On Turning Thirty

Today is my last day as a twenty-something. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about that. I guess it doesn’t matter. Whether I am ready for it or not, the sun will rise tomorrow and I will be thirty.

It’s better than the alternative, right? Turning thirty is better than not turning thirty. If I really think about it, age is really just a human construct anyway. Yes, our bodies get older, but the number is essentially meaningless. Thirty has no more significance than twenty-seven or thirty-one. I know better than to get caught up in marketing. My best friend has already  left her twenties behind, as has my PH. It wasn’t a big deal for either of them. And yet…

In last year’s pre-birthday post I talked about how for the first time, I finally felt like an grown up. Even though my furniture still doesn’t match and I still wear jeans with holes in the knees. This isn’t always true. Feelings of adulthood come and go. Oddly enough, I think Shiva’s presence made the largest impact on my maturity levels. I can’t just run off to the mall on a aprés-work shopping spree any more. When one is responsible for a very demanding living creature, one’s priorities are forced to change.

Of course, this doesn’t stop me from wanting to indulge in a good tantrum every once in a while. Which is fine. I can’t be all trimmed hair and getting my taxes done before the deadline all the time, right? Like one of my favourite bloggers recently said “show me a person who doesn’t still feel about fifteen in their own head and I’ll show you a person I probably wouldn’t want to have a beer with”.

For the record, I didn’t send in my taxes until July last year. Does this mean my adult membership card is revoked?

So… Thirty. Yeah. Everyone keeps telling me how much the next decade is going to rock, how being in your twenties is sucky and awful and now that I’m older I know myself so much better and things are just going to slide into place. I’m not so sure I believe these people. If you’ve read this blog at all you’ll now I’m not really a sliding into place kind of gal.

The only thing I am sure of is that the third decade of my life, especially the last few years of it, was a heck of a lot better than the first two. Not that being in my twenties was super magical party times but it beat being a teenager. I remember on my eighteenth birthday I was in despair because I wanted to be seventeen forever. Thankfully that particular wish didn’t come true. To totally rip off Margaret Atwood, the only people who think childhood is wonderful are the ones who have blocked out the memories. I’m thinking if I keep on this same trend, being in my thirties might be better than being in my twenties.

I guess I’m gonna find out.

35 thoughts on “On Turning Thirty

  1. When I turned 30 I think the biggest change was my perception of myself. I realized I was an adult – sort of – and it gave me much more confidence in my opinions, decisions and how I dealt with other people. I don’t know if my 30’s were better than my 20’s – but I do know that each decade of life have both joys and sorrows. I can say however that my 50’s have been much more interesting with you being part of the family. Happy Birthday


    • i feel the same way–that turning 30 made me a “real” adult. 🙂 i think that’s not only my own perception, but it’s probably the perception many folks out in the world also have. i often hear people referring to 20-somethings as “kids”. know what i mean?


  2. Happy Pre-Birthday!

    Honestly (you wouldn’t expect less from me, would you) I hated turning 30. 30 was the worst birthday I ever had. Leaving my 20’s really, really bothered me, but somehow leaving my 30’s and 40’s didn’t bother me as much.

    Why? Because I think most people don’t really mature until they are in their 30’s. Leaving my 20’s meant I was an adult and there was no going back. I also think for me (at least) it meant, ‘no more excuses’ this is serious business and I think it kind of scared me a little.

    Annie is right though, each decade (even each year) has its joys and sorrows, but it is made better by the people and family we surround ourselves with.

    Happy birthday blog sister!


  3. Hi Kristine, happy birthday. You sure are feisty for someone your age!!! Wow 3-0 so that’s only about 3 dog years or so. I guess that means you’ll be around for awhile then. I’m glad and I bet everyone else is too. You look great too.


  4. 30’s are awesome! Waaaaaay better than your 20’s. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about the 40s….so far, so good.

