Cook, workout, save money, have a good attitude

Nov. 30, 2017

Last year, I had the time of my life turning 30. I remember, growing up, my mom always telling me that she laid over her desk and cried the day she passed her 20s into the dreaded 30s. I was determined not to have that attitude. Instead, I went to Disney World. I spent the week leading up to my big day getting a massage, having my nails and toes polished, buying way too much make-up and beauty products, eating free food thanks to emailed birthday rewards from restaurants, and buying myself lots of unnecessary gifts. I had the greatest week. Turning the big 3-0 didn’t hurt so bad because I marked it with lots of celebration and fun. 

This year, as I prepare to turn 31, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I know there is a party waiting for me this week. I’m not thrilled that Alabama is out of the SEC Championship game, because a win there would have been a great present. 

There are some things that I’ve found to be of some importance, though, for a woman entering her 30s. 

A skin-care routine. By now, I should have a fully developed system for taking care of the face God gave me. I spent years spending more money on make-up than skin care products, but that has recently changed. Someone said it to me this way: it doesn’t matter how much you spend on the icing if the cake underneath is falling apart. I agree. If I don’t take care of my natural face, no amount of make-up will fix it. So I put more thought and effort into how I treat my skin. And my routine is complete with anti-aging products and creams that keep away the wrinkles. 

Cooking regularly. I grew up with my mom making fantastic meals, but I never cared to learn how to do it myself.  That took a toll on me in my 20s as I turned to fast food and junk to eat. The last year, I’ve turned from my adolescent food mentality and matured into a woman who can actually cook. I began freezing meals that are protein and vitamin rich that will fuel my body through workouts. Eating now is more fun because I don’t feel awful afterwards. I don’t feel tired and sluggish when I eat good foods. I’m entering 31 with that mindset. It’s cheaper to eat good food and it’s fun to fill the freezer. 

Working out. A few years ago, I began working out with a trainer. It was fun and he kept work-outs interesting, but I never fell in love with it. Last year, I began a powerlifting program with a solid focus. We set goals and I get to celebrate when I crush them. There is a focus. I found a routine that I love, so keeping myself healthy and active isn’t a chore anymore. Rather, it’s something awesome I get the privilege to do every single day. Working out reduces anxiety and depression. I will attest to that personally. Some people say they don’t have time, but spending 30 minutes to an hour on yourself every day makes you a better person for those who depend on you. And when you find something you enjoy at this age, it keeps you active longer and probably reduces future risks that come with age. 

You can’t spend all the money. In my 20s, I spent money on things that I didn’t need. I bought things depending on the mood I was in. I made impulse purchases online. It was so easy with the click of a button. But that kind of spending can get out of hand quickly and put you in debt. It takes years sometimes to get out of debt from unnecessary spending. I made a decision to stop spending money on things I already had. For instance, I already have a collection of lotion and facemasks. I’m not going to waste my hard earned money on more of them until those are all used up. It’s been a good system, actually, and now I’m working on saving a month’s worth of bill money as a cushion just because it’s a good practice. And someone told me it was a good idea. I believe her. I think everyone should have a savings account and work on getting out of debt. 

Attitude is everything. I’ve spent years thinking I wasn’t an actual adult. But you know what? I moved out of my mom’s house when I went to college. I bought my own house 10 years ago. I have a career. I am an actual adult. There is no one “adultier” than I, even though I sometimes swear that’s not true. Guess what? If you’re a responsible over-18-year-old, there’s no one “adultier” than you, either. You just have to believe that. If you have a bad attitude about how responsible you are or your ability to make important decisions, you’ll never grow up. Your attitude takes you there. 

So those are a few things I’ve learned and havebegun putting into practice as I turn 31 in a few days. What have you learned that would be helpful for women to know by this age? 

Denise DuBois