A Look at The List: 30 Before 30

10 Nov

Today is my birthday. At 8:45 pm I turned 28 years old to the day, because I was born on a Thursday. A grey and overcast Thursday, according to my mother, because it was her favorite weather. What does it say about me that I prefer the hot Summer sun?

Anyway, since this blog is a new endeavor, I thought that my birthday would be a very apropos time to talk about my most visited page to date: my 30 before 30 list. I made this list a little bit after my 27th birthday. A bucket list was too ambiguous – I procrastinate if I don’t have a timeline, so I thought I’d make a list for each decade until I kick the bucket. It’s more fun that way, because I thrive under the pressure of a deadline.

I’ve made decent progress on my list over the last almost-year, with five out of thirty down. It’s definitely a wake up call though, I’m 28 years old! In my head I’m still 22, and I’ve only two years to get twenty-five significant things done! Over the next few posts I want to show off, brag, detail the progress I’ve made – the adventures I’ve had – with The List prior to the incarnation of this blog. But in the meantime, I wanted to go into the thought that went behind each item not yet accomplished on The List, the serious and the frivolous. And at the end I want to know: what would you put on your bucket list?

#1 – Wear Sunscreen
Baz Luhrmann remix aside, it makes good sense. (And I did “understand the power and beauty of my youth before it fades,” only all too well.) I grew up on SoCal beaches, running around in 100+ degree weather in jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt. Sunscreen was the stuff that slowed you down between getting out of the car and into the waves. As a Northern California teenager, sunscreen was the stuff that got in the way of you and a really great tan on the days it managed to get over 90°. Thus, I’ve never had much use for sunscreen, regardless of whether I was spending a day in the sun or, heaven forbid, as a daily application. But even I recognize that I don’t want to enter my fifties looking like a crocodile handbag, so I’ve got to get this sunscreen thing under control. Good genes and great skin will only last you so long in life.

#2 – Learn to Make Sushi
Aaron and I love Sushi. When I visited Japan the first time, my host family my roommate and I made hand rolls together, with all the ingredients laid out on a lazy susan (including fillet of hot dog, because that’s what they thought Americans ate). I want to learn to make sushi. To cut the fish correctly, to make the sticky rice…I know it will be a process, but to know how to make one of the world’s perfect foods? Worth the effort.

#3 – Teach Myself Guitar
Because I’m a smart cookie who has been largely self-taught in everything I’ve ever enjoyed, and I always wanted to be That Girl. Or That Guy.

#4 – (Re) Take Up Yoga
I’ve done yoga. I’ve done pilates. I’ve loved both, but like most things fitness I’ve taken up over the years, neither lasted long. But I remember how good my back felt on pilates, how centered my mind felt on yoga. When I first made my list, I wanted to re-take up yoga to get back those good feelings I remember. Now I want to take it up because I know it will benefit my joints as I keep working on being a runner. So it’s a win all around.

#5 – Take a Dance Class With Aaron
This one came with husband approval. Well, they all did really. We are a team after all. 😉 When A saw this one his first question was, “What kind of dance class?” (This was right after our very brief Dancing with the Stars Phase. We both loved Cheryl and Mark.) “Whatever kind you’d be most excited about, honey,” I replied. “That’s cool,” said he. And so it went on The List.

#6 – Get Back to a Healthy BMI
I was a healthy weight most of my life without even trying. I was curvy, don’t get me wrong, but I had an active lifestyle and active jobs, or lived in a city that required a lot of walking, so weight wasnt something I worried about. Until I took a desk job and gained 50 pounds. Not ever having to focus on exercise before, I’ve had to learn how to take care of myself and find a balance between nutrition and exercise. It’s gotten to the point where good friends of mine have never known me as the slender bombshell that I was, and believe I can be again. In the next two years – before I start a family, hopefully – I want to get back to a healthy weight so that I can have the fullest possible life with my future kids and husband.

#7 – Own a Fabulous Pair of Boots
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t wear closed-toed shoes, unless work, workouts, or extenuating circumstances requires it. One of my high school kids commented last year that they didn’t think they’d ever seen me in a pair of closed-toed shoes when I showed up to a Daybreak Camp workday in knock-off Converse. That was a win, in my book. However, as my dear friend Sweet Glitterati points out, there are many, many cute fall/winter outfits that just will not work unless you wear boots. Plus, when I was a baby living at Grandma’s I had a pair rockin’ cowboy boots that were calf high red leather with black lacing and pointed toes and modest heels. They’re not the fabulous pair of boots I’m looking to own (I want something closer to the knee), but if I ever see a pair in my size (8.5, in case you were wondering) that look like the pair I worked as a kid I will buy them, sight unseen. Just sayin’.

#8 – Done! Post to come.

#9 – Finally get my wedding album and wedding pictures for the house.
It’s ridiculous how long this has taken us! We’ve been married for over five years now, if I can’t get this done by the time I’m 30 there’s something seriously wrong with me.

#10 – Dye my hair the unnatural shades I’ve always wanted.
I’ve wanted to do this since I was in high school. Back then I was afraid to kill my hair with bleach. Now, I’m just waiting for the right time where I don’t have a work-related dress code enforced to get this done. This is the only one dependent on timing outside of my control to get done. We’ll see how this goes…

#11 – Done last May! Post will follow.

#12 – Submit an article for publication in a magazine, online or otherwise.
Might as well try, right?

