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20 Things We Never Thought We’d Become Obsessed With In Our Late 20s

20 Things We Never Thought We’d Become Obsessed With In Our Late 20s

A few years ago you were absolutely okay with eating pizza for dinner each night, living in a tiny flat with five buddies and rocking out on the dance floor till dawn. The time flies though, and you steadily head towards your third decade.

Suddenly you find yourself in your late 20s, slightly obsessed with the opposite types of activities and past times.

Here are 20 things I had no idea I would become so excited about a few years ago!

1. Cooking elaborate dishes

You know you are in your late 20s when pasta no longer sounds like a decent dinner option. We now crave to savor exquisite tastes and opt to spend weeks learning to cook something gourmand (and Instagram-worthy) like Coquilles Saint-Jacques and roasted potato salad with candied walnuts as a side dish.

Yes, it takes a hell of a lot of time, practice and a few kilos of wasted food, but we feel extremely proud as we read all the rave comments under the photo!

2. Local organic vegetables

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    You’ve come to love Saturdays even more! You get up early and dash directly to the farmer’s market for fresh veggies and fragrant bundles of salads. You then happily spend the afternoon chopping and packing them into Tupperware to make the taste last longer.

    You always shop seasonal and inspect each item with notorious meticulousness before stacking it into the basket. Some vendors already know you by name and even make small discounts, and there’s a list on your fridge with of all organic shops around your area with notes where you should by what. Also, you have even attempted growing some veggies and herbs at your windowsill to keep basics at stock all the time and save some money from your food check.

    3. Being concerned about your health

    It’s not that you are getting old, but some extra concern about your well-being has become a “thing”. Suddenly, you became aware of all the negative impacts of certain foods, toxic liquids in your household and even harmful bacteria hiding in the hospitals.

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    You schedule regular appointments to your dentists and GP, you even once consulted a nutritionist and then you were over the moon happy when you realized your new insurance covers vision! You now realize the value of working for a company that offers the best health insurance packages.

    4. Professional cleaning services

    The truth is, you’ve never liked cleaning up. Living in a cramped, cluttered cave with wrappers behind the couch was pretty fine in college, yet absolutely unbearable in your late 20s. Now, every other weekend, you crouch and run sprints around the house with a vacuum cleaner. Sometimes you feel like if someone would gift you a year of professional cleaning services, you would immediately marry them!

    5. Massages

    A night on a friend’s couch leaves you with a terrible pain in the neck. So does the office chair, spending too much time driving, a bad mattress and loads of other activities. It seems like we got into our late 20s and all our pains and aches intensified.

    A 60 minute massage session with fragrant oil dripped all over your poor body is no longer a luxury, but an actual necessity!

    6. Having a preference of wine

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      Long gone are the days you could drink anything that had at least a slight grape aftertaste. A typical conversation with your significant other at a wine cellar now looks like:

      “Why are we taking that Alsatian Riesling again? I’m not sure that year 2012 will pair well with the fish.”

      “But, babe, we’ve drank that red dry Bordeaux last weekend and I didn’t like that nutty aftertaste, remember?”

      At the venue, you can spend a good half an hour inspecting the wine menu and shooting questions at the sommelier.

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      7. Going to bed before midnight

      Why should anyone sane stay out till dawn and rave like a madman to get up at 6 am still hangovered and absolutely devastated? All the cool kids like you are going to bed early.

      A “big night out” now is more like – let’s cook something cool, drink a bottle of good wine and go wild by trying out a fancy dessert.

      8. Enjoying music  from back in the 90s

      You still remember lyrics to most ‘N SYNC songs, right? And chances are, no one’s going to make fun of you when you mention that in public. In most cases, you’ll end up doing a karaoke session and going as low as “Hit Me Baby One More Time” while having the time of your lives!

      9. New home appliances

      For a second you may feel a little embarrassed by being so excited with your new super-awesome self-cleaning espresso machine, but it all goes away once you see how anxiously envious your friends become.

      Your wish-list now has quite a lot of incredible items you would die to have, from a baked taco shell toaster to a pro noodle maker to make your own spaghetti from organic ingredients!

