The Sweet Side of Life

12 Differences Between Being 20 and Being 30 {Happy Birthday to Me}

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Today I celebrate the one year anniversary of being in my
30’s {I’m 31}. Last year, about this time, I said goodbye to my 20’s and have spent the
last 12 months experiencing what it means to be a 30 year old. Let me tell you
there are some big differences between the 20’s and 30. Now my experience of
this year is probably very different than that of some, but maybe pretty
similar to others. For my 12 months of being 30 I spent about 2 months of them
pregnant with our second son and then the last 10 with a growing infant in
addition to a toddler. SO some of my changes from a 20 something into being 30
might be parent related. Perhaps some of these things you’ve been doing all
along as a 20 something, if so, Congratulations, you’re ahead of the curve. But
for me, these simple, and silly {some serious} things came to light and self
realization for me throughout the year of being 30…. In honor of my last 12
months I’ve listed my top 12 Ah-Ha moments and epiphanies from this year about
the difference between being 20+ and being 30. Do any of yours align? …. We’ll
see! Or at least we’ll get a good laugh at my expense trying…
Boobs: In your 20’s it’s all about making them
look bigger and better… you’re in Victoria Secret every weekend and their
website practically opens for you in your online browser window. They know you
by name in the store and a pink bag can be found in every corner of your house.
In your 30’s, after some odd 36 months of either being pregnant or breast
feeding you’re really just glad they’ve gone away! And, you’d really be okay
with it if they never came back. Your lingerie now consists of sports bras from
Target. Which you think is awesome. {Check back in at 35 and we’ll see if this
is still true!} I can’t remember the last time I walked into the mall, let
alone the VS Store. The catalogues have stopped flooding my mail box under wires
{which were terribly uncomfortable anyway} are a thing of the past.
Crime TV: In your 20’s you can handle and are
perhaps even drawn to the thrilling, suspenseful traumatic events that occur in
Crime TV. I was glued to all manner of shows including Criminal Minds, Without
a Trace, CSI and others…mostly because I’m a multitasker and if I’m going to be
watching TV during the day I better be solving a crime to while I’m at it…  NOW, having the 2 babies, these terrify me and
turn everything into a massive “What If” nightmare. No, literally, I have nightmares.
Have you yet had the dreams where you’re running, dodging arrows, carrying your
kids like a Heisman trophy winner, stiff arming zombies? Just wait… watch a few
popular TV shows and you’ll get your own unique little blender mix of tortuous
slumber… In my year of being 30, trauma really sinks in and sticks with you,
day AND night. It is hard to even read the newspaper anymore!
Disney Plots: Speaking of traumatizing…have you
ever noticed how traumatizing the plot to Finding Nemo actually is? Or that
Disney must have had some serious Mommy issues…. no character has a mother or she
was forcibly removed by the plot twist {Dumbo & Rupunzel}. Just wait until
you’re explaining why it isn’t called, “Finding Coral” to a toddler after the
opening scene…. And then, said toddler continues asking, “Where’s his momma?”
for an hour. I think the overall consensus here is that I am much more aware
and cautious about what I watch and how it affects my daily life. It’s a scary
world out there man… even Disney can haunt you!
Food: In your 20’s you’re just happy to have
food, no matter where it’s coming from. College is pizza and later 20’s it is
microwave lasagna. When you hit 30 you start to acknowledge how the food you
eat actually makes you FEEL and you stop eating crap. And it isn’t expensive
low and behold…. You learn to use your crock pot and make actual edible dinner.
Everyone is also pleased by this. Your husband in fact comes home on time and
isn’t swinging by to pick up yet another pizza. In fact you begin to want pizza…
never. Until it becomes your toddler’s favorite food…. Sigh*
Tropical Chicken Tacos
Friends: You let go of popularity contests {if
you ever entered them in life, some of us… not} and accept that you are who you
are and if someone wants to be your friend they’ll find you, hang around you as
much as they want without you even asking and it will be effortless. Friends
shouldn’t be work or constant phone calls and elaborate gift giving on
holidays. You call them when you need them and they are there, even if you
haven’t spoken in months. And, you really only need 2-3, not hundreds. Just today
as I’m writing this, a friend whom I haven’t spoken to in 11 months called and
we’re scheduling birthday pedicures J
See, those are the people you keep in your life. They hunt you down at exactly
the right times.
Name Brands: I don’t know if this one is just me
but for some reason, as if by magic when I turned 30, I was just DONE using
knock off brands… Maybe I was spending more time working in the kitchen… but I
am so DONE using cling wrap that doesn’t cling, freezer bags that don’t stop
freezer burn and toilet paper that disintegrates. There is a reason Name Brands
are more expensive and it’s because they are BETTER… and worth it… magic change
at 30… but maybe just for me.
Socializing: In your 20’s this is a huge fact of
life. It is supposedly important to have a social life. In my year of 30, I accepted
and owned that it’s really not meant for me. If I’m going to spend a spare
precious minute of mine in a conversation that talks around in circles and
never really concludes with an intellectual point but just idol banter… I’m
going to spend it on either my toddler, or my 80+ year old grandparents. Now
the exception here is of course family and my few friends. What I specifically
mean is attending a situation that is pitched to me as, “it’ll be fun!” or my
favorite, “we’ll meet new people!” I know plenty of people. Maybe not enough
yet, still welcoming more, but chances are the people who will develop into my
friends {like me} are also NOT going to be at those social situations. We’ll
find each other eventually, probably while crafting, working, volunteering,
parenting, or at the same kid’s function. Not likely an idol social gathering.
But, who knows, perhaps I’ll have a social explosion at 35… stay tuned.
Socializing Part II: Here is the epiphany part…
because I’m NOT anti-social {though that is probably easy to think} I am
actually extremely social, like husband having to physically pull me out to the
parking lot social if I’m in the right event where I’m passionate about the
agenda. I have a hard time going to unstructured social events where there is
no identified “point” other than talking to other adults you don’t know for the
sake of ‘fun’…. Yeah, I can’t do that. If I am going to leave the house for a
social event I need to know when it starts, what will be happening, especially
if there will be food, what the dress code is and most importantly when it will
be ending. Your 20’s are a fantastic time to partake in those functions because YES you are meeting new people and bouncing around ideas for your self-identify.
The tendency is to go with the flow {life long struggle for me} and just go
“hang out” in some undecided location. Totally great for you… me, I’m done J
Make-Up: In your 20’s you frequently visit the
MAC counter and likely have a whole Pinterest Board dedicated to your face {and
hair}. When you hit 30, your most frequently used cosmetic becomes WATER. You’re lucky if you even get to shower every 3rd day so the idea of
putting makeup on your face, which will then have to be washed off, just
doesn’t happen. My ENTIRE makeup bag consists of concealer, eyeliner {MAC!} and
mascara. I have some really old eye shadows that make an appearance once in
awhile if I know I’ll be in a picture that day.

