People like to talk about how your 30’s are those years when life gets that wee bit easier. You’ve established yourself and worked through and decided upon the things that make you. Maybe you’re earning a little more money, you’ve settled into your house and all is well in the world. Thirty. Easy, I’ve got this. And then in a moment, you don’t get this.
But what if you’re starting over over 30? What then.
In a moment something happens and life changes. How do you pick-up and start again when the stuff you’ve spent the past decade accumulating, maybe without the people or the places you love, how do you do that? I have no freaking idea, to be honest, but as Mr Suger and I tackle some version of this ourselves, here are my thoughts.
You have to let go of how life should look.
Those shoulds are going to do you in if you let them. Shoulds are one of those life and happiness sucking things. A should will sneak up on you and steal your joy if you let it. So don’t let it. Walk away from the idea of what you though your 30s (or whatever decade you’re in) and admit that you know nothing. You had a plan; you had a goal… It didn’t work out. That sucks. Moving on.
Be prepared to knuckle down.
For us, this is particularly true, we have spent almost a decade in some version of living it up. We didn’t realise it at the time, but we were. So the time has come to do what we know to do but have been avoiding doing for a while. There are some areas of our life that require our attention but because they were boring or annoying, we didn’t do them. Now it’s time to pay the piper. You can only dodge being an adult for so long, apparently.
Or if you’ve been too uptight, prepare to loosen up.
Then as much as there are areas that we were all free and easy over, there are areas of our lives that would benefit from removing our foot from the go fast pedal. It’s about balance, and if your life has done a nose drive in one area, you’re obviously out of balance. So it’s time to even that keel and find your centre.
Don’t stop dreaming…!
I blame those Glee kids for hearing that song in my head as I type that, but it’s true. When you get knocked down, you cannot be afraid to try again, to dream big again, to risk it all again. That’s something we are working on over here. Making plans to go after the life you want, those big dreams for yourself, when your last ones just didn’t work out is tough. It’s downright impossible some days. But it’s essential. Sure, sulk a little, but don’t forget to get back up and go again.
Get better advice.
For us, it wasn’t a case of bad advice, but a case of ignoring good advice. So I include this one to cover both sides of the coin. Maybe you’ve been taking advice from the wrong people. Or maybe you’re a little more like us and forget to take the advice you sought. Whatever the reason, now is the time to reach out to others and ask for their words of wisdom. Then, you know, act on that.
30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 12, you’ve got time.
One of the reason starting over in your 30’s or later is that you are saying goodbye to whatever effort, time, or money you poured into the last decade or two. It’s like when you finished your homework as a kid, took it to your parents to get the okay to play a video game, and they said “no it’s messy, start again.” and rub it out. Grrrr. Being back at something resembling, ground zero sucks. And the older you get, the more it sucks because it feels like maybe you won’t make it back in time.
But that’s bullshit, you’re not done until your done. Starting over over 30 shouldn’t be something you don’t have ‘time to do. Who knows how much time you have. Don’t make me trot out that old ‘you could get hit by a bus tomorrow’ line. Start today. Don’t sit around looking back on the good old days forever. Dust yourself off my friend, it’s time to start over. Who knows what there is in store for you when you find your feet. Something pretty darn cool, I hope.
Have you had to start over? How old were you and how did you do it?