Milestone Markers

Why hitting the Big 3-O is such a landmark
by Jane Costello


In some ways, turning 30 shouldn’t feel all that different from turning 28 or 29. But it does.

It’s not just that we’re hard-wired to reflect on life every time we reach a birthday that ends in a 0. It’s that 30, for women in particular, inevitably feels like a turning point.

Even if you’re relishing the prospect of being a thirty-something (and you should), seeing out your twenties can feel like waving off a fun-loving and occasionally reckless friend, one who works too hard, socializes like its an Olympic sport, and is surrounded by good friends, bad men and excellent shoes.

It’s at about this age that, for the first time in life, you dare to start thinking in terms of a husband, rather than simply a boyfriend. And the issue of whether you’ll have children becomes a question not exclusively asked by nosy great aunts.

Increasingly though, it’s not only about those fundamentals, marriage and kids. We are the Have-It-All Generation and with all as the benchmark, it feels a bit neglectful not to throw in aspirations that go beyond procreation.


It was with that in mind that I wrote my latest novel, The Wish List, about a woman who discovers a set of hopes and dreams she’d written down aged 15 and – with six months before her 30th birthday – decides to finally tackle them.

In my heroine Emma’s case, there is everything from learning to play the guitar to seeing the Northern Lights and sleeping under the stars.

But I suspect everyone’s got their own list, even if it’s tucked away deep inside our subconscious. And if you happen to be approaching one of those big, milestone birthdays, now could be a good time to dig it out . . .

The Wish List, published by Simon & Schuster, is Jane Costello’s sixth novel. She writes for newspapers and magazines including Marie Claire, The Sunday Telegraph, Bella and the Daily Mail.

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One Response to Milestone Markers

  1. I’m keen to read this book 🙂 An old friend of mine recently sent me a list of ‘things to do before I die’ which I’d written at her house when we were teenagers, and she found it after all these years! Great idea for a novel 🙂

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