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30 before 30

October 13, 2011

Sometimes i wish I would have made a 30 before 30 list at age 20. It could have been full of such huge accomplishments and life steps. Graduate college, get my first job, live abroad, travel to europe, fall in love, travel to Asia, travel to NYC, get married, buy a new car with cash, get a M.S. degree, walk on a glacier, save 100k in retirement, ride an elephant in Thailand, run a marathon, climb a mountain, etc., etc., etc.  (<— some  awesome things I’ve done)

There are some things I wouldn’t even have thought to dream of when I was 20. I expected to move away from home, but I don’t think I ever expected to live in California.  I certainly didn’t expect to live so close to the ocean that I could (at least sometimes) hear seals barking in the early morning. I probably had other dreams that are no longer important to me. Plans change, life changes, and sometimes new opportunities I never even thought to dream of pop up.  Ten years is a long time.

There are two things that, when I was younger, I probably wanted by 30 that will be delayed.  First, I want to make a $100k salary by the time I’m 30.  This isn’t totally unreasonable, but I’d have to switch jobs/companies to pull it off.  I’m not sure it is worth that.  There are too many question marks.  The second is to be pregnant. I’m getting closer and closer to feeling ready for this, but I know I won’t be by this time next year.

I turn 29 this month. At this point, a 30 before 30 list would largely consist of things I already (at least loosely) plan to do.  It wouldn’t differ much from my usual yearly goals, it would just have a different start and end time.  So, instead of my usual big yearly goals, I figured I’d just make a list of fun things and smaller things.  No need to make it so overly ambitious. Make it fun, right?

I also won’t consider listing things I already have plans for as cheating.  I won’t list things that take months of preparation, planning, and striving.  I won’t list things that require starting new routines.  That doesn’t mean I have no big goals or plans – they just aren’t part of this particular fun & no-pressure list.  Most of these things I’ve never done before, but a few of them I have!

  1.  Try paddle boarding
  2. Give time (20 hours minimum).  I’m pursing a local charity that I want to get involved with.  If it falls through, I have some other ideas.  I know 20 hours isn’t much, but it is something
  3. Give cold hard cash to this charity.  Maybe others. (Inspiration from series here.)
  4. Get a print of a photo to hang in our apartment
  5. Go to The Moth StorySlam
  6. Get on the Marrow Donor list (inspiration here)
  7. See a Broadway show (on tour in LA)
  8. Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day (not hard in the short winter months!)
  9. Try out sea kayaking
  10. Finish the books on my nightstand (plagiarized goal from Amber)
  11. Get new pillows for our couch.  Seriously hate our current ones!
  12. Make homemade jam (strawberry, probably)
  13. Read then watch Gone With the Wind (my grandma’s favorite)
  14. Visit the MOCA again (with T) – I already went for free while on Jury duty
  15. Get a massage
  16. Climb a mountain, any mountain, even one I’ve done before (hopefully this will be more than one)
  17. Eat vegan for 1 week
  18. Snow shoe!  It has been forever, and I’ve never tried it in Cali
  19. Do yoga on the beach at sunrise – no mat required, can be short, just do it!
  20. Kiss my husband the rain (due to lack of rain around here, this might be the hardest one on the whole list!)
  21. Have a picnic
  22. Go on a real bike ride with T – not a hard one, but not just around the neighborhood
  23. Run home from work (I almost did this last year but, uh, got lost, sort of, took a detour, and quit about 3 miles away and made  T pick me up.  I think it is about 12 miles)
  24. Learn to use the manual settings on my camera (bonus points for learning to create an HDR photo, but that requires software and such)
  25. Get  & wear colored jeans (<– so i can laugh at my foolish self in 5-10 years)
  26. Go outdoor rock climbing (worst case scenario is that I can’t find a way to do this independently & on the cheap and I pay $90 for the REI class)
  27. Make homemade marshmallows & use them in s’mores.  And/or hot chocolate. (I just think it is weird that you can make homemade marshmallows.  Could also make homemade graham crackers!)
  28. ?
  29. ?
  30. ?

Things I considered but didn’t put on the list:

  • Get a grown up hair cut
  • Go on an overnight backpacking trip… alone (!!  I mean, what if  a bear eats me?)
  • Pay my student loan to $9,999 –  the low interest rate makes this NOT the wisest use of our funds.  Plus, the future is a little unknown, and it is just going to be better to have the cash in the bank
  • Travel alone – I’ve basically (though not quite 100%) done this and I can’t think of any shorter (cheaper!) trips I want to do on my own in the next year
  • Hot air balloon ride – too expensive for what it is, even though I have tons of other relatively expensive activities on my list
  • Go to a baseball game – I don’t really like sports or baseball, so I don’t even know why this almost made it on my list

I’m still 3 short.  Anyone have any ideas?  The theme is “relatively easy, but fun and/or adventurous!”

