A few years ago I might have said that I was dreading turning 30, that I would be 'old', that I would be 'boring'. I may even have joked that my life 'would be over'.
How silly I was.
Being 30 is great. At worst, it is certainly no worse than being 29. As for the best bits, I hardly know where to begin...
1. According to my friends at Thursday toddler group, at 30 you're apparently 'mature' without being 'old'. I say apparently because I still enjoy being pretty immature sometimes.
2. You know who your friends are and have left all the inane teenage bitchiness far behind you. I have amazing friends. Some even threw me a surprise birthday lunch this weekend! I've got a few treasured friends from childhood, but often look back and see someone who was just so desperate to fit in and be liked. Now I don't feel that pressure, I feel free to choose friends with warm hearts and a great sense of humour and although I hope they like me back, being popular is no longer my priority.
3. Looking back on three decades of great memories. One of the amazing friends mentioned above put together a photo display for my lunch party. It had photos from my childhood, memories from school, a photo from the day Matt and I shared our first kiss, honeymoon selfies and family portraits. Sometimes it is easy to feel like life has passed you by, but I loved looking at that board of proof that I am living a wonderful life.
4. Gifts aren't everything, but they're certainly lovely. I received some extremely well thought out gifts and have been overwhelmed again and again by how well people know me - and just how generous they are.
5. I love being old enough to not worry about being told off for doing something funny. Like eating leftover chocolate birthday cake for breakfast. Instead I get caught out and made to share by my toddler.
6. It's more acceptable to be boring. I'm not one for making a huge fuss. Yes, I've had some fantastic parties and hilarious drunken nights, but late nights and hangovers have not been kind to me since turning 25... So I'm quite relieved that I can go for a fun and sophisticated (ahem) meal out with prosecco and yet still be home at a reasonable time to put the kids to bed and watch a film.
7. There isn't as much pressure to be 'trendy'. I'm not fashionable. I never have been and I never will be. Therefore I find it quite comforting that now I'm that bit older there doesn't seem to be the pressure to follow the latest trends religiously. Of course you can still look nice at 30, you can still make the effort and be stylish. But no one is expecting you to attempt something crazy and that is fine by me.
8. Big birthdays are better with kids. Having Lily singing happy birthday to me made my day. I'm not just saying it, my kids are my biggest blessing and my greatest joy.
9. Growing old means my husband is getting older too. He may be three years younger than me, but he's certainly mature enough and loving enough to plan my birthday treats. Apparently I am the 'Doc' to his 'Delorean' and there is no one else I'd rather face the future with.
10. I still have a decade before I turn 40. Cause, you know, 40 is seriously really old and it's all down hill from there...