I turned 28 this year. While that’s young to many, it’s old to me. I remember hearing cousins, aunts, and uncles talk about their late 20s and early 30s as a kid, and it always seemed like that day would never come for me. Well, here it is. I’m sure I’ll live to regret saying this, but I think that I’m finally getting the hang of this thing. Not that it makes the ups and downs any more or less profound, painful, or pleasurable when they happen, but it does mean that I’m a little less surprised when they come. It’s also the beginning of my Saturn return. That is, Saturn will make a complete revolution around the sun in about a year and a half from now, or 29.5 years from the date of my birth. Say what you want about astrology, I’m definitely dealing with a good chunk of my own bullshit. In a totally non-metaphysical sense, every decision we make has a series of compounding consequences that we aren’t able to see until we look back and see how it all played out. Just like a student loan, our decisions tend to stick around far longer than we initially think. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, with consequences large and small, but in the past few years, I think my track record is starting to improve.
Here are a few things I’ve collected after another solar revolution:
- Things take time. A new job takes six months to get settled into. A body of work, a lifetime.
- Invest in friendships and relationships. Life is nasty, brutish, and short, but friends make it bearable, even enjoyable, if you pick them well.
- Own up to your mistakes. Nothing is more off-putting than someone who can’t apologize. Just look at our current president.
- Don’t take things to seriously. Time will erase nearly any gaffe, mishap, or mistake. Relax.
- Take things more seriously. Time is also limited. You never know when the clock will strike midnight.
- Help other people. It’s the most selfish act you can do when you consider how much satisfaction it brings.
- Work less. People will keep working when you're long gone.
- Work harder. You want your time here to mean something, so make it count. Make sure you’re spending that time doing something you believe in.
- Find what you’re good at and do that thing. Then get better at it. Then get better at it again. I’m very much a dabbler and a generalist, but the things I’ve truly, deeply invested in have paid off tenfold compared to the things that I’ve dabbled in.
- Say it plainly. Don’t make people guess what you want or how you want it. Tell them. Ask them. Make it direct. People are terrible at mind reading, but almost always appreciate directness.
Okay, enough proselytizing. Here’s to another year, another trip around the sun, and in true 2017 fashion, putting the best spin on an ultimately doomed situation.