Creeping up on 30 has me experiencing a level of awareness I’ve never before experienced… an awareness of myself. Unlike some, my quarter-life crisis started around 26 and isn’t over yet. The stereotype of the 40-year-old, balding, white male purchasing a Harley is about as far from the truth as it gets. These top 5 signs tell the real story.
5. Healthy living: It’s about more than being skinny.
I’ve never been fat…but I’ve never been particularly healthy, either. Getting older has a way of making us realize the big difference between the two. I no longer run so I’ll have awesome legs at the beach next summer. Now I run because cardio is hugely important for a healthy heart, which is in turn important for…you know…living. Suddenly, every cheeseburger and slice of bacon I’ve ever eaten is coming back to haunt me as I’m realizing that another 25 years might be all I get at the rate I’m wolfing down fast food and neglecting exercise.
4. Looking good never looked so good.
Or mattered so much…or so little? This is can go either way. For some of my friends, keeping up with beauty trends is more important now than ever. But for me the opposite has become true. At 20 you couldn’t have paid me to go anywhere–not even Walmart–without full metal makeup. Mascara, blush, eyeliner, the works. Getting older has me realizing something I wish I’d have figured out sooner–there’s more important things I can do with my time. I can spend an hour getting my hair just right to spend fifteen minutes in the grocery store, or I can spend that time doing something actually important, like yelling at my kids. It’s all about priorities.
3. The future is real?
Remember when the future was a science fiction concept all your teachers wouldn’t shut up about in high school? Well, now you’ve got some life experience. You’ve seen the difference between the jobless kids who skipped out on college and the jobless kids who went for that Liberal Arts degree. My point is, we know the future exists and we recognize the impact we have on it now. Suddenly, knowing I have a crap credit score actually matters. Worse, knowing I haven’t started saving for retirement is enough to truly scare me. I don’t want to live in my daughter’s basement when I’m 90 because I didn’t have a 401k.
2. Doing the math: Grandkids
It’s official…I’ve begun to do the math. I was a young mother–very young–and I’m now able to discuss with my son the time when we’ll be old together. When he’s 50, I’ll be a whopping 68! When you’re that old, you’re practically the same age! Exciting, right? Absolutely, especially when you start figuring how many grandkids you’ll have–and what are the odds of surviving to meet your great-grandkids. Yes, those are real thoughts. And you’re having them now.
1. Your life goal…is something else
I was born and raised in a nomadic lifestyle, moving every couple of years. Wyoming, Missouri, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas…I’ve been everywhere. Buying a house sounds like a death sentence. You mean stay in one place…forever? I’m claustrophobic just thinking about it. My goal was to always move around and retire to a mobile home where I would continue moving around until stopped by meddling grandkids or death. Enter 25 and my entire life view tilted on its axis. Owning land to build a foundation of family on suddenly feels imperative. With old age looming in the distance I’m desperate to buy a house and get started on the legacy I’ll leave behind for my family.