Lately my friends and I have been celebrating and commiserating that this is the year we turn thirty. We met in college and we just cannot believe that we are here. I was the first (and so far the only) to enter my third decade of life. Two of my three loves came to Texas to drink copious amounts of alcohol with me on my birthday aka New Year's Eve. Thirty is not twenty-one. As a constant reminder, my friends and I share listicles of all the things one should do before one turns thirty and....what...what comes after thirty??? Well friends, in the words of Cher Horowitz, "as someone older, can I please give you some advice?" (Clueless, 1995)
30 things To Do Now That I'm Thirty
1. Stop caring about most reality TV - I still indulge in a few shows, but I'm not adding any new ones and it's a lot less then it was before. I just can't Keep Up anymore.
2. Re-read books I was forced to read in high school - I fondly remember A Tale of Two Cities, The Great Gatsby, and To Kill A Mockingbird. I've always loved reading, and feel inspired to revisit some of the finer works in between my easy weekend cozies.
3. Stop apologizing for who I'm not - I'm not saying at thirty I'm set in my ways, but I have a very good understanding of who I am at the moment. Sometimes the easiest way to define something is to start with defining what it is not.
4. Associate with women of all ages - Moving to a city cold is hard. Especially when you are at an age when your peers may be going in several different life directions. I have been married for five years and have a son turning two this weekend. I'm thankful for my other mommy friends, and have noticed that you form play groups based on your child's age not your own. I've also joined other clubs and organizations. It's wonderfully surprising to have a conversation with a woman who is your mother's age or older and not feel matronized. After all, your mom is probably one of your best friends these days - true for me.
5. Admit my mom is one of my best friends - see above.
6. Let go of Facebook? - I struggle with this one.
7. Pledge allegiance to the either the Today Show or Good Morning America - I choose Today Show. I used to watch either depending on the topic, but my sister-in-law (eight months older) said I must choose one as if it were as serious as Team Nick or Team Jessica.
8. Drop the princess act and kill the spider - I've become numb to the act of insecticide. It's really no big deal. The princess act has also expired on taking out the trash and picking up dog poo.
9. Invest time into my community - One of the reasons we moved to the 'burbs is so I could get more plugged into a community. Working from home can be very isolating. It's good to do something outside my domain. Establish roots.
10. Care about local politics - This is the same line of thought as #9. In my AP Government class, I was taught all politics are local. But today it seems like that's reversed - you pick the Presidential candidate and then everything trickles down from there. My area is growing fast, and I want to know who is steering and in what direction.
11. Stop chasing fashion trends - Done. See #3.
12. Splurge on makeup/skin care/hair - This is a whole new world for me. I've always been a low-maintenance, minimalist make-up gal. Motherhood more than age has pushed me to ask for more "help" in this area. Besides, it's fun.
13. Get rid of hand me down/college furniture - This is also fun, and oh so freeing!
14. Re-assess old fears - Right now, this mostly applies to social situations. Those fears are closely linked to insecurities, and taking a close look at that has helped me realize that a lot of them have become obsolete over time, and I just never let go. This also applies to spiders.
15. Eat lunch out by myself - I mean, I have a smartphone, right?
16. Give in to Law of Inertia - Or what I like to call The Law of Mess. According to Newton's First Law, "An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force." I have to be that unbalanced force (insert easy jab) or every toy, dirty dish, pile of laundry will remain in it's place.
17. Get massages on the reg - Because I think yoga is boring, and this makes me less unbalanced.
18. Imagine a past instead of future to relate to pop songs - When you're young and you hear a catchy love song, you're like, "Yeah! I can totally picture that someday. It's going to be awesome." Now, I hear Taylor Swift triumphantly belt, "We are never ever ever getting back together," and I think who would that have been about. I never really dated that guy. So, I pretend I relate and totally jam out.
19. Talk to strangers or not - I'm an introvert and forced small talk makes me cringe. Though sometimes it doesn't feel forced, and I truly enjoy mindlessly chatting with another mom on the playground. It depends on the moment. I'm cool with just a polite smile as we chase our tots and not add to the noise.
20. Watch early seasons of Friends and compare/contrast being twenty-somethings without smartphones - A lot of plot lines would not exist. But look how close they all were actually talking in a coffee shop.
21. Watch later seasons of Friends and try to guess incomes and living expenses for thirty-somethings in NYC - Funnier version of House Hunters
22. Appreciate when someone says I look so young - Professionally, this always bothered me in the past. Now, I'm not so green.
23. Travel - A LOT of the pre-thirty advice listicles have something about traveling. Travel has no age limit.
24. Be a good mentor - Working for myself in my twenties felt like a constant challenge to prove I was worth the chance to someone. Working in a creative field some senior members of the industry would sometimes feel threatened by new comers or too superior to be open to new ideas. PLEASE, NOTE I said SOME. I was fortunate to find good mentors to help me find my way. Now, I'm in a position to pay it forward.
25. Set new goals - Sir Isaac Newton's law can be applied here, too.
26. Control my face - I need to become a little more gentile since I decided to stay in the South. My mother always told me, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." My face needs to hush.
27. Purge - Up until your thirties, you are allowed (sometimes encouraged) a reasonable amount of selfishness which often leads to binges. Now it's time to purge.
28. Count daily chores as physical activity - The Fitbit doesn't lie.
29. Appreciate a well made bed - Every other room in my house can be in shambles by the end of the day, but sliding into crisp sheets is like hitting the reset button.
30. Know that this list and life does not end at 29 - If I didn't accomplish all the things those other lists said I should do before I turn thirty (I didn't), then I can simply add them on here: __________________.
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