Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My 30 Before 30

Update: September 2014- *The Eleven Before Whenever*
Update: May 2013- *30th Birthday Post*

Original Post:
If a goal is crossed out I've linked it to its corresponding post. 
If a goal is in italics it means I have a plan. ;)
I reserve the right to revise my goals at any time. Revised goals are underlined. :)

1. Complete an indoor triathlon. 2/12/12
2. Complete an outdoor triathlon. 6/2/12
3. Swim across West Twin Lake and Rose Lake (or Pine Lake). 7/14/12 and 6/26/12 

4. Bike the Kal-Haven Trail.7/30/12
5. Play the piano in front of people.
6. Visit my family in the Philippines (or at least have tickets booked by my 30th birthday).
7. Have a conversation with a dear Senegalese friend in French or Wolof (preferably Wolof).
8. Visit my grandparents in California.
9. Pop a champagne cork with no fear.
10. Make leche flan (it's Filipino, it's amazing, and I'm makin' it).
11. Jar or can veggies, pickles, sauce... something.
12. Revised 5/1/12 because I remembered that I'm supposed to graduate in December and my Master's degree is really important to me!!! Get my Master's degree and submit some of my academic writing and then, maybe, you know... get it published.
13. Travel out of the country with Nate.
14. Pay off at least 50% of my remaining undergraduate credit card debt.
15. Sing karaoke by myself in Kalamazoo in front of all of my friends.
16. Eat clean for one month.
17. Pick berries and bake something with them. 8/24/12 

18. Write at least one chapter of the novel that I write in my mind while I'm walking the dogs.
19. Thank my mom for everything she's done for me.
20. Go further into the UP than the Mystery Spot tourist trap and jump into Lake Superior.
21. Get chosen for one more summer fellowship in another country where I am able to work with youth.
22. Go on a police ride along.
23. Get to 200 blog posts.
24. Revised 5/1/12 Make some decisions about my career and/or PhD prospects. Apply for PhD programs.
25. Attend roller derby training so I can learn the moves.
26. Learn how to flip turn when I'm swimming laps. 4/19/12
27. Take a real personal day. 6/8/12
28. Learn how to drive a stick.
29. Go horseback riding.8/8/12
30. Poach an egg perfectly.

Original Post
It's time for a new blog project. The following is my "30 before 30" list. I've spent the last month or so simmering this list in the stockpot that is my mind and I've decided that these are the 30 things I'd like to complete over the next year and half. Some of my goals are small, but things I've wanted to do for a long time (example: #9, Pop a champagne cork with no fear). Some are a little bigger and might take some planning, saving, and thrifty spending (example: any of my travel goals).

That's 30 potential blog posts plus a year and half of celebrating my birthday, which is usually one of my favorite days every year (and will be until I am old and gray).
My fake 28th birthday karaoke screen somewhere near Detroit (see goal #15) at a place called the Kitty Kat Klub.  I'll celebrate my birthday even when it's not my birthday.
With no further ado, here is a long glimpse into my life: 30 mini blog posts :)

1. Complete an indoor triathlon.
I completed a trial tri with a good friend the other day and ran jogged for the first time since my knee surgery in 2008. Oddly enough, finding that I could run 1.5 miles at 5 mph felt better than when I ran a 10k. Now I just have to complete an actual, formal, and timed triathlon indoors and I will cross this one off of my list!

2. Complete an outdoor triathlon.
Once I complete the indoor tri, I'm sure I'll start itching to complete an outdoor tri.

3. Swim across West Twin Lake and Rose Lake.
The goal is to swim from my in-law's cabin on West Twin Lake to another family member's cabin across the lake while someone follows on a kayak. I'll test out my lake swimming skills on Rose Lake, which is much smaller.
West Twin isn't so intimidating... when you're sitting in the middle of it on a rowboat. 

4. Bike the Kal-Haven Trail and do something fun in South Haven afterwards.
I've been saying I'm going to do this for the last 4 years. Less talk, more action.

5. Play the piano in front of people.
I'm very afraid of playing the piano in front of people. It's part of the reason why I didn't formally change my major to music therapy and switched back to education after one semester. I may never become a music therapist, but if I can just play Moonlight Sonata (my seventh grade self's favorite song to play) in front of people I'll be satisfied.
Image from piano-play-it.com

6. Visit my family in the Philippines (or at least have tickets booked by my 30th birthday).
I've been talking about this for almost 10 years. Money has always been an issue, but I'm going to get this done.

7. Have a conversation with a dear Senegalese friend in French or Wolof (preferably Wolof) that consists of more than, "Hi, how are you?" or "Where is...?"
Why does he always have to be the one speaking English? Wolof is more difficult to learn when I'm not in country because there aren't a lot of English to Wolof resources online to help me figure it out, but with my prior knowledge, dictionaries, local Senegalese friends, and this website I should be set.

8. Visit my grandparents in California.
I would like to spend some uninterrupted time with them. I spent time with Nate's grandparents in Las Vegas and it is one of my fondest memories.

9. Pop a champagne cork with no fear.
When people pop champagne corks around me I duck and cover my eyes. It is because of articles like this that I have this irrational fear. This needs to stop. I need to learn how to pop a damn cork myself.

10. Make leche flan (it's Filipino, it's amazing, and I'm makin' it).


11. Jar or can veggies, pickles, sauce... something.
I think I want to make and jar tomato sauce. I need to learn this skill in order to survive during the zombie apocalypse.

