On Turning 30

The husband turned 30 gracefully (men, am I right?) and without complaint.

I, however, spent the last month painstakingly counting down the last days of my 20s, as if on March 31 I would wake up an entirely different person. Last month of my 20s! 10 days left of my 20s! This time next week I’ll be 30! I’m so old. That rigmarole.

Today, I woke up as a 30 year old. The husband hugged me goodbye and called me the Birthday Girl, and then I threw on my Alabama hoodie, washed my face, and yanked on some pants. I let my dogs out. I drank a cup of coffee and watched them play in our front yard of the house we own. I put away some dishes, told the pups goodbye, and I got in my reliable car and drove to work.

As I was driving, I suddenly felt very calm about turning 30.

I’m not sure if it was my morning routine that did it, or that I was chatting with the sister on the phone, or that I had about 20 text messages already wishing me a Happy Birthday…. but I felt the anxiety slowly leak out of me. (For now… let’s be honest… it always comes back.)

30 seems like a big milestone because it is a big milestone. Especially when you’ve lost people along the way, people that never saw 30, or people who you’d love to get advice from about being 30, but they’ve passed on, too.

Whenever my birthday pops up I think of everyone who isn’t here anymore. It makes me uncharacteristically emotional. (My boss brought me cake pops and a Diet Coke this morning and I got choked up over it.) It’s actually only been since DJ died that I’ve done this — every year I get that he didn’t get takes away another tiny piece of my heart. I text his mom and (unfairly) lay my sadness on her and she makes me feel better. “Grief is a bitch!”  We agree on this sentiment.

Anyway, I spent this last month thinking about all the people I’ve been leading up to 30 – a rebel (so it seemed to me at the time), a bad-decision-maker, a bitch (still that, though), a selfish friend (sorry everyone that I’m so flaky and unreliable, I still love all of you), a heavy drinker (thanks, Statesboro), a bitter whiner (your family texts me on my birthday but you don’t…cool, dad)… and I wondered if all the good things I try to do now outweigh the bad.

I hope they do. All those people I was (and kind of still am) just mush together to make me…me. When I turned 20, I had zero respect for me. Turning 30… I think I’m pretty kickass.

Turns out I’ve got a real drive to help animals. I’m always open to donate to charities that benefit foster kids. I’m not as conservative as I once thought. I can run a 10K. I can set a goal and follow through. My best friends are my family, and I’m fine with that. I wrote a book (I mean, I’m not saying it’s good, but I did write it). I’d drop everything and do anything for the husband, who has the patience of a saint to deal with an anxious lunatic like me. My nieces and nephews bring my so much joy. (So do my dogs, obviously.) I take pride in my work. I’m more outspoken and steadfast in my opinions.

20-something me… 20-something me would never have been able to list anything positive about myself. 30 year old me is much more confident. Much more self-aware. Much more… happy.

None of this is mind blowing revolutionary writing. I know this.

But I think the point is that no matter what you’re doing, if you’re turning 30 or 50 or 22 or 86, if you’re actively working to be a better person and make the world a better place, I think you’re doing it right. All the ‘Do This Before You Turn ___ Age’ articles or all the posts from your friends about how their way of living is the best way… that’s all nonsense. Don’t let anyone make you feel like your life choices are less than theirs because you settled down, or you bought a house, or you don’t party until 3am anymore.

Just let yourself…. become yourself. And when you hit the next age milestone don’t let yourself down. Be better.

I spent 30 years semi-figuring out who I am, and I plan on spending the next 30 leaving a positive mark on this world using what I’ve got. You only get so many days. Do something meaningful while you can.

As always, I am forever grateful to the people who love me no matter what, and who have stuck with me through my 20s so that I can kill it in my 30s. I love you all.

Happy 30th Birthday to me! 30

MKJ

8 Shows to Watch on Netflix Instead of Partying

FIRST THINGS FIRST. Friends is coming to NetFlix. New Year’s Day. Congratulations, 2015. You already win. 

Netflix-Friends-copy

That aside, I don’t care very much for New Year’s Eve and resolutions and spending a lot of money in one night just because it’s starting a new year. I do like sparkly clothes and glitter, but really I feel like I can rock those things any old day. Also, let’s face it: we millennials aren’t the youngsters anymore and we can’t really hold our own with the 20 somethings in the bar.

In lieu of breaking the bank on vodka sprites or  pomegranate martinis or bourbons, and then dealing with a subsequent awful and debilitating hangover, I’m going to give you an (obvious) alternative: stay home and watch NetFlix.

And, just in case you need some help, I’m going to give you a list of shows to choose from. (You cannot, however, have my Netflix log-in, but it only costs like 10 bucks a month. Sorry.)