#13 – Spend a weekend lying on a towel on a Southern California beach.
Northern California beaches – while beautiful – are not the same. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

#14 – Get pregnant.
Well, yes, this is on there, though I feel weird about making even that ambiguous intention public. We figure pregnant by 30 is a good time frame for our little family. Go ahead, mom, mark it your calendar. I know you’ve been waiting to hear “maybe soon” creep into my vocabulary instead of “oh, HECK no!”

#15 – Done! Stay tuned.

#16 – Plant a container garden.
Thanks to the help of my lovely (and crazy) aunt Neety in getting our atrium whipped into shape, I’m hoping to take this one down next Spring! Nothing big, just simple veggies and herbs, anything that will add to my cooking.

#17 – Done! Another upcoming post coming your way.

#18 – Make art for our living room.
We have high ceilings in our living room, which means a lot of wall space. I’ve been reluctant to fill the space over our two ‘talking chairs’ with a wall hanging or other space filler, because I’ve only got about a million ideas for a cool piece of art that I could easily make as soon as I have the time, the funds, and can source supplies. I’m a crafty girl with artistic aspirations, and I pulled out some great sketches once upon a time, why shouldn’t I wait and make something myself? If David Bromstad can do it…

#19 – Go back to school.
I love my job, love love love it. But I want to teach high school, and I need a certificate for that.

#20 – Own and ride a bike with a basket and a bell.
This one definitely falls under the ‘whimsical’ category. I have a vision of me coasting down the road on a clear Summer’s day on my cruiser bike, wearing a vintage polka dot dress with a scarf in my hair. There are veggies from the local farmers market in side basket and Logan riding shotgun in a handlebar basket. In my mind, that’s the good life.

#21 – Go on a wine tasting trip.
I’ve never gone! I’m twenty-eight years old, live within driving distance of some of the best wineries in California, and I’ve never gone. Ideally this one would be accompanied by a rented limo and a few great friends, but I’ll take anything that takes at least an hour to drive to and includes a great meal while we’re there.

#22 – Plan a vacation with my husband’s fun in mind first.
Aaron is so good at planning vacations, I want to plan one for us to go on that captures the interests he has that he would never ask to indulge in if he were planning a vacation with my pleasure in mind.

#23 – Done again! Man, I’m on a roll!

#24 – Go to Disneyland while the Haunted Mansion is Nightmare Before Christmas.
One of my favorite places on earth starts honoring one of my favorite movies ever after I move out of Southern California. So unfair. The only drawback to this plan is the Haunted Mansion is my absolute favorite Disneyland ride, so I won’t be able to experience that while I’m there. Too bad I can’t have my cake, and eat it.

#25 – Redecorate our bedroom.
We bought a kitchey-cute townhouse in 2009, and spent a lot of time and money painting, decorating, and nesting. I got the living room. kitchen and guest room/yarn room totally done (except the art that’s #18 on this list), did a little bit with the loft upstairs, but kind of ran out of steam half way through and have done next to nothing with our bedroom. I want to make it a restful oasis, like walking into a high-end hotel. I want to make it into our quiet retreat for the end of the night. I think I can do it, but again it’s waiting for me to have the time, the money, and the resources to get it done.

#26 – Sew myself a dress.
I sew. Ish. I’ve made myself a skirt, and done tons of hand sewing. And I have a gorgeous sewing machine sitting upstairs just waiting for me to go for it. In my mind I will have learned how to use my sewing machine when I can sew myself a dress.  Plus I love being able to say “I made it myself!” when people compliment me on something I’m wearing.

#27 – Read all of C.S. Lewis’s great works: The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, The Screwtape Letters (reread),The Great Divorce, The Four Loves.
Why not? He’s brilliant, one of the greatest minds of our time. I’ve started a few of his books over the years, but never finished one, so I figure it’s about time.

#28 – Finish reading House of Leaves.
This book is my Everest. I actually have two copies; one is pristine, just for reading, the other covered with notes as I attempted to keep track of this strange, twisty turney mental maze of a book. I pick it up every few years and give it a go, but I’ve not yet made it all the way through. I’ve actually own two Danielewski novels, neither of which I’ve finished. House of Leaves definitely wins the award for most convoluted over Only Revolutions, which is why it’s my Everest. I’d try and explain the complexity of this novel, but it’s one of those things you have to see to understand. When I tackle this one again, it will be with multiple bookmarks and a Moleskine notebook.

#29 – Go on a road trip.
I’ve talked about doing it since high school, but never gone on a real road trip. By which I mean going more than one place by car, all destinations fairly far away from each other. As of now I have do destination in mind, so we’ll have to see where this one goes.

#30 – Encourage and support Aaron in all his goals, dreams, and aspirations.
This one is really the only one on the list that I won’t be able to judge. This is more of a goal for how I want to live, the kind of wife I want to be. This is about making daily choices to build good habits of support and encouragement into my marriage. When I get close to my thirtieth birthday, I’ll ask Aaron if I’ve succeeded, and hopefully be able to cross it off the list.

So that’s The List! Now I want to know: what crazy thing would you put on your bucket list?

2 Responses to “A Look at The List: 30 Before 30”


  1. #15 Complete – Second Dog Adopted! « Bigger in Real Life - November 14, 2011

    […] As promised,  I bring you a series of posts about all the things that were crossed off my list before this blog existed. […]

  2. #23 Complete – I Love My Job! « Bigger in Real Life - November 18, 2011

    […] continue with our series of posts about at the things that were crossed off my list before this blog […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: