The grayness of February can almost quash the hope and enthusiasm of a new year, but I’m staying motivated. Proof? Dairy Man and I have been eating a lot of quinoa and Greek yogurt, I’ve been making the bed almost every day, and I am making plans to check things off my 30 Things To Do Before I’m 30 list.
Today I’d like to explain how some of these 30 items found their way onto my not-a-bucket list. Let’s start with the first 15.
1. Send 25 handwritten notes
I might be an odd duck …well, let me rephrase… I know I’m an odd duck, but I am one of those nostalgic wallowers who fondly remembers the days of snail mail and pen pals. There is just something about receiving a handwritten note. It feels more special somehow. Unless you have handwriting like my doctor. Then stick to the computer, caveman.
2. Drink a large glass of water before every meal
This one comes straight out of The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper. You might know Bobbo from a little (or is it large?) TV show called The Biggest Loser. DM and I have embarked on a healthy eating regime in 2013 and one of our rules comes from Bob: always drink a large glass of water before a meal. It keeps you hydrated and keeps you from feeling hungrier than you are. Win/win.
3. Read at least one book every two months.
I wanted to say “read a book every week,” but let’s be real here, people. I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I love to read, but something about my old pre-30 age causes me to fall asleep every time I pick up a book at night. One every two months seems realistic. I’m starting with an interesting look at French parenting.
4. Visit our friends in Salt Lake City
DM’s childhood best friend is a lovable long-haired hippie named Mark. Mark was the best man in our wedding and now lives in Salt Lake City. We don’t get to see him very often, so we want to journey west to soak up some Mark-time, snowboard/ski, and ogle the Mormons.
5. Milk a cow
Oh, the controversy. I still vividly remember the piece of advice from a farm wife at my wedding: “Whatever you do, don’t learn how to milk. Because if you know how, you might have to!” While I don’t want to find myself on the shift list, I do think it’s about time for me to try sticking one of those sucker-thingies on a cow’s udder. But I promise you, I won’t “learn” a thing.
6. Take a girls trip to Vegas
I don’t gamble, but I hear it’s warm there. Even my grandpa said it’s worth going once. And everyone loves a girls trip. Plus, I think I’ll have a much easier time getting the ladies into a Celion Dion show than my dear Dairy Man.
7. Try ten new restaurants in West Michigan
West MI, particularly the Grand Rapids area, is bursting with new restaurants and microbreweries. It is my mission to stray from our usual haunts and try something new! It’s much easier to do in a big city like Chicago, but I’ve got three years.
8. Have at least one official date night a month
DM and I have a terrible time making date nights a priority. The hardest part is that we live at least 45 minutes from “anything to do.” Date nights typically have to be intentional and will almost always involve driving. It’s my goal to have one of these bad boys every month – no sweatpants allowed.
9. Host a dinner party
After over two years of marriage and an empty dining room, we finally bought a large table last fall. This baby can seat eight and gives the dinner-goer a great view of cows frolicking in the pasture. Now that we have a table, it’s time to use it! Who wants to come to my house for sweet potato and black bean burritos?
10. Go on an actual vacation with Dairy Man
As you might recall, my dear husband does not vacation well. It’s almost impossible for a farmer to tear himself away from the dairy for a weekend, much less an entire week. But my psyche needs a break. A break that lasts longer than two days and doesn’t involve 3 a.m. phone calls from the dairy. I want to explore a new place and make some new memories with DM.
11. See a show at Second City in Chicago
When I lived in beautiful Chitown I never made it to Second City. Any place that spawned Tina Fey and Will Ferrel has to be awesome. And I want to go to there.
12. Do something that absolutely terrifies me
I’m not a risk taker, just ask the Dairy Man. Sure, I’ll dance like a fool in the rain and boldly try weird-looking vegetables, but I steer away from anything that truly makes my knees knock. But I’m young, and this is the time of life to take some risks. Some might argue that I take a risk simply by living on a dairy farm (I mean, what if the cows get out and I’m trampled in a stampede!?), but I need to stretch myself before the big 3-0. I’ll almost certainly be better for it.
13. Go to five plays or musicals
As a former thespian, I love going to the theater. In the next three years, I want to see at least five new shows. We have a few local theaters with tempting offerings and I am dying to see The Book of Mormon in Chicago.
14. Run the Fifth Third Riverbank 5K
Already half done with this one: I officially signed up last week! Now I just need to get my butt into gear and actually start, oh, I don’t know … exercising. I ran the Color Run last summer with absolutely zero training or preparation, but my shins would prefer I work up to this 5K a little more gradually this year. Wish me luck on May 11.
15. Spend a day with each sibling doing something they choose, paid for by me
Though my little sister and brother only live 60 minutes from my hamlet in Smalltown, I don’t see them very often. It’s really a shame. Thus, I want to take a day to smother each one of them in embarrassing sister love.
Phew. I’m exhausted already. But there’s something very motivating about setting goals and sharing them with my five friends out here in cyberland.
And one more thing before I go. I would be remiss if I left the awesomeness of Ram’s Super Bowl ad pass us by! Dairy Man is still preening today. This is certainly a bit of an outdated folksy look at the world of farming, but it’s not entirely inaccurate. I’ve never seen DM splint the wing of a meadow lark, but I HAVE seen him “finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon” before. Oof. Remind me to tell you about the time he worked 120 hours in one week. Till then, enjoy Paul Harvey: