On Monday, I’ll be 30.
I’ve never been more excited for a birthday, which is a lot since I’ve never been super into birthdays. While the excitement for the milestone is there, I’ve never quite been a huge fan of the attention or the pressure for some big huge celebration or activity to honor the day. For me, I just want to do the things I like, eat some yummy food, and see the people who make me happy.
After my marriage ended in 2011, I gave myself an ambitious 30×30 list to accomplish, though the list ( which you can click to above), had items on it that were lofty at best considering my meager budget. This is to say that I won’t be rushing to try to complete these items by next Monday, but that doesn’t mean that I’m forgetting about them either.
The ‘bucket list’ or ‘life list’ or 30×30– whatever you want to call it- is something that a lot of people have written about– how often making the list makes it seem like life is something to be checked off, that the act of the making list sort of defeats the purpose of living a huge, eventful life, and so on. I agree with some of these things– there are many things I want to do in life that are not on this 30×30 list but live in the more concrete places in my mind- going on African safari for example. I don’t have to write them down or worry about making a list to remind me of its importance- it’s something I think of quite often and only have to look at the abundance of wild animal photos on my Pinterest to remember why I want it so badly.
The act of making the 30×30 list was part of me trying to figure out what I wanted for my life after my marriage fell apart, but more importantly, it was really the first time that I sat down to think about the things that were important or of interest to me. I made the list more to think about living a life, and less about crossing off each item on it– which sort of defeats the purpose of making a list, since it is supposed to be about accomplishing it, not a reminder of all the things a person has not done. But I’m not taking it this way– and someone could argue I’m only taking this attitude about the list because I didn’t accomplish it or with some of the items like a spa weekend with girlfriends– I didn’t do a whole lot to try to make these goals into actions.
The 30×30 list has items I still want to do ( volunteer at a soup kitchen) and am making plans to happen. But in general, I’m thinking of it as a fluid list, but more importantly, a reminder to live a full life doing what I want, leaving room for spontaneity, and whatever fun and exciting things come my way. And that I think is better than any one item I could have ever accomplished before turning 30.