My 30th birthday is not right around the corner yet, but it is approaching at a fast enough rate that I think about it a lot. For the record, I will enter that third decade of life on September 10, 2014. So close, yet so far.
Anyway, I’m a goal-oriented person who thrives on motivation (and a little competition with myself). I decided to make a list of 30 things to do before I turn 30 to keep life interesting and maybe not dwell on the negative aspects of aging so much. The items I chose are things that actually matter to me, so there is no filler or anything random. I made that mistake however-long-ago when I created a 101 Things in 1001 Days list that was, well, stupid. Pointless goals are pointless, no?
This list is still a work in progress, so I may still add and subtract, but it’s a good starting place. If you have a similar list, I’d love to see it!
1. Have a baby. Pretty self-explanatory.
2. Learn to change the oil in my car. I am a stereotype of the gal who has no idea how to do anything on her car except fuel up, call AAA, or pay Jiffy Lube for an oil change. I’d at least like to be able to do the latter on my own.
3. Run a 10K. With two 5Ks under my belt (and a third on the radar), I know my body is ready for more. Let the training begin!
4. Either buy a house or do extensive research on the how/when/where of the process. I’m not sure it would even be possible to afford a house out here in the next two-ish years, but I intend to find out!
5. Write a TV pilot. Mr. X and I have one in mind that just needs to be committed to paper.
6. Make friends with my sewing machine. It intimidates me, and I plan to conquer it.
7. Find a regular volunteer position. Even though I work for a nonprofit, I miss being actively involved in my community. Plus, it would be a great way to make friends.
8. Audition for something — anything! I miss acting a ton, too. I’ve henceforth been too busy/intimidated to audition for plays here in LA, but that must change.
9. Grow my own herbs. I have been wanting to do this all year, but my apartment isn’t well set-up for it, so it will require some creativity. No more excuses, though.
10. Apply for graduate school. I have picked a program and a school. I need to get some prerequisites done and take the GRE. Gulp.
11. Take a surfing lesson. I don’t need to become a surfer, but I would love to take a lesson. I live in LA, for goodness’ sake!
12. Upgrade my wardrobe. Aside from hating everything I own lately, I’m also painfully aware that my wardrobe is that of a college student, with a few professional pieces thrown in here and there. By 30, I want to look like a real adult.
13. Take a cake-decorating class. I love to bake, but my stuff never looks pretty. I’d love to change that.
14. Hike up to the Hollywood sign. What a quintessential experience in my new homeland. Plus, I don’t think I’d have to twist too hard to get Mr. X to come with me.
15. Try out three churches in LA. I miss my All Souls spiritual home and would love to have something similar here. I doubt I will feel the same connection to a new place, but I’ll never know until I try.
16. Go camping. I always say I hate it, but truthfully, I’ve done it one time when I was 12, and it was at Keystone Lake (not exactly my favorite place in the world). I think it’s time to try again.
17. Make a dent in my debt. I know I can’t get it all paid off in the next two years and two months, but I’d like to get on a good path.
18. Make a wedding time capsule. I meant to do this right after the wedding, but I still haven’t. I figure as long as it’s complete within the first year of marriage, it totally counts.
19. Support my husband’s dream. We have a five-year plan that is contingent upon his level of success in the industry. I want to do everything I can to enable his ability to conquer this town, because he certainly has the chops.
20. Teach someone (other than my husband) to do something I love. It most certainly does not have to be for money. One of my fondest memories is of being a winter camp counselor at the same place I had led a summer group just a few months earlier. One of the campers asked if I remembered her, and I said, “of course!” She showed me the braid in her hair and said that she learned to do it from me. I have such a strong memory of teaching that 6-year-old how to braid, but it didn’t occur to me at the time that it would be something she’d remember even four months later. It was such a small triumph, but it has stayed with me over the past eight years.
21. Submit an article for publication. I don’t care if it gets rejected. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’ve even picked a pen name, since my employer is apparently not too terribly keen on employees doing freelance work.
22. Complete a project for Craft Hope. I always want to dive into every project, and I’ve yet to do a single one.
23. Join a wine club. We love wine and spent our honeymoon up in Sonoma. It would be so much fun to be wine-club members at one of the places we loved the most from up there.
24. Do something that scares me — because it scares me. This one is vague but important. The day we stop doing things that cause trepidation is the day we stagnate.
25. See a waterfall. Apparently there are tons in California!
26. Become more assertive at work. I find that I’m actually becoming more introverted as I age, and while that’s not an inherent problem, it’s led to me not being willing to speak up for myself sometimes when I really should, especially when the issue is job-related.
27. Get into a workout routine. I’m the queen of getting really into something for about a month and then abandoning it totally, only to gain back every ounce I lost. Keeping in good shape only gets harder with age, so my 20s are the time to establish a routine.
28. Set up a cleaning schedule — and stick to it. I hate, hate cleaning, and so does my husband. It’s a bad combination. However, while being sloppy is somewhat excusable as a youngin’, it’s far from OK in adulthood. It’s time to grow up.
29. Let go. I have a long memory and a tendency to hold grudges. It’s not good for my health.
30. Carve out time for my passions. Between being broke and tired, I have lost sight of the importance of doing the things I love. I’m ready to turn things around.
So that’s my list for now. I’m not exactly sure how I will start tackling things, but I’m ready. Please share anything that was/is/would be on your list!