Without further ado, I give to you:

What to Watch on Netflix Instead of Partying Tonight

1. Peaky Blinderspeaky

Watch If: You want something historical and badass.

You MUST MUST MUST watch this show. It’s set in London, post WWI, and no words or descriptions can do this show justice. It’s about a family making their way (shadily)  to the top and the acting is so incredible that after you watch it you will wish you lived in the slums and forced your way to wealth by being a true gangster. This is a NetFlix original, and there are only two seasons but when you finish season two you just might start watching the show all over again. Not that that’s what we did. Okay, that’s exactly what we did.

cheers2. Cheers

Watch If: You’ve seen all the other sitcoms but want something that is comical but not super deep.

If you’re a fan of any 90’s sitcom, or just sitcoms in general, you must go watch the show that started it all: Cheers. Ted Danson as Sam Malone is the epitome of a flirty womanizer and the shenanigans that ensue will remind you of all the episodes of all the other series that have come on TV since Cheers paved the way. You’ll also enjoy deciding if you hate Diane or Rebecca the most. Cheers also tackles some issues that society put off for a looong time – like being gay. All in all it’s an easy show to watch and, to be honest, you really should watch a show that you already know the theme song to.

3. The InBetweeners (The British Version) 1104573_Inbetweeners

Watch If: You enjoy the Brits and aren’t offended by teenage humor.

This show is raunchy, but the cast consists of teenage British boys, so you know from the get-go that it’s going to be a little out there. Most of the dialogue consists of the guys making fun of each other, cursing, or making sexual references… teenage boy style… so maybe don’t watch it if you’re chilling with your parents or your kids. You will expand your vocabulary tenfold, though….albeit it will be with British teenage slang. Still, pretty cool.

it crowd4. The IT Crowd

Watch If: You enjoy the Brits and understand the feeling of having a job that makes you want to punch people.

This is another British gem that will expand your sense of humor. Moss, Roy, and Jenn work in the basement of a large company as the IT department and they are ridiculous and their jobs are pointless and..wait..you will totally relate! Get ready to enjoy the character of Moss, because he is super quirky and kooky.

5. Particle Fever particle fever

Watch If: You want to learn something sciencey but not be bored to tears / you’re looking for something to watch that isn’t the typical sitcom or drama.

So, you may not be into science and physics, and that’s okay, because I’m not either. But….this is actually a documentary about particle physics, the CERN Supercollider, and the Higgs-Boson particle. This documentary takes one of the most complex ideas on the earth (in my opinion) and explains it and makes it somehow not extremely boring interesting. I feel like I’ve already lost some of you, but, please, trust me on this one, and give it a chance. I searched and searched for other documentaries on physics after watching this, that’s how amazing it is.

when we left earth6. When We Left Earth

Watch If: You want to learn something sciencey, think space is kind of cool, and, again, don’t want to be bored to tears.

Okay, so this is another sciencey show, and it’s about NASA.  Guys, it is riveting. Sadly, Netflix has pulled it, but that’s where I first watched this series, so I’m including it in this list. Luckily, there is a YouTube video with all the episodes! Basically, it chronicles the history of our journey into space. Even if you aren’t interested in NASA or space, this series will draw you in and at the end you will feel really sad that we aren’t still making trips to the moon. You can watch it here.

7. Dr. Who allonsy

Watch If: You want something sciencey, funny, and you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about 

I’ll admit that it took me a couple of tries to start watching Dr. Who. I haven’t watched the super old ones, we started with the 9th doctor and once I got into the show I haven’t been able to stop rewatching. If you know anyone who watches the show, then you know there’s something special about the Doctor. Give the show a chance — my advice is to start with the episode called ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ and then work from there. You will go back and watch them all once you get hooked. And you will get hooked. And then you can join in the arguments over which Doctor is the best Doctor. (It’s 10).

new girl8. New Girl

Watch If: You want something hilarious, not super deep, and you secretly wish you dressed like Zooey Deschanel. 

I don’t feel like many people watch this show, or at least I don’t see many people talk about it on social media. If you don’t love Schmidt and think he is rip-roaring hilarious, then you need to have your funny bone checked. This show has been around for a while, so some of you may already be on the New Girl train. If not, prepare to be overcome with laughter, because the chemistry between these characters makes this show addicting.

Honorable Mentions:

These are shows you’ve most likely watched, but if you haven’t, you need to go ahead and watch them, too.

  • House of Cards
  • Orange is the New Black
  • The Office
  • Entourage (Okay, this one isn’t on NetFlix, but you will definitely feel like you are partying even though you’re just watching the show.)
  • Freaks and Geeks
  • Cosmos

Happy New Year!

MKB