Image by Alexandr Ivanov
Something happens when you approach the age of 30, where you start looking for “life checkpoints”. Have I made it to such and such point in my life or become so and so? You attempt to analyze your life in some sort of quantifiable way. Needless to say, it is an impossible task. Not only are we all completely unique people at different “places” in our lives, but the world is rapidly changing. It is far more difficult for someone to buy their first house today than it was for Baby Boomers and Gen X folks when they were our age. All of that to say, these sorts of checkpoints are imaginary. Sure, buying a home is a great long-term goal but putting time limits on yourself can only lead to disappointment. What we should be investing in daily however, is our own joy.
Invest in Joy
Most of us need to work to retain some sort of steady income at the very least. Day jobs that simply pay the bills are nothing to be ashamed of. There is no sense in beating yourself up about not being able to save more money. If you know the things that will bring you joy require more money then fine, take the extra shifts and work those extra hours. I’d be willing to bet however, that there are cheap or free things you could be doing every day to invest in your own joy as well. While time is indeed a human construct, right now is all we ever truly have control over. Choose to take time to work on your art. Watch movies at home with your friends. Go swim in the ocean.
Joy is Work
The quality of your life is not determined by how much money you make or whether you landed your dream job. If you work consistently toward your own joy and the joy of others, I would consider that the definition of a happy life. Now when I say “work”, I do mean it. Carving out time around a busy schedule to do things just to make yourself happy is tough! I promise you though, it is worth it. Recently I have been fortunate enough to start taking drum lessons. Let me tell you, doing something for the sole purpose of bringing myself joy is an incredible feeling. Not to mention something specifically musical and/or physical is a fantastic stress reliever. It does however take significant energy and effort to break your routine for your own mental health. Worth it? 100%
Share that S***
Sharing your joy is arguably equally important. Making the lives of loved ones more joyful is more than a simple good deed. It makes life worth living. Taking the time to be a good friend, grandchild, sibling, partner, etc. will literally improve your whole sense of being. Consider offering small kindnesses to strangers or co-workers as well. Are you a joy to work with and/or be around? You never know what small act will turn a person’s whole day around.
Eat Up the Joy
Obviously you can’t go around doing things for others at your own expense. It’s all about balance. Take my favorite subject, food, for example. Eating healthy should of course be a priority for our own longevity. Does that mean you can’t go eat a burger with your friends when it sounds amazing to you in that moment? No! You can surround yourself with some fruit and veg at home (the responsible choice a’ la your daily responsibilities) and still prioritize moments of pure deliciousness (aka joy). Enjoy this life because it’s the only one you’ve got. In other words 30 is the new 20, my friends.
Director of Media and Technical Services at Blumvox Studios, Brandon Blum manages, edits, and creates much of the content you will see, both on the website and in Blumvox’s social media videos. He also runs the tech for our live classes and offers technical help related to our site for those who need it.
Brandon has a B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz and also works as an actor in the Los Angeles area.