30 is just…30.

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ImageMirror mirror on the wall….

 

I’ve spent the majority of my 20’s being afraid to turn 30.

I remember being 19 years old and watching my older brother preparing to hit the big 3-0. I thought to myself then, “damn, that is SO old”. Now, I find myself just past that point and I haven’t reached an evolved stand point on it. I still think, “damn, I am SO old”.

There are a plethora of people out there in their thirties who will insist that this is the best time of their life; they’ve never felt better, they’ve never been more aware of who they really are! 

It’s true, I don’t think I’ve ever known myself better. That comes with age. So does being sore when you wake up in the morning, little lines around your eyes, an increased sense of mortality salience… I’ll go back to not knowing myself that well if this is the trade off I get. 

On a more positive note, I think I am aging gracefully if it’s possible to be graceful whilst kicking and screaming. I keep holding out hope that some handsome vampire will approach me before I get old and saggy and ask me to join him in the world of immortality and night. I’m not naive, I don’t think I am actually OLD at this point, but I do know it’s coming and to be blunt…

It scares the shit out of me.

So as I live in a world where thirty is old and death is right around the corner, you can imagine the level of anxiety I feel on a regular basis. Here is the positive side of the recognition that each of us won’t live forever. 

1. YOLO! You only live once. I am very aware of this. So from time to time I act impulsively, I rarely act my age, I laugh hard and loud at every opportunity and I give everyone a chance to come into my life and change it. 

2. Kicking ass and taking names: At work, I don’t mess around. I want to be the best, I want to spend every second giving every effort and when I take a pause to breathe at the end of the day I can look back and feel accomplished and productive. I don’t want to waste any day. Do I necessarily want to be spending my short life at work? No, I’d rather be traveling the world, sipping espresso in some Venetian cafe. Does that mean I can’t LOVE what I do? I do love what I do, because it’s what I have and shouldn’t we love the one we’re with?

3. Being incredibly and unapologetically vain: Who are these people who think looks don’t matter? They absolutely matter! Whether or not it’s right is a debate for another time and culture. We live and love here and now, we judge people based on what they look like immediately. Later they might charm us with their sense of humor or kindness, but we will always have that first impression of what they looked like. So I make sure my first impression will be a good one. My husband has made a joke (or maybe it’s not a joke) about how I can spend two hours a day at the gym and two hours a day getting ready but I can’t find the time to put the laundry away. 

4. Speaking the truth: Maybe you think that if you’re going to die tomorrow the last thing on your tongue should be kind words, or whatever. If what you have to say is kind, then by all means SPEAK IT. But if you feel a certain kind of way, if you really want to let your boss know that you notice his favoritism or let the barista at Starbucks know that you’re sick and tired of ordering a peppermint mocha and getting just a plain old mocha, SPEAK IT!

 

In conclusion… oh, conclusion seems so final. 

Lets just end this. 

7 Ways To Be Instantly Happier

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1. Get up earlier

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I know to you night owls, this seems counterproductive. It almost seems torturous. But try to ignore your initial gag reflex and listen…

It’s been called the “heroic minute” because becoming an early riser takes huge sacrifice and dedication. Especially in the Winter when you’re getting up before the sun, to stretch your legs out into a cold and dark abyss seems something a person out of their mind would do. Staying cuddled under the covers for just one more minute seems such a better option…

But people who get up earlier are more productive, feel better, and get more done. They perform better at work and school, they have more time in the morning to “ease” into the day before rushing off to wherever they have to be.  Do you usually skip breakfast or grab a bagel because you just don’t have the time for anything else? Take it easy tomorrow morning. Make yourself some eggs, read the paper or that magazine article you haven’t gotten around to, take a long shower or get an endorphin filled work out in. By the time 8am rolls around and others are just starting their day, you’ll already have so much under your belt. And it will feel amazing.

2. Take A Bath

Get your water temperature right, for me the hotter the better. Light some candles, if that’s your thing. Put the right playlist on and slide in. Nothing  puts a bad or long day behind you faster then soaking in some bubbly water. Glass of wine (or your preferred alcoholic beverage) optional, but highly recommended. Don’t drink too much, or you’ll drown.

3. Sing Out Loud

In the shower, in the car, on the treadmill at the gym… if the mood strikes you, you hear a song you LOVE… don’t hold back. There is nothing wrong with belting out the lyrics from a Journey song at the top of your lungs.  A couple songs I that put me in a great mood…

*Butterfly by Jason Mraz

* When I Get You Alone by Robin Thicke

*Anything by Bruno Mars….

You get the point. Music makes us happy, singing makes us even happier. It doesn’t matter if you can carry a tune, ignore the dirty looks from the other shoppers in the grocery line. Be joyous, be loud.

4.  Have A Cup of Tea

Pick one to fit your mood. I don’t know if it’s the delicious warmth, the aromatic herbs, or just the sassiness you feel when lifting your pinky finger..

I like Earl Grey in the morning. It makes me feel important, smells and tastes fantastic. Green tea is great for any time of day, and amazing for your health. My new one is raspberry tea, it’s herbal but just right for watching a movie at night.

Not only does tea make you feel happy and relaxed, but ALL tea is great for you. Studies have seen positive correlations between tea drinking and preventing heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, you name it. So if drinking that cup of tea doesn’t immediately make you feel happy, the thought of the benefit you’re doing for your body should.

5. Have… Sex

I’m certainly not trying to be crass here, but if you’ve ever done IT you know what I’m talking about!

Physical contact between yourself and another human being is necessary for life. Studies have shown that babies who don’t get touched are sickly, and sometimes don’t make it. So, touching is great. Skin on skin contact, even better.

Not to mention how great it feels. Sex, that is. I guarantee you’ll be happier during and after. Give it a try… like now.

6. BE ACTIVE!

For me, it’s working out. I know that’s not everyone’s “thing”. Even if you’re getting outside to take a walk, or  going sledding with your kids, any activity is better than the strenuous effort of lifting your television remote.

Every day I get to the gym is better than one where I do not. I’m in better spirits, I’m more alert, I feel better about myself.  Not to mention the results you will eventually see. The goal is to make physical activity a part of your day to day, this way you feel off if you aren’t getting a move on. Once this happens, once it’s integrated into your routine, I promise your overall mood will change for the better and for good.

7. Get a Pet

Some days, nothing makes me happier than walking through my door to have my two Havanese pups run to me and greet me. They are so pumped to see me, and in response I am pumped to see them. They cuddle me without asking for anything, they are quiet when told to be quiet, and my relationship with them is one of the most fulfilling in my life.

That sounds bad. But, relationships with people can be full of land mines and side roads. They can be exhausting. Pets just love you because you’re there and you feed them, and you love them because they don’t expect you to stop at the store on your way home from work for a gallon of milk.