I officially have less than one year left in my 20s. This feels big. But also inevitable. And right, I suppose. I mean, I have two kids. I’ll fit right in when I hit my 30s. (I’m certainly not rushing it though!)
My 29th birthday was one of the best. It fell on Friday, one of my usual days off work. It included doughnuts (hello, National Doughnut Day), a hike with a friend and her kids (Wehr Nature Center — on my big list of summer fun), a massage at The Pfister in the afternoon and dinner with Peter at Ardent that night. The whole day felt like a mini-vacation.
30 seems like such a milestone year, and one that people often use as a deadline to accomplish a set of goals. I love hearing about “30 before 30” lists, but I think my 20s have been pretty epic on their own, so I wasn’t planning on tackling one myself.
Then a few weeks ago I came across a list of 100 life goals I wrote my senior year of high school. It was for an assignment in religion class, to simply write down 100 things, large or small, attainable or bold, you want to do in your lifetime. It’s certainly a good picture of what my priorities and passions were at age 17 (six of them related to the musical “Rent”).
I thought it would be fun to assess, roughly 11 years later, how many of those goals I’ve accomplished, how many I still think I have a shot at and how many I no longer have any interest in pursuing (there are quite a few!).
As it turns out, I’ve only solidly accomplished 19 on the list — 20 if I stretch it a tiny bit (which I am). More if I stretch quite a bit (but I won’t). So…
My version of 30 before 30
I’m going to pick out 10 more from my list of 100 goals to try to knock out in the next year. Then I will have completed 30 of my 100 goals by age 30.
Here’s a breakdown of my list. Some of them are truly embarrassing.
1. Study abroad — Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2006
2. Get rush tickets for the touring production of “Rent” — St. Louis
3. Work in a coffee shop
4. Go snowboarding — took a lesson; after half a day still couldn’t make it down the bunny hill without falling
5. Live in the city–any city — Buenos Aires and Milwaukee
6. Throw the best birthday parties for my kids — probably too soon, but counting it anyway
7. Participate in Relay for Life again — shortly after meeting Peter he walked laps around Stankowski Field with me at 2 a.m.
8. Scrapbook the rest of my senior year
9. Learn to crochet or knit — both!
10. Never stop writing — don’t think I could
11. Sing my children to sleep
12. Plant and cultivate a vegetable garden
13. Drink coffee but never become addicted to it — starting to become debatable whether I’m addicted
14. Get to know the person sitting next to me on an airplane
15. Take a photojournalism class
16. Sail on Lake Michigan
17. TP someone’s house — I know this happened at some point in college. Maybe we TP’d our own house? What a terrible life goal!
18. Get a massage
19. Write letters home by snail mail during college
20. Be in the audience of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno — I was in the audience of The Late Show with David Letterman (far inferior, in my opinion) but I’m counting it anyway
To accomplish before age 30
21. Sleep under the stars
22. Keep in touch with Mr. Stracco — high school AP English teacher
23. Help paint a mural
24. Write a song and perform it
25. Run a mile in under 7 minutes
26. Do the splits — if it’s gonna happen, I suppose it’d better happen soon.
27. Take guitar lessons
28. Go to a Reel Big Fish concert — hmm… looks like they will be in Madison this month.
29. See a concert at the House of Blues
30. Watch all of my friends’ favorite movies at least once — I need to decide who will be counted in this elite group considered “all of my friends”
31. (an extra one just in case) Raft down the Colorado river — we are going to Colorado this summer so this could be a possibility
Sort of accomplished
32. Win a photo contest — I was a finalist in one in college
33. Never buy another greeting card; only make them — technically I have bought a card or two over the years, but I still make 95% of them (not counting blank notecards)
34. See “Wicked” on Broadway with Idina Menzel — saw it in Chicago and Milwaukee, but no Broadway/Idina
35. Run a 5K or another race once a year until I’m 75 — I think I may have missed a year or two
36. Be an anchor for the NBC news — I reported for the NBC affiliate in college, but never anchored
37. Always have lip gloss with me — I do usually have some sort of lip balm. You have to understand this absurd goal in the context that I was a lip gloss addict in high school.
38. Have my own column in a newspaper — My grandma Nana used to call my Journal Sentinel cooking blog my “column.”
39. Stay in close touch with my high school best friends — I’m saying “sort-of” to it because while we do keep in touch, it’s probably not the closeness that I anticipated at age 17 when they were my world. This is normal, since none of them live in the same state as me, but I do treasure their friendships and aspire to grow closer to them rather than further apart.
