Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving!

reposted from February 2012

I don’t like country music, as a rule, but I always liked the song “This One’s for the Girls by Martina McBride. I always listened to it on my way to student teach, then on my way back to the trailer park. Sure enough, I was “living on dreams and Spaghetti-O’s.”

It is worth noting, however, that she says nothing to the girls in their 30’s. Having been in this decade for 3 1/2 years now, I think I know why Martina skipped this in her song. It’s because there’s nothing bad about this time. There’s really nothing to say, in a country song, about pure awesomeness.

In spite of everyone’s fears about turning the “Big 3 Oh,” I have to say that that it’s been the best decade of my life, so far. I definitely would not want to go back to my 20’s, not physically or mentally. Here is why I love being 30-something:

1. I am definitely not a teenager anymore. So forget being trendy, unless it’s something I really like. Forget cliques and trying to fit in. If I want to be a dork, or a geek, I can go ahead and do it.

2. There isn’t that uncertainty. When I was 23, I wondered if I would finally finish college, find a job, be successful, etc. Now, I know the general direction my life will take. While I don’t know for sure where I will be 10 years from now, I know that I can and have succeeded.

3. Kids are just awesome. Having the Bean has added so much to our adventure. I have a good idea of what size our family will probably be, and I’m happy with the adventures the 3 of us can have together.

4. I am so much healthier now. 10 years ago, I lived on pizza rolls and Mac and Cheese. Now, I’m more educated about nutrition, and have the budgeting skills to make it happen. As a result, I’m in better shape, have better skin, and have a ton more energy.

5. White highlights are so much fun! I got my first grey hair when I was 27, and I immediately had my stylist (who has the most beautiful long, white curly hair I have ever seen) give me some strategic highlights. I quit doing that 2 years ago and have been even happier with those results. Now, my hair has an earthy, smoky look that goes well with my skin tone. Grey hair also looks good short, for a modern look.

6. I have had the courage to find myself. Being this far from adolescence, I’ve had the guts to go against the norm. As a result, I live on a boat in the summer, do crazy things to get off the grid, listen to Indie music, and basically have more fun.

7. I don’t get treated like a clueless kid (as often). I always hated being talked down to, or treated like I had no idea what I was doing. This has happened less and less, the older I get. It is a relief to actually be respected.

So, all you 20-something friends, get ready. The best is yet to come!

Fashion Shopping Girl Vector Illustration

18 thoughts on “Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving!

  1. Bethany, like you I have no desire to return to any decade of my past. I am more comfortable in my own skin now than at any other time. I too quit coloring my hair. When I was a teen my hair darkened from blonde to a dull brown. I hated it, couldn’t get used to such a look and began bleaching it. Then in my 20s started finding gray hair. Today I like the gray mixed in with the brown, it lightens it up and adds dimension.

    I look back horrified at the years of damage I put my body through with an eating disorder and mostly junk diet of past years. I still recall working so many hours of stop at the store and buy bottled of coke and a single bag of Doritos to survive on for the week.

    • Well, from your profile picture, I think your hair is really pretty gray. 🙂 I have very shimmery silver highlights, which I love.

      Ah yes, the diet of a 20-something. I lived on Chewy Sprees and Mt. Dew when I went to college. I commuted, so I often ate in the car.

      • Thank you, I have grown used to the gray its a part of who I am why try to hide it.

        mt dew? Yuck, but yes like you I was so busy in my late teens and 20s food rarely registered on my radar.

      • I hear you both on the horrible diet. Mine gave me my heart “condition.” In a way, that really helped to begin my journey to better eating. I had to cut out caffeine, nicotine, avoid consistently eating greasy foods, and to make sure I was eating regularly. If I don’t abide by those things, my heart starts to act up. The kids are what pretty much sealed it, since I have had to be on special diets with both of them.

  2. Wonderfully written post, Bethany! Way to link it to that tune too and that memory, very creative, although I too am no friend of country music being a classical guitarist.

    Something spectacular happens to humans in their mid-30s. Nearly everyone I speak to agrees. I quit teaching and started my own guitar studio at 35. Tammy did the same with her tutoring biz at 36 (sorry if I am off a year, love). We began getting in shape and eating healthy around this time. Biologically, perhaps, our bodies are saying that we are off the market (not literally, of course). So perhaps we simply relax and live life as we please rather than pleasing others only. Dunno. But I am 43 and now after the explosion in out mid-30s, we are building on what we started and tweaking and getting goofier each day!

  3. Hi Bethany! One point that really stuck out is #6. I remember my 20s as a very wish-washy time. Instead of finding out what I really wanted out of life, I just ran around trying to be and do what I thought others wanted. Luckily, I was smart enough to find CJ, so we could flail through our late 20s and into our 30s and now 40s. Being in your 20s has it’s fun points, but I am much healthier and happier now. In fact, I hope all the veggies and fruits I’m now eating with undo the damage I did by surviving on only bagels and pasta for college and just-out-of-college days. 😉 Love that you’re loving your current decade!

  4. Hey Bethany! Good for you for telling others that you are happy with your age and that those younger than you have that to look forward to…I just can’t understand women who are working so darn hard to be/act younger than they are…it DOES just get better and better…and if you think 30s are good–just wait! 40’s are even better than that!!! And yes, 50s even better. 🙂 I too, love that you love your age right now–what’s the point of doing anything else?

    • Trying to look and act younger is fear-based, IMO. But the story ends the same way, regardless–so why not enjoy the adventure, rather than pining for the “good old days” (that really weren’t all that good anyway). 😉

  5. I am 61, and love the age I am at. Life seems to get better as you get older. That is the opposite of what I heard when I was younger, but that is what is true for me. I work in a retirement community, and am constantly inspired by the vibrant lives of many of the residents that are in their 80’s and 90’s.

  6. I’m 54 and these are the best years. I was so unsure of myself in my 20s and just wanted to please everyone in my 30s. That changed in my 40s when I began to put myself first. Now in my 50s I have more confidence than I have ever had. We’ve been sold a bill of goods in this country that aging is awful, it isn’t, but you have to be positive. Anytime someone makes a crack about me being older, I always say what’s wrong with getting older? We’re supposed to age. I had a great time in my 20s but never ever ever would want to go back there.

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