10 In Living

20 reasons why turning 36 is awesome

Oh F@#% I'm turning 36

If you’ve ended up here you’re probably on the search for some inspiration to help ease a number of crisis’ you may be having triggered by your impending 36th birthday.

Well, have I got good news for you!

Life only gets better as your 30’s progresses so stop freaking out, stop entertaining thoughts that life is over, stop telling yourself that the best years have gone, that you should have done so much more by now, blah blah blah, for your life isn’t over AND in all seriousness, your best years are still ahead!

From personal experience, life in my 30’s has turned out to be a lot better than expected. Actually, I’d go as far as to state it’s been fucking awesome! It’s certainly been a hell of a lot better than my teenage years and twenties!

This post – 20 reasons why turning 36 is awesome – was written just prior to my 36th birthday, and I’ll fess up and say that true to every word I wrote, life is still fabulous (and chock full of learnings!).

Here’s 20 reasons why turning 36 is awesome!

20 reasons why turning 36 is awesome

1. Confidence

Confidence is the bomb. Confidence is sexy. Confidence is also liberating.

At the age of 36 I feel more and more confident each and every day (okay, I still have small periods of anxiety). I also walk taller and I back myself and not doubting myself. It feels AMAZING to finally feel confident about how I look, what I think, who I am, what I do and what I want to do. It’s also liberating to have the confidence to do and say and wear whatever the hell I want! I just wish I’d gained it sooner.

2. Clarity

Gaining clarity in your life in ANY area is clearly awesome!

I may never be totally clear on what I am doing or what the future holds for me, but I am so much clearer on what my priorities are at least! Health, love, family, happiness, creativity, and having time to smell the roses – these ARE my priorities. I may occasionally forget… but they are definitely so much more of a focus now, ensuring that I am actually looking after myself these days and am a hell of a lot happier than I was:)

I’m also a lot clearer on what I don’t want anymore, which makes it so much easier to actually say no to things. I no longer say yes to every opportunity delivered my way, and it’s one of the best things I have ever done.

3. Developing your true sense of style

I must admit that I never really had any sense of style until I hit my 30’s…These days I’m more playful and experimental with my personal style. I’m really enjoying mixing things up – a dash of 1950’s glamour here, some funky dresses there, differing hair styles and shades of red (because I do need to colour it these days – one of the cons about turning 36).

4. The benefit of hindsight

I actually never expected this to happen, but I now look back at my teenage years with both distance and fondness. Distance in the form of decades really helps to make things so much less cringeworthy, or, at least, bearable! I also highly recommend attending your high school reunion – after years of suffering from high school trauma and angst, I finally grew some balls and went to my 20th high school reunion and found it to be therapeutic and not-so traumatising! I even saw my old high school crush AND had fun. Ha. If you’d asked me that 5 years – or even 2 years ago – I would have laughed!

5. Life is all about the little things

It really is the little things that count. A good coffee. A glass of wine. A nice perfume. Sunshine on a cloudy day. Pretty, colourful clouds. A cozy blanket. A hot shower. Hugging your fur-child and partner on the couch. Food…my list can go on…these days life is all about the simple things in life.

It really is the little things that count. A good coffee. A glass of wine. A nice perfume. Sunshine on a cloudy day. Pretty, colourful clouds. A cozy blanket. A hot shower. Hugging your fur-child and partner on the couch. Food...my list can go on...these days life is all about the simple things in life.

6. 36 is the new 26

The other day I got asked if I still lived at home. Yeah, I do still feel like – and apparently look like – I’m 26 (aside from the white hairs and aches and pains).

7. Resilience +

Yes, I still have my moments, but I am definitely so much more resilient these days. I continue to amaze myself at how much stronger I am. I also amaze others, which is an added bonus!

8. Rediscovery

I love nothing better than rediscovering old music, movies, TV shows, photos, technology, style and fads from ‘back in the day’. It’s so much fun to sit and reminisce by cranking out the old tunes, drinking a few wines over old photos, taking the piss out of your old style (or lack thereof), singing songs, and, best of all, laughing.

9. Belly laughs

Which brings me to belly laughs. There is nothing better than a big, guttural, belly laugh. I’ve always been a big laugher (okay – LOUD), but these days the belly laughs come so much easier! They are one of the best things ever! And it’s true what they say that life is better when you’re laughing:)

10. Sleep is a gift

Be it kids, work, health, stress, there is no better relief than a quality nights sleep, especially when you wake up feeling rested and refreshed the next day ready to take on the world!

11. Honing your palette

By exploring different foods, wines, and more, I am enjoying honing my palette, something that was very sheltered in my first 26 or so years of life. Sure it’s resulted in a few added kilos and an additional dress size, but I’m so much more relaxed these days in what I eat and drink.

*Handy Tip – Pinterest is GREAT for all things food inspo. Check out our Recipes to Do board. I never thought I’d become so domesticated AND enjoy it. I even cook up a storm on the odd occasion I’m allowed in the kitchen.

