Is it just me or does everyone find their thirties a bit odd? At 34, I’m not fully qualified to comment but I am in the midst of a strange era of my life. Apart from the lack of questioning these things that comes with being in your early twenties, there’s a decade which needs little explanation. Your twenties are a voyage of discovery which you start as barely an adult and end supposedly having found your niche. Careers are decided, started, tweaked and then developed, ‘life partners’ are found, tweaked, moved in with and perhaps married and for some kids also start arriving.
Your twenties are so busy, there isn’t much time for introspection; it’s the decade where midweek partying and hardwork don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Old enough for responsibility but young enough to be cool. Not yet old enough to feel the judgemental eyes you’d get a decade later. Not yet fully laden with cynicism, still optimistically naive. Preferring to crash on a mate’s floor than fork out for a cab, being bothered to go to the coast on the one hot day a year, doing stuff on a whim. All luxuries simply afforded yet rarely appreciated. At the time at least. When your thirties (and kids) come along, you appreciate the freedom. Rose tinted appreciation, however; you can easily gloss over the hangovers, the skintness, the bitching.
We often ask why we didn’t do more in our twenties before Jake came along, when our best mates lived 50 metres away and the world was our oyster. Then we realise. We didn’t go on shopping sprees at the drop of a hat as we couldn’t afford the hat. We didn’t drop everything to party in Thailand for the same reason. I don’t know why we didn’t go to the cinema more though! The point being is that we have more money now but everything we want now costs £500 or more.
So, you get over the whole turning thirty thing, you get married, move house, have a kid and then what? It’s difficult unless you have a trail blazing career which demands most of your time, to settle into being content with a quiet life. I can see that I’ll be happy doing very little when I’m older but not just yet. When you have teenagers tearing about the place, I can see why you always tell people you want peace and quiet for Christmas. It’s because you’re knackered. But I’m not knackered yet. I play footy, squash and walk to work so I’m active. I’m tired because Jake doesn’t sleep much but other than that, I am in my prime. So it’s probably understandable that I’m struggling a bit to know which way life is supposed to go from here. I understand that the craziness of the last decade has been archived and what I’m supposed to do during the mellow later forties onward but what now? Perhaps it’s because of uncertainty with my job which leaves me time to think but I find myself ever looking forward. To when the loft conversion is ready, the next holiday, the next baby etc. What of now? Why is it that we struggle to just be? Always questioning our and other people’s motives for each and every action. I envy people who seem to take it all in their stride but I also realise that they’re probably not as blissfully content as they appear to be.
I’ve always been too much of a brooder, far too analytical. Maybe that’s what the rest of my thirties is for. For chilling out and for not trying to solve non-existing problems. Time to accept that life is so much easier when you don’t care if you’re cool or not. Time to enjoy children growing up. I’m sure in ten years’ time I’ll look back at this period as my kids are smashing the house to pieces, as a peaceful time which was so much easier!