In the introduction of their book, So Who’s Counting?, authors Emily Luchetti and Erin McHugh wrote, “But really, things are just beginning to happen. We’re healthier, we live longer than the generations before us; we have later-in-life careers; we go on dating websites; we’re more engaged and travel farther. Older is getting younger every day.“
It’s important to note that these two amazing women, Luchetti and McHugh, are both in their 60s at the time of the book publication. That is why their introduction resonated with me so much. They are in their 60s and feel that they still have so much time to do things that they wanted whereas I know a lot of people who are in their 20s that feel like it’s too late to try something new.
In a few days, I’ll turn decades old and there are three things that I want to remember as I’ll begin my journey to another decade wherein I’ll graduate college, get a job, and move out of my parent’s house.
- To feel as if time is “slowing down”, do/learn something new every day.
I have read countless posts from people in their 20s-40s that say that they feel like time moves faster compared to when they were kids. This is because when we were kids, we are constantly exposed to new things, experiences, and learning. We even have spontaneous night-outs with friends. However, when we graduate from college and get a job, our days somehow get repetitive except for occasional events and day-offs.
Novelty creates the feeling of a “long” day. On the other hand, when we do the same thing every day (ex. wake up-shower-eat-work-eat-work-shower-sleep), it feels like time’s slipping away.
The more I get older, the more I am susceptible to the barrenness of a busy life. I might get caught up with work and one day, I wake up and found out that I am already 33 or 42.
To savor life and make the most of everything while I am still here, I’ll do something new every day or simply, continuing to follow my curiosities.
Reading a mind-boggling novel. Learning how to *insert any form of art*. Learning a new language. Learning a new topic. Writing my experiences every day. Writing something interesting.
- Whatever happens, continue doing things that are meaningful to you.
I may be worrying about my studies right now and the next three years or so. But after that, I’ll worry about my job next. There will never be a perfect situation. There will always be something.
One thing that will keep me grounded and have healthier well-being amidst everything is to do the things that I find meaningful.
I struggled a lot during the last few months and one of the things that helped me cope up with it is through interviews and listening to peoples’ stories, sharing it through writing, talking with my friends and family, sun-bathing, writing in my journal, and reading a book. These actions are the typical things that bring joy to my life.
And I hope, even in the succeeding years, I will not forget to choose joy.
- Optimize, literally, for tomorrow.
This past year, I realize how much of my small daily actions affected my life positively. Reading and writing constantly helped me tremendously in terms of generating ideas- saved me tons of time and I’m able to do more meaningful work. Whatever I do today, it adds up. Just continue.
- Don’t rush. Live life. Experience it.
This is life. Yes, there are problems, probably, everywhere, but that’s part of life. I may leave the world tomorrow or next year. I might as well take advantage of what’s in front of me right now. Savoring every food my mother cooks. Treasuring the free time that I have from school for my hobbies (because I may never get this chance again when I graduate and have a job). Soaking up the, still, warm sunlight right now because, in a month or two, the sunlight will get too warm that it will hurt my skin whenever I am outside.
Whatever that’s in front of me right now. I am gonna treasure it and experience it fully because I may never have the same opportunity again.
Looking at it more deeply, nothing really changes except that I am much closer to death than the years before and I had a higher number to write/say in a question that asks, “How old are you?”
But, the beauty in birthdays is that it allows you to reassess yourself- your priorities, desires, wants, dreams, and goals. Birthdays are a perfect example of beginning something. If we fail to achieve some goals, there are still 85 more days in a year that we can use to begin again.
This is the list, according to When by Daniel Pink:
- The first day of the month (twelve)
- Mondays (fifty-two)
- The first day of spring, summer, fall, and winter (four)
- Your country’s Independence Day or the equivalent (one)
- The day of an important religious holiday—for example, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, Eid al-Fitr (one)
- A loved one’s birthday (one)
- The first day of school or the first day of a semester (two)
- The first day of a new job (one)
- The day after graduation (one)
- The first day back from vacation (two)
- The anniversary of your wedding, first date, or divorce (three)
- The anniversary of the day you started your job, the day you became a citizen, the day you adopted your dog or cat, the day you graduated from school or university (four)
- The day you finish this book (one)
Finally, this has been my guiding principle the past year and I still want it to guide my life:
“Doubts in one’s creative ability can be cured by guiding people through a series of small successes. And the experience can have a powerful effect on the rest of their lives.” – Tom Kelley & David Kelley, Creative Confidence
I have insecurities. I have self-doubt. I barely have any confidence. I failed a lot more times than I had ever won. I’ve been to rock-bottom so many times that I think I might have married the “rock bottom” itself.
But every time that I can do something that I thought was impossible for me to do, the little voice in my head that says, “I can do this.” becomes less soft and more assured.
It doesn’t really matter if I have married the rock bottom itself because of my constant visitations within it. It is worth it because I am aware that I get to learn something new whenever I am in there. And when you are at rock bottom, the only way to go is up.