Halfway Through My Thirties, How’s It Going?

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I turned 35 today.

I spent the day watching some TV, going for a run, doing the laundry, catching up on work, and eating delicious meals cooked by my wife Mel. It was a peaceful and restful Sunday, just what I wanted.

Throughout the day, I found myself thinking about how I’ve hit the mid-point of my thirties. I was reminded of a blog post I wrote 5 years ago, Three Things to Consider for My Thirties. In it, I wrote about wanting to be a better son and brother, about gaining depth in an area of expertise, and having more patience.

Reflecting on the progress I’ve made in the past 5 years, I feel pretty good about where things are today.

I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to see my parents and sister more often now that they all live in Brooklyn. I’ve also prioritized spending time with Melanie and my closest friends, and this has made life much more enriching and satisfying. As with anything, you get into it what you put in, and relationships are such that making the time and the plans will go a long way in creating meaningful memories.

I’ve become more focused on gaining depth in my role as business owner and as a marketing consultant. The books, the hands-on experience on dozens of projects, and active learning from various experts have all helped me to gain confidence in my knowledge and armed me with skills to provide value to our Barrel employees and clients. I’ve never been more pumped about learning and the possibilities that going deeper presents.

When it comes to having more patience, there will always be room for improvement. I am, however, quite happy that I got into distance running and daily meditation. These two habits have helped me to concentrate for longer periods of time, stay in the present, and not get rattled too easily. I find that the things that stressed me out in the past for prolonged periods of time (e.g. an upset client, issues with an employee, external forces that cause inconvenience, etc.) have become less anxiety-inducing. In fact, more and more, I see issues and problems not as crises to react to right away but as opportunities to learn and create better systems and processes to prevent in the future. And for any issues that are out of my control, I accept that there’s not much I can do and proactively shift my focus to something that is within my control.

As I look ahead to the next 5 years and beyond, I know there will be all kinds of twists and turns. There may be very big life changes that’ll require me to adapt and revisit some of my priorities. And as these things happen, I hope that I’ll have the right mindset to embrace the challenges and continue to appreciate the privilege of being alive.

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