40. Build a house with Habitat for Humanity — I helped paint the interior of a Habitat house…
41. Decorate a house on my own — I mean… yeah-ish, but our house still has a ways to go.
42. Celebrate Crazy Sweater Day every Dec. 5 — this is a holiday I invented when I was 16. I was a crusader for it in college, but it’s sort of slipped into oblivion.
43. Have at least three children — two down…
44. Plant and cultivate a flower garden — I’ve planted flowers in our yard before. I wouldn’t say I’ve cultivated them.
45. Work in the restaurant industry — I worked at a bagel shop and a sandwich shop in college, but I was thinking sit-down restaurant when I wrote the goal.
46. Get published in a magazine before age 20 — I interned for Time Out Buenos Aires for a few weeks before my 20th birthday, but wasn’t published till months later.
Still on the list
47. Finish all the books I haven’t finished reading this year [senior year of high school]
48. Organize all my photos and keepsakes
49. Find and keep a pen pal
50. Sew a quilt
51. Invent a secret recipe for delicious brownies
52. Pass said recipe down to my children and grandchildren
53. Donate an item to the Benet auction [my high school’s annual fundraiser]
54. Ride in a hot air balloon
55. Participate in a triathlon
56. Start a business selling handmade greeting cards
57. Learn all the constellations
58. Teach all the constellations to someone I care about
59. Model for a catalogue — hahaha, but who knows…
60. Go scuba diving
61. Call in to a radio show and get on the air — I kind of don’t want to ever do this, but again, who knows…
63. Direct children’s theatre
64. Visit Riano, Italy, where my grandfather was born
65. Meet at least one original Broadway cast member of “Rent”
66. Accompany someone on piano
67. Be in a commercial
68. Make a beautiful scrapbook for each of my children and present it to them when they graduate high school
69. Photograph my way across Europe — hmmm how much of Europe would this entail?
70. Go camping in the Boundary Waters again
71. Raise a baby chick from egg to adulthood
72. Voice a cartoon character
73. Play intramural Frisbee in college — I played pickup games, does that count?
74. Go to Mass each Sunday in college
75. Drive aimlessly around the country without a plan or a map — this no longer sounds fun to me
76. Own a bookshop — bad financial decision
77. Play Belle in a stage production of “Beauty and the Beast” — I wish
78. Rescue an injured wild animal and nurse it back to health — cliche
79. Become fluent in another language (Spanish or Italian) — I think that ship has sailed
80. Run for a political position
81. Be the editor-in-chief of COSMOGirl! magazine — I adored Atoosa
82. Fly an airplane
83. Publish my journals
84. Audition for “Rent”
85. Work on a political campaign
86. Never live in a house with white walls — white is in! None of our walls are white though.
Just good advice
87. Show my family I appreciate them through my actions
88. Be known for my generosity more than anything else
89. Always remember what it’s like to be a kid
90. Wake up early during the summer
91. Never spoil my kids but spoil my grandkids
92. Be able to say, “I am fairly agile. I can bend and not break, or I can break and take it with a smile.” —
The Ataris Dashboard Confessional anyone? I still love these lyrics.
93. Marry my soul mate and stay married forever
94. Never miss an opportunity because of laziness
95. Listen more than I talk
96. Talk to Todd, the Starbucks employee at Barnes and Noble — ???
97. Capture the majesty of a gothic cathedral in words
98. Put a flower on Jonathan Larson’s grave — he’s the creator of “Rent”
99. Get back the roll of film confiscated from me when I saw “Rent” tonight
100. Maintain my undefeated chess record — I had played one game when I wrote this list
101. Have something I say become a famous quote
102. Burn incense and write poetry on the roof of an apartment with a view of the lit up city of San Francisco at night — LOL. This does sound nice, though.
103. Give a homeless person the last, crumpled ten dollar bill from my pocket — dramatic much?
104. Meet someone from the “Rent” message boards — major LOLs
Conclusions after typing up and reading this list:
-I guess it was 104 goals.
-Can you tell I like(d) performing?
-Can you tell I’m right-brained?
-This pretty much sums me up at age 17.
So the countdown begins! I’ll keep you posted as I hopefully cross off the next 10 goals from the list before my next birthday.