pet. This isn’t rocket science, people. They’re good company, they help lower blood pressure and they’re cute. Like stuffed animals that play with you. It’s a no-brainer really.
- Smile at people more. I’ve heard that this makes a big deal. When you smile and say “hello” to everyone they notice. You get better interactions everywhere you go. I frequently forget this but I have made more of an effort at the “hello” part and that has made a difference.
- Appreciate everything. I don’t claim to know the secret of happiness but if I did I think it would have something to do with our ability to appreciate things. If you can keep an open-mind to everything that’s potentially good, even the little things, I think that helps make a bad day better and a good day great. We so often take for granted the food, the car, the house, the job, our health; the next time you hear a song you love on your iPod or inhale a spring breath without pollen, pause a moment and enjoy it.
So there you have it: wisdom a la Jen. I will add that most of these things tie into work in some way (definitely 2, 4 and 5) and also that I’m really terrible at most of them (definitely 1, 3 and 5) so I’d like to try to use my 30’s to get a little personal improvement. Wish me luck.
Also, I got a video camera from my beloved cousin (who also made me cry three times over breakfast. Evil!). I do plan to share some video on here eventually but sadly right now it’s all of me crying or drinking; two events that look oddly similar and which no one wants to see.
So there you have it, the story of happy birthday to me. Please feel free to share your own wisdom, god knows I could use more, and please forgive me my sappy post. The next one will be much more stoic, I swear.