No matter how hard you try to ignore it, your thirtieth birthday will creep up on you like Freddy Kruger in A Nightmare on Elm Street. And it may be just as scary. For me I felt like shouting at random people, “I’m not ready to be a real adult! I still wear an Elmo shirt to bed and I had ice cream for dinner last week!” But alas, thirty came for me whether I was ready or not. To avoid some of the panic of turning 30, I wanted to share my experience with you so that you can be ready too.
One of the first things I noticed about planning a party at this age was that it was hard to pin people down for a date to celebrate. Whereas before it was each to catch up and enjoy an evening out with friends, now people were scattered across the country or just super busy. It was interesting to see what everyone had going on in their lives and how that affected a simple Saturday night out. One friend had a baby on the way while others were working sixty-hour weeks; life had finally happened to my friends. It was so real, I actually had to send out a Save The Date for my get together as well as email invites (services like Evite and Paperless Post are great for invites). I realized that these moments of getting together and partying tip the lights come on were going to get more and more rare. This made the occasion all the more special for me.
I know this usually isn’t what you want to hear on your birthday and this may not apply to everyone but when deciding what to do for my big 3-0, I didn’t have an unlimited budget. I would have loved to fly all of my friends out for a mini vacay but that wasn’t in the cards. Instead I stayed within my budget and celebrated in town. I hosted a karaoke night at a local sushi restaurant, and served up cupcakes from Vanilla Bake Shop which is right around the corner from my house at the Century City mall. In the end it meant more to celebrate with friends and family than to have everyone shell out money for a trip.
I did manage to sneak in a last minute trip to Mexico but only because I scored a Living Social deal for a resort in Cabo. Travel deal sites like Living Social, Groupon and Travel Zoo are great tools if you just have to get away, but I highly recommend keeping all your financial goals (short-term and long-term) in mind while planning.
I had always wanted to go to this beautiful, coastal city and I was glad I could make it happen. While checking something of the bucket list for me meant a get-away to Cabo, for you it could be sky diving or driving a race car. But do something that you’ll never forget and make a memory that will last a lifetime.
Thirty is what you’d call a milestone birthday and it invites a lot of reflection. Beyond celebrating I really wanted to take inventory of my life and gear up for the rest of the year. Taking time to see friends and family and then sneaking in a little me time was the perfect way to do that. I feel refreshed and excited about what’s to come. But that’s just my b-day story. What’s yours? Tell us in the comments below.