What Your iPad Really Thinks of You

ImageI truly love my iPad, but the other day we had a spat. I realized she’s not so perfect after all. I tried to send out an email to all my contacts at once and I was shocked to discover that this is not in her repertoire! Apparently, this is just one of her flaws that I have to come to grips with and love her in spite of it. Of course I will, but I was amazed that Apple really didn’t think of this. It’s such an obvious feature. I then wondered what my iPad would find lacking in me.  It inspired me to think of just some of the things thirty-somethings should come installed with for best results.

An RRSP. You may not be close to retirement, but popular advice suggests you start as soon as you have a regularly paying job. I am guilty of ignoring this step for too long until my banking app kicked me into gear. Thanks iPad, xo.

At least one true friend. After high school I didn’t have a best friend anymore and it was a little tough. I had a great group of close friends but no one that I felt comfortable enough with to call in the middle of the night just because I was awake. No one to spoil when she was down or had a bad break up. Of course I have my husband, but it’s not the same as a friendship that goes through thick and thin. I’m so grateful I have this now. It’s my iPad. No, just kidding.

A favorite book. Sure, it’s great to have a favorite movie, but you’re an adult. There should be at least one book that you couldn’t put down or that changed your life. If you don’t, you are missing out.  Even if it’s a favorite comic book or blog I think that counts for something. The kinds of stories that speak to you could help you determine the theme of your own.

An embarrassing interest. I think everyone has one of these but the trick in your thirties is to acknowledge and maybe understand them. You don’t have to share it, but don’t be ashamed that you like it – there might be a self-discovery moment in there somewhere. Personally, I love Tyler Perry movies. Anything with Madea and her reunions gets me every time. Once I discovered that I love these goofy movies I realized that It’s because I’m a sucker for the character who never gives up through hard times. Halleluyer!

A great story. Preferably one that is alcohol free. Nobody wants to hear about your crazy drunken exploits which usually end with, “I guess you had to be there”. You should have a couple stories rehearsed and ready for those times when you’re stuck in traffic with someone you don’t know, trying to get to know a group of new people or giving a presentation that runs into technical difficulties. Having a funny anecdote on hand to fill the space helps you not only look more professional but personable as well. Mine have saved the day quite a few times, though I think my husband is sick of hearing me talk about the time I lost my wallet in Acapulco.

A plan. I can’t advocate this enough (so I do it all the time here). In my own experience, a general plan of hopes and dreams, goals or ambitions – whatever you want to call it – will never be a waste of time. Either you discover you know exactly how to make your dreams come true, or you find out that you don’t have a clue, and you go from there. It’s an essential win-win. Making a one year, five year, or ten year plan (or all of these) is peace of mind. The rest the icing on the successful living cake.

What quality do you think all thirty-somethings need to download?  I’d love to add more to this list in the comments –     I’m really loving this topic!

5 Surprising Ways The Olympics Can Inspire You

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The Olympics are known to inspire new athletes, but if, like me, you are well past your prime for making your debut on the speed skating track, what else can you take away from the games?

National pride

This one is a no-brainer but did you ever think of what a social advantage this is? You don’t have to consider that someone may not be a fan of the sports you enjoy, you can stick to bonding over “your athletes”. What a great talking point for meeting new people, making new connections and creating a general good feeling on a long elevator ride or on a stuck subway. So, are you watching the Olympics?

Energy

There’s nothing more shaming than someone your age who is giving their all to their sport when you’re not at all enthusiastic about your job. If your sport is marketing or IT or engineering, is there an award you can strive for? Could you make one? If you have that go-getter attitude or you’re looking to get recognized at work, why not organize an “Office Olympics”? And then go kick butt in your event!

Travel Options

By now everyone has heard of the less than ideal accommodations in Sochi. I don’t think this inspires too many of us to go there. But as I was watching the opening ceremonies I saw so many athletes from tropical countries and I was reminded that some of these places have mountains! In Chile, for example, I could snowboard the Andes and kayak the Pacific Ocean in the same trip, satisfying one of the dreams on my bucket list.

