30 Before 30

Have you heard of the “30 Before 30” list? It originally started, according to The Huffington Post, when Glamour magazine posted an article in 1997 detailing the 30 things that all women should do or have before they hit the three-decade mark. It has grown to be so popular that Glamour now has a book about the same topic.

Some of the items to have include:

  • Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
  • A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
  • A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.

Some of the items to know include:

  • That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
  •  That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
  • Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.

The list fascinates me, because on the one hand, it sets out a list of perfectly reasonable aspirations…and on the other, it sets out yet another list of items that we as women either succeed or fail at. I know I failed at a lot of the items (here’s my 30th birthday post from two years ago) and I still feel happy and blessed at 32:

“By 30 you should know…How you feel about having kids.”

NOPE. Didn’t.

“How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.”

Never really did. Now I never will.

“Why they say life begins at 30.”

Still don’t know. I feel like my life starts every day, and I think 40 could be even better than 30.

Check out the list and tell me what YOU think about it. What would you add? Does the list need revamping, since it’s halfway to 30 years old itself?

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  1. says

    I am 43, and my life could not be any more full or satisfying. I was in the best shape of my life at 40…much better than at 30. You are totally right…life begins anew every morning when you wake up. I am not dreading “50” either. I look forward to each new chapter in life. My kids are 7 & 10 and while I love them dearly, I am looking forward to having an “empty nest-moon” as a repeat of our “babymoon”, which was a trip to Europe. Personally, I hate lists like that. Everyone is different and no “30 things” list is going to apply to everyone.

  2. says

    I didn’t know how I felt about having kids before I was 30 either. I only recently (like in the past year and I’m 34) figured it out.

  3. says

    Always enjoyed the “know” part of that list more for the same reason you mentioned, I mean do I really need another lace bra with a screwdriver holder? Really! My friends and I were just laughing about how wicked 40 is going to be since we’ve all gotten so much better with age. Hubbie and I were considered late in life parents by our friends at 28 and 29 but I wanted to wait until I felt like I knew a little something to teach a little someone. Now, at 32, I’m a much better mom than that silly 28 year old!

  4. Gisselle says

    I am close to 30 now and I guess I can say that I am very happy now and contented with my life.. This is very inspiration for all the moms out there.

  5. says

    I remember reading that list when it came out and seeing it a few days ago now that the book is being published. Quite frankly, I think a lot of the advice is rather trite. Why do you only have up until age 30 to know how you feel about kids? Why do I need to have a boyfriend I could see myself going back to? I’m happily married, and it does no justice to my husband to pine after the boys I dated before him. Some of the “knows” are pretty sensible, but common sense, too, if I’m being honest.

  6. says

    I have major issues with Glamour’s list. It made me feel like they don’t think women have come very far since their mag came out. Women know a lot more than their shallow list by the time we’ve reached out mid-twenties.

  7. says

    Since I’m over 40 I’m afraid to read the list. But I will say that 40s has been better than 30s, but that’s because I spent my early 30s in law school.


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