Monday, August 12, 2013

30 before 30

30 before 30

This post was inspired by a conversation I had last week with Whitney from Along The Lines Of Style. She talked about how easy it is to write a to-do list for that day, but when it comes with a long-term goal list... it's really hard. I think it's because with to-do lists, the goal is to check those things off, and if you don't, you have the next day. But with a long-term goal list... it's a scary thought, committing to checking those things off within a certain time period. And if you don't... when do you do them? The next five years? Before you die? And then you start thinking about what you want to accomplish before you die and it all turns to hell. At least that's how it is for me.

So after that conversation, it got me thinking. And I decided to sit myself down and commit to 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. Since my 26th birthday is next month, that gives me just over 4 years to accomplish this list. Here it is:

1. Buy a house. I'm really looking forward to house shopping with J once we get back to Nebraska.
2. Renovate said house. I've gotten pretty good at decorating a temporary home, but I want to be able to paint walls and do renovations and make additions... all that jazz.
3. Have more children. There are days, hard days with E, that I can't imagine having more. But most days, I imagine the other theoretical children I could have and it hurts me inside that I don't have them yet. And I want to have children with my husband. I already know that he's a good step-dad, and that he will be a great dad. But I want to see him hold a newborn with that wide-eyed look of wonder on his face.
4. Go to culinary school. J and I have made a deal, that once he makes a certain rank, we'll have the extra money for me to be able to attend culinary school. This day will hopefully be very soon after we move back to Nebraska, but we'll see.
5. Open a bakery. This is what I want to do with said culinary degree. I want to open my own bakery. Whether it succeeds or fails, in the long term, is not really the point. (Though it would be really super if it succeeds.) I just want to teach my daughter (and subsequent kids) that it's okay to chase your dreams. If it succeeds, don't let it go to your head. If it fails, don't let it get to your heart.
6. Go on a honeymoon. J and I haven't had ours yet. We got married right before moving to California, so hopefully once we get back to Nebraska and things settle down again, we'll be able to take a week or two for an adventure just for us.
7. Read every book on my reading list. I have an extensive reading list, guys. Hopefully in four years I can at least read everything on it now, if not what I add between now and then.
8. Invest in a DSLR camera. I want to learn photography, at least the basics. I want to entrust myself with the care and use of a nice camera. I want to take better pictures of my daughter's life for her to remember it by. I want to take better pictures for the blog. I think this would be a good investment for numerous reasons.
9. Run a half marathon. I'm not going for the full marathon because again, committing to that is intimidating. But considering I've run a 10k at this point, 4 years is long enough to train for 13.1 miles. Right?
10. Get fit. I'm not going to weigh (haha, get it?) myself down with a specific number of pounds that I want to lose before I'm 30, due to the wanting to have more kids thing. That would make it really difficult to keep up with. So I just want to be in shape at 30. That's a decent goal, right?
11.  Get a second dog. Our dog right now, a corgi, has severe only dog syndrome. I really want to get him a buddy, but J and I agreed that that has to wait until we're back in Nebraska. (It seems like a lot of things have to wait until we're back in Nebraska.)
12. Learn a new subject. I'm not talking of the "learn a new thing every day" variety. I mean I want to have a working knowledge of something that I have little to no current knowledge on right now. Photography doesn't count, and culinary doesn't count, because those are both covered in other points.
13. Learn about wine pairings. I guess this could fall under the "learn a new subject" point, but whatever, I'll push myself to learn something else. I love wine, and I love food. I would love to learn about wine as it relates to food.
14. Build up a nest egg. This one is boring, but essential. I don't know what the bottom dollar amount is at this point in time that I'd like to have before 30, but having enough saved away for when some disaster happens with the house mentioned above, and for the kids' college fund, would be amazing.
15. Pay back my parents. My parents have supported me a lot LOT through the last few years, between dropping out of college and getting a divorce. I would love to show some appreciation and personal growth by being able to pay them back the money they gave me and never expected to see back.
16. Start a family recipe book. There are a lot of my own family's recipes that have been lost due to not being properly recorded. I want to have a recipe book ready to give my daughter(s)/son(s) when they get married so that they can make their husbands/wives the same meals I made for them growing up, and they can have a little taste of home while embarking on their own new adventures.
17. Teach my kids how to cook. I'm already doing this with E. She's my little sous chef. She can identify at least 10 different ingredients and probably knows how to make pizza dough on her own by now. I want to teach all of my children at least the basics of cooking, from the earliest age when they are able to help, and also how to experiment in the kitchen. (E sometimes recommends things to add to recipes that actually end up working, and I think that's awesome.)
18. Have a perfectly curated closet. There's probably no such thing, but considering how far I've come in the last year, I bet in another four I can have something at least pretty darn close. I always want to be a well-dressed mom.
19. Grow the blog. I want to still be blogging when I'm 30, as much a benefit as it has been to me after only a couple months. I also would like to see it grow to be more than it is now.
20. Find a new hobby my husband and I can share. J and I currently share one hobby (possibly more on that later) that isn't watching TV together after E goes to bed, but I would like to cultivate more. If not a hobby, at least some sort of ritual or routine that we do together. I don't ever want there to be absolutely no aspect of our lives that we share. He's my best friend, and I never want to lose that.
21. Go on a family road trip. The "road trip" out here doesn't count. The "road trip" back won't, either. I mean a true road trip with my family where we can stop at whatever touristy site we want to, and it doesn't matter how long it takes to get to our destination because there is no true destination.
22. Go to Boston in the fall. Maybe this one is a bit cliche, but I've only been to any part of New England once in my life, and I've heard Boston in the fall was beautiful, and it was in that Veggie Tales song, so it belongs on this list.
23. Read a biography. I know earlier I said read every book on my reading list, but currently there are no biographies on my reading list. It's a genre I've never really gotten into much, and I'd like to read more. Recommendations welcome.
24. Learn how to sew (again). I learned the basics of sewing from home ec and from my great grandmother, but it's been at least a decade since the last time I sewed anything. I would like to learn so that I can make basic household things such as curtains, and how to alter my own clothes and those of my children. Maybe even make clothes for myself and my children, but we'll see.
25. Go camping as a family. I'd love to go camping with J and E, once she's a little older and before we have any more kids (because camping with babies is a no-go for me).
26. Teach E how to fish. I'd like to do this with all my kids, obviously, but by the time I'm 30, E will be the only one old enough. I myself caught a catfish when I was 2 or 3 (I can't remember exactly), and I learned how to fillet by the time I was 9, so I'd like to teach my daughter the same thing.
27. Have a star named after me (and E, and all of my kids). I know this is a thing that you can pay for, but I love stars. Astronomy was one of my favorite subjects in college. To this day, I find comfort in gazing up at the stars (I write as the Perseids meteor shower is at its peak). It would be cool to have one named after me, and all of my kids. Like in The Lion King, once I'm gone, all of my kids will know that I'm still up there looking down on them.
28. Sing karaoke. This is something I've always wanted to do, secretly. I need to just freaking do it (not so secretly)
29. Plant a tree on our property. This is something I've always wanted to do (I've planted trees for volunteer work before, but never my own tree). I would prefer to do it on the property of the house we buy, again because then it will be something for our children to remember us by.
30. This final one is not something I'm willing to write online, but I know what it is. (You hear that, future me? You know what I'm talking about.)