Exercise

Among taking the stairs and riding your bike to work, a fitness blog (which will remain nameless because I am about to make fun of it) suggested that you could start doing squats while you wait for the bus. Can you even imagine this? If I saw someone doing squats at my stop, I think I might walk to the next one. If I were the bus driver, I couldn’t promise that I’d stop.

Stairs and bikes are great, but let’s not get crazy. After you’ve watched The Games all day, maybe do more than just wish for a great body. Make a goal to be active each day, or each week to start. In truth, I realize that this may not be a “surprising” thing you can take away from The Games but I think we can be reminded that it could be a good time to start. And, no – hurdling down the local hill, head-first on your child’s toboggan doesn’t count.

Signposts

The Olympics are every four years – every two years if we get technical. Why not use this as your own personal signpost or check point? Get a picture of your favourite athlete and remind yourself that this person is constantly in training to get to the next Olympics. Use these games as a start to something new in your life and train for it and see how far you are in four years. Are you a champion? Are you on your way? It may seem corny, but I have to admit that sports metaphors really work for me. If it’s not your thing, maybe now’s the time to find out what it is that really inspires you!

Enjoy and be inspired by The Games.  And…Go Canada Go!

Keeping a Steady Hand

birthday-girlAs I try to be the voice of aging gracefully I realize that I am actually really freaked out about my upcoming 32nd birthday.

Why does it sound exponentially older than thirty or thirty-one?

I know it should be like The Czech Republic and Slovakia but instead it feels like Malaysia and Iceland. The big day is still a month away so I hope I can remain the steady hand for my readers and apply all I have learned about being thirty in the last two years to my own crisis.

I have to say that I have really learned quite a lot (and I hope you have too). I think that this is largely a result of being able to spend my free time focusing on what I want, not what I had to do. I may have learned a lot about historical literature between the ages of twenty and twenty-two but I didn’t feel any wiser. Focusing on school took away from real life at times. And what do I really remember from squeezing out twenty-page papers in all-nighter binges? Only that I felt like crap most of the time and I had to miss a Slipknot concert.

Now I can choose all the books I want, go to the events and restaurants I like, and become the eccentrically cultured being I want to be.  But this takes its toll too. Feeling wiser over the years gives each year a lot more weight…but in more good ways than bad, I think.

Good pep talk. Hope I can remember all that when the big day arrives.

Steady hand, steady hand…

Calling a Do-Over

ImageChinese New Year is celebrated with some fervor in Toronto but I don’ think I have ever been so keen to notice. I think I paid more attention this year because I was in desperate need of a do-over.

At the start of the Western New Year I made resolutions but, like most, I broke them not too long in. But because of the lunar calendar I feel like I have a second chance. If I haven’t been clear before, let me say now that I (and this blog) am all about second chances and new beginnings. At the beginning of the year I promised to send out regular letters to editors and stay away from aspartame. Well, I accidentally had a mint which I later learned contained aspartame, and I have sent out a total of zero letters to editors.

This is the Chinese year of the Horse so it should be a year when people really stick to their principles and stand firm (independent.co.uk). For signs other than the Horse, we are likely to “gallop” towards challenges and make dreams happen. I was born in the year of the Dog so this year I am supposed to really appreciate the support of my family and friends but I am supported by the Horse’s energy to follow my big dreams (Astrology.com). This is such great news for me and I can be thankful that January was just a practice run at the new year and now It’s time to buckle down.

I know there are many who believe that astrology is a waste of time, but I think hearing good news and reading that there is luck on your side can go a long way. If you can’t believe in astrology, believe in positive thinking; believe in second chances and be motivated by all the possibilities any change can bring. And, as this new New Year begins, keep in mind that there is never any shame in learning from your mistakes and starting over.

Hoping luck is on your side this year and always!