After 28 years, this is what I've discovered...
If you've been on the internet recently, you would've seen everyone doing the #10yearchallenge, so I thought I would follow suit, and post some cringe-worthy photos as well! (If you want to check out those photos, head over to my IG @mandyoliveco) Since today is my 28th birthday, I decided to challenge myself by offering a little insight into some things I've learned. Now, these are in no particular order, and I hope you like reading this as much as I enjoyed reflecting over the last 28 years of my life. If you're wondering what I did today, the answer is... finished this post!
Drink sparkling water
Seriously, one of the best decisions we ever made was switching from flat to sparkling water. I drink 3x more water, and I hardly drink soda. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good vanilla coke, but I’ve gone from drinking many sodas a day to one or two a month.
2. Put on the sunscreen
This is a step I always skipped, but once I hit 25, my skin started to change drastically. If you want to stay looking younger, put on the sunscreen. Everyday. Rain, shine or snow. Every. Single. Day.
Going along with the sunscreen, it became increasingly more important to moisturize. Taking lukewarm showers is not an option for me. What can I say? I like it steamy. Instead, when I get out of the shower, drying off, I rub Cerave’s moisturizing cream everywhere. Afterward, I pat dry. I do this while I am still wet for two reasons. First, this stuff is thick, and it would take me 100 years to rub it in. Second, doing this while wet helps to restore your moisture barrier (which is a protective part of your skin) by locking moisture in.
4. Keep a clean space
Everything you own should have its’ own place. A good rule of thumb I have tried to implement is usability. ‘How much use will I get out of this item?’ I donate things I don’t need and edit the items I have. Once you start reflecting on your life, you'll realize you don’t need as much stuff as you think, I promise. It’s still a work in progress, but waking up to a clean space is a habit worth building.
5. Eat good food
I am a firm believer that food should be vibrant not diet. While I’m not super healthy, I want to be conscious of what I eat because I like to get the most out of my food.
6. Prepare food you don’t like then eat it
Listen, I really dislike Brussels sprouts, but they are so good for you. Instead of writing them off, I cooked them in bacon grease, put it in pasta, roasted and sauteed them. And guess what? I finally found something I liked.
7. Weed out the negative bullshit
All of it. People, clutter, clickbait, drama, news and anything in between. Don’t waste your time on that.
8. Put in the effort
Everything takes effort. I REPEAT, EVERYTHING TAKES EFFORT! From getting up in the morning to your relationships, everything takes effort. This is something that I have to remind myself of because my favorite thing to do is lay in bed and ignore everyone I know. I've been with my S.O [Logan]. for almost ten years, and let me tell you, it takes a lot of work. You can't just love someone. You have to live with them, too. Finding little compromises, and figuring out how to stay interested in each other takes effort.
9. Time is sensitive
Choose how you spend your time because that’s all you have on this earth. I used to be really into DIY-ing, but now, I ask myself if I am *actually* willing to take the time to finish the project. I am just more conscious about whether my time is worth whatever it is I am doing. How do you want to spend your time?
10. Realize your impact
Your actions and your words have an impact on everything from people/animals to the integrity of our planet. Choose wisely. Waste less. Be nice. Help out.
11. Waste less
For the last two years, one of my goals has been to waste less. We have been more conscious of food waste and recycling. I bought brand new food containers. Although they are plastic, it has made a huge difference in our single-use sandwich bag usage. Something I am looking to do is try beeswax wraps. Another thing I have been doing is buying neutral, timeless clothing. Trendy things lose their flare more quickly, and I don’t want to continuously repurchase things I already own. I want to love the things I have for many years.
12. Put down your phone
My S.O. and I were vacationing in California around the San Francisco area, during the summer of ‘17. We were traveling from S.F. to our next destination, stopping every chance we could to take in the scenery. The sun was setting, so we decided to stop on a beach to take some photos. I perched myself up on top of a large rock to watch the sunset while Logan was snapping pics. Once he finished, he came to sit with me. As we sat there, he said, “I came to get you, and I almost forgot to just enjoy the moment.”
13. Just go to bed
We are pretty bad at this. I will find myself laying in bed trying to find anything to scroll through, and the Logan will fall asleep on the couch because he is unwilling to just go to bed.
14. Money isn’t everything
Even though being rich would solve 100% of my problems, being able to spend time with my S.O. is more important to me.
15. Learn to walk away
Recently, I watched this video of a customer being an asshole to an employee. It escalated to the customer grabbing the employee. The employee defended herself and got away. She came back to reassert herself into the situation, and the situation escalated, again. Just walk away.
16. Be grateful
When I was in college, I took a health psychology class that was so inspiring. It was helpful in real life situations. One of the things we talked about was gratitude, and while I no longer keep a journal, I think it’s important to reflect on the things that make you happy as a nice reminder to be a good person.
17. Versatility is key
Being able to use a single item for many different uses is really helpful in reducing clutter. Also, being able to go with the flow is key to destressing.
18. Appreciate the trade
The older I get, the more I appreciate trade work including (but not limited to) farmers, mechanics, and hairdressers. The world wouldn’t run as smoothly without them, and I am not interested in growing all of my own food, fixing my own car or doing my own hair.
19. Tomorrow is a new day
Every day you wake up is a new day to start whatever adventure you want.
20. Everyone sees a different version of you
I think this was a Japanese proverb that went something like, “There’s a different version of you in the minds of everyone who meets you, and the truest one they’ll never see.”
21. Productivity is the key to happiness
Do you know that feeling you get when you get everything done on your to-do list? No? Me neither because my list is always a million miles long, but when I put in the effort to stay busy rather than do nothing all day, it makes me feel good.
22. But so is sleep
Need I say more?
23. The world is full of idiots
And you’re probably one of them. Remember, everyone has a different opinion of you. You know, like when your driving, and some guy cuts you off, then you pass him because he doesn’t know how cruise control works? You probably had some choice words for him. Don't be fooled. I'm sure someone has had choice words for you, too.
24. Don’t be an asshole
You don’t need a reason to be a good person. Not a single one. You don’t need a purpose or a religion. You woke up this morning. Don’t ruin everyone else’s day because you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
25. Take in the sunshine
Open the blinds, or go outside. It’ll help lift your mood, but don’t forget the sunscreen!
26. Overdressed is always best
Even if it's just a shirt and jeans, there is a big difference between a novelty tee and a blouse (or a higher quality plain, well cut, t-shirt.). My wardrobe is mainly neutral because I want to be able to create an endless amount of outfits. Plus, I can spend more time on other things when I'm not worried about whether or not my outfit matches.
27. Eat the cake
Yes, Janet, we know you’re on a diet, but it’s a birthday party, so just enjoy the cake. I commend you, and I want you to succeed. I think it's great that you are taking steps to actively better your health, but we all know that one person that makes it an unpleasant experience for everyone around them. Just don't be so restrictive that you can't even enjoy yourself. Remember, you don't have to eat the whole cake.
28. A party for one is still a party
Setting aside time to be social is important, but alone time and self-care are so crucial for your overall health. Spend time doing things that make you feel good.
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