When I turned 30 last May, I could barely say the word aloud. Thirty. Gah.

But I soon accepted it. I saw the benefits right away. I figured I’d worked very hard in my 20s — sometimes holding three or more low-wage jobs simultaneously. No one really took me seriously because of my trendy clothes, silver jewelry (and loads of it), short skirts, boobs usually a bit too exposed, cough cough ’80s hair cough cough and lack of age showing on my face. I figured I’d hit the magical age wherein people would take me seriously.

Fast forward several miserable, strife-filled months, and 30 has less energy and more wrinkles and gray hairs than I care to count. Wrinkles. Ugh. I have vowed, given ongoing financial chaos, to become a Hester Prynne of sorts — to never spend a dime on anything but bills and necessities for a long time to come — wearing my scarlet B for “broke” (or bee-yotch. Whichever!).

But the energy thing? A killer, man. Really. When I was in my early 20s, I had a hideous commute. (Via Port Authority, not driving. Ick and ugh.) Now I spend the same amount of time (but, this time, going 32 miles each way) en route, and at least I have my CDs and crappy a.m. talk radio. But I’m exhausted! And, upon further examination of the wardrobe, holy shit. No wonder those in “authority” (I still sneer at that word when I remember some people from my past — can’t help it!) used to look down their pointy little noses at me. I was the corporate hoochie, many days. 🙂 Hoo boy, someone needs an extreme makeover … and soon!

That outer makeover is going to take some time (read: thawing out from my debt avalanche comes first). However, there’s some work I must start doing on the inside, and that’s making sure I have the capability to make it through a day with, if not an abundance of energy, then “just enough” to still be OK at the end of the day.

I was talking to John recently about routines. Respectively, we used to have set “self” time (get yer mind outta the gutter, although admittedly, that kind of “date with ourselves” is definitely the best use of time ever!) for ourselves — even if it was as simple as a pizza/movie night kind of deal. And, I realized how much I used to abhor routine. There was a time in which I loved changes of plans and calls out of the blue, directing me to get dolled up and be ready in a flash. I could so totally do that … at one time. And, granted, I would love nothing more than to spend some quality time away from the apartment that has literally been my prison these past few months. But, my energy reserves are just depleted these days. The value of routines and schedules, I am finding now in my “old age,” is to ensure that we have enough momentum to get us through the times when we need it.

For me, that means no more staying up till 2 a.m., watching crap TV and typing really bad fiction on my beloved G4. No more hanging out on iChat (well, not as much as I would like) because I don’t have the wherewithal to have a conversation and actually accomplish something simultaneously. No more getting upset in the mornings because traffic blows (well, not getting too bent out of shape!) because I have to somehow make it through an entire day and an evening commute without having colleagues seeing the stress monkey I can become. That means streamlining a whole bunch … that means priority-setting. And, the No. 1 priority? Me. Plain and simple — I am the best date I’ve ever had, and I need to spend some time making me feel as special as I know I am, damn it. 😉

Bottom line, there’s only so much vim and vigor to go around when you start climbing up the hill you will eventually keel get over. A friend once warned me that your body goes to shit when you hit that third decade. Perhaps I’ve just had a harder year than most, but I’m definitely feeling my age, in any event. And, I’m certainly looking it!

My one big goal this year (other than the obvious, which I have finally achieved! Yeah!) was to actually find/cultivate/keep a functional relationship. But, it will be another challenge — one for which I am not completely ready at this particular moment — to carve out the energy (and time, but don’t get me started on that precious commodity just yet!) to make that happen. But, alas, despite my youthful distaste of the almighty routine, I am starting to see not only the value, but also the necessity, of knowing when I need to be “on” and when I can simply hit the snooze button and recharge. I look forward to finally finding my groove. 🙂

On iTunes: The Exies, “Ugly”

2 Responses to 30

  1. Funkalicious :

    Oh, jeezus, I can soooooooooooo relate to this post. I am 38-39 in April-and I tell ya, my energy is shit. Of course, I’ve had health problems the last few years, but still managed to get stuff done despite them. When I was in my 20’s, I had awesome energy. I worked a 10-12 hour day and partied most of the night. But now, any day I can get out of bed in under 30 minutes is a good day. Fuck. I’m old.

  2. Anonymous :

    Definitely get your groove on Dawn. Even though I loved my 20’s there’s not enough money in the world anyone could pay me to live it again. I like where I am now. A bit wiser and a whole lot grown up. groovebunny