30 Things To Do Before I’m 30

Ah, 2013, a squeaky clean new year. A time for renewed hope, motivation, and healthy eating habits. I’d like to think that our bovine ladies get into the spirit too, making resolutions to increase their milk production, gossip less around the water trough, or really commit to getting pregnant.

I don’t write resolutions, but I do like taking a breath each January to think about my dreams and goals.


I was inspired to write this post by Sarah of Project Soiree and Mackenzie of Design Darling. But while these ladies chose to list 101 goals for 1001 days, I decided to take a slightly different approach. My non-mathematical brain couldn’t wrap around the idea of 1001 days (approximately 2.7424657 years), and 101 was too tall an order for a post that Dairy Man claimed “deviated from important things like manure and artificial insemination.”

Thus I landed on: 30 Things to Do Before I’m 30.

What I like is that Mackenzie and Sarah didn’t write “bucket lists.” Bucket lists overwhelm me. Of course I want to wine taste around Italy, trek to Machu Picchu with my sherpa, write a bestselling novel, speak French fluently, and get a jetpack. Who doesn’t? But these high, lofty goals can take a lifetime to accomplish. You’re talking to a girl who writes tasks on her to-do list after they are already completed, just to have the pleasure of checking them off. In red ink. I might even give myself a high five. I need to see forward progress. Otherwise I’m liable to give up on the whole thing and camp out on my couch with a quart of cookies n’ cream ice cream.

So I created a manageable list of 30. I hope to challenge myself, go outside of my comfort zone, and check items off this list over the next three-ish years.

30 Things to Do Before I’m 30
1-15 details
16-30 details

  1. Send 25 hand written notes
  2. Drink a large glass of water before every meal We do this faithfully. Bob would be so proud.
  3. Read at least one book every two months
  4. Visit our friends in Salt Lake City Accomplished in August 2013
  5. Milk a cow
  6. Take a girls trip to Vegas
  7. Try ten new restaurants in West Michigan (Currently: Perrin Brewing, Hoolihan’s, Brick Road Pizza, )
  8. Have at least one official date night a month
  9. Host a dinner party After reading this book, I really had no choice. My dining room table hosted an excellent dinner party for 10 of my girlfriends
  10. Go on an actual vacation with DM We spent a week in Salt Lake City visiting friends in August 2013 (see #4)
  11. See a show at Second City in Chicago
  12. Do something that absolutely terrifies me
  13. Go to five plays or musicals (Currently: Wicked (for the third time), The Sound of Music, The Nutcracker, Phantom of the Opera)
  14. Run the Fifth Third Riverbank 5K I donned stylish running tights and blazed through this race on May 11, 2013. 29:30 wasn’t a bad time for someone who didn’t train one iota!
  15. Spend a day with each sibling doing something they choose, paid for by me
  16. Say “I’m sorry” more than 50 percent of the time
  17. Talk to my grandparents each week via phone or email
  18. Drink a $50-100 bottle of wine (and see if I can tell the difference)
  19. Complete family photo yearbooks for 2010, 2011, and 2012 I’m all caught up and starting on 2013!
  20. Purchase coffee for a stranger behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru
  21. Create something with my Instagram photos
  22. Upgrade to a DSLR camera
  23. Teach Jersey a new trick He can high-five like it’s his job, but we’re adding other awesome things to his repertoire too
  24. Spend an entire weekend unplugged
  25. Refurbish an old piece of furniture
  26. Make a list of birthdays and addresses and send cards
  27. Pay off our student loans
  28. Find an active outdoor activity DM and I can do together
  29. Have a baby We’re expecting a baby boy in April 2014!
  30. Write a letter to myself to be opened on my 30th birthday

I may flesh out a few of these in the future (like the controversial “Milk a cow” – something another farm wife warned me never to learn), but I’ll simply leave you with the list for now.

So how about you, dear readers? No matter which ages you put in the blanks of “___ things to do before I’m ___,” what’s on your list?

20 thoughts on “30 Things To Do Before I’m 30

  1. Great List! Great Blog. I love the layout. Im new to blogging and dont have much time for it. My blog is horrible place. I approve all the spam comments just to boost my confidence, lol. Love your article.

  2. Dear MFW: Every time i read your blog posts, I smile–at your lovely descriptions, your gift for words, your sense of audience. Sure would like to visit that cow place where you live. Keep in touch, and let me know when the HM (Habitat man) and I might take a drive to the north country. Miss you. NHull

    1. Oh Nancy, your words are highest praise indeed. We would LOVE to host you and HM any time. Just let me know if you’ve got a Saturday or Sunday available and we will make it happen. I won’t even be hurt if you’d rather wait till spring. It’s cold and windy out here in the boonies. 🙂

  3. Inspiring… 🙂 30’s coming right around the bend, eh? On the upside, I’m sure we’ll be moderately fascinating as old people, or at least we’ll be a good time. Maybe I’ll get on that list and send it to you, giving you a reason for the handwritten. OR, I can hand-deliver it at Second City, where we could meet, and you could write “Good Job” on a napkin, which I believe serves as a handwritten note as well. I’d probably frame it. Anywho, good luck on your list. Now that it’s “in the flesh,” you’ll probably have no problem getting down to business.

    1. Yes Katie, 30 will be here before we know it. Egad! You and I have no hope of being boring/normal old people – I sure hope we settle in the same mature adults home. I hear Michigan is a great place to retire… Either way, let’s check Second City off my list together plz. 🙂

  4. DON’T learn to milk a cow. I grew up on a farm and my grandmother told my mom when she got married, never learn to milk a cow. Unfortunately, I was the oldest and I had to learn to milk cows. I haven’t done it in almost 20 years and not going to. I always said that I would never marry a farmer. My husband was crop manager on a large dairy farm when we met and the first 5 years I knew him. He’s now does sales and nutrition for an organic feed company. He wants his own farm, I say NO!!!

    1. Ha! Thanks for the advice, Christa. I think I’ll have to make an important distinction between “milking a cow” (aka doing it once for the novelty of the thing) and “learning HOW to milk a cow” (actually acquiring a skill I might have to use in the middle of the night). If I do milk a cow, I promise not to “learn” a thing!

  5. I was told by another farm wife not to learn how to milk also. Thankfully I don’t listen well. Milking isn’t exactly glamorous, but sometimes I get 2 hours of quality time with my husband out of it. Plus, your first milking experience sounds like a great blog post!

    1. Jennifer, that last sentence is EXACTLY what the Dairy Man said to me. I’ve got to try it at least once, right? Even if it goes terribly, I’ve still got an experience to write about. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Milking is what you make of it. I do it to spend time with my man and to see how he is doing. I can tell by how he handles a stubborn girl in the line ultimately how he is feeling about his place in reality. Short and angry with her – he is stressed out and needs a break. Patient and kind – all in good in his world. I love spending quiet time with our 200 girls and my guy. I think he knows I am ther for him no matter what his days are like and that helps him in this tough tough life he loves!

      1. Meredith, what a beautiful way of phrasing this! I’m so glad you and your husband grow closer while milking. I’m finding out that *sharing* the dairy passion makes for a happy marriage! 🙂

  6. Love the list of 30 things before turing 30!
    Milking isn’t the worst thing. I actually don’t mind milking every once in a while. I say you should for sure milk at least once 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ella! I’ll be sure to write about the experience. My biggest fear is standing in the area I refer to as “the kill zone” – if I get pooped on I may completely lose my grip on sanity! 🙂

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