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 that 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; they’re happiness sucking things, and it will sneak up 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. The time has come to do what we know to do but have been avoiding doing for a while. Some areas of life 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 about, 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, 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 perhaps 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 reasons 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 you’re 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?
Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.
I have had three major do overs since I was 17 and now I’m onto my fourth at 30 (nearly 31). I spent every year of my twenties looking after other people and putting their needs first to be Miss Perfect. Finally at 30 I called it quits on doing everything for everyone, took a voluntary redundancy, moved interstate and am starting again with my partner. I am determined not to repeat the mistakes I made in the past and actually start living a life I want, for me. Despite many people (friends and family) who can’t understand why I threw it all away and don’t support my decision, I know why I did and that’s all that matters. I’m not afraid of hard work, I’m more afraid of missing out on the important things and living a life half lived by other people’s expectations.
Good luck on your most recent do-over Tia! There’s something challenging about someone who can be brave like you are, throw caution to the wind and go after what they want. That’s why people get edgy, they are nervous that it won’t work out or that it will and they will have to do something about their lives too.
It really is, right? such a blessing and an opportunity to start again should be seen as such. It can be tricky though when you’re face first into it, but I hope this post helps at least one person to see clear of it.
Welcome along. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
Awesome post. When I was a kid, my ideal age was 30. I watched my Mum at 30 and I wanted to be just like her: confident in what she wanted, quietly powerful and in control of her life. Well that was what I saw in her anyway! I have seen her grow so much since and yet when she was 30 was when I really noticed how cool and strong she was and I wanted to be just like her.
I’m 30 next year and I have mixed feelings about it. I definitely don’t feel as confident as I thought my Mum was at this age, and yet I know from talking to her that she didn’t feel confident at all! I’m excited though. Mum still says the trick is to go with your gut instinct, trust yourself and do your absolute best ,and that advice hasn’t failed me yet. Everything I’ve been through has held a valuable lesson for me and I wouldn’t swap my 20’s for anything. And I am totally ready to hit my 30’s next year. At least I’ve convinced myself I am! The rest will come. I am sure of it.
It’s funny, isn’t it. The things you see when you are a child, the ideas you form about things. I’ll bet you were ready for your 30’s to be the best years of your life, the golden years? And I hope it goes that way for you. Remember my tip about the shoulds. Your Mum sounds amazing. High five Mum!
Great post Melissa , I think I start over everyday! in my 40’s I’ve consciously tried to let go of the mistakes or regrets of yesterday and make “today” the best it could be.
Should’a , Could’a , Would’a only steals the happiness that’s to be felt today
Wishing you a great today xx
Thank you Wendy. I love that, it’s such a great attitude to have. Shoulda coulda indeed!
When I trained property managers I used to tell them something similar so they wouldn’t go nuts… You have to be able to say well, I did that, I didn’t do that, and I didn’t even get anywhere NEAR that, but I tried and I’m ok with that and move on. I never thought to bring it into life in general. Nice one. I think there’s a post in that somewhere.
Oh yes. I have definitely done this in my 30s. I suspect I may do it again in my 40s and 50s too! Letting go of the shoulds is the biggest thing. Great post. And good luck!
Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I appreciate the wishes. Any super tips from your ‘do over’ that you’d like to share?
Hmm … mostly just do what you really want and ignore what pretty much everyone else thinks or says!!! But in a non-teenagery kind of way.
Haha. Yeah, less angst and drama, always a good thing. 😉
If only we could dial back the years! 🙂 Not possible though, so we just have to keep going, get out of our ruts and make happy memories. Afterall, you only get to live once, we’ll never get this day back again to redo. Life happens while we are busy making plans. 🙂 xo
Ahh yes, and good luck trying, right? A great reminder to just go for it. Thank you.
Last year, just before turning 30, I ound myself starting over with no money, no job and no Phd. And I was pretty excited, because it felt like a ´do over´. Now I´m about to turn 31 and the things I started last year are not working, so I find myself starting over, again, but this time feeling very down. Thank you for reminding me I´m not the only one going through this.
You aren’t. That’s for sure. Chin up and start again. I’ll keep everything crossed that what you want shows up this year in a big way. x
Big love, Melissa! This post was just what I needed for where I am right now. It’s almost as good as having a coffee with you in real life!
Best of luck with your journey going forward.
Thank you. And YES, we absolutely need to have coffee one day. Hoping all is well and that you are bouncing back like a champion. x
I love this post. I’ve recently found a lot more joy and happiness in my life by letting go of the ‘should’ and living in the now
Thank you Jo. It’s been the same for us too.
Yep we has to a start over. Ours was right at the start of 30’s when we lost our twin girls. We had spent our late 20’s preparing, organising and positioning ourselves to start a family. We sold our townhouse, moved, bought a four bedroom house, tucked a huge chunk of money away to support us comfortably for year once we had a child. We were ready and looking to the future with fantasy like plans of all the other dreams we had. But not to drag it all out and make this epic it all changed when we lost our girls. The starting over again, was emotional for us. All our confidence was knocked and our plans changed. But thankfully we’ve been delivered a pretty amazing and blessed by putting one foot in front of another.
Yours is such a story of triumph when it could have easily gone the other way. No would would’ve blamed you for giving up, for being too broken to continue, but you didn’t. And look at what you’ve created. Your girls would be proud. x
How funny you should write this, I am 39 and my husband is about to be made redundant. For awhile I got so despondent as I felt that I should be at a stage where I am not still worrying about money and making ends meet, as those around me seem to have settled into nice lifestyles! I have come to realise that it doesn’t matter what anyone has or is doing what matters is my family and appreciating what I have and not worrying about what I no longer need!
It’s those shoulds, they’ll get you every time. Every. Single. Time. Good luck to you and yours moving forward. I hope it ends up being an amazing thing for your family. x