12. It means a bigger cake

Seriously. Who doesn’t like cake?

For one of my future birthdays I have my heart set on a donut cake. I am salivating as I write… donuts urgrgh.

Who doesn't love donuts?

13. You’re blessed with another day on beautiful Earth

At 36, you’re reminded that life is too short more than needs reminding.

Whether it be by the end of a friendship, the loss of a family member, or the ageing of your body, it all adds up to make the day-to-day shit pale in comparison. Seize the day people, that’s all I really have to say! After being blessed with another year, month and day on Earth, I try to live it to the fullest in dedication to those who had to leave the party way too early. It’s the least I can do.

14. Exploration

I have travelled to places on my bucket list, and other places I had never dreamed of going. I’ve met amazing people, eaten yummy – and not-so-yummy – foods, explored historic sites, seen breathtaking art, and walked in the footsteps of my ancestors. This thought makes me incredibly happy.

15. The sanctity of me-time

There is nothing better these days than a couch day, or even an evening on the couch with a good movie and some chocolate, and I have no shame to admit it. These days I prefer to the comfort of my home over hitting the pubs or clubs… sure, I may seem like a grandma, but hey, I think I’ve done my time in the clubs AND my body thanks me for it.

16. You gain more and more life experience

It’s a given. You have notched up 36 years of life experience. Nothing can replace that! 36 years of life experience also provides you with a lot of fodder and advice to be shared with others. Do your best to give back and become a mentor, share some words of wisdom, write something. Just don’t be preachy!

17. Contentment is no longer terrifying

Hmmm! I never saw this one coming! The mere mention of the ‘C’ word  used to strike the fear of god in me, but the realisation that has recently struck me is that I love it! I love my home, I love my dog, I love my relationship with my man and my family. I like my hometown, something I spent what seems like a lifetime trying to escape. I’m also more than happy with the small things in life, those little things that help make me content. A good book, a hot coffee or a glass or red wine.

Contentment is no longer a terrifying thought

18. Good friends

The friends you have now are your REAL friends. It’s no longer about being part of the ‘cool’ group. Time is valuable and should be reserved for real people who appreciate you for who you really are and vice versa. If this isn’t happening you need to sit down to have a big think and make some choices about who you should be spending your time and energy on.

19. Ditching the baggage you gained in your first 35 years

By the time you’ve hit 36 you’ve hopefully started to throw out that excess baggage you’ve been towing around (and I’m not talking about those extra kilos you may be towing on your hips and ass). No. It’s time to get rid of the baggage. Where does it get you anyway? We all have baggage but we have a choice as to whether we let it weigh us down or not. I feel so much lighter these days!

20. Developing a sense of self-awareness

Your 30’s is all about developing self-awareness, and this doesn’t stop at age 36. Who you are, what you like and don’t like, who you love, what you want to spend your time doing, your career, your sense of style, your confidence, what makes you tick, why you are who you are… there is something beautiful about gaining self-awareness, and it’s important not to stop!


Need further convincing that life in your 30’s isn’t that bad?

Check out:

30 Reasons Why Your 30’s Rock 

37 Reasons Why I’m Celebrating Turning 37

38 Things I’ve Learned in 38 Years

Want more like this? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter!

  • MuMuGB
    August 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Well, I can confirm that 40 is the new 30. The only downsides of growing older are:
    – you might have to dye your hair
    – you put in weight a lot more easily
    – you might need glasses
    Otherwise, it only gets better.

  • Amanda
    September 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    What a beautiful list! I’m nearing the big 3 – 0 and I’m actually not stressing about it. Compared to the me I was in my early twenties, I feel so much more comfortable in my skin, in who I am and where I want to be. It’s reassuring to know that it only gets better! 🙂

  • Adriene
    April 1, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Happy birthday in advance! Indeed the 30s rock, enjoy them to the fullest. And it only gets better. 🙂

  • 37 Reasons Why I'm Celebrating Turning 37 | Janine Ripper, Reflections from a Redhead
    October 22, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    […] Regardless, as tradition states – or rather, the tradition I have set myself since the age of 34 – here is my annual list, which this year is 37 reasons why I am celebrating turning 37 – and do bare with me, it’s gonna be long. (Check out the list I made when I turned 36!). […]

  • 38 Things I've Learned in 38 Years
    December 1, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    […] 36 Reasons Why Turning 36 Rocks […]

  • Growing old doesn't have to make you bitter - Reflections from a Redhead
    March 26, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    […] 36 Reasons Why Turning 36 Rocks […]

  • 30 reasons why turning 30 rocks - Reflections from a Red Head
    March 27, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    […] 36 Reasons Why Turning 36 Rocks […]

  • Turning 38 - 38 Things I've Learned in 38 Years
    June 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    […] So You’re Turning 36 […]

  • Anna Sofia
    June 26, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Thank you… Very nice article 🙂

    • Janine Ripper
      June 28, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Glad you liked it Anna. Have a wonderful week!

    %d bloggers like this: