the thirty project

The Concept

“By the time I am thirty, I will have…”

This thought has swirled in my head for many months now, and almost daily as I approach my 27th birthday. The idea of turning thirty is a very daunting one, and has become more of a source of anxiety as of late. I always thought by the time I was thirty I would have been happily married for a few years, enjoying my career as a teacher, and perhaps planning on growing a family. I realize I have three more years to determine whether or not some of those things pan out, but with a recent breakup of a relationship that lasted 5 years, I realize I cannot hold myself to goals that may not be attainable in such a restricted span of time. I do feel, however, that I have many goals for my life that can be accomplished by the age of 30. I have thrown many of them around in my head, but I realized it was time to sit back with a nice glass of pinot grigio and flesh them out. Furthermore, I want to make myself accountable for achieving these goals, and to do so as well as document them, I decided to launch my very own blog after several years of entertaining the idea.

A bit about my list: some of these “goals” are already fully-formed plans that I turned into goals. However, had they not been plans before I sat down, they would have been on the list. Additionally, some of these goals will be easier to document and prove than others plan to do the best I can. Furthermore, these goals range from trivial to very personal, so I trust that you, dear reader, will not judge me too harshly for them. 🙂

I present to you my list of 30 things I wish to accomplish by the time I turn 30, and my explanations for choosing each goal

30 Before 30

1. Run a half marathon in under 2 hours
This was the first goal I had in mind that I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30. I did a 10k in May rather successfully, and instead of waiting a full year as I had originally planned, I decided to sign up for the Sleeping Bear Half Marathon on October 6th. I devised my own training plan, and I am up to 9 miles so far. The training has given the runs I already do a real purpose, and having a goal to accomplish is an incredible motivator. This is longer than I ever, ever thought I would run, even though I have been running consistently for about 5 years now. I just never got the “bug” to run long distances until I conquered the 10k. I don’t ever see myself running a full marathon, but never say never. 🙂 My most recent long run stats:
photo (11)
2. Travel Europe
I’ve been to Germany, Austria, Dubai, Jordan, Jamaica, Zambia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Canada, but I have not done the traditional Europe travels. My mom and I have said for years we are going to do it together, and hopefully this year is the year. France, Spain, and Italy are on my must-see lists. England, Luxembourg, going back to Germany, and Greece are also up there- but I know I can’t do them all at once!
3. Volunteer somewhere new
I have done some volunteering, but I would like to try something I have not done. Perhaps helping with a race for a good cause, or I have always wanted to be a Big Sister. I am not sure I could make that kind of time commitment, but we will see! Any ideas?
4. Knit something
Last winter I tried and tried and tried to knit, but eventually would give up on everything I worked on. I am going to actually create something wearable for once!
5. Do a polar plunge
Eeek.. this one scares me. If you know me well, you know that I HATE cold water. I pretty much refuse to swim in Lake Michigan at any point in the summer, no matter how hot it is. However, I have spoken to several people who have done one, and it just seems like a list item that I would like to experience. Who wants to do it with me?!
6. Fall in love
Should this be on here? I’m not sure. If I would have made this list at 25, I probably would have put “get married” on it. I’m pretty confident in the next 3 years I will fall in love, hopefully with the absolute love of my life. Praying about it- I know God has a plan for me.
7. Document my experiences- scrapbooks (digital ones)
I am SO bad at doing anything with my photos. Hopefully this blog will help serve that purpose too. I REALLY need to make albums from my year as Cherry Queen and my trip to Zambia specifically. Facebook Albums just are not enough!
8. Get better at golf
I bought a set and went consistently with a group of three girls last summer. This summer, I haven’t touched them. Blame it on being busy and no longer having a consistent group of similarly skilled (or lacking it!) females.
9. Buy a house/condo
I hope to have made a significant investment in real estate by the time I turn 30. Ideally, this would be with a significant other, but hey- I am a self-sufficient gal, and if I have to do it on my own I will!
10. Cook something completely daunting- i.e. lobsters
I love cooking- this one will be fun. Any suggestions?
11. Take a trip with my best girlfriends
I am cheating a bit here, because I am going to Ft. Lauderdale in November with my closest friends. However, hopefully this is not the only girl trip that I take in the next 3 years!
12. Watch a “must see” movie I have never seen (Schindler’s List, The Green Mile, The Breakfast Club, Annie Hall..)
Seriously, I am so out of the loop. I am not sure how I missed all of these epic films, but I have. Any suggestions here?
13. Read 30 books
I guess I better start documenting them! This is what I am currently reading:Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
14. Give blood
Every time I try, my iron is low. However, “every time” is not very often. I need to be persistent until it happens- I know a lot of people who would not be here if they hadn’t had access to blood when they needed it.
15. Start a new club or group at school
I am thinking some sort of workout group, or a reading/writing club. Not sure when I will have the time for this.. but it will happen!
16. Invest in my retirement
I seriously get cold sweats when I think about dealing with finances and/or any kind of important paperwork. But again, this needs to be done.
17. Visit the West
I went Arizona in 3rd grade and Colorado in 4th. I hardly remember a damn thing about either one. Should I visit Morgan in Denver? Kasey in San Diego?? Who wants me?? 🙂
18. Sing in public in some sort of capacity (karaoke does not count)
Not sure how I will accomplish this. I miss singing in public. Maybe I should join the church choir?
19. Spend time with God daily
I already do this, but I need to make it an absolute priority. And the time I do spend in prayer needs to be much more significant.
20. Adopt a pet friend for Gus
I’d get another cat right now, but I am pretty sure my roommates wouldn’t be so keen on it. I would also love to get a dog at some point, but I want someone else to be on board to help me train/raise it! By the way.. meet Gus:
photo (55)
He is a 9 month old Siamese, and he is the current love of my life. His interests: sitting in the windowsill, other cats (particularly his cousin/bff Tuffy), laying on his back so I (or anyone willing) can rub his belly, and his 5:30 am morning spaz sessions. This will not be the only time I blog about him, rest assured.
21. Throw a surprise party for someone
Better start sucking up to me, frands.  😉
22. Reconnect with an old friend
I have a few in mind.
23. Go on the Kairos retreat
This is an all-girls retreat for the St. Francis senior class. I have heard amazing things about this event, and I want to experience it as well.
24. Visit somewhere in Michigan that I have never been
Pictured Rocks immediately comes to mind.
25. Write a real letter to someone and send it
Easy enough.. but something I NEVER do!
26. Skydive, do a hot air balloon ride, bungee jump, or something extreme
I would like to say I would do all 3. I would definitely do a hot air balloon ride in a heartbeat, but it is expensive. Anyone up for any of these?
27. Maintain a new friendship
This will be fun! I swear now that I am unattached and more social I am meeting new people in TC weekly. Falling more and more in love with where I live and the people who inhabit it by the minute…
28. Commemorate Grace’s memory in a new way
I am not sure how I will do this one, but I look forward to the challenge and to any way I can honor the memory of such an incredible person.
29. Start a blog (is that cheating?)
Nah! It’s a commitment for sure!
30. Learn a new sport, skill or hobby
Tennis is something I would love to learn. I always need new skills/hobbies because I don’t have very many of them other than running, reading, cooking and baking.
… Well, there you have it. My plans for the next three years! 🙂 As the saying goes, “If you want God to laugh, tell him your plans.” I know that life can take incredibly unexpected twists, and if there are some list items that I end up revising I am not going to beat myself up over it. But overall, I am excited to explore these 30, and I hope you will enjoy the ride along with me.

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