Well, like is a bit of a strong word. But what really are your options for turning the dreaded 3.0? Like my dad says ‘you can like it or lump it’. I’m going to tolerate it. I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to be one of those club 30 people, those people that fester on their age, believing the end is nigh, dooms day is fast approaching after the turn 29, the last year of their twenties. I promised myself 30 would just be a number, nothing important, just another orbit around the sun I have endured enjoyed.
In equal measures, I can’t say I was dreading nor excited about turning 30 – part of my elaborate mind ruse to make this ‘special’ year like any other birthday. Never did it occur to me that I was 29, swiftly about to leave my twenties behind, strange for such a sentimental person. There’s a plethora of weird shit I have kept throughout the years, who doesn’t have cinema ticket stubs, love notes (anniversary cards with brief boke inducing words) and the tag from your first hospital admission. I mean, who wouldn’t want to remember that time they got a tube up the colon? Me, apparently. But I can’t say I gave the last year of my life thirties that much of a send off.
My twenties have been and gone, I’m 30. I almost feel sorry for the thirties, they don’t seem too enticing. Your teens are celebrated as the years you get to do whatever you feel like and get away with it. I could eat my body, BODY, weight in food every single day and not gain even a micro, heck, an atom worth of weight. In fact, there was a point in my teens that I attended the doctor in hope of finding out why I couldn’t gain and maintain weight! That moment has passed, as is evident with the laptop being perched on my tiny, yet growing, jiggle belly.
The twenties are heralded as the years you need to calm down a bit, you can still have fun, but you better start reining it in, otherwise your body will rein it in for you. Two day hangovers start to make an appearance. Aches and ailments begin to appear and by the late twenties, the thought of pulling all-nighters out clubbing are enough to make you hyperventilate in your fluffy house coat. Night time is for binge watching TV, eating cooked dinners and getting a relatively early night. For the most part, in your twenties you are still seen as a kid, trying to figure out life, you can get away with the ‘I’m still figuring it out’ and peers will tell you ‘you’ll get there in the end’.
Your forties, as I’m lead to believe are the new twenties? You get lounge about on your non ikea sofa drinking which ever acquired taste liquid that takes your fancy. Cava? Herbal teas? Expensive coffee? You can have it all. You’ve been through all the thirties shit, now you can reap the rewards of your hard labour. You are over, or more acclimatized to, the tiredness that plagued your twenties and thirties. Basically, I’ve been sold that your forties are Samantha from Sex and The City (cani wait).
Being in your fifties looks good, more than likely your kids have pissed off and only return when the want something. Granted, they might come back demanding money, or worse, ask you to provide free child care, but over all being in your fifties looks a bit chilled out. Minus all the health worries, scares and general decaying of your body. But they got pills for most of that carry on anyway. Bones, joints and libidos are all easily fixed with modern medicine. The way I see it, being in your fifties is just like getting ready before a big night out. Getting everything fixed and ready, limbered up for the big night, retirement.
Sixties and up is one big retirement party. Shopping trips here. Golf days there. Cheap O.A.P hair cuts. Senior specials at the cinema and cafes. You can hurl abuse at people and they think you are senile, call them an arsehole and they will think you are that ‘crazy old lady’ – every street has one. It sounds delightful. You’ve been there, done that and survived it. Life is for living, enjoying everyday like it’s your last…it very well might be at this stage. But hey, least that cheap ass mortgage you got 40 years ago is done and dusted and now you get to reap the financial rewards (not that my generation will, but that’s another rant for another time).
But, the thirties? What do they have to offer? Look, I don’t like to bad mouth or point the finger, but well, it just so happens that the closer I got to thirty the more I fell to shit. In defense of 30, I did become a parent was I was 27. Jessica should get an honorable mention here as she has contributed GREATLY to my deterioration. Maybe if I had had her when I was younger things would have been different. They do say it’s best to have a child in your teens or early twenties, for biological reasons. Your body can handle it better and return to ‘normal’ much quicker after child expulsion. Don’t know how the financial and job side of that argument pans out, but hey, at least my boobs might have still been in their starting positions. Never mind.
The most alarming piece of evidence to throw in the face of the nasty thirties, is that this weekend I purchased hair dye. And for the first time in all my 30 wonderful years, the reason I purchased said hair dye was not because it was a cool ‘copper gold’ or ‘lavender melt’ awesome so hip, so Pinterest reasons. Nor did I simply fancy a wee change in hair colour. No, did I fuck. I bought it because I am sick of ripping grey hairs out of my head. They are sprouting up everywhere. And no, it’s not because I’ve become ‘more aware’ or I ripped one out and 40 sprung up in it’s place (don’t even go there with that nonsense). They are there because my body is dying. It’s literally decaying in-front of my very eyes – that and I didn’t handle becoming a mother all that well, the stress, the anxiety, the decline in mental health – but still, like I said I’m pretty sure if I was younger my body wouldn’t have retaliated with the ever growing lawn of white on my head. I thank my stars they are only on my head at this point. When they migrate I don’t know what I’ll do. But hopefully I’ll be in one of the latter decades of my life, surrounded my greying friends too. I’m not sure how tolerant and sympathetic my friend will be if I turn up at her door crying over a greying shishima just yet.
