Sunday, October 11, 2009


In a few days, I am turning 29. I am fast becoming ancient. This "growing old" business is a dirty job, but we all have to do it.

It sneaks up on you, these birthdays. You drown yourself in work and coffee and before you know it, you have inexorably slipped away from what "the kids" do these days. Worse (or luckily, I can't decide), you don't even care. You just accept the fact that you don't know what the hell is on MTV, that staying in is better than a long night out, and that you can no longer eat a whole bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken by yourself, even if you tried.

In a way, this is all fantastic. I sort of feel like my apprenticeship on life is finally over, and now, I am in a "managerial" level where I can actually LIVE. My life is finally mine. I am free from parental control. I live on my own. I have some money for small luxuries. I have the
trappings of adulthood (including a proper French press), but more importantly, I no longer feel the pressure to prove anything to anyone. Hey, I'm almost 29. This IS me.

To be able to minimize the hiccups of this newfangled life stage, I should be able to achieve a
state of recklessness tempered by practicality. I want to live in the moment without throwing away my future. It's going to be hard. Some ideas:

1. Save money. My twenties have been all about spending. This has to end. Anyway, my closet is full of Prada now, and I have eaten in thousands of fancy restaurants here and abroad (frankly, expensive food is starting to taste the same). I need a budget and I need to stick to it. Passive income streams need to be built, as I don't intend to work forever.

2. Live healthier. Wealth is nothing without health, really. That's why I have started moderate running two to three times a week, but I intend to become more active. I am seriously considering taking up Chi Running and joining a marathon. As for diet - I don't do diets. This is why I'm not as thin as I used to be, which isn't necessarily bad (I feel healthier, anyway). I am beginning to eat more sensibly now, but who can say no to sweets and the occasional bad carbohydrates?

3. Disassociate with negativity. I must develop a new method of dealing with people who just zap energy -- dysfunctional family members, friends who always seem problematic, clients who nitpick, etc. There's no way of completely cutting them off, so I should just change my approach so that they don't get to me. I must master the skill of saying NO, especially if saying it equals self-preservation.

4. Build a light lifestyle conducive to travel.
The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page. Well, I intend to read the whole book until it's beat up. I will doggy-ear pages I like so I can go back to them. I'll even subscribe to updates. To enjoy this freedom of just going whenever, my life's essentials must fit into a carry-on bag. It's the only way to live.

5. Take care of good relationships. I haven't been very lucky with family, but I am blessed in the coupling up department. I have MSP. He does not only help me carry life's occasional excess baggage but has actually bought into this light lifestyle of "no mortgage, no kids, no hangups." We are working our asses off to make our business even more mobile, so we can make money anywhere we are. That is a ultimate dream, and we're getting there slowly but surely
(his words, not mine / if it were up to me, everything would be fast, fast, fast.)

Friends - I have a few good ones, and I intend to keep them. Old friends I haven't seen for years are suddenly here again -- people from high school, from my old job, etc - and it's like we never parted ways. I still have my constant college friends, and I have a feeling they will always be there. Our friendship has surpassed the deciding point when you all either (a) lose contact or (b) consciously decide to pester each other for life. We've chosen (b), obviously. And of course, I still have my bestfriend of two decades, who now lives in Canada. We still talk almost everyday, thanks to technology. The world is so small and I just know I'll be able to visit her regularly.

* * * *

MSP is asking me what I want for my birthday. I said, "NOTHING." It's the first time I haven't wanted anything. Why? I have four reasons: (a) I'm still not over the Tiffany treasure he gave me, (b) the shop floors are so boring these days that nothing catches my fancy, (c) I'm much older now so I value experiences more than things, (d) I am realizing that if we get married, his money will become my money, too, so I would prefer that he save as much as he can.

However, I think I'll buy myself a small gift. I haven't decided. If nothing amuses me, I'll just save the money for the upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. I already have the book. I can't wait :)

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Blogger {illyria} said...

you and your lists. :) liking the saying NO part, of course, as it's been quite relevant to me this past week, too. see you saturday!

7:32 PM  
Anonymous barrycade said...

this is the second blog i read tonight with a list of tips and i like this better than the other. more personal, no pretensions, very relatable.

the only thing i hate about this getting old business is worrying about the future, or over-analyzing it. i used to be happy-go-lucky, live-the-moment, live-today-hell-with-what-happens-tomorrow kind of guy, but no longer. or not as much now. i'm learning how to "budget" and that sucks because i don't want to be a slave of money by thinking too much about it.

now i just have to live with it.

10:50 PM  
Blogger The Nomadic Pinoy said...

Those are sound ideas from someone not-ancient-yet. Happy birthday and many happy returns, even if they sneak up behind you:)

5:43 AM  
Blogger mussolini said...

illy> that reminds me - i have to list down things to bring to your swanky pad this sat :)

barry> going into debt is an even worse kind of slavery, though. and don't worry - you're still cool, even though you're old. hehe :)

nomadic> thanks! i hope to see much more of the world, like you do :)

7:54 AM  
Blogger Retro Manila said...

A year wiser.

Happy birthday, dearie. :)

10:53 PM  
Blogger ace said...

i like your numbers 3, 4, and 5. :D

happy birthday!!! cheers. :D

5:23 PM  
Blogger mussolini said...

retro and acey> thanks! :) my birthday is still two weeks away, actually.

6:19 PM  
Blogger bismuth said...

yey! to everything in a backpack (my version of your carryon) and yes, i think we'd still be traveling some parts of the world reserved for the barkada until we're too old, we can only take pictures instead of say, ride the ferriswheel. here's to the last year of our 20's! and the beginning of our 30's- more independent, wiser, still rough on the edges but refined somewhat.

5:32 PM  

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