30 Before 30

November 8th is my half-birthday, but this year it is also exactly thirty months from when I will turn thirty. When I shared that fun fact with my mom, she responded with “why do you always do these things to yourself?!” By ‘these things’, I’m guessing she was also calling me out for how I celebrated my “ten-thousandth day of being alive” in Alaska at the end of September.


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I have officially been alive for 10,000 days 🍂 #happyfirstdayoffall

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Over the past couple years I’ve decided to stop living with my heels dug in, resisting and dreading the inevitable passing time. Instead, my mentality has become more adventurous (well, as adventurous as one can be without riding any roller coasters that go upside down) and instead do my best to live fully. Not like there’s no tomorrow, but in a way that if there are ten thousand more tomorrows (and ten thousand more after that) I won’t have any regrets and know that I spent my life living the best that I could. And in the off chance that the old cliché is right, I’ll be able to meet my maker knowing I lived a full life in the time I was given.

With that said, I have officially made my “Thirty Before Thirty” list (thirty months before I turn thirty, because I’m obnoxious that way). I raided a bunch of it from my actual bucket list, but as the official deadline on my kicking the bucket happens to be a giant question mark and my 30th birthday does conveniently fall on a specific calendar date, I can work towards these things and still have (well, ideally speaking lol) decades to look back on the first three, knowing I accomplished as many of these as I could.

My “30 Before 30” List

  1. Publish a novel
  2. Run a half marathon
  3. Make a memory quilt
  4. Spend a weekend, by myself, in a North American city that I’ve never been to
  5. Travel abroad solo 
  6. Own a DSLR and take a camera course
  7. Complete a scrapbook album 
  8. Have my own place
  9. Learn and document my family tree
  10. Lose 30 lbs
  11. Paint/ decorate a giant canvas
  12. Fill my quote boards
  13. Declutter my sentimental ephemera into one shoebox (not including what is used for #3, #7, #11, or #12).
  14. Watch all the movies on my 101 movie quote poster
  15. Pay off all my debts 
  16. Be able to to properly braid my own hair
  17. Get my drivers license. And a car.
  18. Read 10 epic classic novels
  19. Write an autobiographical book of some kind
  20. Bake a pie from scratch 
  21. Apply for my Irish passport
  22. Make a family cookbook
  23. Get my own business cards
  24. Repurpose Grandma’s hutch
  25. Read the Bible cover to cover
  26. See the Northern Lights
  27. Be able to hold a conversation in sign language
  28. Go to a sit-down restaurant and a movie alone
  29. Participate in the polar bear swim
  30. Reach age 30 with wisdom, joy, and grace.

As you can see I wanted to focus on things I have full control over, not like falling in love or getting married or whatever else. I also wanted to make sure everything was measurable. When I reach age thirty I want to be able to go through the list and be able to say whether I did or did not complete each task. A lot of similar lists I found had several wishy-washy entries like “become confident in my own skin”, “get in the best shape of my life”, “read more”, and the like. I don’t want any possiblies or kind-ofs... I want to be able to say either heck yes, or nope, I did my best. Number 30 is obviously the exception, but I needed a nice thematic bow to wrap it up with. You know how it is.

As a PS, I want to be in Disney World at some point in my 30th year. I didn’t add it to the list in case it happens after my actual birthday, since it’s not something I need to have done before the deadline as long as it’s some point in 2021. The year of WDW’s 50th anniversary just happens to also be the 30th anniversary of my life. So, call it fate or say that it’s written in the stars… I know Walt would have wanted it this way.

Anyway, thank you for checking out this post! Do you have a 30 Before 30 list? What kind of things did you put on it? I hope to add updates to this post as I complete different entries, so be sure to check back if you are interested! I hope you have a great day! ­čÖé


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