Before 30.

August 2, 2017 12:00 pm
Next Thursday I turn 29. It’ll be another lap around the sun behind me and I can’t quite believe it. It feels like just a few weeks have passed and I was going out on my own, getting married, moving to Omaha, and starting to figure out this thing we call Life. And like just about anybody, there have been a fair share of ups and downs. But these experiences have shaped me into who I am. And today, that person has a list of things she wants to do before this next lap is over.
I’m writing the list here so I can come back to it regularly. I have a copy in my Bullet Journal too, but anyone reading this can’t really see that. I do pretty well when I have an accountability partner (that’s you guys!). There’s some good stuff on this list: a gentle mix of Stuff I Want to Do, Stuff I Need to Do, and Stuff That Scares Me. So here it goes:

30 Things Before 30

  1. Explore three new states.
    I’ve got my eyes on Oregon, Washington, Utah, Louisiana and Maine. It’s possible that Oregon and Louisiana may happen before the end of this year!
  2. Install a hammock somewhere and lie in it. Frequently.
    Because duh. It’s a hammock.
  3. Grow a decent garden crop to harvest, can and jam.
    Over the last few years I’ve amassed quite a set of gardening skills. I missed out on planting this year and have really felt a void. To make up for it, I want to push my gardening to fill out my pantry, like my grandparents did.
  4. Finish and print the remaining photo books from my recent travels.
    Here’s lookin’ at you Italy, Jamaica (x2!), Colorado, and San Diego.
  5. Cook my way through The Homemade Kitchen.
    I wanted to become a better cook in 2017 and have really grown in this area. But I’ve never worked my way through an entire cookbook before. It sounds like a fun challenge.
  6. Learn to bake bread (without a bread machine).
    I’m talking old fashioned, hand kneaded, delicious carbs.
  7. Spend more time reading than on the computer.
    There’s always a stack on my bedside table. I want to get through them more quickly. And spend less time with a screen in front of my face.
  8. Host a shindig for my 30th.
    I’ve never hosted a party for myself before, and you only turn 30 once.
  9. Become a better writer.
    I’ve taken small steps in this already, but can I just say thank God for Alli Pane?
  10. Increase my monthly retirement contribution by 5%.
    A girl’s gotta eat, even when she’s old. But I am listing this here also because this addition will put me at my 15% annual contribution goal.
  11. Begin the process to combine Cacy’s and my family histories into a book.
    I’ve been interested in family history from a very young age. And I’m fortunate my aunt Deb has devoted much of her life to documenting some of my family history. I know some, but not a ton, of Cacy’s history and would love to dig deeper and combine the two into our story.
  12. Finish designing my family cookbook and give copies to my loved ones.
    I’ve been working on this for the last six months. Now I need to set aside the time to cook the few spotlight recipes for the book so I can photograph them. They’re such good meals that I know I won’t have trouble inviting family over for dinner. After all, food tastes better when you’re with family.
  13. Save the cottage, give it a name, and rent it for the first time.
    There’s been talk about a campground and I haven’t yet posted about it here (maybe soon!). But this will put another preservation in the books and give me a chance to flex my interior design muscles.
  14. Learn to love my body. Completely.
    I’ve struggled with this my entire life. It’s time to change that.
  15. Strengthen my relationship with God.
    He and I’ve had an interesting rapport through my life, but I know I want Him in my life. I’m not sure exactly what this looks like, so I’m going to spend time next year trying to figure it out.
  16. Understand my style and redefine my closet.
    Regularly editing my closet has introduced some fun themes in how I like to dress. I want to invest in a few quality pieces that define my personality in what I wear.
  17. Mentor someone.
    Many have said I would be good at this, so I want to formally give it a try. Would anyone be interested in this, though?
  18. Go skydiving.
    This scares the shit out of me, but what’s life without adventure?
  19. Take a sisters-only trip.
    Next year I’m turning 30 and I’ve never done this with my only sister. Ridiculous.
  20. Learn basic car maintenance.
    Cacy has been after me for years on this. It’s time for him to teach me how to change a tire on my own, among other things. At least I know how to check my oil, add windshield wiper fluid, and check/fill up a tire with low pressure.
  21. Go to the shooting range three times.
    Every year I say I’m going to do this with my husband, but this time it’s actually happening.
  22. Learn to meditate.
    I’d like to quiet my mind and prepare for the day in a different way than I do now. Today I listen to music or a podcast on my way into the office with a hot cup of coffee. I want to challenge myself to do this mental preparation before I even leave home.
  23. Turn the backyard into a place I actually want to spend time in.
    After three years of incremental progress to gain back our backyard, it’s time to put it to use. I’m feeling very inspired by the Faux Martha’s recent backyard renovation.
  24. Change my relationship with food.
    I don’t necessarily have a bad relationship with food, but I want to eat more whole, clean foods than I do now. I have a feeling my garden and canning aspirations might play a large role in this goal.
  25. Find the consistent exercise routine that works for me.
    I can’t say I’ve tried it all until I do, so here it goes. Round9 circuit workouts have been recommended to me and I might give them a shot. Years ago I learned how to kick box and it was so much fun. I’m not sure how I was able to get up at 5:30 AM every day to hit the mat at 5:45 AM, but I did. I’d like to get back to that kind of routine.
  26. Plant a tree.
    The environment does a lot for me and I’d like to do something for it. I also live in the state that created Arbor Day so there’s that.
  27. Learn the practice of dismissing negative thoughts and complaining.
    This really has no positive effect on anything so it’s time to ditch this bad habit. I have a focus on it now, but I feel there’s always room for improvement in this arena.
  28. Frame three pieces of artwork.
    There are far too many tubes with pieces I love in my house that need to be brought out to shine. I have a beautiful #KelsPaintsFeelings canvas ready to be sent to Framebridge right now. I can’t wait to hang it up in our den renovation once it’s done.
  29. Take a woodworking class to become more comfortable building my own things.
    I’m scared of table saws and that’s because of my inexperience with them. I often pin inspiration photos of furniture I could actually build myself if I just tried.
  30. Go to the roller derby.
    To ease into the year, I got a head start on this one! We’ll be going with Hudl to see the No Coast Roller Derby next weekend.

And that’s it! It’s quite a list for 365 days, but I’m up for the challenge. Have you ever made a list like this before? What was on it? Or, if you have any advice on how I could tackle some of these things, I’m all ears. Especially if you want to ease the intense nerves I have over the sheer mention of skydiving.



  • 14- Love my body—-
    One of the things I did was do a sexy photo shoot when I lost 75 pounds. I have since gained it back and am working on that, not because anyone is telling me I need to, but because I feel it important for me. The photo shoot went A VERY LONG way to helping me get good with loving myself. Also, I was in a show “My Big Fat Bahookie” that focused on how much we need to all love ourselves no matter our shape. If you are interested, here is the web recording -
    and 24.. – yes, my feelings on this go back and forth.. for instance, I swam 12 laps today and had a bagel for breakfast. I have been doing a lot or reading on the subject, and long story short, everything in moderation tends to be my stance.

    • boucksy says:

      Jennifer this is such a great idea! I might need to work up the courage, but I think it’s beautiful that you found that so empowering to changing your mental thoughts.

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