    The best part about getting older? Every day that goes by, you care a little bit less about what people think of you! Such a freeing feeling to let your real self shine a bit brighter each day. And if they don’t like it, all well!


  5. Happy Last Day of your Twenties! I don’t know so much about sliding in place, per se, but so far my 30’s have been about being comfortable, truly comfortable, in my own skin. I worried entirely too much about what people thought in my 20’s and now, I don’t give a sh**. May your 30’s be as liberating for you as they are so far for me!


  6. Happy thirty!!
    It is going to rock- really! and so will 40 and so will 50. I had a good friend who died of breast cancer at 39. Her dream was to live to 40. I think about that with every birthday I have. I am 55 and my furniture still dosen’t match, and as I look down at me knees I see the holes in my jeans. I think you would like to have a birthday beer with me! Life is great and it gets more interesting with every passing year.


  7. Uh oh, somewhere along the line I missed the memo that said being a grown up meant that your furniture had to match, and you couldn’t wear pants with holes in them – oh well!!

    I didn’t have any problem turning 30- I think I was ready to leave my 20’s behind. I didn’t figure out WHO I was until I was about 34 🙂 Now as I creep closer to 48 and too close to 50 (OMG HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?) I wonder if I will ever feel like a “grown up” – I doubt it 😉 Enjoy your last day of being in your 20’s! Happy 30th!!!


  8. Happy birthday. There was once a saying “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” This was made up of people who recognized that 30 brings true wisdom and the end of the silliness of youth that believed what it was told.


  9. Happy early birthday! I hope you have a super great day and Shiva takes you on long walkies and you get lots of extra treats and noms!

    Mom says the 30s really do rock and she wouldn’t go back to her 20s for anything!

    Wiggles & Wags,


  10. I hope you have a splendid birthday tomorrow and that your PH and Shiva (and even Kitty) have something fun planned to celebrate the day.

    I’m sorry to say that you’re going to go through all kinds of angsty feelings about aging until you stop (aging, that is). And sometimes it will have nothing to do with a number.

    I remember pulling up at a light next to a car full of cute guys and getting ready to flirt before I realized, “Hey, I’m 26 years old. They’re in high school. I am way too old for this.”

    And of course, I have the whole grey hair thing going on now. And the horrible realization that I’m 46 years old and have yet to earn the median starting salary for American college grads (damn nonprofits!).

    On the other hand, I know all kinds of cool women who are older then me who I watch growing and becoming more their own person and I think there might be hope for me yet.

    I hope you take some time to look back at all the great things you’ve done in 30 years and celebrate the fabulousness of your next 30! And don’t forget, most 30 years olds do not have an international fan club like you do!


  11. Hmmm. It’s already tomorrow here so I guess that means you’re a grand old dame of 30 now and I’d best start calling you ma’am.

    I swear to you that you’ll look back on your 30s and think they’re the best years of your life. I say this with all the wisdom 😉 of someone on the other side of 50. Being a teen sucks, really. I can’t think of anyone other than a masochist or the high school prom queen who would like to go back there. The 20s? Hmmm…I found it way too introspective. Too many damn questions about life, relationships, career, blah blah crop up in your 20s, many of which will go unanswered until the day you die.

    The 40s. Your mirror will tell you when you’re in your 40s. The nude sunbathing you did in your teens and 20s when you still had a tight tummy will come back to haunt you with wrinkles, crispy fried mottled skin and that ugly P word…pigmentation. Worst of all, construction workers will stop wolf whistling when you pass by.

    The 50s of course brings along a big blessing in menopause. Unfortunately, it comes with hot flashes, grumpiness and insomnia. Body parts will start to fail and you get called a cougar if you so much as look at your neighbour’s 20-something son. Your equally old hubby will want to colour his hair, buy a studded leather jacket and a big bike. If you’re really unlucky, he might also want his P.A.

