30 before 30.

We’re just a few days away from a new year. 2014. I honestly have no idea where this past year has gone. 2013 was a whirlwind. A whirl of wind. I think we’re going to need a montage to properly demonstrate just how quickly this year flew by:

I did a tiny bit of traveling with the hubs, spent a wondrous amount of time with my best friends, and, thanks to grad school, got a few more gray hairs! Yay, aging!

Which brings me to my next topic: in about 1.25 years, I turn 30. Thirty.

I’m not trying to make a big deal of it, or have some sort of life crisis. I’m actually kind of looking forward to turning 30, and I’m pretty sure I’d rather be turning 30 than turning 20 again. I have no idea how I ever had the energy to stay out all night, sleep for an hour, go to class, work, and somehow get good grades. I used to love spending every evening possible in loud, crowded, smoky bars. Now, that all sounds horribly exhausting to me.

While I’m not necessarily freaking out about my twenties coming to an end, I realized there are a lot of things I’d still like to accomplish before I hit the big 3-0. I’m viewing the next fifteen months as a call to action; a challenge I’m issuing myself in order to get my life together, or at least get on the path to becoming the grown-ass woman I aspire to be.

So, I’m putting it all out there, and sharing my 30 before 30 list with you guys. I’ve found that, with most tasks, responsibilities, and goals, it’s easier for me to accomplish them if there’s someone else who can keep me honest and accountable. Also, it’s one thing to daydream about goals and secretly wish to accomplish things in your own head, but nothing turns the wheels of change and intention like putting pen to paper. Or, keystroke to digital page, as in this case.

I don’t want to call these resolutions, because then I’m just dooming myself to fail. Every new year, I “resolve” to do a great many things, and about three weeks later, I promptly forget about said resolutions. It’s the nature of the beast, I suppose.

I tried to make my list well-rounded, because variety is the spice of life, or so I’m told. Skill acquisition, travel, health/fitness, friendship/relationship stuff, and random personal well-being mind-body-soul stuff. It’s an eclectic list. I’ll be updating my site semi-regularly to log my progression towards goals, vent about how frustrating/difficult one task or another is, and just to share my little journey towards becoming a better human.

I hope that this list inspires you to jot down some goals of your own! If for no other reason, just to write a list. I think we can all agree that writing lists is kind of the best thing ever, right?

2012-01-22 11.04.17

1. Visit every state in New England

There are so many states within a short driving distance from where we live! No excuses.


2. Go maple sugaring during winter

I’ve always wanted to learn how maple syrup is tapped and boiled! Ryan’s all about it, but I’m pretty sure he’s just in it for the pancakes.


3. Identify and work toward a career I love and want

Pretty self-explanatory. I’ll be finishing up grad school this summer (um, what?!), and I’d like to put myself on a path towards finding a career I’m passionate and excited about. Adult stuff.


4. Visit Canada

Bonus points if I get to pet a moose!


5. Take a photo with Ryan at least once per month

Seriously, we have no pictures together. It’s shameful.


6. Make my own charcuterie

I’ve done a lot in the kitchen, but haven’t done any curing, smoking, or aging. I’m ready.


7. Learn how to make wine / visit a winery

Always wanted to do it, and there’s a winery up the road that lets people come and make their own wine, from harvesting the grapes to bottling the finished product. No excuses!


8. Go camping

Okay, this is really more for Ryan than it is for me. I have never been camping. I am completely turned off the the idea of sleeping in a tent in the middle of nowhere, completely vulnerable to all of the hungry bears and marauding serial killers who stalk the woods. I have an overactive imagination, and I would really like to get over this silly fear. Maybe it could be fun?


9. Practice yoga at least three times a week

I love the way it makes me feel, but I never make time for it. Time to change that.


10. Take the dogs on a long nature walk once a week

Apartment life is rough (ruff?) on the pups, so I owe it to them to let them run around like lunatics in nature more often.


11. Pay off credit cards

Not exactly a fun and exciting goal, but it’s going to feel damn good when I cross it off the list!


12. Find an exercise activity or routine I actually enjoy, and commit to it at least four days a week

Again, I am the queen of finding any excuse not to work out. I’d like to find some form of activity that I can learn to love and stick with.


13. Go vegetarian at least once a week

I’m a bit of a carnivore, so this could prove a challenge, but certainly a worthwhile one.


14. Send thirty cards/letters/little gifts to friends and family

Everyone love getting mail,  I love my friends and family, and keeping in touch and staying close when we live so far away is so important to me.


15. Grow my hair out

Oof. I made the mistake of cutting it all off once I’d grown it out for my wedding, and I’ve been paying the price ever since! I want mermaid length hair, damnit!


16. Update my website at least once a week

I swear, I’m going to do this. I am awful about posting regularly these days, and it makes me sad. Gotta make time for interneting!


17. Rid my life of things that aren’t useful, beautiful, or sentimental

I am a wonderful packrat and an accomplished box-saver. Time to get rid of the junk, donate things I don’t use anymore, and make room in my life and personal space for the important things. Clean and organize and purge all of the things!


18. Reach my goal weight

This easier said than done, obviously. Especially because my site is first and foremost a food blog, so I’m kind of in the business of creating delicious things. Plus, I am much further away from my goal than I used to be, which is a major bummer. Regardless, it’s time to get healthy and stay that way.


19. Run a 5k

Not impossible. Who knows, maybe I’ll become one of those people who likes running? And I’ll do a 10k? Or a half marathon? That sounds like lunacy, but we’ll see what happens.


20. Pay for coffee for the person behind me in line ten times

Kindness for the win! See also: pay it forward.


