Five Things That 20-Somethings Can Learn From Elders

When my bestie and I were invited to a charity fundraising event, we squealed with delight and immediately started planning our outfits. Sad, I know! But, one of my favourite things to do in life – aside from travelling and experiencing new cultures, helping the people I love and watching them achieve success, shopping, flicking through the pages of my favourite fashion magazines… (this list could go on!): is getting dressed up and going out “all fancy!” I really do enjoy a good occasion; it’s my favourite way to spend a Saturday night. In fact, any night!

We arrived at the venue slightly earlier than the scheduled start time, grabbed our glasses of champagne, found our seats, and then mingled and people watched. Whilst the most undoubtedly glamorous attendees were amongst the young, I found watching the elder audience way more intriguing. And through observing them, I came away with a few take-away pointers that inspired today’s post: 5 things that 20-somethings can learn from our elders.

Here goes.

1. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

Apparently (or so I’ve heard – I have it on good authority!), once you turn 30, you care less what others think of you. I like this outlook. Why not live life for yourself? Why not do the things that make you happy? A certain amount of self-assurance and a good dose of wisdom come with age. I look forward to it. But in the meantime, I’ll do my best at incorporating some of the below philosophies into my everyday life.

2. Don’t Mix Your Drinks

Aside from being less likely to suffer from a hangover the morning after the night before, sticking to one drink of choice shows a sense of conviction: you know what you want, and you are confident that you made the right choice, the first time around.

 3. Show Up On Time

There’s a time and a place for everything. More often than not, being “fashionably late” is so passé. Get. It. Together. Leave that in 2012. Showing up late only solidifies the notion that you have no regard for others’ time leaves you rushing around at the last minute, and you end up arriving at the venue dishevelled, sweaty and stressed. Whereas arriving on time, or even a little early, allows you to grab a good seat, to mingle and network. And there’s nothing more professional than preparation, which arriving on time requires.

4. Wear Appropriate Shoes

As a life-long devotee of high-heeled shoes, I fully appreciate that anyone who personally knows me and ever happens across this blog will probably fall off of their seats with laughter at the title of this point. But bear with me. What I mean here, is that we live in a world of aesthetics; a world where perception is reality… when it comes to appearance. There is absolutely no point in wearing expensive, too-high-to-do-anything-but-sit-down-and-look-pretty-in shoes. It’s ridiculous. Stop it.

5. Making A Graceful Exit Is Just As Important (If Not Moreso) As Making An Entrance

Know when to make your excuses and leave an event. Arrive early, don’t drink too much, and leave early. No one wants to be the one person still dancing when the lights are turned on at the end of a club night, and having to be ushered out of a venue by security. It’s so much more appealing to be the one that left early – perhaps dashing off to another event on your social calendar – appearing to perennially be in demand. Leave them wanting more.

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Celebrate Love

This time of the year – a little after the festivities and over-indulgence of Christmas and New Years, enough time after the hurdle and financial difficulties of January, and long after thoughts of resolutions have filtered away – the air is filled with love.

This week is Valentine’s week.

I watched the second instalment (out of six) of BBC3’s The Year of Making Love documentary last night. A show that presented strangers with their scientific ‘love match,’ and paired people based on responses to compatibility tests, it poses the question of whether science can shorten the odds of finding love versus using non-scientific methods. So far, the outcome is neither here nor there; much like the reality of dating off-screen, the couples on-screen find that a lack of chemistry, or (as was the case with a twosome from the first episode) when the interest levels are disproportionate, long-term romantic success can prove elusive. What The Year of Making Love has reiterated to me thus far, is that whilst dating, as with anything else, you have to take things slowly.

You can have too much, too soon.

What some of the women featured in episodes one and two have failed to recognise, is that the reality is: if you are ‘chasing’ a man (whether you are initiating all contact or constantly awaiting returned calls/texts), inevitably, that means he is running away. Conversely, an interested man – as displayed in the relationships that have been successful – isn’t afraid to show his interest. It’s always easier to comment from the outside looking in, but who doesn’t want that kind of love, where feelings are clear and everyone knows where they stand? Why play games and engage in guesswork when it can all be so simple?

Psychology teaches us that there are different levels of love (according to C. S. Lewis the main types are: Agape – unconditional love; Eros – erotic/romantic love; Philia – friendship and Storge – affection/familial love). Although traditionally a time to recognise the romantic love interest in your life, in addition on 14th February, we should take time out to appreciate all of the love in our lives – from partners, parents, friends and family. For those that don’t have a romantic Valentine this year, celebrate other kinds of love. And practice self-love. It’s so easy to get caught up in daily happenings and to look at life through a perspective of lack, instead of appreciation and gratitude.

 

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day lovers.

Happy Valentine's Day

Count Your Blessings

I attended a family friend’s baby shower last weekend.

Baby Shower Balloons

Baby Shower Cake

I guess everyone has a few ‘peripheral’ people in their lives that they only really see for momentous occasions (like weddings, birthdays, baby showers, etc.). This was one of those events for me. After suffering and plastic smiling through the obligatory ‘what have you been up to’ conversations getting reacquainted with people I hadn’t seen for a little while… I thought about how visibly children help mark the passage of time. As someone that is yet to be a parent, I don’t really give it much thought on a day-to-day basis, but when I meet up with friends that are parents, it’s much easier to distinguish how much time has passed since our last interaction with children in the picture, as you can physically see how much they’ve changed/grown since you last saw them.

