This month I’ll be celebrating my 31st birthday. My mum has always told me that “you never feel any different” with age, and now that I’m into my third decade I can say with conviction that I concur – I’ve felt the same at 30 as I did when I was 18 (aside from a few more wrinkles and a couple of extra pounds).
Yet it’s true that we do grow wiser with age and on a daily basis I find myself saying (moaning about) things and realise that somewhere along the way I became so sensible. It’s taken a while, but I now consider myself a fully-fledged adult. Here’s some of the things I’ve finally accepted since turning 30.
Things you learn by 30:
1. Being hungover at work is NO FUN AT ALL
Throughout my 20s I used to spend far too many Fridays at the office feeling a little worse for wear (i.e. hanging out of my ar**). I couldn’t wait for the Friday morning bacon sandwich delivery (Mcdonalds’ sausage and egg mcmuffin on a really bad day), only to find that after the first bite it wasn’t going to go down so well. These days I just cannot cope with hangovers. And especially not when I have to be nice to people, greet new ideas with boundless enthusiasm and actually engage my brain. Hell.On.Earth.
2. You should stop drinking when you say to yourself ‘I need to stop drinking’
Spot the theme here? Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first one to suggest a glass of Pinot over a Coca Cola, but (for the most part) I would say that I do ‘drink responsibly’ these days and know when to call it a day/night. This may be because I’m in my 30s but more likely has everything to do with the fact that I now have an eight month old baby to look after – trying to be a mum whilst hungover is pretty much as bad as going to the office. I no longer have the luxury of nursing myself on the sofa the next day and I wouldn’t want it anyway. Family time is precious.
3. Radio 1 is just a little bit patronising
I remember a time when I used to think Radio 2 was sooooo boring (“turn it off mum”!) Who wants to hear about current affairs and traffic? People over 30 apparently. I don’t need a news presenter talking to me like I’m an idiot: “David Cameron (the Prime Minister) has announced”….Troops in Moscow (Russia’s capital) are gathering”…. You get my drift? Give me Moira Stewart any day. Not to mention the Jeremy Vine show.
4. It’s better to have fewer ‘true’ friends
As I’ve got older my friends have become fewer. Life seems to get busier with age and time is precious, so it’s not always easy to see friends as often as you might like and sadly friends do seem to ‘drop off’ throughout your 20s. However, I’ve learnt that true friends are always there for you. They’re the ones who will never judge you and come through for you when you really need them. The ones who you might not speak to for months but you will spend hours upon end catching up when you finally do get together. I know that the friends I still have in my life now will be with me forever. Having lots of friends is just not important to me anymore.
5. Fairy Liquid is worth the extra £1
It’s true what the ad says – “I hardly ever buy Fairy Liquid” because I buy fairy liquid. I dread to think how many bottles of ‘daisy fresh’ or whatever it’s called we bought as students. It’s shite. Don’t be a cheapskate.
6. Cheap wine is not worth the saving
Now, I’m not saying that I have expensive taste when it comes to wine – I can be found with the best of them scouring the aisles of Tesco looking for the one that’s ‘on offer’ and I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve paid more than a tenner for a bottle. But…the (permanently) cheap bottles are pretty nasty. Middle of the road will save you from the not so pleasurable experience of drinking vinegar all night and the hangover won’t be so brutal the next day.
7. It’s okay to ‘not go’
When I was young(er) I wanted to do everything and go everywhere. It pained me to turn down any sort of social invite and staying in if everyone else was ‘going out’ was simply not an option. Now though, I’ve learned that going out is not always what it’s cracked up to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still love getting out, but I also love curling up on my sofa sometimes with a (120g) bar of Dairy Milk and some trashy TV. And my husband of course.
8. You need to leave ten minutes earlier than you think
This may be more of a personal one as I know that not everyone is born with an inability to be on time. But some of us are. It’s not that I take ages to get ready, or think that I can get somewhere quicker than I can (okay, maybe sometimes), it’s just that no matter how much time I have, I will always ALWAYS leave ten minutes later than I should do. And I know this – but I can’t help it! However, I’m learning to manage this and slowly but surely I’m getting better at being places on time. The other day for the first time in my life I think I was actually early.
What did you learn by 30?