Monday, 20 July 2009

Thirty in the offing...

Yesterday I made the official leap into the last year of my twenties. Now in the grand scheme of life, 29 is not old. Neither is 30…but…there is something about 30 that scares the bejesus out of me. Sure, I have heard it over and over: sixty is the new fifty, fifty is the new forty, and so on. Unfortunately, I am not sure that thirty is the new twenty. Despite the shift in ageist societal expectations, thirty is one of those ages that there is still some sort of expectation. Or maybe it is the decade as a whole.

Let’s face it…
If you want a family – you need to consider doing that in your thirties
Marriage? Sure, a lot of my peers took the plunge in their twenties, but there is still this underlying belief that marriage should be in the offing by mid-thirty.
Career? It is fairly necessary to have a career chosen by your mid-thirties; because really…there is that retirement thing to consider…
Finances? Mutual funds, pension plans, portfolios…hmmmm….

Wait…retirement? I’m only thirty…I won’t retire for another 25-30 years!! Ya….but think of how quickly the first thirty years flew on past…

In terms of “living” I would have to say that there are still a lot of expectations placed on the big 3-0.

And where do I stack up on the thirty scale?

Not so good, I’m afraid.
Marriage? While something I’m not really looking to engage in (Carrie made the single life look so good on Sex and the City!) I would have to admit that there is really no marriageable potential in the offing.
Family? Hmmm…could getting my tubes tied justify the lack of potential there? Because really…I am not mothering material.
Career? Wow…well that’s a mess.
Finance?? Ouch…bigger mess…

Huh…that’s a lot of ground to cover in 12 months. But think about it – in terms of career, finances, family, etc – a heck of a lot happens over the course of ten years.

Luckily I know who reads this blog, as I put this into written confession…
My present “love interest” (and I really do use that term loosely)…well…at the end of the day I think I am only dating him because he looks good on paper. Huh? He is educated, aiming to climb the ladder – a PROFESSIONAL. He’s not scatter-brained Leanne. He is my absolute opposite. Oh sure, he wants to travel and experience, blah blah blah – but only once the savings account is padded, and the stock market has rebounded…hmmmm…

Let me clear this up: I have no qualms about savings accounts, mutual funds, etc. Or responsibility. I love responsibility.
So I am dating this guy because it is the grown-up thing to do. Maybe if I am lucky it will move to marriage – because I am at that age.

I can’t even stand to ask him about his job. Why? Because it makes me want to drink copious quantities of alcohol.

He’ll ask me “Do I bore you?”
“No! Of course not!”…
Yes, yes, yes….
*Never ask questions to which there are no good answers…

Don’t get me wrong…he is a nice guy. Really. I am just bored by the prospects of entering a life in which I have a suburban home with a white picket fence, cocker spaniel (my idea of a family dog), 2 kids, etc. But he really is nice. Really.

I should be more concerned about the savings account. But when life is sooooo short, I could care less if I die a millionaire.

If I am not pursuing marriage, financial stability, career advancement, and a decent pension fund, what do I want?
Strictly to live.

And what will I do with the last year of my twenties? Find me again, because in the process of dating, and pursuing a career I hated, and in convincing myself that I was happy - I lost me.

More importantly I will work on the goal that I have had for the past 6 years – to visit the six most populous continents before I turn thirty.
For bragging rights?
Because travel is my passion and my love. Experience.
Will I make it?
Not likely – I have three continents so far; but I have enough Aeroplan Miles to go to South America…and an unused plane ticket that could get me to Africa and back. And if push came to shove – I could always celebrate my thirtieth on a beach in Australia. Not likely....but a great idea. Money is a substantial issue, and seeing has how I do not actively pursue a “career” , I have to be content with long durations between trips. It is just nice to have goals.

And what about the rest of it?
I will work towards finishing my weight loss goal, which really has no impact on my larger life; it is strictly vanity.
Hopefully I will scrape together the money to finally accept the University of London. Don’t get me wrong; I do have career aspirations.
And maybe I wll finally take the leap towards the program that I have looked at for years, but have never applied…

And hopefully by thirty I will realize that sitting outside under the beating sun (without sun screen) results in sunburn.
And maybe I will learn to not: drink on an empty stomach AND to not drink to the point of a hangover.

But for now…I am 29, and I plan on enjoying the last year of my twenties. Even if it doesn’t look good on paper!