Reflections at 35

Originally posted on my Facebook account, but some of the lessons are just as relevant here. Made a couple additions here a couple weeks after the original post.

1. Having people close to you is important for happiness and mental health. Even if you’re separated geographically it’s still nice to stay in touch with them. For me personally I’m 1500 miles from my hometown, so it takes a little bit of extra planning. Most of the time I have no regrets about spending a few hours out with a could friends.
2. It’s way too easy to get fat and eat what I call dirty. The chemicals in what we eat is kind of shocking from the bottom of the food chain up. Real food is always better.
3. If all you do is eat, work, and sleep you’re doing it wrong. That’s kind of what I did in college. I have the three degrees to show for it but I could’ve had more fun l if I made some tweaks. I still am working on this. The worst feeling to have is regret, looking back 10, 20, or 30+ years in life and realizing you were a complete slave to the dollar and basic things in life.
4. Material things – Love them, I still buy them. Not to impress other people though. I do it for me. Big ticket items almost always depreciate, so choose wisely.
5. Travel – really helps you put perspective on life and think of possibilities. I moved to Texas 7 years ago with a lot of fear, uncertainly, and doubt. Will I stay here forever? Who knows but I did know it was time for a change. I also love exploring new places with other people.
6. Do real shit – get away from the screen, social media, and live your life. Comparing yourself to others is toxic, and lots of what you see is fake anyway. I keep waiting for the point where society will say enough is enough and start to push back on these things. Sometimes I’m not so sure. The extent to which people focus on what a particular celebrity or politician is kind of insane.
7. Focus on the fundamentals – saving for retirement, doing things that will allow you to live long enough to enjoy it, get out of debt, have insurance so that $50k medical expense is only $7k.
8. Past is the past – living in the past, wishing things were a certain way accomplishes nothing. Close one door and open a new one if the time has come.
9. Don’t burn bridges – it takes a lifetime to build a good reputation and just minutes to destroy it.
10. Be mindful of who you surround yourself with. Sometimes you have no choice but set limits. Feeding constant negativity doesn’t help you or the other person.
11. Defeatism kills dreams – talking yourself out of everything without even considering the upside or how it will make you grow as a person is a recipe for regret lol. Things may not always work out but if you’re not in the game you’ll never win.
12. Pets are awesome. I didn’t get a dog until I was 29. She is amazing and shows unconditional love. Sometimes you need to wake up to that in the morning, after a long day, or after a date that goes horribly wrong.
13. Enjoy the news in small doses. Be aware but don’t let it ruin your day, no matter what happens.
14. Don’t settle – that minimum wage job as a cashier was a step to the next point in my life. Others are following their own path, never look down on them because that’s where they are today.

Last buy not least… Don’t buy shit you’re not going to use.
Take care. Be well.