Thursday, April 23, 2015

Advice to my 23 year old self: a practical list

Sarah's asked me to tell her what I would tell myself at 23.  I had so many ideas but they boil down to this contradictory list. Here goes...

1. Buy property as soon as you have a stable income. Looking back I likely spent nearly 80,000 in rent in my twenties and early thirties. If I had the chance to do this over, I would have started with a really small house and fixed up and sold and bought another continuing until you build equity with each one.

2. Stay fit. Those 10 pounds will creep up on you over a decade of sitting at a desk all day. I've been doing karate since I was 26. It has helped me feel healthier that's for sure. Looking back finding time for exercise daily would have been better.

3. See the world and move around lots. Yes having a house is contradictory to this, but I had room mates for years. Owning a house and renting it can still allow you to travel and see the world. The thing I've learned is that you don't have much money in your twenties so traveling seems too expensive then. When you have kids, traveling is harder, you have more expenses and it's a gong show traveling with babies and all their equipment. I've never regretted any trip I took to the Caribbean or South America. But I've always regretted not going to Europe or Japan.

Also, I've lived in Charlottetown, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary in my 20s and 30s. This was wonderful to experience so many lifestyles and expose myself to different regions. You can start to appreciate a simple life style, in my case, PEI country living once you've seen how others live. It made me realize I'm not really a city mouse although that's what I was drawn to in my 20's. Country mice can have simple life styles that sure as hell beat the stress of rush hour traffic, high prices and keeping up with the Joneses.

4. Never regret not sowing your oats. Sometimes you marry your high school sweetheart sometimes you don't. Dating a lot makes you realize when you found a compatible mate, but sometimes you have one right now and the grass isn't always greener.

5. Have kids! My daughter has taught me to aspire to a much simpler life. One that involves family at the heart of it. Staying fit, active and healthy is top priority now, over owning a big house. Getting back to basics and aspiring to travel together and live frugally is what I want to share with my daughter. She may not inherit a mansion, but she will have quality time with her mother.


By day, Lorrie kills it as Creative Director for ScreenScape. We share a love of jasmine green tea and have both been thinking a lot these days about simplifying our lives. 

Lorrie's kick butt at karate, and manages to juggle a busy work schedule and being mom to a beautiful Vaeda Zo.
You can find Lorrie over at shizamo where she has been blogging for over ten years. Wowza.

Thanks, Lor, for contributing to my advice series!

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