In the immortal words of my darling Beatles:
When I was younger, so much younger than today . . .
Help me if you can—I’m feeling down, and I do appreciate you bein’ round!
(A quick aside: The Beatles are always right about everything, in case you were unaware.)
To the point, then. The date is Wednesday, October 12, 2011. In approximately 14 months (shy a few days), Yours Truly will be tabbing out of her twenties, only to enter into the next big stage in life: the thirtysomethings. In no way do I consider one in her thirties to be old (I’d say I’m a good 40+ years away from that), but I do think turning thirty is a milestone that shouldn’t go unacknowledged or even uncelebrated. While as an adolescent I had hoped I’d have cured cancer and won myself a Pulitzer by thirty, it just isn’t going to happen, my friends. And that’s okay with me! But that begs another question: What is it, exactly, that I do want to do before I hit the thirty mark? Now that I’m conceivably close to reasonably plotting out the course of my last twentysomething year? What am I going to do with myself for the next few months to make sure that my twenties account for more than economic instability and a long line of mistakes and foibles? To redirect (yet again) to an unnecessary piece of pop culture, how can I—like short-lived Jack Dawson of the HMS Titanic—make it count?
For the last few weeks, like many other almost-thirtysomethings I know, I’ve been thinking about building a 30-before-30 list. The goal of this list is not to challenge myself to accomplish a litany of absurd tasks (such as: Climb Mt. Everest by 30; Publish a series of science fiction novels by 30; Drop 4,193 pounds by 30; etc.), but instead to give myself a fixed set of realistic goals that I believe I will be grateful to have done. Some of the “to dos” may require more work than others, but I think that’s what I wanted this list to be: a combination of larger accomplishments, aligned with some smaller tasks that would perhaps get buried under the larger-task radar. This public broadcast of the list will hopefully bind me to my goals a little more fully, seeing as you will all find me a poor excuse for a woman should I not put my best efforts into accomplishing what I’m setting out to do.
So here, friends, is the list as it stands today:
So there it is: a combination of the large and the small, all of which will be worth my doing. But if you’re quick, you may have noticed that the list is one entry short—which is where you come in.
Help, friends. (I’m pretty sure it’s only those of you who I dearly love who read this blog, really.) What should be #30 on this list? What am I overlooking here? Or what would you challenge me to do, if you were making a list of your own? What could I add to the list that—unlike the more self-serving tasks—makes an effort to improve the world around me? Or, what is something on this list that needs to go, in order to be replaced by something more worth the time and effort? I want some help from you all—the people who know me best.
Take a look at this pathetic creature and tell me she doesn’t need you.
Whaddya’ll say? I need, trust, and value your ideas the most, so please be generous with them! And in turn I promise to you that this will not turn into some warped Julie/Julia project, whereby I curse like a sailor and treat my husband like garbage for the sake of a mediocrely-written blog, only to cheat on him so that I can write a book about that, too. This is my solemn vow.
PS – I’d love to hear if any of you have similar resolutions that you’re working on. Do you have your own list? Did you handle (or are you handling) the thirtysomething changing-of-the-decade guard with panache or panic?