People keep asking me about how I feel now I’m in my thirties. The answer is: I feel hot (as in sweaty and unbearably warm, not sexy). And tired. But it’s only been five days, so you know.
Also, I feel as I often do: baffled. It was the early noughties, like, a few years ago. Wasn’t it? I dunno, I’m not sitting on my back doorstep crying about it or anything (inside joke) but my thirties have really crept up on me. I can see that life is basically going to keep sliding by and I’m going to be continually surprised as though the passing of time is a new thing I haven’t got to grips with yet.
So I decided to write a list. Five good things about being in my thirties:
- Caring even less what people think of me. I used to stay quiet during conversations at toddler groups and children’s birthday parties and whatnot about parenting: baby led weaning vs. turning everything into mush, proper sleep routines, the necessity of screen-free time for under-2’s, the benefits of teaching Latin to preschoolers, etc. (Alright, I may have made up that last one). I stayed quiet for fear of being judged, because frankly a lot of the time I’m just making it up as I go along with no real plan or strategy.
And now? I do not care what other people think about my parenting skills. Not even a little bit. My toddler drinks milk to go to sleep and naps in our bed so I can simultaneously get stuff done and listen to his adorable snoring. Also, he spends most of his days pointing at the television and shouting ‘GO GO GO!’ (which basically means ‘why are you not putting Go Jetters on IMMEDIATELY you SILLY WOMAN.’)
Essentially, I could not care less what people think about the way I’m living my life, except the people who have earned the right to tell me when I’m being an idiot. I look forward to caring about other people’s opinions less and less as I age. Hooray!
- Being happier with how I look, dress, etc. Following on from the above, I know now (pretty much) how to dress my post-baby self, and as a result I buy much less clothes but I make much wiser choices. Also, I’m much less organised than I used to be and some days, leaving the house with semi-clean clothes feels like a bit of a triumph, let alone attempting make-up, so there’s that.
I’m also slowly making peace with the fact that I look a bit different now than I used to. (Kind of. Most days I mutter resentment at my stupid bit of hair that hasn’t grown back properly since it started falling out after having our last baby. It sticks up in a manner that defies both gravity and hair straighteners. In fact if you have any advice about this I’d greatly appreciate it. Anyway, what were we talking about?)
- Maintaining a rolling list of slightly outdated terms to embarrass my children with. So far it contains: amazeballs, savage, hair/life/squad goals. Not ‘on fleek’ though, because I can’t say that without despising myself.
- Doing my degree. Because ‘I’m too scared’ is not a valid excuse. I look forward to deeply reflecting on vast amounts of poetry throughout my early-to-mid thirties and spending thousands of pounds in the process.
- Being alive. Every moment I feel tempted to feel sad at the fact that my twenties are gone, or that my children are growing up and starting their process towards independence, I plan to metaphorically slap myself with this truth: I am lucky to be alive to see this. How many people would give everything for a chance for this – to have a life so good that you feel sad as it passes by? To love people so dearly that it almost hurts? Every day I am here is a day to appreciate and give thanks for.
So let’s raise a glass to our thirties, or forties, or fifties, or whatever decade you’re quickly approaching: may it be full of love, laughter, and whatever the third thing is that people have on little signs hanging in their house.
Love you all!