Next year I turn 30.
There, I said it.
Milestone birthdays are a bit of a weird thing, in fact if you really think about it birthdays in general are just a bit of a weird thing. After your 21st, pretty much any birthday ending in 0 is classed as a milestone up until you hit retirement age (and let’s face it, if they push the retirement age back much more then millenials and all those that come after us are likely to have to work until we die anyway!). For me, one of these ‘big birthdays’ is just around the corner and it’s kind of terrifying for a number of reasons.
One of the reasons that birthdays are kinda scary is that they mean you’re getting older, and there is so much uncertainty around what happens when you get older. Another reason is that they make you reflect on what you’ve achieved…and possibly even more so, what you have not achieved.
Then there’s the third stress – people expect you to do something ‘memorable’ to celebrate hitting such a milestone. They expect you to throw a big party or go on a once in a life time trip to some crazy exotic place. What with the rise of social media, this pressure to do something special is possibly even higher than before when the reality is that sometimes you just want to go on to Instagram and write “Just chilling in my PJs with a chippy and Disney movies”…but you couldn’t possibly do that, because that’s not the content people want to see as they scroll through their timelines. That relates to every day, to be honest, and not just special occasions, but I’m sure you get my gist.
Celebrating should be about doing what you want to do, and that is why I have already started to put so much thought into how I want to celebrate turning 30. For full disclosure, I have always been a bit OTT and overambitious and the crazy ideas that you’re away to read about are not a reflection of Instagram, their just the product of the kind of wild ideas I’ve had since childhood.The reality is that I’m still not quite sure what I want to do for my birthday next year. I doubt I’ll have a big party, because I’m just not a party person. I considered going on a special holiday, but the reality is that I’d probably still go alone just like I do with most of the other trips I take so would it really be that special?
Then I had this fantastic idea that was so perfect I thought my heart might explode with happiness. To celebrate turning 30, I would do 30 great/exciting/special/memorable things. I don’t really know what these things would be, and it would need quite a lot of planning, but the more I thought about my perfect idea the more I thought about the price tag of carrying out my perfect idea. Since I bought a house last year, I just don’t have a lot of extra money to throw about on crazy ideas. Not just that, but 30 things could also be pretty time consuming (around two and a half things a month!) and my day job is not really conducive to crazy ideas that take up time.
It seems like my perfect idea would be practically impossible unless I can think of a way of doing it on a budget in a way that does not impact my career. So if you have any ideas, suggestions or advice please let me know in the comments below.
I have also considered cutting it down to one great/exciting/special/memorable a month, but that just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
I also realise that you might be wondering why I chose to do it during 2020. I thought about doing 30 things between turning 29 and turning 30, but then it struck me that after I turned 30 there would be nothing left to look forward to. I considered waiting until I turned 30 and doing it between my 30th and 31st birthdays, but that just seemed too far away (I have actually been thinking about this for a few months now!). So since my birthday is in the summer and basically the middle of the year, I decided to go with 2020 – a few months before my birthday and a few months after my birthday. Logical? I don’t even know to be honest. My birthday being in the middle of the summer, I also knew that if I wanted to go on a special trip or something it probably wouldn’t be *on* my birthday so I’ve always been relegated to the fact that my birthday celebration would not be on my actual birthday.
I did stumble across a list of ‘unusual ideas’ for celebrating a significant birthday, and one of the suggestions was get a dog. All I’m saying is, the seed has been planted… (but unfortunately I’m much too poor to keep a dog at the moment).
Do you think there is too much pressure on people to do ‘something special’ for their birthday? Have you celebrated a special birthday in an unusual way recently? Let me know in the comments below!