I've made a list with some things which make me feel good about myself, about my age,...maybe some of you will relate to it:
1. You're the most confident you've ever been.
You pay your bills, YOU take your own decisions, you have responsibilities (for yourself, your team at work, your family), and all this makes you strong, makes you know exactly what you want to do, and when!
2. You're the healthiest you've ever been.
Ok, maybe not, but you definitely pay more attention than ever to your health: you work out, not because it's a trend, but because you feel like it. You also know now, that it's beneficial, both to your body and to your mind. You may have an ache here or there, but you are fitter than ever. Some even take on competitions such as marathons, biathlons, triathlons, but also those who do their thing privately, at home, on their yoga mat, will feel wonderfully afterwards.
3. You keep a healthy diet.
And by that I don't mean that you starve yourself on a fruit bar (I have never done that), but it means that you know what good food is. You've stopped shoveling down your throat all the junk food you could get and now look for quality. You have started enjoying food also as art, so you even go to famous chef restaurants, but you also know how to cook meals (others also appreciate your food). You go to markets and know by now how to pick your food and ....if you're really careful about your diet, you by now eat local and seasonal products.
4. You keep a healthy drinking diet.
You don't drink as you used a few years ago.First of all, you know your limits now. Second, you don't need the feeling of numbness anymore. What you want is to appreciate what is there, in your glass. You ask for wine pairings for your dishes at the restaurant, you open a bottle of vintage champagne on a special occasion, you discover cocktails with a mixologist and discuss more about what is there in front of you.
5. You know what to wear.
Yes, you've heard and understood by now what dress-codes are, you have read some books about style and you've found yours. You know about fabrics and you choose quality now over the fast paced passing trends. Your wardrobe is now a mixture between high fashion (because you can afford this now) and some things from low fashion stores you used to fancy when you were younger. That's ok, because all that what you choose is stylish, of good quality, and can be worn many seasons to come.
6. You know your friends and foes.
You may have already undergone several spring cleaning sessions of your facebook account, and you don't have 1000 friends anymore. Nor are the 400 left. You know already that there are only 2-5 people you can count on at any time of the day or night, no matter their geographic location. You've stopped hoping for everyone liking you because you know, that is not going to happen. There are few who like us with all our good parts but especially with all our flaws. Cherish these people.
7. You've learned to enjoy your alone-time.
Not going out on a Friday evening used to frighten a lot of us. It probably meant that we hadn't been cool enough during that week in order for us to have made plans with other "kids". Today, you know there is nothing better than being able to say: I have me-plans. You can stay at home in bed with a great novel or watch a movie, you can even take weekend trips or walks in the park...alone. Because you feel good about yourself and there is no need for someone else's opinion. Because you've become a person you enjoy being around with.
8. You own something.
Some have a shoe collection, a collection of statement bags, a laptop, a car, a house, a pricy ring...it doesn't matter that much WHAT, but what matters is THAT you OWN something. You've earned it through your hard work and you can be proud of it. You've long ended the time when mum or dad used to give you money for anything. You work - you choose - you own. And it's a great feeling of accomplishment.
9. You teach.
No, not in school. You might however be someone's mentor at work. And this gives you another feeling of accomplishment: you've once received (guidance) and now you can give that back, to someone else. And off work, you might have some younger relatives who look up to you. Guide them wisely!
10. You have investments.
I'm not referring to some sort of real estate fortune, but rather to your way of knowing how to plan long-term. You might have a private health insurance, a life insurance, a pension fond, and when you start buying furniture now (or other things), you don't stick to the student-cheapest-as-you-can-get mentality, but rather think of how you will use it in the years to come. You buy a good mattress or a pillow, because you know sleep is one of the most important things to a happy life. You buy real jewelry instead of the shiny or plasticky one. You buy long lasting garments. You own art pieces.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy all that you have achieved. Sip a glass of Champagne and start making plans for the next 30 years. Oh,...and enjoy the cake! You've earned it!