30 feels like a rebirth, but it’s also a wake-up call. If I was dreaming in my 20s, I’ll be awake in my 30s (and alive in my 40s, from what I’ve been told). Sex and the City has an episode called ’20-something girls, 30-something women’. The transition when girl to woman becomes official is no clearer than from the 29th to the 30th year, so I had better clean up my act on a variety of things that I’ve been able to get away with for the last decade:
Not sending Thank You cards
A big no-no! Forgetting to send thank yous is inexcusable now. Go out and buy 20 cards from your local paper store to keep in your drawer for anything that comes up. It’s the best secret and takes the pressure out of shopping for a new one each time you need it.
Visibly worn out band-aids
Blisters and band-aids on the heel are a thing of reality, but when the band-aid is curling on the edges and has survived two days in the shower, it’s time for a change. Here’s a thought, buy comfy shoes, ladies!
Rips in my pants/clothing rips in general
My days of being unemployed and taking care of a new puppy are well over, yet I still carry the holes in some stretchy pants from puppy teeth. Time to ditch!
Forgetting the umbrella and using my coat
Wisdom is preparation! It’s not hard to see a weather forecast and then plan ahead.
Not sleeping for at least 7 hours
A recent study suggests that a good night’s sleep undoubtedly contributes to how good you look the next morning. Without our 20s to support our raccoon-circled, sleepy-bagged eyes, we need to find our support from our horizontal friend: bed. Bonus: invest in a good bed and it won’t run out as fast as a jar of eye cream.
4th-day-hair sock buns
2nd day, okay. 3rd day, it’s pushing it. But c’mon, who doesn’t love a good Thursday morning wash then a Friday, Saturday and Sunday shampoo-free weekend before that Monday freshness? Not anymore.
Flossing on the rare
I floss, I do! But it’s got to be more reg. Like, nightly reg. Yes, it’s gross. Yes, I consider myself told. But I’m not 30 yet!
Jazzy smartphone covers
Let’s be grownups and toss out the baby-faced animals or celebrity-covered smartphone covers that are blinged out with stickers. Go to Michael Kors, get an official cover, consider it a perfect accessory for your watch.
Nothing manicured/Chipping nails
Hands look oldest faster than anything else on our body. Keep them young with moisturizing and regular manicures to keep those nails shiny and new!
More than five drinks in a sitting
Just, no. You start thinking you’re the coolest person on the planet and before you know it, you’re skipping home streaming YouTube favourites before burning an old slice of pizza in the microwave, and, subsequently, your hand on the hot plate. Tired, dehydrated, hungover the next day, and loopy-brained for hours. Your liver/brain/neighbour will thank you.
To be honest, it’s been a long time since I’ve had an official sleep over. But, many 20-something still crash at their girlfriends’ places. I encourage you finding a safe place to stay, but the nights where you have no ability to get to your own apartment after a night of drinking (see above tip) are numbered.
Not helping at your mom’s dinner party
You’re becoming a guest in your childhood home so act like one. When you visit, don’t leave all your shit out (pots, pans, food, bags) strewn across the house like you used to. You’ll still be your mom’s baby girl but never to the point where she won’t grind her teeth with your teenage antics.
It’s fun to get that $20 bill come through the mail from your grandma but you can kiss it goodbye in your early 20s and definitely give it an RIP in your thirties.
Not doing your own taxes (and having someone not in your family do them)
Unless it’s a family member’s job (read: you can hire them or get a big discount from their expertise), doing your own tax return and filing your expenses/getting money back is a grown-up liberating step to take with your own finances. Bonus if you start a business on the side and file those expenses, too. This doesn’t mean you have to suffer if you hate it, find a good accountant and pay them!
Borrowing X from Y to get you through to payday
There are a lot of things that the 20-something will do to sustain her life until the paycheque comes, like, scavenging for scraps in the office kitchen after a work meeting or mixing shampoo with water to get the last of it out. I’m all for the thrifty life hacks but being 30 means planning out my money a little better.
Forgetting the Big S
Saving! Saving money starts to look so much more attractive than spending it. If you still have a few more years of being 20-something to go, take advice from an elder (à la Cher from Clueless) that you should start putting a few hundred bucks a month (at least!) into an RRSP or TFSA. You can count it against your income to get a better return at the end of the year, and you’ll have some money for old age fun – think 60s!