I just recently turned 35.
‘Do not regret growing older. It’s a privilege denied to many’
The above says it all. I could look into the mirror and count my wrinkles. Or, I could look into the mirror and count my blessings that my husband is still unable to find a single gray hair on me. Life is really about perspective -it’s either a cup half full or half empty.
A lot of people get emotionally offended when someone asked of their age. It is ‘rude’ and has become a social taboo, especially for women. Meanwhile, we paraded our need in the name of ‘equality’ and #futureisfemale. Don’t get me wrong, I’m probably as feminist as you can get -even my soul is pink. Just sayin’✋🏽
I have to say though, being 35, I am now the happiest, healthiest and wealthiest I have ever been. And it’s not because I am borned privileged. Maybe instead, the opposite rather. Here, I would like to outline things that you could do too so that life will be a little bit easier, and that age; whatever number it is -won’t keep up.
1) Worry less
This is rather self-explanatory. But boy, it is a very difficult habit to break. Worry seeps so naturally in our being that we almost misunderstood that it is a ‘must’ personality trait. Sorry to break it to you love but you couldn’t be more wrong.
Worrying is a mechanism to compliment our human needs in performing daily tasks. For example, I’m worried wether I would have enough time to write my blog this week. It is a valid concern and there is an active action I can take in order to stop my worry. Hence I am writing my blog now -while the hair dresser is pulling and tugging my hair.
But worrying about something you cannot control of in the future is completely a waste of time. For example, one of my colleague is having her wedding in July this year. She pretty much eats, sleeps and breaths her wedding day. She worries if her wedding dress arrives in the wrong color, if her make-up fails her and if the guests will be impressed. Now, despite these being possible but worrying about them (just because) will make you a very tired, not-so-radiant bride.
Remember, life is about perspective. Your guests can feel and perceive your happiness through a lot of means -not just your designer wedding shoes.
2) Complaint less
Some people complaint because they make their life goals to complaint. They can make a complaint out of anything and everything. Nothing is good enough. Even good is not good enough.
Try this exercise: challenge yourself to only speak of gratitude for one week. If it rains, be thankful that you have a shelter to keep you warm. If you’re tired, be thankful that you have a job that provides. If you’re upset, be thankful that you have someone who will make it okay again.
I used to complaint quite a bit too. I complaint if the plates are not washed straight away, if the clothes are not ironed immediately once they dried and if my pimple decided to grace my chin in a grandeur manner. I wasn’t terrible but I wasn’t cool either. It used to put strain in my relationship and I was not completely happy but I don’t know how to let go.
Slowly but surely, I managed to break this habit. Piles of plates (on the sink): God, I’m thankful we have food to place on them. Having said that, it is not an elegant excuse to get you out of your responsibilities. We do clear our dishes but I don’t sweat about them anymore should they are not washed right away.
Just complaint less. If you have nothing better to say, why not say nothing at all? 😉
3) Be inspired, always
Life is a learning process. You learned a set of skills and perhaps making a living out of it now. That’s great, very great. But what if you can do more? What if you can be better? When was the last time you did something for the first time?
The best thing in life is free. And this, still stands true in this context. Reading, listening to podcasts or TED talks are free. Too many times, they have helped me to be more independent in my thinking, more forgiving in my words, encouraging me to always -be inspired and kind.
I can talk about the life of Mother Teresa, rowdy childhood of Jackie Chan, long battle of Mohammad Ghandi and the remarkable rise of Aung San Suu Kyi -like a bedtime fairy-tale stories. These not-so-common commoners achieve so many great things, mainly through an exceptional kindness. I am so so humbled to breath the same air, to shelter on the same clouds and to grace the same planet Earth.
You could move a mountain with faith as big as a mustard seed
4) Invest in good relationships
When I worked as a doctor looking after oncology patients, not only that I have privilege to look after my patients but truthfully I learned a great deal about life. Besides talking about updates regarding their health care, often I also asked them what they did when they were young and what would they do differently now (as not having the best of health can somehow restrict you). Almost too often, they talked about relationships they have (with parents, spouse, children, friends) and a lot of them carries the burden of regrets -for not spending time on Christmas, for not saying kind words when its due, for being too busy to show empathy.
I have also witnessed another (stage 4) patient whose wife would wear a bright sequin purple sleeping robe, she being 4’11 and him 6’2. She also dressed him in a purple pyjama and one day, I happened to make my late evening rounds. I asked them if they have any special occasion for the matchy sleeping gears and they both giggled. She quickly explained: well, this is how we dress at home and he will normally do the hard work at warming up my feet because I’m always cold! When he is gone, I guess I have to deal with my own cold feet!
Hearing this, I don’t know whether I should giggled with them but my natural response somehow was my damn stupid welled up eyes. And then I forced a very faint smile. She continued: He is the best thing that ever happened in my life and I am glad to spend most of it with him. I left the room rather quickly (before my tears ripped my ego apart) and secretly thought of my husband who does exactly the same thing every night -warming my damn cold feet. 😭😭😭
When life feels like eternity, we always thought that wordly success and monetary wealth gives us happiness. I do agree that they do help to make it easier to achieve happiness but they should not be the core of your priciples (towards happiness). However, investing in good and trusting relationships with friends, family members, partner and your children (no matter how challenging) will give you rewards beyond and above everything else. When time is running out, only these and solely these people -matters.
Love with all of you, give with all of you, trust with all of you.
“You live this life once, make it worthwhile”
Ok folks, I think that’s all for now!! I hope that you do love the write up and please give it some love! Remember, inspire somebody TODAY! 🤗
Xx Sophie Voon