I was recently asked if I was tweaking out (that one is for you Meghan) over turning 30 this year. While I’m sure many people do, I’m really not. First of all, getting all freaky over reaching a certain age doesn’t do you any good. Fighting it isn’t going to change anything.
Secondly, I’m only 30… what’s the big deal? I still have some of the best years of my life ahead of me. Yeah, my 20’s were awesome – lots of fun, concerts, experiences, and wisdom that I’ll remember forever. And a few things that I still can’t remember, which is also good…
It isn’t a groundbreaking observation to say that we live in a society that is obsessed with age, with everyone trying to look younger, usually following the lead of Hollywood stars, so it doesn’t surprise me that people ask how I feel about turning 30.
My answer is that I feel fine about it – somewhat indifferent other than looking forward to having some fun the weekend of my birthday. If it has affected me in any way, it has been in a positive manner: it has caused me to get off my duff about some things I’ve wanted or been meaning to do, and I guess you could say that I have become more "self-aware" about who I am and what I want to be.
I’m certainly not viewing it as "fun’s over, time to get serious" – in the last few months I’ve had a fair number of VERY late nights of partying (including for a friend’s 30th birthday celebration) and have done plenty of fun, spontaneous things. At the same time, I’ve gotten into playing the stock market a bit more, taken some classes on topics of personal interest, and have tried my hand at bowling, and tonight, tennis. I saw my first Red Sox game away from Fenway and I have tickets to see Beethoven’s 9th Symphony performed at Tanglewoods in July- two things I’ve wanted to do for years.
When people despair over leaving their youth behind, it is usually for one of two reasons: one, they just get so stuck in the idea of "I’m not young anymore, I can’t have any fun" that they simply don’t MAKE any fun for themselves and resign themselves to a life of boredom. The second reason is that they forget what getting a little older can bring to you: usually a bit more money and a wider spectrum of interests.
OK, so you don’t go to the bar every Friday night to get drunk and laid. That was fun at the time, but maybe now you get to go out to a nice restaurant, experience a more expensive bottle of wine and share a great meal with someone special. (You can still go home get some nookie!) Or maybe it is the opportunity to go to a concert and sit in good seats, not in the nosebleed section. A microbrew instead of a 30-pack… a single-malt scotch instead of a shot of Everclear. Etc. etc.
I’ll stop before I start to sound defensive, but to anyone out there turning 30, 40, 50, 60… whatever… don’t view it as a big problem, but rather as a big opportunity. Its another 10 years of your live that you made it through and another 10 years of great experiences until the next milestone.