5 Things I’m No Longer Doing in My 30s

I’m not new to the 30-age range, but I’ve certainly learned a lot in the last five years, and part of that learning includes things I’m no longer doing for my own mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s a bit odd that it took a whole pandemic for me to start saying “no” to things, but this last difficult year taught me that life is too short to be doing things that I don’t enjoy.

And so, here are five things I’m no longer doing and why.

This post is sponsored by College Dudes Help U Move.

Worrying About What Others Think

I kept hearing from older women that there was this newfound confidence once you hit your 30s, and I absolutely think that’s true. I used to be so worried about doing something “dumb” or “embarrassing” because of what others would think, and I wish I could go back and let younger me know how silly it is to constantly be worried about that.

It’s still something I have to work at – I get incredibly self-conscious when I’m taking outfit photos for my blog/Instagram and people drive or walk by, and I have to consciously tell myself that I probably won’t ever see those people again, and if I do, what does it matter if they’re laughing or judging? That has more to do with them than it does me!

Moving Heavy Furniture

We have plans to finish some lovely white oak floors we found under the ugly purple, wool carpet in the front of our house. We also have a piano in one of those rooms that I moved by myself when I painted. All the memes about hurting your back in your 30s just from sleeping are accurate, so you can bet I won’t be lifting or dragging that heavy thing through the house. Luckily, College Dudes Help U Move are close by and not only help with packing/moving, but offer a ton of services for moving large furniture like pianos, pool tables, and even hot tubs. Need gun safe movers in Charlotte NC — these guys specialize in moving many types of safes (up to 700 lbs!) safely and professionally. I love that two of their core values are to listen and then establish a plan so that everyone knows exactly how and where things will be moved.

Let’s be honest – none of your friends want to destroy their back helping you move heavy stuff in exchange for pizza and beer anymore.

From now on, I’m leaving the heavy lifting to the professionals.

Working on the Weekends

I had a lot of realizations about work culture this past year and have started setting better boundaries for myself and my mental/emotional health. For example, I clearly stated on my syllabus (I’m an English professor) that I would be available through email during business hours, and I finally stuck to that. No more checking my work email on the weekend or after 5pm on weekdays. 

Previously, I made myself way too available and was letting my job consume me and my time. I had to remind myself that this was a job, I wasn’t getting paid any extra for working on weekends, and that I was actually a better teacher when I gave myself breaks and separated work from my home life.

Denying Myself the Little Things

This last year has really shown us how important it is to enjoy life, especially the little things that we often take for granted. How often do we want a little treat or to try a new restaurant and put it off because we don’t “need” it or don’t have time? I was walking around the mall the other day and had a major craving for a Great American double doozie. Instantly my mind went to “but you don’t need it.” And while that was probably true, I turned around and got that cookie! 

Don’t destroy your finances or treat yourself to everything all the time, but life isn’t fun if we’re constantly depriving ourselves. Try that new brunch spot that you’ve been thinking about for a year. Start that garden and give yourself the pleasure of watching flowers bloom and grow.

Running

I had to end with a light-hearted one! When I was finishing my Ph.D., I decided to sign up for my first half marathon (yes, I thought it was a good idea to write a dissertation, apply for jobs, AND train). It actually ended up being a good idea because it gave me a physical outlet, but after doing four of them, I’m done with running because it’s not something that I get excited about doing.

I really enjoy walking three or four miles outside while listening to a podcast, and I figure if I can get the same health benefits, I’m much happier walking than running. My husband says that I’m such a fast walker that my walking is usually faster than most people’s running, anyway.

In what ways has your outlook on life changed as you’ve gotten older?

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