20 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2011 8:31 pm

    I’ve been to a Moth event and it was so much fun! I highly recommend it!

  2. October 13, 2011 9:13 pm

    Do you have a local alumni association chapter? Perhaps get involved with it? Become a mentor to another young person, perhaps someone in college or even high school? Have you ever hosted a dinner party? I need to make my own list…

    • October 14, 2011 9:34 pm

      Hosting a dinner party sort of terrifies me. I like having people over for snacks/drinks, and i like cooking for me and husband, but the thought of cooking for others? Too worried. I don’t know why! We only have seating for 4, so it would be a small dinner party. So, I’m not sure if it falls in the fun category, because I sort of dread it, but I probably should do it. I think I will add it!

      The charity i want to get involved with is related to mentoring – I’m really excited about it. Not much of an alumni association for my undergrad here, but i could get involved with my grad school one…

  3. Brad permalink
    October 14, 2011 4:46 am

    If those are the actual books on your nightstand, I can’t recommend Anna Karenina enough. Loved that book!

    Fun list…good luck with it!

    • October 14, 2011 9:35 pm

      Yes, they are! I got it used this summer before going to Russia, and it is on my to-read list. I’m glad to hear it will be good – I was worried it would be hard to get through. Classics have that stigma, though usually undeserved!

  4. October 14, 2011 12:15 pm

    I like the grown-up hair cut idea (not that I actually did that before I turned 30…). It’s something that really helps other people treat you as more mature and respectable, and I hope someday I’ll get it right. 🙂

    • October 14, 2011 9:35 pm

      I know… I just don’t WANT to yet. 🙂 i am (sort of…) trying to pull it back more often to give a more mature appearance, but I still look pretty youthful. when did you get your grown up cut?

  5. October 14, 2011 1:05 pm

    How about take a class in something that is not related to career or something outside your comfort zone, whatever that is?

  6. Kristen permalink
    October 14, 2011 6:56 pm

    You could put on your list: send someone flowers or a handwritten note in the mail, plant a tree, volunteer for Couch surfing, learn how to change oil in a car (or a tire), pay the toll for the person behind you in line at the tollbooth (or pay for a stranger’s groceries?), take silly pictures at a photo booth, make vegan creme brulee during vegan week. I like the idea of hosting a dinner party. I just finished my bucket list, so I’m brimming with ideas! Good luck with your list! :>)

    • October 14, 2011 9:36 pm

      Ooo, I bet I will be able to use at least one of these. Thanks!

  7. jane permalink
    October 14, 2011 7:10 pm

    how bout learning salsa or some other style of professional dance? I also like the hot air balloon idea, it’s on my list.

    • October 14, 2011 9:37 pm

      We did try salsa classes last summer, and… i didn’t like it. I can’t say I actually learned to salsa, but I gave it a shot and it was not so fun. I don’t even know if I could convince my husband to give it another try with me – it was that bad!

  8. October 15, 2011 3:13 am

    I was also thinking hot air balloon ride, but then one of my friends and his wife had to make a crash landing while on one…he fractured his ribs and she broke an arm. So…keep it off your list!

    How about…taking a free polo lesson? Most polo barns offer the first lesson for free! You don’t need any equipment, they provide everything.

    • November 3, 2011 8:38 pm

      I can’t find anything on this in LA, do you know? And is it generally frowned upon to just do the free lesson and not continue? I would think the free lessons are for the… serious customers, not people like me!

  9. October 15, 2011 5:01 am

    What about a cooking class? Sewing class? Language class? Sign up for a sports team?

  10. October 17, 2011 12:00 pm

    I wonder what a grown up hair cut is. I think as long as your still not dying your hair pink, but look well groomed and sophisticated, your red to go!

    Love your list!

  11. Taylor permalink
    October 18, 2011 12:44 pm

    I have some food items I would like to try – snake, alligator, escargot on my list. I also have some animals that I would like to see in their natural habitat – the giant mantas in Yap, Polynesia. Great White sharks (umm..but through the bars of a cage). Penguins. Saw the “Big 5” safari animals, which were on my list. I also have “drive my car to 200,000 miles (it is now 265K). There are a couple of specific dwellings on my list – the Ice Hotel is one. The underwater hotel was one until I realized that I likely would not sleep.

  12. October 19, 2011 2:35 pm

    I wanted to travel abroad and couldn’t find anybody to go with me a few years ago and so I went through this organization: They have a three pronged approach that consists of roughly even amounts of time dedicated to volunteer work, free time to explore, and cultural immersion. It’s not cheap but it was an amazing experience! I went to Lima in 2007 and then to Guatemala through the company in 2010. I’m still in touch with some of the people I met (and the whole program fee plus flight is tax deductible since it’s for charity!).

    Other ideas include singing karaoke, going to the zoo, doing couples yoga (or some other semi-erotic couples experience, though you do already have kissing in the rain…), or hang-gliding.


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