My 30 Before 30 List

March 22, 2016

Well, it’s my birthday. I’m twenty six. I have four years left until I turn 30. Does anyone else over 21 forget their age? Feel dumb around new technology? Can’t figure out how Snapchat works? Find yourself preferring to replay music from your teens rather than discover new tunes? For a while, I’ve heard of people making lists of things to do before their 30th birthday. “30 before 30.” I believe in dreaming and longing and making plans. I believe in goal setting. I’ve taken StrengthsFinder a few times during college (and since), and though some of my top five strengths change, “futuristic” has always stuck around. So with all of this in mind, I thought I would make my own 30 before 30 list.


My 30 Before 30 List
    1. Cook every recipe in the America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook. This was one of the top items on my Christmas list, and there are over 600 tried-and-true recipes aimed at teaching home cooks how to master all sorts of skills. Some of the recipes are pretty basic, like perfect chocolate chip cookies, and others are more complicated, like pan-seared thick-cut pork chops with cilantro and coconut pan sauce. I made that one. It was delicious, and I cannot tell you how accomplished I felt.

2. Get a tattoo. I have lots of ideas. Some words (which can be superfluous but I’ve been hanging on to something in particular for about 7 years), some images. My best ideas relate to my kids and my sisters, and my transformed life.

3. Sing at an open mic night or perform at a poetry reading. I never perform anymore, so this would be a fun challenge. I’ve wanted to do something with Clay for a long time. Maybe he could play the guitar and I could sing.

4. Do an educational wine tasting. I don’t have to get crazy intense about it like those wine geeks on Somm, but I’d love to know more.

5. Host a grown up dinner party. I’m talking a killer table scape, wine pairings, cheese platters, and me as the chef.

6. Have a career.

7. Get out of debt. Ohhh that four letter word that makes my heart sink. When Clay and I got married, we were debt free. But with all our financial struggles in the couple years, I’ve gained some debt and wrinkles. One of the two has got to go.

8. Invest $1000. Grow money, grow!

9. Have a third child, whether it will come biologically, or through foster/adoption. Lately I’ve been thinking that I might be done having biological children. Clay and I would love to have a bigger family, and there are so many children that need homes.

10. Write a children’s book manuscript. If I can publish it, I get bonus points.

11. Sell at a handmade craft fair. I always have ideas floating in my head of things to make and sell.

12. Write a will. As a parent, this is definitely something I should have…

13. Blog consistently for a year. Once a day, once a week, two times a month. Just something consistent.

14. Cultivate a garden and eat what I’ve grown. Herbs don’t count.

15. Run an official 5K. My run of choice is The Color Run.

16. Paint a large piece of art. Something good enough to hang on a wall.

17. Go to a spa and get a full “pamper myself” experience. I’m talking massage, mani/pedi, facial, maybe some kind of body wrap or mud bath.

18. Perform in another musical. Chorus line is fine. The goal is to get back on a stage.

19. Go to a dermatologist and get my red head skin checked out. I’m a big hypocrite, always telling other people to do this when I’ve never actually been myself.

20. Further my computer skills: Adobe Illustrator essentials, and basic web design/development.

21. Learn calligraphy. This probably means attending a workshop, though I do have a couple books I enjoy, and an online course by I Still Love Calligraphy, now known as Calligraphy.org.

22. Teach an exercise class. Oh this terrifies me, but it’s something I really want to do.

23. Go rock climbing. Pretty straight forward.

24. Road trip West. See things like the grand canyon, Los Angeles, and interstage 1.

25. Read through the entire Bible.

26. Visit New York City.

27. Do some qualitative research about marriage (this is more specific than it sounds, but I’m not going to flesh out my ideas right here now).

28. Mentor someone. Any takers?

29. Have a truly awesome halloween costume. To be decided.

30. Shoot a gun. 

It’s funny that over the course as I’ve written this, I keep coming up with more goals. Get a Masters Degree. Take my kids and my husband to England. Live in an RV for a year and travel America. Learn how to HAM radio. Take cello lessons again. Eat at a Michelin Star restaurant. Go to Redhead Days, the festival for ginger folk. Go paragliding. Go scuba diving.

Maybe I’ve started my 40 before 40 list.

Have you written a 30 before 30 list, or something like it? What’s on it? What have you crossed off?

By Kellie