A few years ago, at a party, an acquaintance talked to my husband about her experience turning 30 (he was about 6 months away from his 30th birthday). “It was the worst day of my life.” That’s all she could say (she had emptied 3 bottles of wine at this point) – so she said it over and over.
He turned 30, and it wasn’t the worst day of his life.
But aging is different for me. As a dancer, my body is my instrument and my voice. I know that after 30, my metabolism will take a hit and I’ll start to have the feelings of being too old to dance full-out with my advanced students. I’ll need to just describe the turning leap landing on the floor instead of showing it. I’ll have to think about putting away the pointe shoes for good.
Anyway, since 30 is a big deal and can seem overwhelming or depressing, I have my own 30×30 list of things I hope to accomplish by the time I reach that birthday. Then, instead of focusing on the cons of growing older, I’ll have a new list of goals (40×40?) to tackle.
A and I have a few in common, but I have no desire to go a whole month without buying anything or to play Risk enough times to beat my husband.
- Find some system to keep track of important dates for family and friends (anniversaries, birthdays), and consistently mail the cards and gifts so they arrive before that date.
- Become a member in a service-oriented group, and volunteer for something I care about regularly.
- Buy a respectable, nice car that I can keep for a long time and be proud of.
- Visit NYC – maybe for a conference, or just to see shows/take classes/etc – but get to the city for at least one week.
- Write regularly (this blog should help!)
- Watch and cheer on our favorite college football team in a major bowl game.
- Take a two-week vacation to Europe. No working of any kind while away.
- Establish a morning routine.
- Start seriously saving for retirement – and set some goals for that retirement with my husband.
- Update my wardrobe with quality pieces… and update how I shop – instead of buying whatever I like on clearance at Target, decide what I need, and shop around (at stores other than Target) until I find exactly what I want.
- Purchase a real, matching bedroom set.
- Grow my own vegetable garden and use what it grows.
- Learn how to play Poker.
- Do something major for both my in-laws and my parents. Maybe cover a vacation all together, cover lawn care/snow removal for a year, something big for their house… but something big as a thank-you.
- Have regular get-togethers with friends. I have a few really good friends that work schedules prevent me from seeing regularly. Fix the work situation and make some regular time with those friends!
- Complete the books-I-should-have-read list. (will come later – probably with A’s help)
- Same as ^ with movies.
- Stop buying clothes from the girl’s section. In fact, stop even looking for clothes for myself in the girl’s section.
- Learn/re-learn to sew enough to repair clothes or make curtains/tablecloths/etc.
- Create a system to handle all of the paper that we have to deal with (business and at home) – and the habit of sticking to it.
- Revisit the resort we stayed in for our honeymoon. Stay there for a week-ish, no phones.
- Contribute an article or column to a trade magazine/journal/etc in my field.
- Develop a kick-ass cocktail that is unique and always have the ingredients on hand to make for guests.
- Host an awesome dinner party – complete with decor, 3-5 course meal, and #23’s cocktail.
- Systemize my business. Take the time to write training manuals, detailed curriculum notes, policies, etc.
- Develop a scholarship program for a few talented and hard-working kids who need some help to afford dance classes.
- Learn how to drive a boat. (I know it isn’t hard, but my family does lake vacations in the summer and I want to feel like a capable driver when we need someone who can pull a skier!)
- Have one day off every other week – truly take it OFF. No email, no planning, nothing.
- Learn more about wine (not that I need to get snobby) and collect the appropriate shaped glasses for kinds we have regularly.
- Accept that growing older and aging is not a bad thing – and do something unique to celebrate the big 3-0.