Or, 6 Reasons Why I’m Not Bummed About Getting Older (Even Though I Had To Spend My Birthday Money On A New Car Battery Instead of Lotto Tickets Or a Tattoo)
1. I’m free to indulge my inner 70-year-old.
Sometimes I hear people lamenting the changes in their lives as they get older, like “I used to be able to function on 3 hours of sleep but not anymore!” and “All I really want to do these days is sit around the house.” And I’m thinking to myself, “Wait, you weren’t always that way?”
It’s like I emerged from the womb as a senior citizen. Throughout my life, I have been the cause of many sighs and head-shakings by my cooler, more energetic friends who despair at my lame and boring behavior. But now that I’m getting older I can finally stop feeling ashamed and just embrace my geriatric predilections.
I can eat toast for dinner and go to bed early on a Friday night. I can complain about my back spasm (as I type this, I’m lying flat on the couch with an ice pack). I can talk about real estate markets and retirement funds. I can do crosswords at home instead of going out, or bring my crochet bag to social functions. It’s all ok! I’m 30! No one expects me to be fun and interesting any more. Oh, the relief. The sweet, sweet relief.
2. I feel somewhat ready to have kids.
I mean, I made it this far without killing or seriously maiming myself (unless you count the back spasm). I should be able to care for a child without endangering its welfare too terribly much, right? I am starting to have a little more confidence in my grown-up abilities, and less of a lurking feeling that I’m still a child myself. Which leads me to my next point…
3. I’m suddenly a legitimate adult.
I think the world often overlooks or patronizes 20-somethings. Whether this is deliberate or unconscious, who can say—but in my various workplaces, I always felt people viewed me as the kid straight out of college and I often struggled to be taken seriously. Now I’ve finally established myself in a true career, I’m beginning to be an expert on some really official-sounding topics, and colleagues give more weight to my opinions and ideas.
Another example: I’m a very picky person. Like, about everything. Food, art, music, decorating, clothing, books, you name it. In my early adulthood, I got the feeling people believed I was just being difficult or resistant to trying new stuff. But now I’m a distinguished woman of the world. People don’t question your finicky behavior when you’re 30—they just respect your sophisticated palette and your unique personal style.
4. I’m easily pleased.
When I got in to work the other day, there was a new office chair waiting on me with inflatable lumbar support and adjustable arm rests. I actually squealed a little bit. There may even have been some clapping of the hands. When you’re 30, it doesn’t take much to make you happy. For instance, when just one of the following occurs, the day is officially a win:
- campus dining hall serves decorated sugar cookies at lunch
- Piglet doesn’t poop on the floor next to the litterbox
- iTunes shuffle plays “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
- opportunity to quote Star Wars arises
- I don’t lose my sunglasses/keys/phone/wallet
What this means is, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t need my life to be constantly exciting or entertaining—I just need it to not suck. Which means that, in turn, those little out-of-the-ordinary things, like seeing a snoozing possum up close at a zoo event or discovering a new yummy restaurant, seem mindblowingly awesome.
Seriously, guys, that possum was surprisingly cute. All sleepy and furry, with his little hand-feet curled up. Annnnhhh.
5. My 20s were kind of…ghastly.
I know that sounds a bit harsh considering I met and married my husband in my 20s but he’d probably say the same. We had no money, no jobs or insurance half the time (thanks recession!), we were working and attending school the other half, we moved three times in four years, and we agonized constantly over possible career paths and decisions. Now I feel like we’ve finally settled into our chosen directions and made some progress. There’s less stress, less uncertainty, and more living LIKE A BOSS.
6. I may finally take exercise and flossing seriously.
The time just feels right.