Life At 30-Something.

Last week I turned 30.

[No longer accepting belated birthday texts, only money orders and elaborate Edible Arrangements, thanks fam.]
People like asking if you feel different when you have a birthday and most years, it’s easy to say “pretty much feels identical to twelve hours ago”.  But not for thirty.  When the clock hit midnight, wisdom descended and I saw into the reality of this next decade.

Life at 30-something: 

  1.  When you enter your 30s and say, “I’m going clubbing tonight”, you absolutely do not mean you are going dancing at a low lit night club, staying out all hours of the night.  You are now referring to one of two clubs: Book Club or Supper Club.  These are literally the only two types of clubs that could convince you to be out of the house until 9pm.  In context:
    -“I’m going clubbing tonight.  My Book Club is discussing the new Harry Potter and we’re trying a new type of trail mix!”
    -“I’m going clubbing tonight.  Our Supper Club friends are doing a Low Country Boil, so what I’m trying to say is I’m taking my sleeping bag and living at their house for 24 hours because I’ll be too fat to move.”
  2. People in their 30s are now starting to realize their lives didn’t turn out exactly how they imagined.  Which I guess isn’t saying much because we based most of our expectations of adulthood on our M.A.S.H. results. According to my 1997 M.A.S.H. I should be marrying JTT, driving a garbage can, living in a mansion, and working at Hello Kitty.  We’d have 8 children, so hopefully my garbage can has bucket seats.  (Had to.)
    mashJust feeling bummed that I didn’t have the foresight back then to write in every single “car” blank-  “Uber, take me everywhere”.  I could get behind that.
  3. In your 30s, you begin to suffer from a delusional disorder that causes you to believe you are “just out of college” and “still young and relevant”.  I regularly feel like I am just two years older than the college-aged girls who babysit our daughter.  And then I do the math and calculate an entire decade between us.  When she was a newborn in the hospital I was ten and doing the Macarena.  It makes me want to sit these girls down and ask lots of desperate questions like,
    “Where did you buy those jeans with the holes or did you put the holes there or do they even sell those to Moms” and “What emojis are college kids using these days” and
    “I’ll tell you what a Home Owner’s Association is if you can Rosetta Stone some millennial slang for me right quick”.
    32
  4. These are the years you realize it’s time to officially own your adulthood, the years when you actually discuss things like refinancing the house and have to compare five different stroller models.  You realize it’s time to embrace responsibility and do adult things like listen to all of your voicemails and respond accordingly.  The up-side to owning your adulthood?  You get to do whatever you want because you are the boss of you.  Want to stand over the sink at 10:30 and eat a slice of pound cake out of your hands?  COOL.  Want to play Candy Crush for hours even if you don’t have WiFi?  DO IT ‘CAUSE YOU GROWN.  Want to act like you fell asleep on the couch when your spouse brings up the budget?  GO FOR IT, ADULT.
  5. At 29, you feel strong and healthy and young, and then I don’t know why but you turn 30 and immediately everything hurts.  All the things you were doing in your 20s now require Aleve and a back brace.  I used to carry eight bags of groceries in at a time without flinching (because who has time to make three different trips out to the car) but now when I carry in that one bag with the orange juice, my hands start cramping and shriveling up.  My husband plays pick up basketball with some friends and he basically dislocates his shoulder during warm ups now.  He needs a 3-4 hour recovery period after getting home to ice random muscles and stretch his thirty-year-old body parts in the door frames.
  6. Your 30s are the years when you make peace with your slower metabolism, choosing kale over bread and chia seed smoothies over Girl Scout Cookies.  Eh, never mind. That must be your 40s.
  7. If someone in their 30s says “Let’s stay up late tonight”, they have no interest in seeing any time that ends in “A.M.”. They also aren’t planning on staying up to find out the host of Saturday Night Live.  They probably mean “Hey, I have an idea.  Let’s stay up late tonight and watch the weather coverage on the 10:00 news.”  Like, even then- contacts are OUT, pajamas are ON, and they already have one eye closed getting a head start on a REM cycle.

Finally, a toast to all these years as a 30-something.  May the book clubbing be turnt and may these years be far sweeter than you could’ve imagined.  Cheers!

life-atImage Sources: 1, 2, 3