30x30, A, goals

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I have a problem. 

And that problem’s name is Diet Coke. 

I love it. It tastes like joy, and smells like freedom. 

And yet, as my family is prone to point out, it’s also basically rat poison in a can.

You know, minor details. 

But after the turn of the year, I realized HOW MUCH I was really drinking and spending on that dark brown elixir. (Spoiler alert: way too much.) So I decided that I would cut back. I went to drinking one per day, which was hard. Even harder was when I decided to go to 3 per week. 

Tomorrow, however, starts the real test. I’m giving up Diet Coke for lent. 

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40 full days of no soda. I figure if I can make it 40 days, then I’ll have pretty much kicked the habit, and I’ll have gone a long way in to decreasing my dependence on caffeine

So wish me luck. And maybe pray for my husband. 

-A

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30x30, adulting, goals, Uncategorized, V

30 x 30 (31 months)

Thirty.

Ugh.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Become a member in a service-oriented group, and volunteer for something I care about regularly.
  3. Buy a respectable, nice car that I can keep for a long time and be proud of.
  4. Visit NYC – maybe for a conference, or just to see shows/take classes/etc – but get to the city for at least one week.
  5. Write regularly (this blog should help!)
  6. Watch and cheer on our favorite college football team in a major bowl game.
  7. Take a two-week vacation to Europe.  No working of any kind while away.
  8. Establish a morning routine.
  9. Start seriously saving for retirement – and set some goals for that retirement with my husband.
  10. 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.
  11. Purchase a real, matching bedroom set.
  12. Grow my own vegetable garden and use what it grows.
  13. Learn how to play Poker.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. Complete the books-I-should-have-read list. (will come later – probably with A’s help)
  17. Same as ^ with movies.
  18. Stop buying clothes from the girl’s section. ¬†In fact, stop even looking for clothes for myself in the girl’s section.
  19. Learn/re-learn to sew enough to repair clothes or make curtains/tablecloths/etc.
  20. 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.
  21. Revisit the resort we stayed in for our honeymoon.  Stay there for a week-ish, no phones.
  22. Contribute an article or column to a trade magazine/journal/etc in my field.
  23. Develop a kick-ass cocktail that is unique and always have the ingredients on hand to make for guests.
  24. Host an awesome dinner party – complete with decor, 3-5 course meal, and #23’s cocktail.
  25. Systemize my business.  Take the time to write training manuals, detailed curriculum notes, policies, etc.
  26. Develop a scholarship program for a few talented and hard-working kids who need some help to afford dance classes.
  27. 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!)
  28. Have one day off every other week Рtruly take it OFF.  No email, no planning, nothing.
  29. Learn more about wine (not that I need to get snobby) and collect the appropriate shaped glasses for kinds we have regularly.
  30. Accept that growing older and aging is not a bad thing – and do something unique to celebrate the big 3-0.

 

-v

30x30, A

30×30 (18 months)

Thirty. It’s a scary word for women in their twenties.

30 is when everything starts to fall apart.

You’re almost 30? Isn’t your biological clock ticking?

Yikes, 30?! Better get a good eye cream, you’re going to need it.

I’m not terrified of 30. I’m not necessarily excited about it, but aging is a part of life that I’m more than willing to look forward to. Why? Because aging is a luxury. One that I plan on enjoying.

In making sure that I’m enjoying life to the fullest, I’ve stumbled upon a kind-of, sort-of bucket list for us 20-somethings. The 30 by 30. Thirty items that you’d like to accomplish by your thirtieth birthday. As today is my half birthday, I’ve only got 18 months until I get to check a new age box, so I guess I better get started.

  1. Run a 10k (from start to finish).
  2. Visit at least one national park.
  3. Reduce my personal debt (student loans) by 25%.
  4. Learn to roast a whole chicken (and use all the leftover parts!).
  5. Brush up on my French. I was once fairly fluent, and I’d like to have that back.
  6. Donate my hair.
  7. Go an entire month without buying anything.
  8. Host an actual dinner party.
  9. Buy a house that my husband and I both can agree on.
  10. Become a proficient photographer.
  11. Research and begin continuing education for my profession.
  12. Take a trip with my girlfriends.
  13. Learn how to change the oil in my car.
  14. Create my wedding album.
  15. Finish Rory Gilmore’s reading list.
  16. Figure out a regular fitness plan/routine that actually works for me.
  17. Reduce my dependence on caffeine.
  18. Road trip with my husband to a major sporting event.
  19. Firmly establish a morning and evening routine.
  20. Knit a blanket.
  21. Reconnect with a friend who I’ve lost touch with.
  22. Get a bikini wax to see what the fuss is about.
  23. Update my wardrobe with quality pieces. Donate what is no longer worn. Ruthlessly slash my shoe collection to make way for others.
  24. Find a cause I am truly passionate about in my community. Donate time, effort and money to something deeply important.
  25. Replace our terrible dining room table.
  26. Re-evaluate our retirement plan and savings. Ensure we’re making good decisions and investments.
  27. Beat my husband at Risk.
  28. Earn a commendation for my work at my place of employment.
  29. Invest in an original art piece.
  30. Grow my own vegetable garden (and create my own compost for it).

You may have noticed some pretty major stuff missing from this list. I’m not aiming for any weight loss goals. I’m not convinced I need to get promoted. I’m not focused on babies. Sorry Mom.

It’s not that I don’t want babies. Or to be skinnier. Or even that I wouldn’t accept a promotion that I’m offered. It’s not even that I’m opposed to all these things before 30. It’s that I’m not putting a timeline on that process. I’m not going to create unrealistic and unattainable goals for myself. These goals have an overall theme of making a happier and healthier lifestyle for long term success. Is everything on here essential to that overall goal? Probably not. Is it stuff that I find to be interesting and important? Absolutely.

That being said… Voila! This is the stuff I’m going to be focused on for the next 18 months. None of this will be exceptionally easy, but I think it’s pretty important to have goals and to make those goals challenging enough to matter.

As I complete a goal, or start working toward completing a goal, I’m going to write about it. As that happens, I’ll update this post with the successes or failures I’ve encountered… as soon as I learn to link things.

-A