Yesterday we discussed secrets we keep from significant others, if you missed it): How old are you, and what has been your favorite and least favorite thing(s) from each decade you’ve been alive? I’m 40, and here are my favorites and least favorites:
So far, nine months into my 40s, my favorite thing about this decade is not giving too much of a shit about what people think (or don’t think) of me. I can’t say I completely don’t give a shit, but I’m pretty close to total indifference. One caveat is that I don’t want to embarrass or alienate my family within our community (school community, neighborhood, etc.), so there have been a few times when that’s prevented me from saying or doing something I probably would have otherwise. My least favorite thing about this age is the toll lack of sleep takes on my physical and emotional well-being. Not only do I get less sleep now than I did in my 20s and early 30s (thanks, kids!), but also I don’t recover from the sleep deprivation as well or as quickly as I did ten years ago (when lack of sleep simply meant I was probably out late having a good time vs. dealing with sleepless, crying children all night). I’m also not thrilled with the sun damage that’s showing up now after years of running around with only minimal sunblock (if I even remembered to wear any at all) and no hat. I’m trying to make up for it now (see photo above), but I’m afraid the damage has already been done.
My favorite thing about my 30s was creating my family (including my chosen family). I moved to New York, got married, and had both of my babies in my 30s. I also cemented my closest friendships and made a bunch of new, good friends when I settled in Brooklyn. My least favorite thing about my 30s was a lot of uncertainty around decisions I had to make. There were a lot of decisions! I hope I don’t have to make as many decisions in my 40s. I started my 30s uncertain about whether I should move to New York to be with Drew, then about whether and when to have a baby (and then, again, a second baby). And at the tail-end of my 30s, I felt a lot of uncertainty about whether we should stay in Brooklyn or hightail it out before Jackson started school and we further invested ourselves (emotionally and financially) in the community where we live.
What I loved most about my 20s was the endless freedom I had. I had very few responsibilities or obligations, and I had endless time to focus on myself. One of my least favorite things was feeling so financially unstable (worrying about my love life and whether I’d ever find someone to settle down with was a close second for least favorite thing).
My teen years are kind of a blur, and so much constantly changes at that age that it’s hard to focus on one or two favorite things, but moving away to college remains one of the highlights of my life. It was such a special time where some of my best friends (to this day) were made. I think of that time often and fondly. Before that, though, I felt pretty lonely. Especially when I think of, like, 15-18, what I remember most is the weight of loneliness and feeling like I didn’t really fit in anywhere.
And childhood? What’s bad about childhood? Nothing! And being a child of the 80s was particularly fun because parents didn’t give a shit what their kids were up to. They weren’t all uptight like today’s parents who over-schedule everything and hover over their kids like they might break at any minute (and I say that as one of them!).