Now I've never been one of those people who fears birthdays. To the contrary, I LOOOOOVE my birthday. I have a policy of no driving myself anywhere and no doing dishes on my special day. It's the only day I make ridiculous demands (like this year I NEED H&H Bagels from New York for breakfast. NEEEEEEEED, people!)...granted, my husband would disagree. Despite the fact that my wedding and subsequent events made me feel self conscious, my birthday is the only day I love being the center of attention.
And this year is the big 3-0. Which is fine with me. I'm kind of excited about it actually. And up until just the other day, it wasn't that big of a deal.
So what happened the other day, I'm sure you wonder. Well I was on the elliptical machine at the gym and I was scanning the eight or so televisions lined up hanging from the ceiling, each broadcasting a different program, and my eyes landed on a commercial. I think it was for an iPhone, but I'm not 100% sure. It portrayed these 20-somethings in different scenarios: on a college campus, in different landmark locations around the world, hanging with friends, at the gym, blah blah blah. And I realized it: I'm not one of them anymore. I've passed that phase of my life.
And it sort of took me to this concept of time, and I spent a few minutes feeling sad, like my opportunity to go after my dreams had passed.
Of course, that's not true. But I feel like I spent my 20's stagnant when I should have been out having adventures and trying new things and being a little more carefree. And then I think about all that I went through in my 20's, all the growth and all the change and, as Jim reminds me, all the adventures I DID have. I mean I traveled to Europe and New Zealand and Hawaii and to all 50 states. I worked for a professional sports team. I got a bachelors degree. I wrote a novel. I got engaged...and broke off a six year relationship with a man I thought was my forever only to find an even better one waiting for me a few years away. I married that better man. I started writing a blog. I started a photography business. I bought a house. I've done a crap-ton of things in the last decade, probably more things than a lot of people my age have done.
But among the things on that list are not: living in another country...or living somewhere else in the US. Publishing a novel. Ceasing to work for my parents. ... ... thinking... ... thinking... ... I guess that's it. I guess those are the major things I haven't accomplished that make me feel like I've accomplished nothing. Wow, I'm kind of a whiner, aren't I?
By the way, I literally just figured that out for myself. See? Writing it down does help you figure out life's problems.
And since we have some more time in today's regularly scheduled program, let's check out my list of 30 things to do before I turn 30 and see how I'm doing with a little over two months to go.
Ok, so I simply copied and pasted the exact list from the "30 things to do before my 30th birthday" page.
1. Try (or create) 30 new recipes
End of Summer Stuffed Squash
Carrot and Fennel Soup
Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
-So excited to finally be a homeowner! Photos to come!
3. Write a(nother) novel
- I'm working on this one. It's about half done, and I'm pretty excited about it. It may be THE one! :)
4. Go to a storage auction (like Storage Wars only I’ve wanted to do this since I was 7 and my friend’s parents brought home a whole crap ton of treasures from one!)
- I still want to do this. I suppose I could call the place where we had out unit from the apartment and see when they do them.
5. Read 30 books
Where we Belong by Emily Giffin - Not her greatest, but still entertaining.
Girl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch - I have never been a fan of SNL and maybe that's why I didn't get this book, but it was really not very entertaining to me. I wouldn't recommend it.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - This book was so hard to get into. The whole first section was a bit confusing, but by the time the second section began, I couldn't put it down.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - I enjoyed this one enough. It was sort of strange, but it kept my attention throughout the whole book. I wanted to know what was going to happen.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - For the seventh time, I adore this book!
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain - It was good..and it was not my favorite at the same time.
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - I enjoyed this book far less than The Forgotten Garden, but it still kept me interested through the end.
Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr - This book was amazingly enlightening. It made me rethink my entire life starting with what I put in my mouth on a daily basis.
Marrying Daisy Bellamy by Susan Wiggs - Susan Wiggs is one of my favorite authors. Her stories are relatable, yet always end happily, which I love.
6. Sell one of my photographs
- I need to try harder here. If I don't put them out there, no one is going to buy them, right?
7. Paint pottery
- This one is just a matter of doing it. There are two pla
8. Create my own signature cocktail
- Again, just need to do it. Get in the bar and mess around with some stuff!
9. Throw a party (in our new house!)
- Technically we threw Jim and 30th birthday party and we had a housewarming party. I guess that counts, but I sure want to throw a really good party still!
10. Learn to be happy with my body
- I'm trying. It's hard, but I'm getting there. Maybe not 100% in two months, but it's a work in progre
11. Revamp my wardrobe (get rid of crap I don’t wear, update my style a tick)
- Began this by getting rid of a ton of clothes, and slowly I'm building it back up with new stuff. It's hard to save money for things like windows and vacations AND build up a new wardrobe, so this is slow going.
12. Figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life
-The neverending challenge for me. I'm getting there, though. Again, slowly. One year was a bit of a small time frame for such a goal.
13. Learn to be happy in Roseville
-Again, getting there. I'm trying to be as involved in town activities and such as I can, and it's helping. It's also helped that we now own a house here instead of just renting. I may never be 100% happy, but I think I can be content here...for the time being.
15. Find my perfect lipstick (inspired by my good friend, Jenny, who feels lipstick is a necessity in life)
-Another one I just need to do. Note to self: text Jenny and go to Sephora.
16. Find the perfect little black dress
- I got A black dress. It's not THE black dress. So I need to go for take-two on this one.
17. Pay off all debts (excluding house from item 2 and car)
-Getting there! By my birthday our wedding rings will be paid off as well as almost everything that we charged before I wrote this. Since then we've had to make a few large purchases (mattresses and appliances) that we're not going to be finished paying on by late August.
18. Try one of the crafts I’ve pinned on Pinterest
-Still need to do this.
19. Take a photo that really makes me go “wow”
-I take a lot of photos of people. And a lot of them catch my breath, but the one I'm thinking of isn't going to be of a person...see? I might just be too critical of my own accomplishments...how many times now have I written "I did this, but it wasn't good enough to cross off the list"....oy. Gotta work on that.
20. Go hiking in Yosemite
-Probably not going to accomplish this one, but hey, I've got two months!
21. Purchase a nice (non-Ikea) piece of furniture -
22. Read a whole book in one day
-Oh, to have time for stuff like that these days...
23. Learn the live completely in the moment (starting with practicing mindful breathing and meditation)
-I think this is going to be another work in progress item. It takes time!
24. Take a class with Jim (maybe a cooking class, maybe a photography class or a tennis class, to be determined)
-Just gotta do it...
25. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet
-Jim learned how to do this one and showed me...although I have yet to do it for myself.
26. Compile a cookbook of my most-cooked recipes
-I've been doing this on the blog, but not in a book format
27. I need to come up with something new because I couldn't donate my hair to Locks of Love
30. Have an amazing 30th birthday
So there you have it. Progress for the most part. I haven't really given up on any of them, and I sure have a lot to do in the next two months!
Is anyone else turning 30 this year? Do you have a list like this? Does anyone turning a different age have a list?