30 Before 30

This is Julie. She is one of the smart women who said yes to sharing a piece of her life for me to read- and to letting me post her thoughts on this blog.  (You can read more about my intentions here.) Julie turns 30-years-old this year and she made a list of things to get done before her 30th birthday.  Here's a snapshot of her list- and why she decided to create it!  Happy list reading!

I’m turning 30 in 4 months.  It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to stop and appreciate life until a large milestone is right around the corner.  I’m not a huge birthday person, but I decided I wanted to make this year something to remember. 

I first heard about the idea of a 30 Before 30 list from a woman I knew through a non-profit I volunteer with.  I thought it was a great idea and started looking online for ideas of what to include on my list.  Pinterest has a lot of posts about lists like this which typically included things like sky-diving, learning a new language, running a marathon, traveling…it was harder than I thought to come up with a to-do list that seemed meaningful and somewhat significant!  Some of these were suggestions from friends, many were easy to come up with, and yet others took a lot of brainpower to figure out.  I decided my list would be a combination of new things to do/try as well as activities I might have done in the past but don’t take the time to enjoy any longer or would like to have more of in my life.  

In no particular order here is my 30 Before 30 list:
  • Go to a Blackhawks game (combined this one with a road trip and went for a girls weekend in Nashville to see the game)
  • Sit by a bonfire (originally I thought of going camping, however I don’t have any camping gear and it seemed like a lot of money for a s’more!)
  • Plan/take my next passport necessary trip 
  • Read a biography of someone I admire
  • Read 5 classic American novels (this came to me when I heard Maya Angelou passed away)
  • See Eric Church in concert (best Christmas present ever from my sister)
  • See a show at Second City
  • Handwrite one letter a month (suggested by my friend Alissa who loves to send and receive letters)
  • Take a class (I thought this would be something related to cooking, however I went rock climbing instead, much better!)
  • Do something horsey (I’ve been around horses most of my life, however living in the city has made that next to impossible)
  • Find another volunteer activity
  • Wine tasting at a winery
  • Visit 5 Chicago neighborhoods
  • Movies/Music in Millennium Park
  • Go out on the lake (still trying to figure this one out…do you know someone with a boat?!)
  • Visit Arlington Race Track
  • Read my book on Walt Disney (got it several years ago as a gift and still haven’t picked it up)
  • Cook a new food every month (this has been great, I’m a much better cook than I thought!)
  • Get on Twitter (this was the first thing I accomplished, started off with something easy)
  • Go ice skating in the park
  • Make a new friend (surprisingly harder than it sounds, it’s easy to make acquaintances but a new friend…that takes time)
  • Visit Cedar Point
  • Find a mentor
  • Tone triceps (this was my fitness related one since I wasn’t planning on running a marathon)
  • Learn how to do eye makeup
  • Buy a new piece of art
  • Go on a road trip
  • Learn about cheese
  • Learn about wine
I’ve completed or am on the way to accomplishing about two-thirds of the list.   The next few months are booked with all sorts of fun activities and some downtime to finish all the reading on my list.  So far, my 30 Before 30 list has been a great conversation starter, a way to connect with friends, and an opportunity to consciously plan to spend time enjoying life and all that it offers.  It won’t be too long and it will be time to write a new list, although I think I’ll end up with a 35 Before 35 this next time around!  Can’t wait :) 


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