I turned 27 this month. This provoked a mild existential crisis (in which the voices in my head kept whispering, “Almost thirty… Almoooost thiiiiirty… Are those crooooow’s feeeeet by your eyyyyyes?“) that was only offset by the realization that Dairy Man would turn 28 in two weeks. If nothing else, I still have my older man. DM tests out every age for me before I arrive. Isn’t that nice of him?
27 seems like a good time to break the blog’s summer hiatus and check in on my “30 Things to Do Before I’m 30” list. I’ve made process in some areas, refused to skydive in others. There are things in life that terrify me (#12) that DON’T come with a chance of this:
Go home, plane, you’re drunk.
So, I haven’t skydived…dove. But I am ready to detail the remaining 15 items on the list (check out the first 15 here), and give you a sense of how the 30 are going. It’s all about accountability.
16. Say “I’m sorry” more than 50 percent of the time
I am stubborn, opinionated, and bask in being right. But as my parents taught me, marriage (and life) is not about being right. It’s about compromise, humility, and grace. I want the words “I’m sorry” to become less of a poisonous extraction and more of a gracious offering.
17. Talk to my grandparents each week via phone or email
I think I’ve gotten a little lazy on this one since both of my grandmothers hopped on Facebook. That’s almost human interaction, right? But seriously. Over the course of my life, I’ve been lucky enough to know all four of my grandparents. They were at every play, choir concert, and birthday throughout my childhood. I want to make it a priority to stay in touch with my three remaining g-rents. It’s good for the soul. Plus, there’s usually some delicious lasagna or homemade frosting involved.
18. Drink a $50-100 bottle of wine (and see if I can tell the difference)
DM and I love a good glass of dry, oaky red wine. But our definition of “good” wine is typically around $15. We’re not the Rockafellers, people. I’ve always wanted to try an expensive bottle of wine to see if my tastes are as refined as I think they are.
19. Complete family photo yearbooks for 2010, 2011, and 2012
I’m already 2/3 of the way through with this one. Like many people, I have approximately a bazillion photos just sitting on my computer. So I decided to create annual family photo yearbooks on Shutterfly to preserve the memories. Plus, it’s nice to have something on the coffee table besides dairy magazines.
20. Purchase coffee for a stranger behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru
Once I was driving through Starbucks in need of a grande dirty chai. When I got up to the window, the girl wearing the headset said, “You don’t owe anything. The lady before you took care of it.” I was flabbergasted. I’ve always wanted to pay forward the kindness. Because, really, the best way to show your humanity is through caffeinated beverages.
21. Create something with my Instagram photos
Since getting my iPhone in the summer of 2012, I have documented our life on the farm with hundreds of Instagram photos. It’s well and good to have these photos living on my phone, but I want to do something with them. I’m thinking a poster for the basement.
22. Upgrade to a DSLR camera
I barely even know what this means, but I do know that iPhone photos just don’t cut it in the blogging world. I want to learn how to use a fancy camera and take photos of our dairy and Jersey the dog to the next level.
23. Teach Jersey a new trick
I might be biased, but, um, my dog is the smartest dog in the world. Now that he’s two years old, he has increased capacity to do awesome things. I recently taught him how to high-five, but I think “stick ’em up” might be next.
24. Spend an entire weekend unplugged
Dairy Man and I got into a scuffle over this one. While I think the idea of a of weekend free of laptops, iPads, and cell phones sounds relaxing and cleansing, all he could say is “No way! What if my employees need me!?” The man can’t fathom ever being away from his phone. So my plan is to combine this one with #10 and actually force him to leave the U.S. sometime in the next three years. Because not even a dairy man wants to pay $20 a minute to chat with his employees from a Caribbean beach.
25. Refurbish an old piece of furniture
I bought an old mid-century dresser for $60 from a thrift store in 2011. It has great bones but needs a lot of love. This is the year that I’m finally going to USE one of those 43,563 furniture painting tutorials on Pinterest and stop telling people who enter my dining room, “Don’t mind that ugly credenza; I need to refinish it.”
26. Make a list of birthdays and addresses and send cards
My friends can count on fun-filled birthday texts or FB messages, but there’s nothing like snail mail. I want to start sending physical cards. With handwritten notes. Maybe this will help me check off #1.
27. Pay off our student loans
Dairy Man and I finished college almost five years ago and are so close to paying off our loans that I can taste it. Between now and 30, we will pay off every last cent and say “sayonara!” to loan payments. Dave Ramsey would be so proud.
28. Find an active outdoor activity DM and I can do together
Two things that Dairy Man and I need more of (in my opinion) is quality time and exercise. I want to kill two birds with one stone and find an outdoor activity we both love. Are we hikers? Bikers? Runners? Vine swingers? Tennis players? Parkour-ers? Only time will tell.
29. Have a baby
DM and I have always known that we want a family. By the time I’m 30, I want to have at least one heir to the dairy throne around the house. If nothing else, we could use some more farmhands.
30. Write a letter to myself to be opened on my 30th birthday
I’d better get cracking on this one. If the past 27 years are any indication, a LOT can happen in three years. I want to make sure I don’t forget where I’ve been.
So, how’s the whole list going? Let’s check in.
- Send 25 handwritten notes
Drink a large glass of water before every meal We do this faithfully
- Read at least one book every two months
Visit our friends in Salt Lake City This hasn’t actually happened yet, but DM and I purchased plane tickets and will be jetting out to SLC in August!
- Milk a cow
- Take a girls trip to Vegas
- Try ten new restaurants in West Michigan
- Have at least one official date night a month
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
Go on an actual vacation with DM Will be accomplished the same time as #4
- See a show at Second City in Chicago
- Do something that absolutely terrifies me
- Go to five plays or musicals
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!
- Spend a day with each sibling doing something they choose, paid for by me
- Say “I’m sorry” more than 50 percent of the time
- Talk to my grandparents each week via phone or email
- Drink a $50-100 bottle of wine (and see if I can tell the difference)
- Complete family photo yearbooks for 2010,
2011, and 2012 Two books down, one to go
- Purchase coffee for a stranger behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru
- Create something with my Instagram photos
- Upgrade to a DSLR camera
Teach Jersey a new trick I taught him how to high-five, but as mentioned, I have plans for other tricks
- Spend an entire weekend unplugged
- Refurbish an old piece of furniture
- Make a list of birthdays and addresses and send cards
- Pay off our student loans
- Find an active outdoor activity DM and I can do together
- Have a baby
- Write a letter to myself to be opened on my 30th birthday
Yikes. There’s a lot to do between 27 and 30! Some will be easy (buying coffee for a stranger) and others will be challenging (like trying to find time for date nights during corn harvest), but I’m looking forward to checking things off the list.
With a handsome fella like this at my side, how could I fail?