Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Things I've learned in my 30s

4th blog post this week. Isn't summer fun? You readers are all so lucky you get to enjoy so much of my wisdom.

I really appreciate all the great suggestions for how to spend my birthday! Unfortunately, they all seemed to require work and energy. It was also pointed out to me that my original plan of sleeping, reading, baking, and a quiet dinner with my husband are, in fact, things you can't do with a baby, so I'm sticking with that glorious plan. I'm one of those annoying people that asks for advice then ignores it and just does whatever she wants.

My infamous 27th birthday. Probably the last crazy one I'll have.

Today is my last day of being 30 years old, tomorrow I'll officially be "in my 30s".  I'll celebrate an entire year in this golden decade. Or, if you choose to look at it in the much more disturbing way, and entire decade into legal drinking territory. Since I'll ironically be celebrating sober, I plan to double down on cake (which really means quadruple down for me), and I would really appreciate as many people as possible having some delicious wine on June 19th for me.

Being a year in, I'm basically an expert, so here's some realizations I've come to in this golden decade, since I know many people, myself included, tend to fear it.

1. Decorating is overrated

At least for me. Some people truly enjoy it, and more power to them. I used to really wish I was one of them. But now, as I look around my home with builder grade white paint walls, adorned with a few framed pictures from 2009 and nothing else, I don't anymore. I just don't naturally have an "eye" for making things look good, or whatever. We have comfortable furniture and it's just more enjoyable to me to spend my free time reading books, or writing blog posts about how I don't care that I can't make rooms look pretty. So now I'm over it, and anyone who judges me probably wouldn't be invited over anyway.

2. Sometimes people don't like you

For some reason this year I found myself in situations where I had to spend a significant amount of time with a few people people who really couldn't stand me, and didn't try to make a secret of it either. Aside from the fact that it's clearly shocking, it can be a serious blow to the self esteem. I've never been terribly thick skinned. In my 20s, I probably would have cried every night and desperately tried to befriend everyone. But now that I'm a little older and wiser, I found it a lot easier to just stop giving a crap. In some cases we made nice and actually became friends, and in others, they still hate my guts and I still don't care. Although I do think it would be kind of funny if they read here.

3. Life is too short to spend with dumb people

I really like me, and I really don't like everybody. As I got a little older, I started only accepting social invitations if they are going to be more fun than staying home and reading or watching TV. That's a high bar, because I really enjoy that activity. I used to feel guilty about that, but now I'm over it. We have to waste enough time working, cleaning, paying bills, and doing other activities that suck, so in my down time, I want to enjoy it.

4. Don't ignore tooth pain

Seriously. It leads to more pain, and then way more pain when you finally treat it and get the bill, the worst part of all. I'll never make this mistake again.

5. Don't ever attempt to run a 50k in the snow, especially if you are unprepared, and really especially if you are pregnant and don't know it yet

Also, you truly never know who might be reading your blog, apparently even medics have down time to waste on Chocolate is my Life.

6. It is possible to have fun without alcohol

I never would have predicted this, and don't intend for it to be a continued lifestyle change, but it is actually true.

7. Stop comparing yourself to others

We have nothing but smart, successful friends, and sometimes it gets annoying, and we get tempted to cut all ties and start over with only people who live in their parents' basements. But as I've already explained, I'm pretty picky with who I spend my time with, so I doubt it would be easy to replace the people I've already found, and the basement dwellers probably wouldn't make the cut, so I've had to just get over it. From what I've heard, this will also serve me well as I enter the frightening mom world.

What important lesson would you add to this list? Being over 30 is not a requirement.


  1. I've had to ignore tooth pain until this week because they won't fix cavities when you're a prego. I don't recommend it either.

  2. Some chub just isn't going away no matter now many miles you run and how much weight you lift.

    Running friends see you at your worst and still manage to be friends with you. They are where the true friends are at.

    I should have probably married a runner. Much more accepting of the ugly Sarah.

    Having nice cars is over rated. Money in the bank is much cooler because it's your little secret...unless of course you go around telling everyone and then you probably wont have any friends.

    Good beer is worth the extra cost.

  3. As someone who recently ended my thirties, I have to sort of chuckle in agreement with your points here. There is something unsettling when we realize people don't like us. I don't think it truly ever goes away. I think "thick skin" is only for appearance sake. I would be worried if I ever really found myself not caring what anyone else thought of me, even if their opinions are not particularly relevant, you don't want anyone to despise you. On the other hand, like you, there are just not a lot of people I want to spend time with. I've found over the years that even the people I like can drain me and I can only take them in well-timed doses.

    As far as comparing's hard! I made a career change a few years ago and it led to making a whole lot less money than I made. In fact, in my late thirties, it was like being twenty five again. It's very hard to have to pass on things that other people can buy and do without thinking about it. You just have to stay focused on what's good for you.

    Love the dress in the photo, by the way!

    1. Definitely agree on your point about thick skin - I guess what I meant is I came to realize that there are certain individuals that I have no respect for, and if those people don't like me, they can go right ahead with it!

  4. It really is easier to do what you love rather than what others think you should do!

  5. I'm one of those ones who loves decorating. Here's what I've learned. After you have all the fun of decorating, and spend a ridiculous amount of money, after a while you don't notice any of it anymore, except possibly to wonder what possessed you to shop every store in NYC for the perfect overpriced sofa imported from Italy, or why you ever thought any of it was so important. That said, if I had the money I would still shop every store in NYC for a new sofa imported from somewhere cool. I think it's the thrill of the hunt . . .

  6. That no one is paying nearly as much attention to you as you think they are.

    And I don't mean in a narcissistic way...I mean, in a self-conscious way. I am forever second guessing myself, replaying conversations etc, wondering if I did something "wrong" or if people notice that I blush furiously during public speaking or if people are judging me for mispronouncing something etc. But let's be honest - no one, except for me, is paying attention to or worrying about that stuff. So I should really relax.

    1. My coworker once wore the same outfit to work two days in a row and no one even noticed. The only reason I know is because he told me afterwards.

  7. I love that one of your key lessons is that you never know you is reading your blog. You just NEVER KNOW.

    Hahaha now you're paranoid. You're welcome

  8. This may be one of my favorite blog posts you've ever written. I think I'm at that stage where I too don't want to go out if it's not going to be more fun than hanging out at home with a good book/movie and a bottle of wine while Allan plays his video games. I'm too sensitive when I feel like someone doesn't like me but the older I get the more I realize that the people that matter to me aren't the ones causing me grief in the first place.

  9. I love your decorating lesson. I'm the same way. It sounds like a good idea but I never actually decorate in practice.

    My lessons are just because you think something should be fun (or everyone else thinks its fun) doesn't necessarily mean it will be fun for you.

    Don't read WIAW posts. They are stupid.

    Everything doesn't have to be "just right" right now. The best times are often had when you can give up the control of the future and enjoy the moment.

  10. I love your #1. I totally agree. I come from a family of artsy crafty folks who are forever making curtains, throw-pillows, wall hangings, etc - for a long tiem I tried to fit in, but the fact is that I just don't like doing that kind of stuff. I find it tedious. So finally, around the age of 30 myself, I decided to excuse myself, and simply STOP DOING IT. Our place is tidy, and clean - but rather sparsely decorated. I love it.

    My lesson? Give the best you've got. If that's not good enough for someone, then you'll both be better off in a different place/relationship. This was true in science, and it remains VERY true in the fitness realm.


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