With that in mind, after I left the baby shower, my thoughts turned to appreciation. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in daily tasks and working towards goals, that we forget to stop and count our blessings. We forget about the small victories and everyday wins. In an attempt to remedy that and stop overlooking the little things, I decided to adopt an idea I’d come across on Twitter.

The best of 2013.

Jar of Appreciation

A jar of appreciation. Much like a photography scrapbook, the idea is to take note of memorable moments – no matter how small – throughout the year, pop the notes in the jar, and then open it up on New Year’s Eve and re-live the wonders of the year.

Can’t wait to watch this beauty fill up!

January

Wind, rain, snow.

Reading magazines, booking holidays, planning escapes.

Healthy eating, drinking water, the gym.

New dresses, new shoes, a haircut.

Lipstick, perfume, jewellery.

Emails, letters, bills.

Family, work associates, childhood acquaintances.

Application forms, interviews, a job offer.

Birthday parties, club nights, cocktails.

Conversations, dates, a new friend.

 

January.

january happenings

 

A Date.

I wouldn’t quite call it a blind date. But it was a little… uhh… concealed.

Let me back up a little, and give you the full story. As part of my commitment to enjoying life more, making the most of everyday and seizing the moment, my girls and I ‘hit the cluuurrrbb’ the other weekend. We had an amazing night. And a lot of drinks! As usual, there are many moments that can’t be discussed. Yup. Way too many shenanigans.

Memories were definitely made.

One of the more memorable events that I can discuss was that I made a new friend. In between singing, dancing and laughing with the girls, whilst chatting with the bartender and refilling my glass of wine at the bar, I ended up in conversation with a handsome fellow bar-dweller. I can’t remember what his opening statement was (blame it on the alcohol!), but it was enough to entice me into conversing with him.

That conversation lasted the whole night.

As the night drew to a close, and my girls came back over to where Dude and I were talking, they were considerably worse for wear and it was time to make an exit. Dude and I switched numbers and went our separate ways. He called me and we arranged to meet up again the following weekend.

Fast forward a week.

We spoke almost everyday between the night we first met, and Date Night. Yet, I was slightly anxious about meeting up with Dude again. Having had a couple of vinos prior to our initial conversation, I wasn’t entirely sure whether I genuinely found him attractive, or whether I’d come to that conclusion through the cocktail-haze and with the aid of (rose-tinted) beer goggles.

I needn’t have worried.

Dude is a looker. And he’s funny. I made a new friend.

Something New

Sometimes you have to go out on a limb and do something new.

Step outside of your comfort zone and be uncomfortable.

I could pretend those last two sentences were about something deep and meaningful, but I’d be lying. There’s something so therapeutic about cutting your hair. Even moreso when you do it yourself. Yup. My ‘something new’ was cutting my hair myself. Due in part to my continuing commitment to healthy living via the back to basics approach, and in part to my opting to try and be more economical with my funds this year (spend less frivolously than I have in previous years), I decided to be adventurous, and go for the chop. My hair was getting unbearable – it was taking too long to wash and style, I was bored of how it looked, and I fancied a change… I told myself that this year, I wouldn’t complain about things without doing something about them; so, I did just that. I took things into my own hands.

Sometimes you have to go out on a limb and do something new.

Step outside of your comfort zone and be uncomfortable.

Once I finished my ‘masterpiece,’ I felt as though a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders – much like when I gave notice at my last job and handed in my resignation, though scary beforehand, I felt relieved afterward. Life can be like that. In an effort to go find happiness and extend my new mode of thought to other areas of my life, I’m going to keep trying things I haven’t tried before.

Sometimes you have to go out on a limb and do something new.

Step outside of your comfort zone and be uncomfortable.

New Life

Do. Something. New.

Hopes of Good Health (An Introduction to Veganism)

Eight days into the new year.

…Yet I already know of a few people that have fallen off of their resolution bandwagon! As I described last week, this year I have chosen to focus on more elusive concepts rather than traditional and tangible things like exercising, etc. As part of my ‘quest for happiness,’ aside from going out and socialising even more than I previously did (ha!), I have started looking at healthy eating. I’ve never been the biggest meat fan, but my plan to embark on veganism hasn’t been as smooth sailing as I planned. In order to re-focus and get back on track, I visited an organic vegan restaurant this weekend, Vitao.

The layout of the restaurant is quite narrow, with tables quite tightly packed together – yet once you get over the initial awkwardness, the overall feel is more intimate than claustrophobic. With authentic carved wooden tables, you feel as though you are dining at a friend’s house, and the slightly dim lighting adds to the overall warm ambience. The taste of the food was delicious. The service, similar to the temperature of the food, was lukewarm. Vitao is a self-serve kind of restaurant, where patrons are encouraged to select a plate size, are charged based on this, and then help themselves to a buffet style layout of meatless dishes. With selections such as Thai-green curry, a veggie version of the infamous Spanish ‘paella,’ a multitude of rice options and dhal, for a meat-free meal, I was full for hours afterwards. In spite of this, I would have preferred the food to be hotter. The mediocre temperature was a little disheartening for me.

Even more impressive than the meal though, was the beverage list. I have never been more spoilt for choice. With a plethora of healthy teas, smoothies and virgin fruity cocktails on offer, Vitao excels at offering customers a fun way of reaching their five-a-day. That beverages are their strongest selling point was confirmed for me by the amount of people that came in solely to order smoothies and teas whilst my friends and I were at Vitao this weekend.

Vitao-1

Vitao-2

Vitao-3

Vitao-4

Vitao-5

Vitao-6

All in all, I’d go back, if only for the drinks menu.