Recently, I started taking a strength training class in which I am the oldest member. Most of the women in the class are between the ages of 25 to 40, while I am close to 50. They are beginning their families while my husband and I are empty nesters.
When they apologize for being late due to dropping off a child or a late babysitter, I applaud them for coming at all. I want to stand on a rooftop and implore all women to invest in themselves. You can not pour from an empty cup.
May I share a bit of wisdom as I glance in the rearview mirror of my life? As I find myself edging ever so close to 50, I’m realizing that more of my life is behind me than is ahead of me.
May I share a bit of wisdom as I glance in the rearview mirror of my life? As I find myself edging ever so close to 50, I’m realizing that more of my life is behind me than is ahead of me. So, I have spent some time reflecting on things that would have helped me be a better version of myself earlier in life.
Below you will find a list of 5 things I wish someone would have shared with me as a young woman in my twenties. Heck, even a young woman in my thirties and forties. At almost 50, I don’t see myself as old. I do however acknowledge that I am seasoned.
5 Things I Wish I Knew in My Twenties
1. Take care of your body.
I know, you are young and full of vim and vigor. It is hard to look at yourself and see what time and neglect will do to your body. Even when my mom had a heart attack at the age of 43, it didn’t register that I should be investing in my own health by exercising and being aware of what I was choosing to eat.
I didn’t think twice about fast food or cookies for a quick snack while I was nursing my baby in the middle of the night. All that neglect on my part has added extra pounds and stress on my body. It is much harder to try to undo poor choices than it is to make better choices when you are young.
I am not saying you need a gym membership or can’t ever enjoy the taste of a warm chocolate chip cookie. Maybe just enjoy two cookies instead of seven. A gym is not the only place you can go to exercise. Simply moving your body every day for 30 minutes is huge. Take a walk, go on a hike, swimming, paddle boarding or skiing are all excellent ways to get in some exercise.
2. Consider chatting with a mentor and/or going to a counselor.
Sometimes there are seasons of life where a little guidance from a mentor—someone you love who loves and values you in return—can ease some of the pressure. Don’t be nervous or embarrassed to seek one out. A mentor should be someone who has nothing to gain from the relationship other than a desire to provide a listening ear and helpful advice with the goal to see you thrive.
Other times, seeking a counselor is the best route. It doesn’t matter if your family is amazing, and you have the best friends in the whole world. It is so important for you to have someone that has no emotional investment in your life to be a sounding board. We all carry secret burdens that we don’t share with even the closest people in our lives. It is detrimental to our mental health that we do not try to carry these burdens alone. You may have to go to several counselors before you find a good fit. If you don’t know where to start, try these resources:
Another option is asking your health care provider for recommendations.
3. You hold the power to do anything you want to in life.
It is never too late to pursue your dreams. You may be raising a family, working full-time, taking care of your household and maybe even others, but do not give up on your daydream. Do not give up on what gives you joy and feeds your purpose. Even if everyone else is telling you it won’t work, trust your gut, lace up those running shoes and get busy. It won’t be easy or happen fast, but work on it in the pieces of time you can fit together and no matter how long it takes, don’t give up on yourself or your dreams.
4. There are so many precious morsels of wisdom in the Bible.
And there are so many options to consume them, including apps that will read the Bible to you. One of the most delectable bites I have found (and that has been difficult for me to learn and practice) is located in Psalm 46:10 — “Be still and know that I am God.”
Honestly, it’s not the second part of the verse that I struggle with. I am in constant awe of who he is. Those first two words, that’s where I get hung up. Most of us have been trained to “keep moving,” because there is always something to be done. We must take the time to stop, hit the brakes, do not take one more step, and just be still. This practice is life giving.
5. Go on adventures!
We live in a beautiful world—get out and explore it! I had the privilege of growing up all over the United States. As a welder, my dad traveled for work, and we went with him. It wasn’t glamorous by any means. Six people lived in a 24-foot travel trailer, so it was a bit cramped, and I didn’t see it as a blessing until I was an adult.
However, every place we lived left an imprint on me and shaped who I am. Our experiences affect who we are, who we become and how we view the world.
The farthest I have gone as an adult is Nicaragua. There was something so exciting and terrifying to go through customs into another country. I can not put into words the feeling of getting your passport stamped. You don’t have to go on extravagant trips, though. Attend a festival near you, take a class to paint pottery with a friend, pack a picnic and go to a park with a good book. Look up things to do in your area and venture out of your comfort zone. There will be things you do that you may never want to do again, that’s okay. You will learn more about yourself through each experience.
It is my hope that some of these nuggets of wisdom will guide you as you journey through life, no matter what age you are.
It’s never too late to make a change for the better in your life. Take some cues from Grammy-winning artist, Mandisa: Do I Still Have Time to Rewrite My Life Story? with Mandisa – 192