Thursday, April 6, 2017

New thoughts for your thirties

I am 32 years old.

By most measures of old-ness, I'm not even close. I am, however, officially old enough that things are starting to go downhill. Ageing used to be all about excitement and new experiences.


These days, I still get exciting new experiences, it's just that some of those new experiences are new thoughts. I am thinking thoughts that never even occurred to me before. No, I'm not talking about the mortgage/marriage/babies trifecta that dominate most peoples' 30s. I'm talking about brand new physical realities, and unexpected questions that go along with them.

Here are a few of the questions that have become regular fixtures in my psyche since I joined the 30-Something Gang:

"When was the last time I checked my mole hair?"

I have a mole on my chin that likes to randomly sprout hair. Sometimes it's a long, stubborn, black hair. Other times it's a tuft of baby-fine blonde hair that shines like a beacon when it catches sunlight.

This thought always pops up when I'm on my way somewhere, so all I can do is obsessively rub the mole to feel if anything is there, cursing myself for not carrying a mirror and tweezers with me at all times.

Of course there are many other hair-related thoughts: greys, that peach fuzz on my upper lip, and other hairs that randomly appear where previously there were none. But let's not make this entire post about surprise body hair.

"If I have a second glass of wine, will I be hung over tomorrow?"

The problem with this thought isn't the need to reduce my drinking, but the fact that it's a question. That it's not consistent. Sometimes I have a handful of drinks and wake up the next morning with a song in my heart and a gleam in my eye. Other times I dare tread over the line of "just one drink, thanks", even by a sip, and I wake up feeling like I was doing keg stands the night before.

I just want to know what I'm getting myself into.

"Should I know how to/take the time to fold a fitted sheet properly by now?"

This one is always followed by a big ol' "nahhh!", because I have other things to worry about. Then I fold my sheet nicely in half and roll the whole thing up into a ball.

"Why does my [insert joint here] hurt?"

Joint pain and I have been friends for most of my life. At ten years old, I got osgood-schlatter disease in my right knee from ballet, often had random, jabbing hip pain (probably also from ballet), and my joints popped and cracked all the time - my sister could hear my joints coming down the stairs.

This is different. My joints just... don't feel good. They're stiff. All the time. I do yoga and stretch regularly, and they are just closing in on themselves. A little while ago I slept funny on my shoulder and it hurt so bad I couldn't swallow without jolts of pain. This fragility in my body is new, and I don't like it.

Here's one thought that never crosses my mind anymore:

"What time does the last bus leave?"

I used to plan my weekend parties around how late I would be able to catch a bus home. Guess what? When you turn into a pumpkin at midnight (or 10pm), this is no longer a problem! One less thing to worry about.


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