A 30th birthday gift to myself

So my 12-day vacation from the blog turned into twice that. Whoops. It’s so easy to get out of the habit of blogging, especially when so much is going on offline.

In the days since I last blogged, I spent a week and a half bouncing among San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. That included a lot of eating, drinking beer and meeting the Modern Love Machine’s extended family. I’ve suffered some serious jetlag/exhaustion. I’ve fallen off the training schedule bus and have almost climbed fully back on (almost). And I turned 30.

I also went on a drive-in double-feature date with the MLM in my absence and managed to fall asleep during both Tangled and Spider-Man (see aforementioned exhaustion).

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention — Saturday was not only Bastille Day. It was my 30th birthday.

I can’t quite wrap my brain around why so many people bemoan entering their 30s.** I, for one, am extremely excited to leave behind my 20s, a decade I wouldn’t relive for anything in the world. That said, the excitement of turning 30 still didn’t motivate me to do much to mark the actual anniversary of my birth, which is my typical M.O. I’ve been to so many 30th birthday parties this year, I just didn’t feel I had the emotional energy to be the center of attention of one. In lieu of a party, the MLM and I spent a lovely, quiet weekend in Memphis with my family. I’m glad to have done that, but now that I’m on the other side I do feel perhaps I’ve undercelebrated a birthday that I had long been looking forward to. I have never figured out where my birthday balancing line is.

Anyway, to mark it here on the ol’ blog, I’m happy to introduce something I’ve been working on for about six months and even longer in my head. I’m posting up in the contents bar a link to my Life List (which means you have to visit the actual website if you want to see it). The 30 before 30 stuff seemed like too much pressure at a time in my life when I couldn’t handle any more of it, and the term ‘bucket list’ is so unromantic. So I’m following in the footsteps of some of my favorite bloggers and going with the Life List.

The only rhyme or reason to my list is to include things that I want to accomplish in my life, big and small. I included a few things that I have already accomplished with the idea that had I started the Life List a long time ago, they would have been on it. The funny thing is, I’ve crossed a few things off even since I seriously began working on it six months ago. The list is a living one; that is, it’s a constant work in progress. I will add things to it as they occur to me, and I will eliminate things when I decide they no longer interest me. The list does not have a finish line because I don’t ever want to reach the end of it. That means some things will never get crossed off, I just don’t know which ones that will be.

As I achieve my Life List items, I’ll write about them. When I’m in blogging lulls, I’ll go back and write about the previously achieved items or maybe a post or two about why certain things are on my list.

I’m publishing this list as a birthday gift to myself. My 20s were a decade of growth and learning a lot about who I am and what I want my life to be. Now that I have a better sense of myself, I want to squeeze as much out of life as possible going forward. This list is a way to keep myself on track.

**The funny thing for me and all current or former journalists of the old-school variety is that the symbol -30- is an old-fashioned way to mark the end of a story. I’m taking it now to mark the end of the mess that was my 20s.

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7 Responses to A 30th birthday gift to myself

  1. Lola Alapo says:

    I love this! I’m coming up on 30 in November and I’ve been thinking of what to do besides a party. Stay tuned! And I know what you mean about the blogging deal. I’m going on 13 days without blogging. Your post today is the kick in the pants I need to get back to it. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Nadine says:

    Happy birthday! Sadly I remember nothing about my thirtieth birthday, not what I did or ate or anything. I do remember my husbands 30th, 7 years ago, I organized a little patio party and we drank and ate with friends. Lots of fun.

    I like the life list idea, will have to consider doing that.

  3. sizzle says:

    I’m almost 40 and haven’t finished or published a life list. You’re ahead of the game by my standards. 🙂 I actually like being in my 30’s more than my 20’s. Happy birthday (belated)! You share a b-day with my little sister. Obviously it’s an awesome day to be born.

  4. Meredith says:

    Happy belated birthday!

    Naturally, I love this idea! I had my own 15 before 30 list and now I have a 30 before 35 list. While I work best with deadlines, I love your explanation for not having a deadline for your own list. We never stop learning or trying new things and a life list is a really great way of ensuring that we always keep reaching for something new, big or small.

    Good luck! I can’t wait to hear about your experiences.

  5. Jessica says:

    First, happy birthday! I absolutely love how you wrote about celebrating your 30th more low key (I did too) and not understanding people bemoaning it. I don’t miss my 20s at all and I’m SO much happier in my 30s for so many reasons. I cannot wait to check out your life list!

  6. allison says:

    Happy birthday! I approach my 30th in 6 months and I don’t have any issues with it. Maybe because I love birthday celebrations or because it’s just a number after all, right?

  7. katelin says:

    happy belated your birthday! & a life list is awesome, can’t wait to hear what you add and what you check off.

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