32 things

I turned 32 last week. Turning 30 felt odd so turning 32 feels downright wrong. My 20s felt like they lasted longer than they did, but at the same time they were over in a heartbeat. Wasn’t I just 16 a month ago, celebrating my 21st last week? I think part of me thought I’d be a 20-something forever. And yet here I am, an age I remember my parents being (although that says more about how young they are, than how old I am). I am a 30-something. And in celebration of that, here are 32 things I know, now that I’m 32.

  1. Babies are great. If you think you might want to have one, you totally should.
  2. Babies are really hard work. If you think you probably don’t want to have one, then don’t.
  3. Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. (This is stolen from Michael Pollan. I don’t follow it. But I should.)
  4. When it comes to work, don’t be loyal to your business or team or boss before you’re loyal to yourself. No one else is going to look after you and your career, so you have to do it yourself.
  5. Forgiveness is really important (for your sanity as much as anything else). But it doesn’t mean being a doormat.
  6. It’s just stuff.
  7. It’s just money.
  8. Friends are precious and are worth a bit of effort.
  9. Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t want to eat the cake. They might just not want to eat cake.
  10. The day I realised I no longer cared about being cool was liberating. I sent Andy a text to tell him I’d listened to ABBA on my iPod while sitting in the very front seat of the bus – the seat we used to joke was reserved for the crazy homeless person. ‘And I didn’t even care!’ I said to Andy. I was thrilled to realise I had grown up. Life is so much easier when you don’t care about being cool.
  11. My life is also better since I stopped reading trashy magazines. I even take the newspaper to the hairdresser now. Seriously, try it.
  12. It’s good to try something at least once, even if you’re not sure about it. And then you never have to try it again.
  13. I now make a conscious effort to to not spend time with people who don’t make me feel good. If you feel drained every single time, they are not people you need in your life, at least for now.
  14. Say sorry.
  15. If all else fails, there is always toast.
  16. I try to assume the best of people, until proven otherwise. I think it’s safest.
  17. Cheese. That is all.
  18. You don’t have to work with the lepers to make a difference in people’s lives.
  19. It’s good to buy flowers or jewellery or wine for yourself, just because.
  20. Go places.
  21. Stretch.
  22. Don’t worry too much about asking yourself if you are happy. Work, play, rest, love. If you’re busy doing those things you’ll be just fine.
  23. It’s okay to feel sad, with or without a reason. It’s okay to feel really sad. Let it happen – it won’t kill you. It just sucks.
  24. It gets better. Especially once high school is over. You really don’t want to peak in high school, it leaves you nowhere else to go.
  25. Relish your private guilty pleasures, and don’t feel guilty about them, unless the guilt is part of the pleasure.
  26. Do things because you genuinely get something out of them, not because you probably should since all the other men/mums/public servants/students/dog owners/artists/cousins do it.
  27. Don’t hoard. Have things in your house that are beautiful or useful – you don’t need anything else. (Another one I don’t follow. I blame the toddler.)
  28. Be with someone who will look after you. Not in the financial sense (although that is nice) but find someone who will bring you a cup of tea when you’re tired or rub your back while you throw up. And make sure you do the same.
  29. As well as not caring if I am cool, the acceptance of myself has also been liberating as I get older. This goes for my body as well as my personal flaws (I prefer the word quirks). I assume this will just get better as I get older, which is a nice feeling.
  30. Actions have consequences. This is impossible to appreciate when you’re young and everything seems fun and anyone who tries to tell you not to have fun is totally lame and doesn’t understand. They do understand. That’s why they’re trying to tell you – actions have consequences
  31. Don’t have sex with your ex. Oh, you already did? Well just once, okay? They’re an ex for a reason.
  32. I’m not sure if you realised – I didn’t – but Halloween is a Thing now. An Australian Thing. I know.
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