I’m staring down the barrel of 40 today. It’s my last day as a thirty-something. When I wake up tomorrow I’ll be — gasp — FORTY. Like Lauren said last night, “that’s a big number, momma.”
In honor of the impending, inevitable
middle-age doom 40th birthday, I give you the best (or at least the best I can come up with right now off the top of my head) of a decade of accumulated wisdom.
40 things I learned in my 30s:
1. Thirty is not old.
2. Football is an awesome sport.
3. Guinea pigs don’t live very long.
4. If you can smell poop before you open the nursery door, call work and tell them you’re going to be late because there’s been a crap-explosion in the crib and it will require a bath and possibly a steam cleaner.
5. Mint will take over your entire flowerbed if you let it.
6. Vegetable gardening just isn’t worth it. Neither is cooking. Totally overrated.
7. If you have kids, never put on work clothes until you are walking out the door or you will end up with snot or peanut butter on you somewhere.
8. The office is an awfully nice place to be for 8 hours a day when you have two small children.
9. Two people you want on your side at any job: An IT person and a maintenance person.
10. When confronted with any sort of conflict, ask yourself: Is this the hill I’m going to die on? (If it is, go in, guns blazing; if it’s not, let it go and move on).
11. You catch more flies with honey. People want to help people they like.
12. Always go with your gut.
13. You can tell a lot about a person by how they speak to a waiter.
14. Hazelnut coffee is nectar of the gods.
15. My mother is a saint.
16. A closed-mind is a dead mind.
17. It’s usually better to say nothing.
18. You can be too thin.
19. If you’re angry & resentful about something, you shouldn’t have done it/agreed to it.
20. It’s really not that hard to say no.
21. Life is easier if you’re as honest as possible (without hurting feelings).
22. You never outgrow a taste for loud rock music.
23. I cannot pull of a neck scarf. I feel like Snoopy, the WW II fighter pilot.
24. The sweetest sound in the world is a baby/toddler’s laugh.
25. iTunes is a program straight from hell.
26. Despite what I said 10 years ago, we actually will pay more for cell phones than electric each month.
27. Financial planners are worth every penny. So are tax preparers.
28. I should never try to grow my hair out again.
29. After having children, you will have to wear a bra at all times — whether you breastfed or not.
30. Every child potty trains in their own time. You can push all you want, but until that switch goes off in their head, you’re just wasting your time.
31. People are born with their personalities. They can’t help but be who they were born to be.
32. Accept all people for who they are. (See No. 31 above).
33. CEOs are no more valuable as human beings than trash haulers. Everyone deserves respect.
34. Stepping on the scale is a no-win situation. If it’s low, you have extra dessert; if it’s high you hate yourself all day. Stay off the scale.
35. The “perfect” pair of jeans never stay that way for long.
36. The best artwork: Family photos, drawings your kids made.
37. Babies grow up really, really, really fast.
38. Forcing someone to choose between you & their family is a losing game. Nobody wins. See No. 31 & 32.
39. There are a few name-brand foods worth spending more on: Ritz crackers, Meadowbrook milk, Thomas’ English muffins; Boboli pizza crust and Laughing Cow cheese are among them.
40. Forty is not old.