      10. Having a seat at the concert

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        No matter how much you love that band, you will not go to their live gig if there’s no sitting places left! Rubbing elbows with fellow fans in front of the stage (and secretly wondering if that guy in front of you will smack your nose or not) doesn’t sound cool anymore.

        Neither does a free ticket for a Katy Perry concert…without sitting.

        11. Quality clothes

        You are no longer friends with Forever 21 and H&M. At some point, you’ve started feeling really awkward when walking in. Besides, you are tired of throwing away another pile of tiny dresses, small t-shirts and shrunken sweaters.

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        In our late 20s, we like to spend more on clothes only if it’s actually worth the price. A pair of rubber designer flip-flops for $20 is a rip-off, but a pair of good suede loafers is a wise investment.

        12. Having “productive” weekends

        There’s no longer an “epic” story to tell on Monday about getting wasted, hitting 10 clubs in a row and waking up in another state. Those days are past and now you love telling stories about how hellishly productive you’ve been during those two so-called rest days.

        You’ve cleaned the entire flat, cooked for a five-person dinner party (with two dish changes!), finished reading the Ernest Hemingway biography, washed the car, cut the lawn and even had time to try a new hairdo!

        13. Dinner parties

        No longer “you bring your food, I give my space to chill” types of parties, but fancy Martha Stewart-inspired feasts with matching napkins, two glasses for water and wine, at least three different types of forks, fresh floral bouquet (that you’ve struggled to make two hours after watching that DIY video), napkin holders and candles.

        You have even thought about ordering calligraphy for name cards, but is seemed like too much, right?

        14. Establishing a sacred morning routine

        Because morning defines your mood for the whole day! You can sacrifice those 15 extra minutes of sleep for a series of yoga exercises and extra five minutes in a warm shower to gather your thoughts.

        You’ve ditched coffee for a glass of hot lemon water, you typically cook salads and smoothies instead of cereals and get your clothes prepared in the evening. All those procedures are sacred and you can not be deprived of any of it!

        15. Documentaries

        Watching soap operas and reality shows? Duh, we are so over it! Instead, we prefer to actually learn something new while interacting with the telly or opt for some beautifully puzzling art-house movie for entertainment.

        16. Brunches

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          Will our generation someday be named as “the brunchers”? It seems like everything we do involves a brunch. What shall we do today? How about having a brunch at that new awesome cafe around the corner? No brunch offers? This place sucks! I will never tag it on Instagram, even though the coffee looks pretty.

          17. Private space

          Sharing is no longer caring when it comes to your “own space”. You are okay to pay that dreadful solo rent price, so that you won’t have to justify an hour in the bathroom, while listening your whining roommate on the other side of the door.

          Or your music choices, or your right not to wear pants around the house. The freedom to do whatever you want in your space is almost overwhelming!

          18. DIY’ing

          In your late 20s, your YouTube subscription is full of DIY channels – from nail art to authentic reed basket weaving. I’m not even mentioning how many pictures you have pinned on your secret DIY Pinterest board.

          During the last year you’ve probably attempted making all kind of stuff, from that shoe holder planter to a wood-burning camp stove.

          19. Treating pets like children

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            Because yes, it is absolutely acceptable to dress up both of your cats in lovely Santa costumes and send that photo as a postcard to all of your friends and family. Also, there’s nothing weird about you seeming to always post pictures with your cat doing cute things or talking for hours about how clever it is and what new tricks it’s learned!

            20. Telling the truth

            We no longer care that much if someone thinks we are “rude” or “unkind” when expressing our opinions and telling people what we really think. We are too tired of pretending to be “okay” when things are bad and can usually just spill everything out to our close friends without being ashamed.

            Also, by our late 20s, we’ve come to realize that we cannot change who we are or change the people around us. But we can always let them go and get rid of any toxic relationships that spoil our lives.

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            Elena Prokopets

            Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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            Published on May 18, 2021

            How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

            How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

            We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

            The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

            Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

            Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

            Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

            There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

            Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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            Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

            We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

            Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

            A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

            The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

            Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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            Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

            Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

            Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

            While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

            Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

            These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

            Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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            Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

            Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

            Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

            Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

            Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

            Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

            As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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            This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

            Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

            Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

            These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

            Actions Speak Louder Than Words

            Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

            Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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            Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

            More Tips Improving Listening Skills

            Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

            Reference

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