12. Submit some of my academic writing and then, maybe, you know... get it published.
My father-in-law once told me that every English teacher wants to be a writer. I see a lot of truth in what he's saying. I've been dragging my feet on submitting anything because I hate rejection, but now is the time to bite the bullet.

13. Travel out of the country with Nate. I want to have an out of country adventure with him. For the purpose of budget constraints, Canada definitely counts. The last time we went there was during a SARS outbreak in 2004 because it was dirt cheap.

14. Pay off at least 50% of my remaining undergraduate credit card debt.
This is a gigantic thorn in my side that needs to be 50% smaller.

15. Sing karaoke by myself in Kalamazoo in front of all of my friends.
I can sing karaoke out of town, in groups, or with my sister-in-law. I never want to do it in town because I might not want to show my face afterwards.
TMI alert! Sometimes I just look up karaoke videos and sing them when I'm by myself because I'm searching for "my" karaoke song.

If you must know, this is the current song I've been having fun with when I'm home alone.


16. Eat clean for one month.
This goal includes putting aside my beloved dirty martinis and not going out for Sunday brunch for a month... can it be done? I'll use the guidelines from my favorite magazine: Clean Eating.

17. Pick berries and bake something with them.
Maybe I'll make my first homemade pie crust while I'm at it.

18. Write at least one chapter of the novel that I write in my mind while I'm walking the dogs.
The dogs and I have discussed it and they think I'm ready. They're also sick of me talking to myself in the woods while I hash out characters and dialogue.

19. Thank my mom for everything she's done for me.
Idealistically, I'd like to take her to Vegas. Realistically, this might have to wait until I'm actually in my 30s and I can afford it. I'll have to take her out to dinner instead.
There's no better way to celebrate going into my 30s than saying thanks to the rockstar who birthed me.

20. Go further into the UP than the Mystery Spot tourist trap and jump into Lake Superior.
I just have to find out the best time for freezing Lake Superior swimming.

21. Get chosen for one more summer fellowship in another country where I am able to work with youth.
Nothing is more exciting to me than seeing the world. I wish I would have started earlier.
Chillin' with kids outside of Mame Yelli Badiane in Pikine, Senegal.
22. Go on a police ride along.
I want to see what my students are up to, ya dig?

23. Get to 200 blog posts.

24. Make some decisions about my career and/or PhD prospects.
Maybe then I'll stop writing blog posts where I post Jeff Buckley songs because I feel lost about finding a new job.

25. Attend roller derby training so I can learn the moves.
One of my friends just started this and she's rocking it! I don't even care if I join the team or not. I just want to see if I can do it! Nate seems to think I'm going to skate over my own hand, but I'm going to give training a shot with the ladies from Killamazoo Derby Darlins.

26. Learn how to flip turn when I'm swimming laps.
Oh the jealousy that flares up inside of me when I see a swimmer execute the perfect flip turn. I want to do that without getting water all up in my nostrils and (very unsexily) writhing around like a walrus!
I'm going to try step one of five in the next few weeks... somersaulting through a noodle.

27. Take a real personal day.
This might be the hardest thing on the list for me to accomplish.

28. Learn how to drive a stick.
Again, another skill that will be helpful during the zombie apocalypse. Seriously though, I've wanted to do this since high school. I'm so glad there are youtube instructional videos with engaging instructors, like the one below... muah. I'd rather complete this goal with a friend. Any takers?


29. Go horseback riding.
I've never done this, but I really want to even though I'm scared of horses. I've never even been able to pet one. There is a precious photo of me at age 5 sobbing on pony... this was only the beginning of my horse fear. I recently saw this beautiful, yet creepy video that inspired me to write this goal as #29.

30. Poach an egg perfectly.
I ate a variation of this recipe every day when I was in Paris for a few days. By god, I'm going to make it so I can eat it any time I want. I've tried to do this about 5 times, all with crappy results. I never even got to the lentil step. I'm going poach eggs it until I get it... or, I'll buy a ninety-nine cent dozen and if I don't get it after 12 tries I'm going to write another #30 (my alternate #30 involves cooking a live lobster).

5 comments:

Angelita said...

Love this Jen! I am turning 40 this year and it makes me think if I should seriously make at least a top 5 list :) of attainable accomplishments by June 8th... Hmmm... Seriously, thank you.

wexistence said...

Found this via your comment on the Huffington Post. Awesome list. I'm turning 31 one this year and I feel like I've lived so much more than anyone who thinks Glamour's list sums up a woman's life at 30. Yours is definitely better, and yes that crap is the reason I can't stand women's magazines. And hey -- you have family in the Philippines! I'm from the Philippines.

do_it_ajen said...

Thanks! I decided when I was in my early 20s to stop reading those stupid mags. I wish I would have stopped reading them and started reading Bitch or Bust a little earlier though.

I love it when I meet fellow Filipinos. :)

Jenn said...

I also found this via the HuffPost article and as someone who just turned 30 -- I think your list is waaaay better! That glamour list made me feel like I didn't care about what I should have been caring about all this time.

POACHING EGGS: One of my friends swears by the Smitten Kitchen concept of only poaching in a couple of inches of liquid. However, that never worked for me. My trick is to really make sure the water is 180 degrees. Use a meat/candy thermometer, bring it to that temperature, swirl the water and make sure it stays at that temp... then drop the egg in. Don't be afraid to pull it back out to check it with a slotted spoon, then drop it back in if it isn't done. Just keep in mind it will quickly overcook. I LOVE poached eggs and it took me years of failure and then one morning tutorial with a roommate. It can be done.

do_it_ajen said...

Thank you for the tips Jenn! I've been trying and trying to poach a freaking egg and I can't get it right!

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