Reluctantly, and through necessity, I bought the hair dye. In previous years, the day I buy the dye I do the dye. These days I don’t have the energy for that kind of athletic ability. Christ, I made it out and walked round a few shops that day. I need at least 24 hours to compose myself for the next big event. It wasn’t until the following day, in the afternoon, propelled with the notion of returning to work with Betty White up there, that I dragged myself to the bathroom, opened the box, sighed a little at my own mortality and got the job done. My arms ached as I squeezed more and more of the age concealing dye atop my head. God, was I over it as soon as I started. Do you know how heavy wet hair is? Admittedly I have quite thin hair, so I really shouldn’t be complaining, but that just adds more fuel to my ‘eugh, I’m so decrepit’ fire. I was fucking knackered by the end. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a billboard out there warning ‘Tiredness. The leading cause of death in your thirties’. Everyday I complain how tired I am. Every day I mutter ‘why do I need to get up every morning’. Everyday I get to my desk and complain to my office buddy that I’m so tired, she humours me. She’s got 400% more child than me and still doesn’t moan half as much as I do. But I’m 30 and I’M going to moan how bloody tired I am. ALL THE TIME!
Back in the day I mind my parents giving the ‘I’m just resting my eyes’ carry on. How shit must it have been to be them? No ipads, no Kindles, no round the clock Peppa. Just videos that require adult attention at least every hour to be rewound, lest you disrupt the VHS babysitter. At least now, I can throw a Kindle in Jessica’s direction and she watches God knows what on Youtube for 2 hours while I nap. When she does decided to drag us out bed at 10am, there’s always the option of chucking Peppa on and resting those eyes for five more minutes. Dave and I work like some kind of WWE tag team, instead of tagging each other, the other one gets a boot when they snore, waking and forcing them to parent while the other sleeps. Back in the day, our early twenties, Dave would rise and shine with the first ‘buzz’ of the alarm. Now? Now he is woken with a slap to the face telling him to ‘turn that fucking thing off’. He doesn’t hear the once bolt inducing alarm. The thirties have got him good. Poor bugger is exhausted. I would argue the only reason either of us rise is Jess. Without her I’m confident both of us would have packed in work to sleep, fuck the repercussions. No one needs money if they are only awake long enough to pee and yawn.
This perpetual tired thing isn’t entirely related to being a parent. I have a few friends, scrap that, all my friends, ages with me, that are all about the naps. Even if they aren’t hardcore committed to napping, they are committed to having their PJs on as soon as their feet hit the front door. Bloody hell, I have one friend that is so tired even her dog is a proficient napper! There’s weekly pictures of them both, wrapped up in fluffy throws, napping. Any time, any day, just napping.
Strangely, I do feel like my friends have ‘caught up’ with me in our old age. Never was I a huge one for doing much, sure I’d go out to pubs and clubs, but my favourite place has always been at home, stuffing my face whilst watching box-sets. I do like going out, but given the chance I’d think up any reason not to head out the house in the evening. FOMO has never been a curse of mine, I’ve never really cared that much. People do my nut in, I don’t care for making new friends and all that small talk bullshit. Not that I don’t like people, well, that’s half true, my ‘dickhead’ radar is exquisite, but I’ve always just thought ‘what’s the point’ – that makes me sound like a right cheery chap eh. More like, socialising requires a lot of energy from me, so unless I think we are going to make a life long. loyal bond, I’m probably not going to be too interested, coz anxiety is a drain.
I’ve always felt like the auld grump of the group, cani be arsed going out, needing to justify my lack of enthusiasm at the prospect of a night on the lash. But recently, something is a foot. My friends are becoming me. The thirties got them thinking, it got them saying ‘do I really want to get home from work, get all dressed up and then head into town, do I?’ the answer is no my friend, get that cross-stitch out and get the tea brewing coz there’s a box-set with your name on it baby! More and more I’m hearing ‘I can’t be arsed’ or ‘I’m so excited for this weekend, I have no plans!’. Midweek drinking has long gone. Midweek catch ups over coffee are in, as long as they end at a respectable time, before 9pm, plenty of time to get home and snuggled up in bed before 10pm. It’s a given now that if someone is working the next day, that no wild drinking will be happening, if the meet up even happens in the first place.
More frequently, my friends and I ignore each other. We both know the score. We make plans, enthusiastic at the time, but when the date arrives, both parties much prefer a date in their PJs. There’s no hard feelings, in fact, it probably strengthens our friendship, both respecting each other’s need for recuperation from life. If we do bother to acknowledge we previously agreed to meet, mundane predictable excuses are not needed. Just an honest ‘I can’t be arsed today’ will suffice, message received, I feel ya.
Maybe being thirty isn’t going to be so bad. At least now I’m too tired to give a shit about most things that would have horrified my teenage self. Wearing uncool clothes, shit hair, tired complexion, trying to keep up with the latest trends, missing a party, stress of life (ha), that stuff is enough to get 15 year old me in a flap and listening to the latest morbid song about life, protesting my ‘depression’ at all of it. Now, well I’m still fucking depressed, but now I just don’t give a fuck, well, not enough fucks to alter my behaviour that much. Life is stressful, you just get on with it the best you can. I’m over the drama of it all. I’m too tired to exhale any energy into looking good or actually washing my hair. I give less shits about someone thinking my hair could do with a wash. Most likely they do think it needs a wash, but fuck, they are as old, if not older than me and they know. The just know.
I don’t live for the drama of life anymore. I live for the take-aways and the finest snuggle gear one can buy – within reason, I’m thirty in one of the most financially difficult times for my age group in modern history, I’ve got my limits. But do I worry about it, naw, that sounds too much like energy that could be spent on the weekly hair wash.
Here’s to complaining my way through my thirties, coffee and the end of skin elasticity. It’s going to be great.