Happy 4th birthday - 5 things I realise at my 30s

Jes 10 Comments

Now that I am a mum of 2, I realised a big difference between my 20s and 30s. 20s is a time where I keep travelling and climbing up the corporate ladder, trying to impress customers and bosses, learning about the world and building up my network. It has been fun learning about other cultures and also myself and my working style. I worked hard to get higher salary to pay for a wedding, house and honeymoon.

I like having to travel for free and eating good food at the expense of the companies because 20s was a period of 'No Money'. 

30s is a phase of life where I am not afraid to try a new career path. I found out that I do not need so much money but I wanted more time after being a mum. Many people think it's risky to set up my business at this juncture but the flexibility of working is the best thing for a new mum. It's time to test my business skills and take one step closer to the lifestyle that I yearn.

1 year on from quitting my full time job, I have no regrets. Indeed, 30s was a period of 'No Time'.

I have reached the stage where my business is sustainable and I can receive a salary that is manageable to offset my expenses. To all those who are worried for me, thank you for your support! I know there are a few of you who contributed to SnackFirst and I am grateful for it.

For my 4th year writing as a blogger, these are the 5 differences I realised at my 30s:

1) Celebrating birthday for myself instead for others
I used to think that having birthday parties are great. You get to receive lots of presents and you are at the centre of attention with your own party. So many friends and so much fun! I feel loved when more people remember and come to celebrate my birthday.

Not anymore.

Parties are exhausting and you don't get to truly enjoy at the party. Everyone else seems to be having a great time eating while you have to go around and tire yourself. Truly, what's the point? Those who remember your birthday will not need a party to celebrate with you and why do you need to hold a celebration with those who will not remember your party? Unnecessary headaches and exhaustion. Birthdays should be spent with people I love and things I like to do. A hearty meal to treasure the times with your family and if I want to sleep, go ahead! Just a day to recollect my thoughts, be thankful of reaching another birthday, that's enough for me.

2) Not caring about being well-liked
I used to like being popular and have everyone think well of me. I like to have more new friends and know more people. I try not to do anything unpleasant or hurt people deliberately. I try not to offend my customers and give in to their requests if my company allows it.

Not anymore.

I don't need to have many friends, I just need a handful who knows me well. I don't need to be surrounded by acquaintances or have many likes on my Facebook posts. I don't need to be popular anymore and gain acceptance. What I do need is only the views of my close friends and family and I am confident enough to stand strong with my actions to quit my previous job.

3) Keeping my expenses low saved me
I used to like going cafes and restaurants every other week to chill and enjoy. When you meet up with your friends, it is likely you will meet up at a shopping mall to have meals there. I looked forward to a day where people serve me food and drinks after a long and tiring day at work. It's even better to have some place quiet and with romantic ambience and I don't mind paying for it. 

Not anymore.

To be honest, Singapore's food is really cheap. A plate of vegetable rice cost around $3. There are delicious food at low price and I come to love eating hawker food. I can't get the same value out of restaurants anymore. Not just that, I love to eat steaks but I would rather buy them raw and grill them myself because eating at restaurants is just too over priced. I find brunch at cafes expensive when they are so easy to cook at home.

Keeping my expenses low is the best practice even when I was in my 20s. I had a steady job but I invested and saved, which is why I could start my business and be prepared to go a few years without pay. Now that I started taking a small amount for salary, thankfully my lifestyle is able to sustain even with the meagre pay!

4) Work is no longer so dreadful
When customers ask me for discounts or sales policies, my boss would answer them or I would get my boss to give me an answer. After some time, I realised I am just a messenger bird to pass the information here and there. I don't have any control over prices and direction, I can't get to make any decisions at all.

Not anymore.

Nowadays I love interacting with my customers. I am the boss now so I can give discounts and freebies to those that are more polite. There are very rude people which made dealing with them very unpleasant and I don't give any discounts at all as I don't mind not doing business with them. This is because they give me more headaches than the satisfaction of a job well done. The autonomy and decision-making is really liberating and I don't find working so dreary. I no longer have Monday blues anymore.

5) I love being a mother
I used to think that having children is going to tie me down, I can't travel for long, I can't stay out late and have to fulfil my responsibilities as a mother. I can't sleep through the night and I can't eat in peace most times. It's difficult to leave the house on time and it's a major nightmare when they fall sick.

All these are true but I go through these hardships willingly. It's a pain, it's a torture to wake up every 2 to 3 hours at night but every morning, the smiles I got from my babies is worth going through the sufferings all over again. I think I have travelled enough for now and am not envious of my friends' jet-setting pictures at all. I like being home and at the end of the day, I love being a mother. I look forward to travelling as a family instead of on my own in time to come.

I anticipate 40s to be a period of 'No Energy'. 

Now that I can function with little sleep and yet still have the drive to work even in zombie mode, I shall work hard in building my career. I know it will get better in time to come, when my business stabilises and my kids grow more independent.

I know everything will be better in time to come, I am sure of it.

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  1. Great post! I like your story. Keep blogging into 2019! Happy NY!

    1. Hi Singapore Dividend Collector,

      Thanks for dropping by! You too, keep running and cooking, I shall do the same. Happy new year :D

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on 2018. Looks like it has been a good learning experience. Hope you have a good 2019.

    1. Hi Kyith,

      Indeed it has been quite a sharp learning curve in 2018 and I don't expect anything less this year. All the best to your new year too, hope we get to meet up soon! :)

  3. Hi Jes,

    Seems like I can copy and paste your post, change the mommy to daddy, and it'll not lose authenticity and sincerity from my part haha! 40s is not a period of no energy, it's a period of cannot-be-bothered LOL

    Have a great 2019 ahead!

    1. Hi LP,

      Well, I could say the same about all your parenting posts! Can't believe we have the same mindset and lifestyle currently, that's so cool. 40s might be a period of headaches with teenage kids, haha! You too, enjoy your new year. =D

  4. Jes,

    Happy New Year to you!

    I see you've been busy!!!

    You go girl!

    1. Hi Jared,

      Woah, glad to see you back in action after so long. 1 year passed so fast, it seems like just yesterday when I meet you for the first time! Happy new year to you and hope you have more hair this year! =D

  5. Kids aren't going to be particularly independent till your 50's. It's a long grind with lots of enjoyable and stressful moments in between. Enjoy it!

    1. Hi Lizardo,

      You are right and I will be missing their dependence on me in my 50s and crying my hearts out to see them married and moving out. I would say 80% enjoyable, 20% unpleasantness, haha! Thank you and happy new year to you!