I Took the Wonderland Pill – Come Join Me
My 30th birthday was a big event. We had planned the party for quite some time and I was so incredibly excited. It was going to be a boozy, fun, cocktail-fueled party and given that it was in August, we could have the whole shindig next to our swimming pool in the garden. I felt so grown up and I was excited about turning the big 3-0. My 20’s would finally be behind me. I had planned the party for months. There was no theme, except dress up and have fun.
However, looking back, I do wonder if I should have themed the party along the Alice in Wonderland idea. Because I am pretty sure that I ‘ate’ or ‘drank’ something at that party that propelled me down a rabbit hole into a land I am yet to emerge from. Don’t get me wrong though, if this is life down a rabbit hole I am never coming back – you see, when I hit 30 I entered the land of “I don’t give a fuck.”
So let me explain why I just don’t give a fuck.
Before I hit 30 I was a people pleasing, neurotic, control freak – who did her best each and every day to make sure that everyone liked her and no one hated her. I was careful never to offend people and would apologise for apologising for everything that was or wasn’t my fault. I must have been a frickin’ nightmare to live with (sorry husband).
But something happened the fateful night that I turned 30 – and having spoken to others that inhabit this new world, it seems I am not alone in my theory.
My hypothesis is that the day you turn 30 a magical rabbit from Wonderland creeps into your house and slips something into you food or drink that changes your DNA, and the very next day you suddenly don’t give a fuck – about anything – I mean nothing at all.
Suddenly I have much less tolerance for bullshit, I have no time in my life for time wasters and I spend my days thinking more about the things that will make me and my family happy rather than worrying about what other people think about me or need from me.
Let me give you a few examples.
Fair Weather Friends and Soul Suckers
Everyone has that friend (or even those friends if you are unlucky enough to have more than one) – you know the ones – you look at your phone when they call and think “Oh God – not now…”
Before you jumped down the rabbit hole you would have picked up the phone, listened to the incessant complaining about a life and dramas they have created all by themselves and try to give them sound advice that you know they wont take; all the time knowing they will probably call back again in a few weeks time with the exact same problems. These are the same ‘friends’ that you only hear from when they are having problems, and that never call just to ask how you are. As long as everything is good with you, and you are there for them when they need you that’s fine. Just don’t ever expect them to be the ones that will hand you a tissue when you are crying or in the middle of a shit storm of your own. They are fair weather friends. Soul Sucking Leeches.
After taking the magic 30 pill –I now look at the name as it flashes on my screen and think “hmm, yeah, no. I can’t be bothered today.” I let it ring out, maybe even twice or three times before I can be arsed to pick it up. I have arrived at a time and place in my life where I’ve realised that those 2 hours a day, three times a week that were spent counselling these types of friends was wasted time. Time I would much rather spend with friends or family that enrich my life, rather than suck the joy from it.
This is a big one for me. For 4 years before I turned 30, I spent far too many hours wondering what other mums thought about how I brought up my kids. I worried about how I was judged and how they judged my girls. I would make sure they were always immaculately dressed, perfect hair and matching accessories before we met with any other mummy friends – that way they wouldn’t judge me as a bad mother. At least that is what I thought.
After taking the wonderland pill I realised that actually, those two hours I spent forcing an octopus of a child into a string bag of pretty dresses and sparkly hair clips was entirely futile. The screams and tears that would happen before we left the house were only because she wanted to wear her blue skirt, not the pink dress, and really, why shouldn’t she? What was the point?! Now I realise that they are just kids and in not so many years they will have a million rules and regulations to adhere to, peer pressure to conform to and fit in with. During these early years it means so much more to just let them be. Express their tiny gorgeous personalities. Wear odd socks, odd shoes, or jeans under a tutu. Why the hell not? The poor kids have at least 10 years before they are judged for what they wear and they should enjoy the freedom now while they can.
It is not until other mums take the same pill as you that you realise that we all have the same fears. It is the fear of being judged as parents that makes us so strict with our tiny mini beasts –why should they suffer for our anxieties? Now, I just don’t give a fuck. My girls can wear whatever they want, look as daft as they want and I don’t mind – because in truth I would love to have that freedom again.
Emotional Vampires/ Negative People
Everyone has them. For some people they are friends and for others they may be family. Either way – what is the point in wasting your time on negative people? Before my magical wonderland experience I spent far too many nights worrying about how I could make the negative, nasty, tear-inducing people in my life happy. Wondering how I could change myself (again) to become what it was they wanted of me. Now I realise that they are the ones wasting time in life. I refuse to waste my tears or my emotions on those who insist on living their lives with negativity dictating their every move. I cancel the negative people out of my life and fill my days with people who enrich it, give it meaning and purpose, make me smile and make me realise that anything less is just a waste of time.
Keeping up with the Joneses
Now this is not one I realised I was guilty of until after I hit 30. I think I had been doing this for a lot longer than I care to admit. I think I was even trying to keep up with the Joneses kids when my parents were trying to keep up with the Joneses. Why? Because society tells us to? Because it’s what is expected? Back then it was “Susie likes Take That so I like Take That too”, or “Polly has a pony, I want one too mummy”. Now it’s “Tony has a new car, quick we better upgrade ours.” “Tina has a new handbag, it makes mine look scruffy, maybe I’ll forgo paying that bill for a few weeks and treat myself to a new designer bag instead.”
Fuck that. Life is too short. Do I want a new car? No. Is my old faithful handbag tattered because it’s my favourite and I use it every day? Yes. So why should I have to change it?
I took a wonderful pill on my 30th birthday. This pill opened my eyes and suddenly I decided not to give an actual fuck. Life is far too short to conform. It’s too short not to experience it all exactly how you want to experience it, not how others expect you to experience it. It is too short for emotional vampires and fair weather friends. It’s just too damn short.
For those of you who join me already in Wonderland – Hello, its nice to meet you and may we be lifelong friends. For those of you who are yet to experience this wonderful natural high, I envy you a little. Because you are yet to experience one of the nicest and most liberating experiences of your life and I pray it happens soon. Come join me soon where the grass is greener, the skies are bluer and the people are just a million times happier.