Thirties Are the New Twenties (No Really…)

This year I celebrated my 30th birthday. Your 30th is quite the milestone, and – a least for me – signaled a shift away from some things, and towards others.

Along the way, I’ve enjoyed reading various “30’s lists.” Lists that mark what you should be wearing by now, how you should be behaving, and general thoughts on moving away from the college “finding yourself” years, and officially into adulthood.

Today, I wanted to share my own list with you. I had fun compiling it. I hope you have just as much fun (if not more), reading it. 🙂 (PS If you enjoyed this list, don’t forget to check out “Thirty and Thankful” from a few months back.)

 You’re 30 Now, so…

…you invite people over for dinner. Nothing communicates that you are growing up more than entertaining your friends and family in your own home on your own dime. It’s called generosity. Immature people think only of entertaining themselves, but you, the evolved and sophisticated 30-something individual that you are, show your love through opening up your home and dinner table to others.

…when you invite people over for dinner, you serve food on real dishes and drinks in real glasses and eat with real silverware. There was a time you could get away with paper and plastic service ware and it was called your twenties. But your twenties called and they just wanted to remind you that they’re over.

…when you go to birthday parties or over to someone’s new home (for the first time) you bring a gift. It doesn’t have to be much or expensive, but good grief, don’t show up empty handed. Or worse, with just a card. A card says, “I know it’s your birthday and I even went so far as to go to a store to get you a card, but I didn’t want to spend any more on you than $3.75. You’re thirty now. At least splurge for flowers or a nice bottle of wine to go with that card.) I think the one exception is kid’s birthdays. At some point all your friends have kids, and then for the next 20 years you are invited to 15 birthday parties a year for your friends’ children alone. You go because you love your friends and you love being a part of their life, but gifts aren’t necessary and should absolutely not be expected. 

…you buy more quality, less quantity. You discover the joys of a minimalist, but stylish wardrobe made up of good fitting, good quality garments. You create a capsule wardrobe.

…you have a few signature pieces that instantly make you feel lady like, grown up and put together when you put them on. (Your go-to piece of jewelry, pair of jeans or tailored jacket.)

…you have a signature scent that doesn’t come from Bath & Body Works. (For day I wear Calvin Klein’s Euphoria, and for night I wear Coco Chanel’s Mademoiselle.)

…you take your makeup off at night before going to bed.

…you stop drinking coffee at 7 PM because you know it will keep you up til 3 AM, and you are starting to be less and less ok with that.

…you wear less makeup, but more sunscreen and moisturizer.

…you make your bed in the morning (although you still leave clothes all over the floor all week, because it secretly makes you feel like a kid at heart).

…you know how to have conversations with others that are more about them, and less about you.

…you make a conscience effort to be healthy not for the sake of being skinny, but for the sake of wellness.

…you still eat french fries and pizza, but you balance that out with a fridge full of good food to eat for the remainder of your week.

…you don’t feel bad about eating the pizza or the french fries. You realize that life is too short to not eat the things  you enjoy; besides, too much will power is overrated and boring.

…you are ok walking into a room alone. In your twenties you worried about what everyone would think; in your thirties, you realize that everyone is too caught up in their own insecurities to worry over what you are wearing or how you are acting. You realize this is incredibly liberating. You become more outgoing and confident. You realize that this confidence makes you far more attractive than you ever were in your twenties, even if you can’t fit into the same size jeans.

…you don’t feel the need to ask others what they are wearing to a party. You know what you like and what looks good on you. You wear things based on your own pleasure not other people’s preferences.

…you dress up more. Experience has taught you that  it’s far better to be slightly overdressed than under.

…you still enjoy your alone time. After all, this growth didn’t happen by accident. You realize the value of spending time alone, growing and taking care of yourself – inside and out.

…you still struggle with how needy and whiney your kids are. But now you realize that you can be just as needy and whiney. You cut your kids some slack. At least they have an excuse.

…you stop hanging out with other adults who have a whiney/neediness level comparable to your children. You can only take so much.

…you still mess up, but you are quicker to apologize.

…you still find yourself disagreeing with others over topics you are passionate about, but you are slower to concede. You’re starting to understand that there is room at the table for all kinds of opinions.

…you recognize the value of what you have to offer, be it your story, your perspective, or your gifts. You realize your place in this world is not an accident. You choose to be you, just you. And you like it.

…you learn the true value of fun, of laughter and of finding people who fill your life with both. You stop wasting your time on things you really don’t enjoy and start pursuing things you do.

Me and one of my favorite fellow 30-years olds (Laurie),  being our elegant and sophisticated selves:

IMG_4911 IMG_4919 IMG_4920 IMG_4922





3 thoughts on “Thirties Are the New Twenties (No Really…)

  1. I recently turned 30 as well and I am completely in line with what you are feeling and thinking. It’s so comforting to know a complete stranger is having the same experience.

    1. I’ve heard from so many people that their 30’s were their best years. I’m happy to hear you are enjoying this new decade as well! Thanks for reading and for the comment, Morgan!

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