Thirties is a huge eye opener after the easy-going life of 20s. It is also a very eventful decade as more and more women are opting to be first time mothers in their thirties. As I hit my mid-thirties, I realized that I was no more a 20-year old girl, and hence cannot sustain my life like one. My body was different, I had a child to attend to and I was in a different mind space. And, that required a lifestyle change. And that’s what I did.
I quit certain habits, introduced certain new ones and changed certain existing ones. Here are 11 things I have started doing in my 30s.
Exercise: This one tops the list. One day as I was climbing up the stairs of my building, a teenager went ahead of me taking two stairs at a time. It made me realize of my teenage days when I used to do the same. But now, I could not do it. My body was not flexible or strong anymore. Morning walks and evening strolls were not helping me much. And, that’s when I decided to join a gym. Most people associate gymming with body sculpting. No, it’s not only for that. I go for building strength and after 4 years of continuous gymming, I can say, I have managed to build a strong body.
Yoga, pranayama and meditation: A strong body is useless if it is not coupled with a strong mind. I learnt that when I found myself shouting often at my daughter for inconsequential things. I resorted to Yogasana, pranayama and meditation for healing mind and mental peace. It has helped me manage my frustration, anxiety and anger.
Clean eating: This is one of the biggest changes of this decade. Earlier, we ate out a lot. We have changed that. Now, we prefer eating at home. We realized that even the most expensive restaurants don’t handpick their veggies and fruits like a mother does or use the best quality oils and products. We have cut down on our consumption of processed foods like pasta, breads, breakfast cereals, etc. We make our own jam, peanut butter, white butter, cookies, etc. It makes me super happy to know that I am providing, as much as possible, clean food to my family.
Health: In your 20s, you don’t what a joint pain is or stiff fingers are. As you enter your 30s, almost everyone goes through a joint pain. Many of them even develop certain lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, thyroid, PCOS/PCOD, etc. Yes, it is an indication that you cannot take your health lightly. Once a year, I get medical tests done for B12, Vitamin D3, Calcium, Lipid profile, bilirubin, creatinine, urine, CBC.
Also, you cannot ignore any aches or pains. My breasts hurt even outside my menstrual cycle. I suffered and ignored it for more than a year, when someone told me what if it was cancer. The next day, I went for a mammography. Luckily, there was nothing to be scared; the pains were due to a Vitamin E deficiency. Also, I take calcium and iron tablets regularly as prescribed by my doctor.
Body image: I was very conscious of my looks while growing up and it had sort of troubled me all my 20s. Now, no more. Not that I have transformed overnight into a sexy diva, but I am more comfortable with my body and looks. Though I follow the fashion scene avidly, I don’t necessarily put my body through it. I don’t own a single pair of heels, because I don’t want my body to go through unnecessary pain. I give two hoots for uncomfortable trends. I am comfortable in my skin, and I wear whatever pleases me.
Also, I am in no hurry to hide the whites in my hair and the laugh lines around my mouth. As they say, they are proof that I have not grown up overnight, and that my body has been through a lot. The laugh lines show that I have had many moments to cheer and be happy about in my life. 🙂
Slowing down: I will soon be entering into the 40s. I don’t want to look back into my past years as a maniac who ran and rushed through her life. Hence, I have taken a conscious decision to slow down. It means fewer toys and extra-curricular activities for my daughter, but so be it. I read, blog, write and take out time to smell the rose once in a while.
Building relationships: Today, I am not in touch with all my friends from college and work, but I don’t fret over it. I know everyone is in a happy space, and that’s what matters. Over time, I have cultivated relationships with my neighbors (something I never bothered to do when I was unmarried), fellow mommies (you tend to become friends with your child’s friends’ parents), and my domestic help. These relationships are as much meaningful as they are long lasting.
Letting go of the baggage: You can’t reach 30s without falling in love once and going through a breakup. Those hurt sentiments from a love relationship gone sour or a broken friendship plague you all through your twenties. But in your 30s, you realize it’s not worth carrying that baggage. It’s time to let it go and be free from unnecessary load. Forgiveness comes easily. And that’s what I have done. I have started forgiving people who have hurt me in the past.
Saying sorry: As you grow older, you grow wiser. I have realized saying sorry comes easily to me nowadays, while earlier, I was too full of ego. If I know I am wrong, I apologize or try to reconcile.
As my wise neighbor once told me, “Meeting people are like account books. Try to close them without getting into debit or credit, or they might cross your paths again in the next life. You don’t want all of them in your next life, do you?”
Sharing & Caring: Earlier, it was all about I, me and myself. But with the arrival of your child, you learn to care for another being selflessly. She becomes the most important person in your life. Slowly, the spectrum of your selfless sharing and caring grows to include friends of your child, her caregivers, etc.
Investing in things that last: Apart from relationships, I choose things with care. Those days of flippancy are long gone. When I choose or buy something, I take undue care of the fact that it is something that will serve me for a long time to come.
I am sure this list will grow as I grow. And, I am so looking forward to the change. Because, this is one more thing that I have adopted, to go with the flow. I have started accepting things as they are, and try not to fret over things which I have no control.