This list was really hard to write, but now that I have, I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to accomplish this list in four years. Even if I don't, I'm sure I'll have plenty of adventures to look back on. 


  1. You have some great goals! I like 5, 9, 17, and 22. And if you ever want to run a marathon I am sure you totally could! It just takes a lot of training time. I have thought about a list, but I'd only have just over a year to get them done (omg I can't believe I am turning 29 this month!).

  2. Hey Kim,

    This is a great list! Something I've had to learn to stomach in the last few years is that sometimes just striving to complete a goal is just as good as meeting the goal itself. I've always tried to to everything, but sometimes it's not possible. But like you said, even if you don't finish everything on the list, you'll still have a lot of adventures. And that's the most important part. :) Good luck with everything!


  3. Great list of goals, if you don't know what you want, you sure can't get there.

  4. Thanks! I'm sure I could, too, the thought of making it something that I have to check off my list is a little too scary right now though haha!

  5. Great point! Thank you, Melinda, and thanks for taking the time to read it. :)

  6. This is such a great list! I have thought about doing something like this, but I'm a lost closer to 30 than you are, so I am not sure I can accomplish 30 things by then!

  7. That list is pretty amazing! I hope that you're able to accomplish and surpass everything listed here!

  8. Thanks, Andi! Haha well maybe you could make it 35 before 35 or something. The number is irrelevant, the point is to challenge yourself to make your goals!

  9. Thank you so much, Whitney!

  10. First of all, these darn lists make me feel old. Can I do a 40 before 40 list?! :-S Second, these are some great goals! Some will definitely be harder than others. I think just take steps forward, and be proud of whatever you do accomplish! And enjoy!

  11. Hahaha depending on how this list goes, I may just do a 40 before 40. Thank you! I kind of like the challenge of trying for those difficult things, and even if I don't accomplish all of them, I know I'll be happy as long as I tried! Thanks. :)

  12. I just had my 26th birthday and have seen these lists on multiple blogs. I may follow suit and make my own. Loved reading your list and dreams!
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