Shout out to Nommies by Mommy for my teething necklace!
Confidence: Speaking of your face, when I hit 30
it was like this awesome weight of perception was lifted off of me. {Probably
thanks to the little munchkins attached to me} But when I left the house, I
didn’t really want or feel the need to wear makeup. I’ve never worn much
{probably why I sucked at selling Mary Kay, also in my 20’s} but I remember
being totally anxious when I was out in public and realized I forgot to put on
makeup! How mortifying right?! I even have some {somewhere} hidden in my car
for the negligent occasion. Not anymore. Now I can proudly strut out of the house,
babies in tow with a blank face if I feel inclined… or if I’m running late. You might get eyeliner… on a good day! 
Perspective: THIS now totally grosses you out {if it didn’t already} …. 
And THIS is the most attractive thing on
Safety Awareness: I’m not entirely sure if this
one comes as a direct result of being 30, or motherhood. It may have some
overlap. I think the 30 part is apparent in that you’re officially in charge of
yourself and your own safety. In some cases, you’re married and then your
safety is in fact a huge part of someone else’s life too. Here is what I mean…
Things I did/do now that I probably never would have done in my 20’s: Memorized
all of the gas stations where you don’t have to get out of your car to pay so
you’re not leaving your kids in the car… You also ALWAYS fill the tank up
whenever you’re out and about just so that in the event you have to drive a
distance in the middle of the night or in an emergency {with those kids} you
don’t have to stop for gas. When I was 7 month pregnant we took a trip up to
Spokane, WA… I pre-registered at EVERY hospital along the 9 hour drive just in
case something happened with the baby. I approach parking lots entirely differently…
I never take a front parking spot that is open because there MAY be a pregnant
woman who needs it and I don’t want her to have to walk across a long parking
lot… and I never park next to big white vans! {See #2}
Well there you go! That’s what I’ve
learned, realized and changed in my year of being 30. Who knows what the future
will bring! After 10 years of being a 20 something, and all the massive changes
a person goes through then, I can only imagine who I will be when I’m writing my
post for my 41st birthday! Oh man… 10 years is a long time! I better
get started!

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