Just Say No - a look at our late twenties
It seems a lot of my posts have been centered on my upcoming 3rd decade of life. 2016 is the last year of my twenties, and I'm already feeling "30." I put that in quotation marks because it seems that for years, "30" has become a noun rather than simply an age. It's been a dark cloud, a symbol of getting older and impending doom. Unbeknownst to me at the age of 24, I was on a fast track to so many changes even though on a daily basis nothing seemed to budge. My posts lately have complained about my knee problems, foot problems and gray hair. I've revealed my newfound love for Netflix and reclining on the couch on a Friday night I'm now a victim of baby fever. Facebook memories reminded me this week that I am consistent in getting excited over all of the cute kid pictures at Easter time every year. (It wasn't long ago that the pictures I was excited over were those of the guys who also "swiped right.") Needless to say, I've changed a lot in the past 5 years and although I'm still silly, talkative and occasionally hormonal (aka crazy), I've honestly grown and learned so much.
A shift in priorities has come as an accompaniment to aging, and something of interest is this: prior to the last year or two, my priorities were always my priorities because they aligned with those of other people. Let me rephrase this in simpler terms: making other people happy is what used to make me happy. I wanted people to like me, to have fun with me, to be happy with my decisions or choices. I was one of those people who could never say no. I had "FOMO" as they call it nowadays -fear of missing out. I cared so much about being "cool" since I certainly never was in my school days, that I never missed a social gathering no matter what I sacrificed: money, time, sleep. I had SO many friends and never a night of the week where I couldn't find plans if I wanted to.
Now, age has changed this in two ways - the first being that there's no way I could stay awake near as long as I used to be able to. More often than not, "Let's go downtown at 9 PM" has become "let's get dinner at 6; I go to bed at 9." Aside from the biological changes of snoozing during movie nights, I've also changed in that I'm doing more of what I want to do - I've learned to say NO.
News flash to the younger people - your late twenties is all about you. While you may think I'm lame, I'm taking care of me and focusing on the things that really matter. Work happy hour? Sorry, I've gotta go to bible study. Snooze button? Nope, gotta go to the gym. Dinner out 3-4 times a week? Nope, eating clean - okay, or eating pizza home alone on the couch, but... saving money!
I used to spend so much time doing that I thought mattered, but in letting go of 75% of those things, I've found out who my real friends are, and what really makes me happy. My real friends? If I send them a text that says "sorry, I actually don't want to be social tonight; I want to stay home and do laundry," they totally get it. Just a side note - the less of the go, go, go, the more you can focus on having lifetime friendships, not a plethora of acquaintances.
I still know how to have fun, but man is it liberating to say "no" once in a while and not feel so overwhelmed. I guess I better enjoy it, because I'm thinking that my mid-30s will bring a new meaning to being "busy" and my nos will be due to soccer practice or PTA meetings.
This is 29 - "I have plans" meaning "I have plans to stay home or do something better for myself" and that's SO okay with me.