I turned 30 yesterday (see me jumping for joy above), and anyone who has been anywhere near me over the past few months has been subjected to some version of the below about why I am totally embracing getting a bit older. Rachel has termed this feeling that the best is yet to come the ‘Peak Rose’ theory, and I’m running with that. I loved my twenties and have fantastic memories of them, but here’s why I am full-on into entering my next decade…
1. Goodbye anxiety!
Well, more of a ‘You’re still here, I’d just forgotten because you’re not sat on my shoulder constantly whispering into my ear.’ I’m an anxious person, and I think I always will be – my sister calls me ‘Anxiety Jane’ or AJ. I’m not saying that ageing has you waving farewell to anxious feelings forever, but I will say this: they definitely soften with every passing year. I’m nowhere near as anxiety-ridden as I used to be, it holds me back less, I’m more relaxed, and I have a better all-round time of it. I have read lots of articles by women expounding on this subject – it amounts to feeling more confident, having a stronger sense of who you are, ignoring pressure to do or say things that you don’t want to, and just feeling much more at home in your own skin and mind. Even if this was the only good thing about being on the planet this long, it would be worth it.
2. Hello career!
By which I don’t mean you should have it all figured out by 30 (I know some of you do, obviously, but I doubt you’re reading this kind of post – you’re probably too busy spending time with friends you scheduled to see several months ago before running four miles home, baking all your bread for the month and re-tiling your bathroom). In terms of my friends and I, a lot of our twenties was spent feeling unsure about what we wanted to do in our career; we tried different things, had difficult times and encountered some very interesting people along the way. I consider this time well spent – it means that as you approach a decade or more of full-time employment, your past experience will see you doing more of the work you want to be doing, and doing it better.
3. Body kindness
I won’t even pretend here: I still have days when I eat three kilos of pasta and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s for tea. However, in general, nowadays I tend to make smarter choices and do more of the things that my body wants and needs more of the time. Planning has been a major breakthrough in this regard: bringing all my food with me to work (breakfast, lunch and lots of snacks) makes eating healthily so much easier (and having less energy for a weekday social life makes it achievable too…). I have played netball consistently since my early twenties, so I’ve never been a total couch potato, but making the connection between physical exercise and my mood and energy levels has meant I have added other bits into the mix and really make the effort now even when I don’t feel like exercising. In fact, I’ve realised that the days when I least want to do some exercise are the days I most benefit from it. I could go on and on about this one, but I’ll save the detail for another post. Headline: I feel physically the best I probably ever have.
4. Getting older ain’t bad
The final thing I want to say – and I know I’ve just written a post about why I’m embracing getting older, which implies it’s a negative thing – is that I don’t fear getting older because I don’t actually think it’s such a bad thing. Remember, only the lucky get old. ‘Big’ birthdays like this do focus the mind and prompt others to ask you all kinds of questions about how you feel about your age. It naturally makes you more self-conscious of the changes that have taken place in your life (and on your face) over the past decade. Don’t get me wrong: being in your twenties sure doesn’t suck. But at 30 I feel like there’s so much more life to live, and that I’m much better equipped to live it.
Just in case you’re not convinced, behold my ‘Woman Wall of Amazingness’. All over 30, all absolutely killing it. Pass the candles.
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