I have about two years until I’m 30. My husband’s already 31. I’m actually in this very surreal state regarding my age. Time previously stood still before I had my kid, but now it flies by. I know it’s early for that, but I guess I never imagined I’d make it this far into life. I know I’m also young to already be thinking about age in the way I am (I’ve been told this many times by older folks), but… well, I’m weird, and my brain is wired differently than other people.
Along with Distractify’s article on advice from 50+ year old men and women and rediscovering Baz Luhrmann’s “Sunscreen” I’ve found some good pieces of advice and found that the lyrics are still very much relevant today as it was when it first came out.? So, here are 10 ways to make your life better at 50 when you’re 30. The video is embedded below.
1. Quit smoking/Don’t pick it up
This one is pretty obvious with all the medical information that is out there. Since I’ve worked in a doctor’s office that saw many chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, I can tell you from observation what smoking does to the body. It’s inevitable that you will be carrying around an oxygen tank if you continue to smoke. I never really smoked except socially trying to be “cool.” I won’t be picking it up.
There’s really no corresponding quote from Luhrman’s song; however, regarding the body he said this:
“Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.”
You will miss your lungs when they are gone.
2. Mend your relationship with family members
You’ve probably been told, “That’s the only mother you have, and she won’t be here forever…” haven’t you? It’s true. Our parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles aren’t always going to be here. If you’ve had an issue with them that can possibly be mended or repaired, you probably should try. Then you can at least say you tried. Also, you’ll never know when you’ll need the support of a family member one day. Do you really want something on your conscience after it’s too late nagging you?
“Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.”
3. Letting go of toxic relationships including family
This one is from me. I’m only 28, but I’ve learned it early in the game. Yes, I know I said repair your relationship with family members. With that being said, sometimes a relationship is much too toxic to be repaired. If someone has the ability to cause you mental or emotional distress, they probably should not be in your life. Make sure, however, it’s something that once they’re gone you won’t tell yourself, “I should have…” Make sure you can lay your head down at night and sleep easily. I fortunately can, and I have the family members I need in my life and don’t have the ones that are toxic to me.
“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”
4. Wear sunblock
Skin cancer isn’t pretty. I’ve seen patients with half their nose missing because they had to remove a cancerous lesion. Yes, being tan is what is “in” right now. However, tanned skin vs. skin cancer and leathery wrinkles? You decide. I’m going to stay happily ghost pale.
“Ladies and gentleman of the class of ’99, wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists.”
5. Take care of your finances
With the state of our government and politics, we really should be setting back for a rainy day, recession, government/economy falls apart. Just in case, ya know? Yes, I understand the importance of a new Playstation 4. I want one too. However, save some money, put it in a bank, put it under your mattress, or get a mason jar and bury it in your backyard and save some of it. I’m not sure how well I’ll ever be at this, but I should be trying.
“Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.”
6. Learn to be content with what you have
This one is hard. We’re a generation of gadgets, sleek smart phones, awesome cars, 4K televisions. Ready to go shopping yet? It’s hard to be happy with your older model Honda Civic when your neighbor just brought home a brand new Camaro. We’re alive though. Hopefully, we have a home over our heads, food in our refrigerator, and air conditioning. As liberals, we fight for those who don’t have those things, and we know they are out there.
“Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead. Sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”
7. Travel more
I’m not sure if I’ll ever follow this one. I’m a social recluse. I like being home. Where in the world can I go and be a social recluse? By all means, e-mail me to let me know. However, the idea behind this is do what you want while you still can. I would advise doing this as soon as possible if you don’t have children because once you have children, it probably won’t happen.
8. Don’t compare yourself to others
At some point, we have to realize we are who we are. There was never any need during our school years to compare ourselves to others; however, we did. So, it’s time we should probably start letting go. If you believe your body isn’t perfect, wait until you have children and your body does not fit the social norm. Even without children, your body will age. I know I’ll never be good at this one. I compare myself to others constantly, and I will do it over almost anything.
“But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked… You are not as fat as you imagine.”
9. Live life to the fullest and do one thing that scares you every day
Does going to Wal Mart count? I jest (maybe). The fact is we are able to experience life right now. Whereas, when we’re 50 and 60 we may not be able to. Hopefully, we would, but the possibility is there that it won’t be an option. I can’t say that I do something daily that scares me; however, quitting medical transcriptions for the sake of my hands and giving my fullest attention to Liberal America was absolutely terrifying. Medical transcriptions was guaranteed money. Liberal America isn’t necessarily the case (unless you work hard – I work hard). However, I’m doing something I love rather than doing something I hate. So, I’m going to consider quitting transcriptions being worth an entire year of daily frightening activities.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
10. Start saving your memories
In whatever form you choose, write it down, scrapbook it, take a picture. But save your memories. When you’re older, the mind slips. Hell, I’m almost 30, and I can’t remember what I did five minutes ago sometimes. I blame parenthood for that one. But, do you really want to lose a memory about your child, now grown, when you could have had a picture or a video? This is definitely something I can do more of and incorporate crafts and creativity into it (YAY!).
“Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.”