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Monday, January 17, 2011

Thirty Before Thirty

"The world is full of people will go their whole lives and
not actually live one day.
She did not intend on being one of them."

I can hardly believe it but 30 is practically around the corner.... by that I mean, a year and half away. For some time now, I have been eagerly anticipating my 30th year. I have no idea why but I have this immense wonder about who I will be and what my life will look like when I reach this milestone. I have been contemplating what I would want to do between now and then in order to mark the occasion. I met a new friend Gracie who told me about a bucket list she made which contained the 30 things she wanted to do before her 30th birthday. I tend to avoid making lists about my life or creating a five year plan because I never wanted to be limited by "the plan" but this seemed more like an articulation of the many things that have been swirling around in my "want to dos" for some time so I figured it was finally time to write them down and explore them. I have been working on my list for a bit and think I have it perfected but I am withholding the right to amend as life introduces new journeys.

As I was sharing this idea with my friends Justin and Morgan, we realized we had some of the same bucket list items so I invite along anyone who wants to partake in the adventure.

30 Things Before 30

1. Get up earlier. I love to take my time in the morning... get in a workout, have a little coffee, watch the news, and read. I just like to have a space to do my thing before the busy of the day begins.

2. Enjoy more live music. This is probably one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy music at raunchy old bars, at a quiet table in a classy place, or somewhere infectious that just makes you want to dance. My friends in college used to tease me because I would randomly be dancing when I heard a beat... "oh, never miss a beat!". I want more of it in my life. 

Dwayne and I tearing it up on the dance floor!
Sweating like crazy and trying to keep my dress up

3. Carve out more time for friends. I do not like to spend time with people when it is rushed so often when I am home I tend to see only a few people because I want to really be able to give my attention to them. This year, I rented a condo for a week and invited all sorts of people to come and go as they pleased. It worked beautifully and I got to spend quality time with people I had not connected with in a while. I also committed more time with one of my favorite families, The Rodriguez clan, and spent the night over the holiday. We did not have any big agenda, except Santa cookies, but this ranks high in my best experiences. I'm continuing the trend all the way to 30 and beyond.

4. Go to an education conference that engages me the way the classroom does. I attended the Leadership Educators Institute this year and adored it. I felt enriched and renewed in my practice as an educator.

5. Have long dinners full of conversation. If you have ever been out to eat with me, it is rarely short. I hate to rush and enjoy the fellowship and conversation. I learned how fulfilling this is for me when I lived in DC and my friend Kathryn and I would go to supper for hours and would chat about this most unique things with great depth. I appreciate this time with people.

State Department with Kath

6. Be less busy and more present. I wrote a whole blog on this, What I Know Now.

7. Have a creative outlet. Blogging is a fun adventure for me because it is my creative outlet. Sometimes I feel vulnerable and other times I am just sharing a yummy recipe or book I read. There is something special in putting your thoughts out there for other people to devour. I think a lot about my posts- What will they think? Am I ready to say it? Mostly I just own that this is for me and hope that others can appreciate it too.

Pop Rock Candy!
8. Spend more time being a tourist in my own town. When you live somewhere it is easy to pass up all that a place has to offer. We often frequent the restaurants but rarely do we appreciate what is unique or fun about where we live and the people who are our neighbors.

9. Start saving for that cottage house on the lake. Growing up, the lake was my solitude and water still does that for me. I love to share it with others by having a house full of people. I often steal those quiet moments in the early morning where the water is still and the birds are awakening. I will probably still be renting an apartment but have a great house on the lake to escape to and I am totally okay with that.

10. Stay out until the sun comes up. My favorite band, Sister Hazel, has a great album called Chasing Daylight. Every song embodies the exploration of life. It generated from their friends who watched the sun set on one coast of Florida and rise on the other. I'm not sure that will be my adventure but I would love that moment in time where you lose all track and before you know it, it is a new day.

11. Spend more time being quiet. For the longest time I could not sleep at night because a thousand things were running through my mind and then one day it dawned on me, going to bed was the only time in the day where I was not distracted by other things and I could actually here my own thoughts. I require quiet space.

12. Continue taking the right next step. I do not have a five or ten year plan and I like it that way.

13. Buy a red peacot.
14. Go to a yoga retreat. (Morgan... hint, hint!)

15. Read Jane Austen's collected works.

16. Take a cake decorating class.

17. Pay off my credit card and car. I have seriously low debt but I would like it to be gone by 30.

18. Read Atlas Shrugged. I have owned this book forever but it kind of intimidates me so it is time to just devour it.

19. Decorate my Christmas tree in my own style. I was inspired by my wrapping paper this year and bought new bulbs! All jewel tones with red accents, its going to be gorgeous!

20. Find the perfect pair of jeans.

21. Be in a Book Club. I love to read but I love even more having an outlet to discuss it and garner opinions from others.

22. Take a creative writing class.

23. Apply to PhD programs. Yikes!

24. Explore moving closer to family or living somewhere that is more easily accessible.

25. Take better care of my body and stabilize my weight. I really let my time in grad school reek havoc on my health. I did discover because of it that I have a slight insulin issue which I am now working very hard to get under control.

26. Have a reunion with my Chi Omega pledge class.

27. Have a subscription to the local theater. I have been enjoying shows all year long! Luckily, my friend Kerri also wanted to indulge in this so it is great to be able to have the experience together. I fondly refer to her as my "arts buddy" because she shares the same appetite for theater and live music.

28. Get rid of excess stuff. Too much stuff makes me feel suffocated. I have been seriously cleaning and getting rid of stuff that I have been hanging on to forever. Why do we think we need so many things? I'm not sure but I'm downsizing so I can actually live in my space vs. having stuff filling it up.

29. Redecorate my bedroom and with this beauty of a bed from Crate and Barrell. I want my room to be simple and classy.

30. Celebrate 30 in Greece! Anyone is welcome to come along!

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