I’m in my thirties. And yes, I also researched the internet in search of the right life spirit of a thirty-something. My advice is to not do that but instead just follow your heart. But you don’t get any wiser of that either. In order to make it anyhow more concrete, I share my results of a study into the life lessons of people aged over forty for people in their thirties.
Because now that I ‘m in my thirties, what should I put in my list of new year resolutions?
When it comes down to resolutions, I prefer to think in terms of habits rather than goals. What do I stand for, and how do I ensure that my daily routine is an extension of that? Every year I look ahead at ambitions and non-ambitions for the coming year. For example, in 2013 I wrote that I wanted to save € 5,000 for a bicycle trip from Rotterdam to Singapore. And in 2016 I arrived in Singapore after a year of cycling through 25 countries. Well, I was still in the midst of my twenties and in your twenties you can live your dream in an undiluted way. But if you turn thirty…
I became 31 last year. In going around the internet for some wise words, I learn that it’s time to take responsibility for my future. Ensure that I no longer have any debts, save for my pension, take out a mortgage, have an indefinite contract and much more in that genre. Actually, the motto of the 30s should be: stop throwing money out and take responsibility for your future!
Well Henk, you just spent € 3,000 on a month of a very cold adventure in the Arctic Circle, isn’t it time for you to take responsibility for your future?
But wait a minute, what is taking responsibility when you have just passed the 30s? In response to this question, a variety of blogs give me very appropriate wisdoms:
- nobody really has his life in order;
- let go that you too can not be your perfect self;
- you can not have everything so focus on something in particular;
- invest in your family, it is worth it;
- stop spending time on people who treat you badly;
- stop comparing yourself with others;
- take saving money more seriously;
- keep on growing and developing yourself.
The conclusion? I get the idea that there are many people who, in their thirties, let go of ambitions that never really happened. Or maybe the wisdom of people in their sixties who are looking back on wrong choices, leaving a low monthly benefit as a present for themself. Still, I look a bit further to more wisdom from even more versatile blogs focused on the responsibility of a thirty-something:
- take good care of the people you care about;
- don’t be afraid to take risks, you can still change;
- take care of your health, eat healthily and sport regularly;
- spend more time offline;
- eat more local food;
- learn something new;
- repair your stuff instead of buying something new immediately;
- take your rest seriously, no TV, telephone or laptop in your bedroom;
- look at documentaries instead of fictional series.
Taking responsibility is something personal. In these various intentions I distinguish interests that arise from the learning range of upbringing, experiences, environment, media, society and situations that have occurred and a person’s influence on them. And also to what extent you are privileged. For many the Netherlands is a country of ultimate freedom, wealth, peaceful flower fields and smart windmills that ensure that we can live below sea level. In many countries I was treated as a hero as a Westerner, whereas only my birthplace and color play a role in that. Our freedom of choice is therefore enormous, I also want to take responsibility in this.
The struggle is perhaps personal ambitions versus ambitions of your environment or how you should take responsibility in the eyes of others. I summarized in my last blog that I stand for adventure, nature, love, time, sobriety and equality. As a thirty-something, with these starting points and all the wisdoms of the internet, I come to the following list for 2019:
- publish a short film about cycling in the Arctic Circle;
- sleep more nights outside than in 2018;
- publish more blogs than in 2018;
- on the advice of the over-40s, I will save more;
- spending time every day on learning Spanish;
- learn to play chess;
- read more books (some are: The Argentin, Lost Connections, Dear White People, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck);
- planning a new adventure.
A hopeful advice: in your twenties you know exactly what is going on. In your thirties you find out that this is not the case at all. And in the time that you are forty you have accepted all that and you can relax. So I’ve to just stay strong and hope for the forties to hit in.
A happy new year everyone!
In my research I came across the following websites:
- 10 life lessons to excel in your 30s
- Why making an anti-resolution
- Random resolutions of an adventurer
Related articles that I wrote: