I turned 26 last weekend. 26. It freaked me out. I'm approaching 30 faster than I care to think about. I looked back at my 25th year & thought, what have I accomplished? Am I closer to who I want to be today than I was a year ago?
I have to admit that 25 was a pretty amazing year. I went to new places, met a lot of awesome people, learned some new things & had a great year. But I feel like I didn't actually work towards any of those things. They just happened. I want to direct the upcoming years & make them what I want them to be. I want to set out towards 30 with a purpose. I want to direct who I will become.
So I decided, like many before me, to do a 30 by 30 bucket list. Some start this when they turn 29, but I figured if I gave myself more time I could make the goals bigger & more difficult. So after a week and a half of deciding, editing & fine-tuning, here is my list:
1. Make babies. I am excited to be a mom & plan to have this happen in the not so distant future. This one was a total no-brainer.
2. Practice yoga. I know this is not very specific, but I have done yoga a few times for a few weeks at a time. I always love how I feel when I'm doing it regularly...stronger, more flexible, more balanced & more zen :) Plus I recently met a true yogi (like, she lived in India for 3 months to get some certifications & practice yoga herself) & she inspired me.
3. Run a marathon. So...this is an intimidating one. I'm not that much of a runner. I honestly don't know if I am capable of running 26.2 miles at once. But it's something I'd like to try.
4. Get into the best shape of my life. I refuse to let the best shape of my life be when I was a teenager. I was high school skinny, but I was also pretty fit when I was preparing for Miss Idaho. I probably should put a weight down for specificity, but I'd rather just feel & see when I have reached this goal. This favorite workout kicks my butt every time!
5. Cut out soda. I love diet coke. But I know it is really bad for me. The very occasional soda is fine with me, but I need to stop drinking soda regularly. And to avoid all fake sugar, for that matter.
6. Try a cleanse. I've always wanted to but never have. I'm thinking about doing this one. But probably make the juices myself using these recipes.
7. Establish a small business. I have a lot of hobbies that other people do for a living. I would love to make a little money doing something I love. I have done some research & know this can take a lot more than you might think from the outset, but I am going to go for it.
8. Do a 365 photo project. Doing something once a day for a whole year sounds hard, but I think this would be worth it. Maybe make a coffee-table-style book after the year is over.
9. Memorize 30 scriptures with significance to me. I definitely want to develop spiritually between now & 30 and a lot of that will just involved studying & discussing & praying. But I thought this was a good tangible goal to reach for. Plus, having a few scriptures up your sleeve can be a handy thing.
10. Blog for real. I am always very inconsistent with blogging. But I love the idea of a space that is like my online journal, to document my life. So that's my goal. Make it an online journal for myself to look back at years from now.
11. Live in Europe. If we get the plane we'll probably get, we will have the chance to live in England. If we get a different fighter, then we may be able to live in Germany or Italy. Ultimately, this is out of our hands, but I will do everything in my power to make it happen.
12. Visit Asia, South America & Africa. I have now been to Europe, Central America & the South Pacific. This would round off the list nicely.
13. Go bungee jumping/sky diving. I've always wanted to. How cool would this be?
14. Read 10 travel books. Or books about places. I love to be inspired by other places & cultures & this is a great way to do it from anywhere I happen to be. I already have 2 on my list: Jungleland & Cutting for Stone. And I currently have Eat, Pray, Love in my audiobooks.com library. Maybe I should bump up the number!
15. Learn a second language. Once again, intimidating. I feel like I have absolutely no gift for languages, but according to a lot of people there's really no such thing as being incapable of being multilingual. You just have to put in the effort. Apparently.
16. Learn to cook an authentic foreign dish. Like an intense one, from scratch. For example, homemade pasta, tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes & some fresh grated parmesan cheese. Mmm. And some homemade crusty bread on the side. Or something Asian...
17. Successfully plant 2 kitchen herbs. I want to be able to cut some fresh basil to make a quick pesto, or some cilantro to throw over some rice or chicken. I've tried basil before, but my black thumb quickly killed it. Try, try again.
18. Make a cookbook with all my favorite recipes & photos. I love to cook & I have lots of recipes I use regularly. I need to put them all together in one place. Plus, I know my mom & sisters would enjoy a copy.
19. Go hunting & learn to clean my own kill. I've always wanted to hunt. I've always wanted to cook game. Especially deer jerky. Although we'll see if I can actually bring myself to pull the trigger on this one.
20. Earn a bachelors degree. I don't regret my choice to marry my hubby when I did. But I do wish I had earned my bachelors somehow. Once again, not entirely sure I can make this happen before 30 (financially, mostly, as the hubs is currently getting his masters so he can continue to promote), but I'd certainly like to try.
21. Volunteer regularly. I feel so blessed & want to be able to help other people. And there are so many opportunities! I just need to get involved.
22. Get involved. I sometimes hear afterwards about community events that I wish I had participated in. This is one way, I feel, to love your community no matter where you live. I think this could be especially beneficial to make new friends & acquaintances when we move to new places.
23. Do 30 days of something (no sugar, become vegetarian, live in silence, etc.) I'm not sure what yet, but I think this could be very neat to try. And probably a huge test of my will power.
24. Build a [real] piece of furniture. Have you ever looked at ana-white.com? It makes me feel like building furniture is super-doable. Plus, sometimes I know exactly what I want, but can't find it at all or can't find it for a reasonable price.
25. Sew a beautiful item of clothing. Ditto what I said for furniture. I have I idea what I want, but can't find it. Sew it! Although this is going to mean practicing some more technical skills & seams.
26. Do media fasts regularly. I often feel too plugged in, & sometimes I feel like I'm having withdrawals when I am without my iphone. This goal isn't super-specific, but it is definitely something that would be good to do occasionally and not only once.
27. Reduce my carbon footprint. I have started to be a lot more conscious of every item I throw into my trash can & I picture my bags of household trash in a landfill 100 years from now. Ugh. I would like to start recycling, composting, use reusable shopping bags, bicycling instead of driving (although in our current location, this isn't super-reasonable), using a rainwater collection barrel & even planting some edible plants of my own instead of using the grocery store for everything.
28. Make my house my own. Being in the military makes it difficult to feel like I can make improvements to my house, because we are only going to be living here for a few years. I am glad to have the chance to live in lots of different places, but it does make it difficult to settle in & make my place my own. I want to finally "finish" some rooms & make my house a little more homey.
29. Pay off all debt (excluding car/property). This is pretty doable for us. We are close to paying off a lot of our smaller debts. But I still want it as a goal to encourage us to avoid any new debt. It will feel so good to have more money each month in our pockets instead of the pockets of the banks.
30. Become a better budgeter. Sometimes I feel like I am still a teenager in this way. Responsible adults have a real budget, right? I tend to just have some vague numbers in my head for spending limits & goals. Let's get it down on paper & stick to it!
And there you have it. My 30 by 30. It's a little intimidating to have it all written down like that & to share it with the world wide web. But I'm also looking forward to moving forward.