30s are the new 20s

Jem jams and so do I. Also, Jem isn't creaky.

Jem jams and so do I. Also, Jem isn't creaky.

By Shawna Kitzman

I’m happy I’m still in my 30s. Some of my friends and my husband are 40. I don’t know why I’m happy to have a few more years in this age bracket. What difference does it make?

I remember packages of black napkins at a party store in West Hartford Center called Bennett’s. They were black with white writing: Over the Hill! I learned in design school that historically, black packaging was associated with death. Those black napkins inferred the inherent doom and gloom that comes with turning 40. I don’t think it’s all downhill from 40. When people lived to 60, sure, 40 was old. But now people live to 80 and up, so 40 is no big deal.

Recently I felt creaky after not working out for a few months. I woke up with sore a back and hips, from my lack of physical activity. It was unacceptable. I’m too young to feel creaky. I started running again, three days a week. And I’m not creaky anymore. I know it’ll happen eventually but not yet. Not today, friends!

One of the freedoms of being 37 is confidence in who I am. I can say with certainty that I don’t like fantasy as a genre, I have no idea how the game of football works, I loathe shorts, and if I had to live on one food for the rest of my life, it’d be cheese, no question. I’m glad I don’t have to feign interest in shit to impress a date or people I want to be friends with. I can say I like this or that, or I stand for this and against that. I know who I am, but I’m open to trying new things.

The moment I close my mind to other ways of thinking or reject feedback…that’s when I’ll turn to a crusty old bird.

It’s refreshing to know myself in a way that wasn’t possible when I was younger.