30 Things I've Learnt in my Thirties

Turning 30 for me was kind of a big deal – as it is, I guess, for most people. The day itself was average – with me typically expecting too much and receiving a wrapped bundle of disappointment in return, but I digress.

2014, the year of me being 30, has been an absolute roller-coaster. There have been ultimate highs, and ultimate lows and a bucket load of missed emoticons in between. 8 months in, and edging closer to the big 3-1, there are certain things I have learnt about my self, that not even my progressive chest wrinkles can dampen.

1. You will find the money to do something you really want, or buy something you really need. We bought a house at the beginning of the year, and with an older house on a large stand comes the hemorrhaging of money. But it is worth every cent. Truly.

2. You will end relationships, and be OK with it. There comes a time when you realise that the people who suck the life out of you, make you feel anything but good about yourself, or don’t see your value, are just not worth it, and most of the time walking away becomes the best feeling in the world.

3. You will entertain more and go out less.

4. Clothes become something of value – and your monthly budget may go towards one staple item, then 5 smaller ones. (This is me justifying my costs-the-same-as-my-bond boots I bought this winter)

5. You will want to spend as much time as possible with your mom and dad. And you will worry, knowing, that the older you get, the older they do too.

6. Your body will let you down. You will pay a fortune in meds for some or other ailment which needs addressing. Your medical aid savings will run out before Easter.

7. You will learn the art of negotiating. A month back I went and bought a new car because my current car was costing too much (see point 8).After the salesman had worked out my monthly installments I told him it was unfortunately too much and left the dealership. I was’t playing games, I simply didn’t have the extra money. 5 minutes later the same salesman phoned me and offered me a substantial discount on the car. I bought it.

8. You will become frugal. I now compare prices of long life milk before buying it and swipe my loyalty cards with enthusiastic vigour. Inflation sucks.

9. You will learn the value of work life balance. When I first started working I would graft for 12, 13 hours a day. I thought I was so clever, telling everyone how busy I was. The truth – I was doing it to prove a point, to be noticed in my job, and clearly not managing my time well at all. I now add ‘Gym’ into my calendar and treat me time as a meeting. There are many days when I work late or from home, but it is not the norm. Anyone who tells you they are so busy all.the.time is probably just looking for attention.

10. You will crave a baby. The beating of your ovarian drums will drown out most radio station playlists.

11. Your bullshit tolerance level will drop to a staggering low.

11. You will get better at confrontation. Yes, your heart may be racing at a million ticks a minute, and you may get that prickly underarm sweaty feeling – but the result of actually telling someone how you feel, is totally with it.

12. Furniture shopping, as does going to the nursery, becomes the highlight of your weekend.

13. Most people are in the same boat as you. I have a terrible habit of comparing myself to my peers, constantly wondering how they can afford the overseas holidays, fancy cars and seemingly better lifestyles. Turns out, they do the same with other people, and the result is everyone feeling incompetent, poor and hard done by. No-one’s life is perfect – everyone is fighting a battle.

14. You will become less ‘cool’. I don’t know when it happened, but I suddenly do not know the name and artist of every single song that gets played on the radio. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t worked in radio for many years, but man, I used to be the thesaurus of music. Not so much anymore.

15. You will look your age. Fuck.

16. You will drink a lot more than you did in your youth. Consistency is King, and in my Palace that means 2 reds a night.

17. You will find marriage to be one of the hardest, fun, exciting journeys – especially if you are recently married.

18. Your metabolism – if it hasn’t already – will take a nosedive off a very steep carb laden cliff.

19. The thought of going to a night club, on a Contiki tour or anywhere that involves fighting crowds for things is a terrifying and unpleasant thought.

20. You will become a lot more aware of people and their needs, and your empathy levels will grow in leaps and bounds.

21. You will embrace fibre.

22. You will do as much shopping online as you can, in order to find more time to do things that actually make you happy.

23. You will notice more lines, more hair and more cracks all over your body. Conversations with the salon include the terms ‘age spots’, ‘peel’ and ‘irreversible damage’.

24. When a male hits on you, you want to roll over onto your back – bulldog style – and thank him for seeing the value in an older woman.

25. Conversations with friends include words such as “If my child ever dared…” and “Can you believe they allow teenagers into this place”. Also, it turns out the teenagers you speak of are in their early twenties.

26. You will attend more babyshowers then weddings and birthdays combined.

27. You will start shopping for jeans that aren’t low rise.

28. Punctuality is a thing. It always has been for me – I can’t be late for anything. But god help the person who is late for me.

29. Your collection of friends will become the most valuable asset you own. Over the years you have cultivated an amazing bunch of people who share and care deeply – cherish them.

30. You will learn to enjoy yourself so much more. I’m still helluva insecure and care way too much what others think – but I love who I am, who I have become and how my life has turned out.

Here’s to the next 30!

Before and After

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11 Comments

      1. I agree with everything you said. Turning 30 was pretty scary but I have learnt to go easier on myself and that my value is not based on what I do for others. Two very difficult but oh so worthwhile lessons to learn for a happier life.

  1. WOW Kate..you are speaking my language hun! I am not quite 30 yet but I can feel/see/hear/worry about almost all of the 30 things mentioned! I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone..at least I have that 🙂

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