It’s my birthday next week. By the time this column comes out, I will have turned 30. I’ve not decided how I feel about this yet. There are some mixed emotions.
I’m excited for the next chapter, but a little sad to be leaving my twenties behind. Who doesn’t want to be 25 again? (Me, actually, 25 was tricky.)
Whilst I’m quietly grieving my youth, I’m also rather elated about being in my thirties. It feels good to finally turn the page rather than clinging desperately onto my twenties.
“You’ll be on page three!” my mum said, acutely unaware her metaphor had other connotations.
“Your twenties are page two, and now you’ll be on page three!”. I mean I hope not.
Thankfully, I’m not going through it alone. Friends are also turning 30 (or did so decades ago) so I’m in good company. Several are even joining me in the trenches of motherhood this year, which is especially exciting.
One of my best friends, who I’ve known since nursery, welcomed her baby girl last week. Another close primary school friend gave birth to twin boys in January.
“We’re such grown ups!” she said, rocking her son to sleep. It does not feel like long ago we were making up raps in the school playground. (Our musical duo was called “Mad and Madder”, we were a one-hit wonder.)
There’ll be another new arrival at the end of July, by which point we’ll somehow have six children between us all. “Turn 30: have a baby” seemed to be the mantra in our group. I did not get the memo. (A good thing, two is plenty for now.)
Another thing I did not get the memo on, was skincare. Skincare in your thirties. Apparently it’s different to your twenties. This has come up at several of the 30ths I’ve been to recently. Young women are saying things like this to each other:
“How much do you pay for your collagen supplements?”
“What’s your routine?”
“Who did you say got botox?”
Collagen supplements? Botox? Are we 30 or 60? What happened to the old “cleanse, tone and moisturise”? I’m behind to say the least.
I’ve no desire to become a woman obsessed with trying to halt the ageing process; fighting with nature seems a losing battle (not to mention a costly one). But then I’ve already begun analysing laughter lines I discover in photos and wondering how I can make them go away, which isn’t a great start.
There is attempting to reverse the visible signs of ageing and then there is basic skincare. At this stage, I’m choosing to focus on the latter. (Ask me again at 40 when I’m writing a column on the joys of botox.)
Trying to set an example for an impressionable nine year old, I want to embrace wrinkles and white hairs as signs of a life well-lived. (And my resistance to hair-dye.)
I intend to march boldly into my thirties, rather than cowering away in a corner muttering “age is just a number” repeatedly under my breath. I’ve always loved celebrating birthdays, both mine and other people’s and don’t wish to begrudge it just because this time it’s a big one. (I’m setting a precedent for all big birthdays to come; no moaning.)
Besides, from what I’ve heard, there’s a whole load more good stuff on the other side of 30.
From someone who’s way into 30s territory, wishing you a Happy Birthday! 🎂