Lessons in My 30s

I left Toronto at the end of my 20s. Now, starting my third year as a full-time teacher in the north, I have learned a few things about myself and how to make my day-to-day life run more smoothly. What I’ve learned aren’t necessarily secrets, they’re just good habits that you have lived without for a long time.

Going into my 30s, I’ve learned that skipping or avoiding the gym over time will make you go crazy*. Waking up early to work out is entirely possible, even if you have vehemently believe that you’re “not a morning person.” During the long Canadian winters, you do have to moisturize and have a good under eye cream, even if it’s expensive**. Books are an indulgent, yet necessary, escape and getting enough sleep makes you wonder how you ever functioned in your teens and your 20s. Eating junk food will forever be an escape, but overdo it and you will pay and regret it. The weight doesn’t shed as quickly as it did when you were younger.

If you’ve got a beef with someone, bite your tongue and just let it slide. It’s not worth the energy to carry unnecessary stress home. Good friends will stick around, even if you move far away and you will be disappointed by others whom you believed were reliable friends. Sometimes, you will realize that you are that shitty friend, or soon-to-be ex-friend. Good relationships are hard to come by. Friendships cannot be forced. You only have so much time in your day; prioritizing your time is important so pick who you hang out with.

Do the paperwork and pay your bills on time. There will always be work to take home; you will never feel totally in control but at least attempt to stay organized, no matter what. The weekends are for unwinding. Even if you do take work home, you don’t allow guilt to consume you. Find some time to turn off work, catch up on sleep, undo all the stress from the previous week so that you have enough energy to face the next week. Enjoy your work as much as you can. As long as the good days outnumber the bad, you’re doing fine. No one loves their job every single day of the year.

And having said all that, there’s still a lot to learn. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a good start to my 30s so far.

*This is reinforced by watching your coworkers go crazy in the same fashion. You try to explain how exercise is an antidote. Some will listen and some won’t. 

**Last year, I went through a series of rashes on my face. I ultimately stuck with a hypoallergenic and stable brand, Clinique. It took lots of ugly, red bumps, some denial and too many brands to learn this lesson.

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