Here’s something you probably don’t know about me: I will turn 30 before 2012 is out. In all honesty, I don’t mind the idea of getting older. I’ve felt older than I am for a lot of years, so I’m excited to cross over into a new decade. Plus there’s really nothing particularly significant that will be different between the day before I turn 30 and the day after—chronologically, I will be two days older, and that happens a few times every week.
But. (There’s always a but in these conversations, right?)
But, when I stop and consider the larger significance of it—that, in all likelihood, somewhere in the vicinity of 1/3 of my life is behind me—I start to feel a bit of panic. Have I seen enough, done enough, lived enough, etc? Now, I know that there’s absolutely nothing I can do about the past, but it makes me feel an even stronger desire to make sure that what comes next falls under the category of “life lived to its fullest” instead of “just another day/month/year.”
So, to help me with that, I’ve stolen an idea I’ve seen on two of my favoritest blogs (with the recognition that many others have done, are doing, or will do this or something similar): a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30 in November. I’ve actually been working on this list for a while now (and adding to it—because coming up with 30 realistic things is really HARD), so some of these things have already been completed (go me!)—and you may even recognize some of them.
Here’s my list:
Start a blog. Well, lookie here. This is a very Adaptation kind of meta-moment.
2. Train for a half marathon.
3. Finish organizing my DVDs.
Learn to like kale. Booyah!
Doctor Zhivago, Anna Karenina, and Crime and Punishment.
Get all my old papers and projects from high school off the diskettes that have been hiding in my desk for over a decade and save them to my hard drive . Done.
8. Get back to eating (mostly) vegan.
9. Save up to buy an enormous iMac as a 30th birthday present to myself.
10. Finish the rough draft of my book.
11. Go on a road trip through New England.
12. Start walking home from work regularly.
13. Reach out to 5 old friends with whom I’ve lost touch.
14. Build up my freelance writing portfolio.
15. Send each of my grandparents a hand-written letter every two months.
16. Take more pictures.
17. Clean up my iTunes library.
18. Get my finances in order.
Figure out my next life step. Done, with a future post planned.
20. Buy a house.
21. Start a regular practice of brushing my kitty cat’s teeth.
22. Go to a conference for work.
23. Go to the Newseum.
24. Finish framing and hanging my (long-planned and partially completed) gallery wall.
25. Clean off the floor of my closet and the top of my dresser, and keep them organized.
26. Slim down and strengthen up. For good.
27. Talk to someone in the kitchenette at work every day (I’m shy and I work in a place with lots of other introverts, so this is harder than it sounds.)
28. Visit my peeps in NYC. It’s been far too long.
29. Do yoga 3 times a week. (Doesn’t matter if it’s 3 minutes or 90. Just do it.)
30. Go to the doctor for a check-up.
So there you have it: my 30 before 30 list. I am trying my hardest to get all this done, but I’m not into mentally flogging myself if I haven’t crossed off every single thing by my 30th birthday. As such, I’m actually calling this my ’30 before Thirty (and beyond)’ list. Why? Because I want to. And because this list is less about turning thirty than it is about using turning thirty as an excuse to get my act together and live the life I want. Because that’s a good idea at any age!