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At the age of ten life seems simple, it's all about running jumping and climbing trees. By eighteen you have discovered the opposite sex, alcohol and nightclubs. By twenty five you are your own person, confident and full of life. Suddenly you hit thirty. You find yourself questioning your choices from the years that have past, feeling slightly left on the shelf, wondering where your life is heading, juggling family and friends and faced with ever aging parents. You are not alone, welcome to 30 years and countinga sideways look at life in your thirties.

Welcome to the thirtysomething club

This week we have a new member to the thirtysomething club as our friend Paul hit the big 30 on Saturday. To celebrate this landmark of aging his girlfriend Lou organised a surprise party for him at their local pub complete with party games and sumo suits. I was there of course with my video camera and caught the whole thing which you can watch below.  Now that Paul has joined our ranks I feel it is only right to offer some advice. What words of wisdom can I then impart to Paul with  three decades of life under my belt ?

First off as promised here is the video of Paul's birthday party including Tom, Louise, Maz, Paul, Mark, Lou and myself playing party games such as pass the parcel, pin the tale on the donkey and sumo fighting (well why not?).

There are things that people never tell you as you grow up. Things that you believe will change in your life once you reach your 30′s. We’ll I’m here to straighten you out. Lets examine some of the most popular myths namely; It all makes sense, your money troubles are behind you, you can handle your drink, you have found Mr/Mrs Right and you will be married with children and nice big house. Time to shatter some myths.

It all makes sense

Yeah right. I don't actually think you every reach an age when everything in life makes sense. Certainly wisdom comes with age but absolute understand doesn't. I know my mind better now than  I ever did. I know what is important to me and what is not. Yet every day things happen which I don't fully understand. I still manage to get into situations that i don't really know how I got into.

Money troubles are behind you

For some people this maybe true but for most people I know money is just as much of a worry as it has always been. Generally you do tend to have more money than before likewise you also tend to have more outgoings such as rent, bills, debts and all the other costs of the trappings of modern life. What tends to happen is most people live beyond their means, we all want shiny new stuff.

You can handle you drink

By the time you hit thirty you have usually knocked back all manor of stranger shooters, funny coloured cocktails, fine wines, cheap wines, things which shouldn't even be called wine and a whole assortment of liquids which have made you swear "never again" come the next morning. Out of this haze of learning comes a fine selection of a alcohol which falls into either the stuff you like and stuff you avoid. However every now and then things sneak under the radar and once more you swear "never again" come the next morning.

You have found Mr/Mrs Right

This is true for a large number of people. A large number of my friends have settled down or they are in long term relationships. However for those people who are still single in their thirties trying to find that special someone becomes much harder. You don't tend to go out so much and random hookups in nightclubs are pretty much a thing of the past. Instead you are limited to your social groups, be it friends, friends of friends or the people you work with. Also by thirty you are old enough to have been married and have children and then divorced. Not a great situation to find yourself in. On the upside by thirty you have pretty much worked out what you look for in a partner so at least you know what you are looking for even if you can't find it.

You will be married with children and a nice big house

For many of us our parents had managed this by their thirties yet we find ourselves struggling to meet the rent on some little pit from hell let alone a house and kids. It seems that it is just not as easy as our parents made it look. As Catherinette Singleton puts it on her blog "When I was younger I would have sworn on anything that I’d be married with kids by the time I was 25. When I was 25, I was convinced that it would happen by the time I was 30. At 30, I was thinking maybe 33 would be for me. Now at 33, I’m thinking that maybe 40 will work out. Wonder at which point one stops hoping for this?"

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