Today is my birthday! I’m turning 30 at last. You know, it’s not as scary as I thought it would be.
This was my view this morning. My adorable husband made me pancakes (gluten free!) which we sat and ate watching the sea get bluer and bluer.
While I’m wandering around Santorini with my eyes like saucers, I thought I’d share with you some reflections I’ve been having in the lead up to the big 3-0. This is sort of along the same lines as treat yo’self, but on a macro level.
After losing my father last year, my moorings were well and truly shaken. I took a good hard look at the things I thought I knew about life. I reassessed what I knew from the ground up, and realised I needed to change quite a few things.
One thing was that I needed to start doing the things I’d always wanted to. My Dad was such a hard worker, and he loved his job which I’m sure helped, but he also had a number of hobbies he was passionate about. When he retired, he took these up with gusto. However, he only had three short years of retirement to enjoy his great loves before he passed away.
I am learning from this.
The things I want to do, I’m going to do now. If I can possibly, responsibly, financially manage to do them, then I will. I have an enormous amount of privilege just by accident of birth, not least everything my family has done and still do for me. I don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted any of it.
These are the things I always wanted to do, so I’m doing.
Fix my teeth ¦¦ I’ve always hated my gappy teeth, and I know they look great on some people and I know they are inherited from my Grannie who is one of my absolute favourite people who has ever walked the earth and I know that nobody even notices them, but they bother me. And that’s all that matters. So I’m getting them fixed.
Travel more ¦¦ I love seeing the world and I’m directing any spare resources towards that end. 2016 has been going great so far, with trips to Istanbul and various cities in the UK under my belt already. We’ve got some immense travels planned for later in the year, and now I’m spending my birthday in Santorini – does it get better than this?!
Say no ¦¦ There are things in life I don’t enjoy doing. We all have them. Instead of forcing myself to do them (for whose benefit?) I am now much happier just saying no. Obviously I am always careful to make sure I don’t put anyone else out unnecessarily by doing so, but mostly it ends up suiting everyone better. Case in point, we now have a cleaner. Cleaning the house was taking up too much of my time and mental effort (and causing fights between S and I). Now we have a cleaner, I have more time to do the things I like and S and I hardly disagree about anything any more. Yes, our cleaner costs money but I like to think in value terms. It’s the best money I’ve spent all year (even better than that dress from Boden*).
Stop caring what other people think ¦¦ I’ve wasted so much time, effort and even money on what other people think, or might think, of me. I’m not sure what has changed in the last year or so, but I’ve just stopped caring. It may be the realisation that life is just too damn short, it might be the realisation that I’d rather spend the money on other things (ahem travel), or that nobody notices that I wear the same 3 jumpers on rotation. It might well be that I’d rather spend my time enjoying myself than worrying about what other people think about me. This also applies to things like my career, whether or not I should own a house by now, whether or not I should have children by now… I am on my path, they are on theirs. And that’s how it should be.
Maybe I’d have had these revelations even if I hadn’t also been turning 30 at the same time. I don’t know. All I know is, from where I’m standing right now my path is looking overwhelmingly beautiful.
*Yes I am old now. I shop at Boden.