It’s happened. I didn’t think it really would, but it did. I’ve turned 30. Clocking over to this decade was a lot harder than the last one and I’ve been throat-clutchingly anxious about it since my 29th birthday.
So what have I learned in these past three decades (mainly from Hulett’s sugar packets)?
I’ve made it into a handy list:
1) Lists are awesome. I love lists. LOVE THEM. (I should write a list about all the things I love about lists.)
2) Liz Lemon is my spirit animal.
3) I only really realised this when my fiance lovingly put a ring on my finger, but I have chipolata digits. My ring is about 6 sizes bigger than any of my friends; in fact, some of my more waif-like, elegant compadres could wear it like a belt.
4) It’s really important and rewarding to have a creative outlet. Mine is my knitting. And blogging. And baking. And stressing.
5) Don’t get lost in the stress. I do it all the time! I remind myself: think about the BIG PICTURE. I keep getting lost in the details and you lose the fun of daily life if you’re worrying about the things that, in the end, are all flotsam on a river floating away.
6) Having your own house is wonderful. I love having a space that’s mine, that makes me happy, where I’m completely comfortable, and where I can repaint and drill holes with wild abandon.
7) If you can’t find your own happiness, you’re not going to fix yourself with a relationship. For a long time I thought a relationship would give me meaning, but it’s only when I truly realised it wouldn’t ‘fill a void’ that I met the right person.
8) Friendships change – you have to be comfortable letting them grow. And sometimes, that means growing apart.
9) It’s incredible when you find a safe space with someone. Never take that for granted.
10) Hiding irritation behind silence is the surest way to sour a relationship. Take a leap – say what’s bothering you. If you value the relationship, it’s worth a shot.
11) It’s OK to re-read the Harry Potter series. Every. Year. (Sometimes you need your comfort books – not everything has to be Interesting and Challenging).
12) I’ll never know where North is (and I’m OK with that).
13) Stop worrying about things you can’t control. I worry about the stupidest things, constantly, and it’s such a waste. I’m trying to stop. For example, I no longer care what I eat.
14) I’ve already written about this (in list form) but stockings are the WORST.
15) Always go the extra mile – but don’t expect it from other people.
16) Learn what YOUR boundaries are, and stick to them. Even with a looooooooooooot of therapy I really struggle with this one!
17) Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s probably my biggest addiction – why is she thinner, or doing so well, or looking so happy? Social media makes this ridiculously easy and it really is an easy way to ruin self-confidence.
18) Moms can be frustrating, but you need ’em. Even if I’m rolling my eyes, I still call her for everything – from recipes to life advice and even a moaning session.
19) Puns are the BEST.
20) One day, I will stop procrastinating.
21) I used to get FOMO – such bad FOMO! But the older I get, the more I value a Friday night in after a long week.
22) There’s nothing quite as valuable as being properly listened to.
23) You don’t have to be wounded by everything. Sometimes, you got to let things roll off like water off a duck’s back.
24) Guilt is POINTLESS! It’s heavy, so HEAVY. Sure, sometimes you need a little guilt, but it really shouldn’t be the rudder on your ship.
25) Adulting is HARD and no one is doing it perfectly. All you can do is try and hope your fuck ups are fixable.
26) Money is a tricky animal, and it’s one of the easiest things to mess up. I wish they taught that instead of maths – budgeting, insurance, bonds…
27) Get enough sleep! I am a night person trying to be a morning person and I’m tired all the time. It’s very frustrating.
28) Make that phone call! Not everything can be done with texts – and that includes email.
29) Put on sunscreen! I’ve gone to many beauty launches and the factor that affects aging the MOST is the sun. Eep!
30) Value the important people in your life. Show them, tell them, talk to them, take them out for drinks.
And a bonus point:
31) Talking about loving your body is a lot easier than doing it!