    See? The 30s are the best! I hope, Ms Tonks, that you can now look forward to it with a sense of joy and excitement! Happy birthday, old friend (no, I don’t mean old old)! Big hugs and a big mwah too x


  12. Happy birthday! I’m 35, and for me, my 30’s have been wonderful. I’m not a sliding into place kind of gal either (more like shoe horn into place… square peg, round hole-ish), but it’s been fun and so much more relaxing than my 20’s. I’m definitely more comfortable with myself every day, which is really nice. Cheers!


  13. Happy Early Birthday! I hope you have a fun day with Shiva and the PH.

    Before I commented here, I had to calculate my age I’ll be turning on my next birthday in my head, since beyond late 20s I couldn’t remember off the top of my head. For the record, I’m currently 28. But clearly those kinds of numbers aren’t significant.

    I stumble almost as much when people ask me how old Moses and Alma are – though I still seem to know their ages better.


  14. Happy Birthday!

    I hated being a teenager! It was a time of a lot of upheaval in my life, and I was forced to be a parent to my parents and younger sister. I couldn’t understand the frivolity of my peers. I had to steal money out of my mom’s wallet after the child support check came and hide it in a safe place so that we’d magically have money to buy food at the end of the month. By the time I was fifteen, I’d testified against both of my parents in court. That’s not to be a downer. I think I’m a much more interesting person than a lot of the people I went to high school with. (And I might or might not have secretly enjoyed being waited on by one of them at the McDonald’s drive through last year. 😛 ) During my twenties, I got married and started living for me instead of everybody else. In a lot of ways, my thirties have been my teenage years. We’re not rolling in money, but we have enough to get by and I feel like I know who I really am! Enjoy the decade, it will be your favorite so far! And enjoy the freedom that comes with it to really be an adult and do what you want when you want. And, yes, I still feel like I’m fifteen, too! Just a happier and more confident fifteen than I was at fifteen.


  15. 30 is the new 20! Now you have to relive the whole dang decade! 😉

    I had a particularly hard time turning 25 (I guess my mind works in quarters – which means at the end of this decade, I should be a real piece of work). But anyway, I hope you are having a great day, despite stupid calendars!


  16. Yup, I’ll be hitting the big 3-0 this year as well, and have similar misgivings.

    Admittedly, 19-26 was really pretty rad. I wouldn’t mind it if the 30 decade was a good one. It’s just so weird to think about, really. I think I stopped at about 19 or so in my head. A lot of our friends are in their 30’s (and my fiance, after saying “what are you commenting on? What are you blogging about?” just informed me one of our friends just turned 40).

    Really, it is what it is, and also somewhat what you make of it.


  17. Happy Birthday Kristine! I remember reading your birthday post last year and thinking how I felt the same way. I hate this idea of being a grown up! I’m not ready…am I?! Wishing you all the fun and joy 30 has to offer.


  18. i think we share the same birthday!!! turned 30 on the 18th and had a really wonderful day…hope u did too.


  19. Hope you had a happy birthday. Now that you are 30, contemplating life and what ageing means, ask yourself one question:

    Am I truly happy?

    If you are, go on in joy. If you’re not, stop, ask why not, and whatever it is that’s blocking your happiness, CHANGE IT. You can still do that at 30. The older you get, the harder change is, and the more strings wrapped around each aspect of your life. Seek out happiness and it doesn’t matter how old you are.


  20. Sorry, I’m a little behind on my Google Reader, but I still want to wish you a happy next decade. I remember thinking on my 35th birthday … “I thought I’d have more stuff figured out by now.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be magically sliding into place for me either, but have enjoyed my 30’s more than my 20’s and I’m quickly approaching my 40’s so I hope the trend continues for both of us! Happy Birthday, Kristine.


  21. Ok, what is going on with me this month? I believe I wished you a happy birthday on Facebook… or at least I intended to. I haven’t made it to many blogs lately, unfortunately. So, I’m late getting over here – if I did not, my sincerest apologies and a happy belated birthday!


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