21. Read one (non school-related) book each month

I love to read, but never make time for it. One book a month is totally manageable!


22. Take photos once a week / upgrade my camera

Sometimes I’ll go months without picking up my camera. Months! I’m terrible at remembering to bring it along on outings or to special occasions, so I’m going to try and be more mindful and capture more bits and pieces of our life through the lens. Related–participate in one of those photo a day things where you take a picture every day for an entire year. I’d like to be better about documenting my life. I would also desperately like to try and save up for a new camera body. Mine is five years old, and I think I’ve outgrown it. Time to start putting away the pennies for a new DSLR body!


23. Visit New York City

Ryan’s never been, it’s not prohibitively far away, and we have wonderful friends who live in Brooklyn. This must happen.


24. Learn how to do one type of craft moderately well

I am the queen of trying my hand at too many different types of crafty ventures, all at the same time. Knitting! Sewing! Scrapbooking! I always end up getting frustrated and giving it all up. I’d like to find one crafty hobby, learn it, and stick to it so I can actually get good at it! Maybe cross-stitch? Embroidery? Needlepoint? Calligraphy?


25. Go hiking five times in five different places

I like nature. I like hiking. I haven’t done it since I was in Israel, and I’d really like to do it more often. Nothing too high or treacherous, though…I’m a tiny bit afraid of heights. And falling.


26. Learn how to play a new instrument

I really, really want an autoharp. Then maybe I can start a folksy indie band and write songs about food!


27. Write in my journal and take a photo every day

I used to be obsessive about writing in diaries and journals (hashtag teen angst), but not so much anymore. I want to keep a better log of my life, even if it’s just a random iPhone photo snap a few sentences each day.


28. Learn how to put on makeup

Sounds silly, but I am absolutely clueless when it comes to makeup. Aside from lip gloss, I just don’t wear it. If I try to put on makeup, I wind up looking like a baby prostitute. It’s not pretty. I’d like to figure out a simple, everyday makeup routine that I can actually do on my own at home, preferably with products that are eco-friendly and good for my skin.


29. Make our kitchen staples and condiments from scratch

Already working towards this, but eventually I’d like to be stocking our fridge and pantry with the majority of the items being wholesome, homemade foods.


30. Be kind to myself at least once a day, every day

I am a master of self-loathing and beating myself up over things that are silly and trivial. I mean, if I did a weird snort-giggle laugh in class, I worry for hours after the fact that people heard it and think I’m a total creepy weirdo. It’s out of control. Whether it be meditation, positive affirmations (I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!), or just reminding myself that I’m not the worst, I want to work on my own happiness and self-confidence. Because really, I’m not a creepy weirdo, and I just need a little help remembering that.


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25 Responses to “30 before 30.”

  1. #
    Jim True — December 29, 2013 at 9:39 am

    These are beautiful, hun, and also humorous which is even better. I love the huge blend of nature and health in your list of 30. That’s the way to draft a ‘New Year’s Resolution’. Good luck!

  2. #
    Jen — December 29, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I love this list! I’m a little over 2 years away from being 30, so I definitely understand wanting to make a list. I think that you will be able to accomplish everything on your list! I love your list, and when I make a list one day, I think that some items on my list will be similar to yours. Just as a note of encouragement, I can tell you that #19 is definitely not impossible. I started exercising and running a year ago, and since then I have run two 5ks, one 4 miler, one 5 miler, and one 10k. I’m even training for a 10 miler now! Anything is possible :) Good luck to you, and enjoy crossing off every item from your list.

  3. #
    Amelia — December 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I LOVE THIS! I put together my own list earlier… some of my highlights are skydiving and seeing Mount Everest. You should think about taking a wellness challenge too! I always do one at the beginning of the year and it’s a pretty awesome way to get my year off right. Good luck!

  4. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — December 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    This is such a fun list! Being kind to yourself once a day, every day is so important! And the whole putting on make up thing?? Totally agree.

  5. #
    Bethy — December 31, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I will hold your ass to this list every second of every day for the next 15 months…
    …that said, you already ARE the grown-ass woman that I aspire to be…and I don’t aspire to be anything less than the best…

    Love you. Happy New Year.

  6. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — January 3, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Loving this list, this is definitely something I need to do myself. Very motivating

  7. #
    Field & Forest — January 13, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I discovered your blog through a few of your amazing cider cocktails a while ago, and I stayed for the lovely prose. Please do update regularly! And re: makeup, unless you want to wear it, don’t force it. Most women who do want to feel a little more “polished” via makeup feel great with a concealer, a tinted lip balm, blush, and/or mascara. If you just want makeup for special occasions, go to a Sephora, be firm about only needing the basics for photos or events, and ask them to teach you how to put it on. For special occasions, add a light foundation, a setting powder, eyeliner, and a bit brighter lipstick.

  8. #
    Alaia — January 21, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Like you, I was clueless about makeup. But then, in February, I had a photoshoot coming up and didn’t have money to pay a makeup artist. So, I dragged some friends with me, they told me what to buy, I followed the instructions (Bare Minerals starter kit) and did okay. The hardest thing was/is eyeliner!! I’m still getting used to it.

    Good luck with your list. I found you when search for ideas for my own.

  9. #
    Hilary — February 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    For learning to do your makeup, I recommend The 5 Minute Face (http://www.amazon.com/The-5-Minute-Face-Quick-Makeup/dp/0061374415). I found this at the library and it was how I learned to be less inept with makeup myself (in my mid-twenties).

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    WOOO!!! 5K down!! :)

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