Milestone Birthday Checklist, Part I

Be stubborn about your goals, flexible about your methods

Be stubborn about your goals, flexible about your methods

A lot of my friends have turned 29 this year. I still have a month and change to go. It has gotten me thinking a lot about the big 3-0 though. Do you or did you have a before 30 bucket list? I don’t, yet, but a lot of my friends are making them. It got me wondering if it’s something I want to do. After some consideration, I decided it would be better for my mental health if I didn’t. I’d just feel bad about not getting everything checked off. That sounds awful. I’m afraid to make goals in case I don’t reach them. Ugh! Part of me can’t help but think maybe I’m missing out on something though. So I’ve been looking at other people’s lists just to see how many I’ve done. After looking at several blogs and magazines and talking to friends, I’ve come up with a list of the most common things people want to do before they turn 30. It’s kind of long, so I’ll cover it in two posts. This one is a list of the things I’ve done, the next will be the ones I haven’t.

  1. Step out of your comfort zone. I think I’ve done this one a million times over. When you have anxiety, it doesn’t take much of a step to get outside of the good old comfort zone. I have faced my fears of heights, public speaking, talking to strangers, taking chances and failure.
  2. Be nice. I’m not sure exactly what was meant by this one? I’m always nice, so check!
  3. Learn to Dance. This one is a great idea! Dancing is fun, especially when it’s a group of people learning together. I’ve learned Swing and Salsa and really enjoyed it. My husband and I learned the Fox Trot for our wedding, we promptly forgot it the next day, but learning still counts!
  4. Come face to face with Mother Nature. It’s important to know who is boss. It’s mother nature every time! I’ve gone caving and climbing waterfalls in Belize. I think that counts.
  5. Eat something Crazy. I guess it depends on how you define crazy. I’ve had snails, ostrich and frogs legs which are a little out of the ordinary. I also tried some different things in Japan. I’m not sure I knew what all of them were. The most shocking thing I’ve ever eaten is a termite right off the tree. Apparently they are a good source of protein if you are ever lost in a forest. It tasted minty. Anyway, I think I’ve got this covered. Check!
  6. Push your Limits. I’ve done this physically in karate and mentally with my Ph.D.
  7. Ride a Rollercoaster. I haven’t been on one in years, but I’ve never met a rollercoaster I didn’t like. My first rollercoaster was the Ghostercoaster at Canada’s Wonderland when I was five. I told my Dad I didn’t want to go on a rollercoaster, it was too scary. So what does my Dad do? Gets me in the line up for the nearest rollercoaster without telling me what the ride was. I was terrified, but I did it and loved it. Thanks Dad!
  8. Take a Trip to Las Vegas. This is a good one. My husband and I went to celebrate his 30th birthday. We were there for 10 days, spent zero time gambling or drinking and still didn’t have time to see everything! It was a great trip and not very expensive!
  9. Learn to Cook. I’m not a gourmet by any means, but I can follow a recipe. I’ve a few dishes that I can do pretty well and have adjusted to my taste. I don’t enjoy cooking, but I think this counts as having learned.
  10. Play Hookey and Do Something Fun. In high school a friend and I would sometimes skip our second period class and go to lunch early. There was a Chinese buffet we loved and we’d miss the crowds and get the freshest food if we went at that time. As a grad student now, it’s kind of hard to play hookey. I may take a day off during the week, but usually I’ve worked a few evenings or weekends too so it pretty much balances out.
  11. Swim in the Ocean. I’ve been surprised by the number of people I’ve met in my adult life that do not know how to swim. I always just assumed learning to swim was a childhood prerequisite like learning to talk and walk. I guess that’s not the case. I’ve come to value my much-hated swimming lessons. Being able to swim can save your life and it opens up a wealth of experiences that you may not enjoy as much if you don’t know how. The ocean is special. I’d say go snorkeling if you can. You can see some truly amazing things! I went for the first time last summer and am dying to go again!
  12. Quit a Job You Hate. Before I started my Ph.D. I was working for my M.Sc. supervisor. I was really good at what I did, but I wasn’t going anywhere. I wasn’t learning anything new and my supervisor was shooting down all my ideas. It wasn’t fun, I was stagnating, so I left to go back to school.
  13. Volunteer. In Ontario, it is part of the high school curriculum to do volunteer work. I was a Girl Guide Junior Leader. I helped out with program and camp planning and supervision. Volunteering doesn’t have to be long term like that though. Wrapping presents at the mall during the holidays counts or baking for Meals on Wheels. I guess a lot of what I do now is considered volunteering since it’s not required for school and I’m not getting paid.
  14. Donate Blood. Tried. Failed. I think trying still counts though. I’ve gone to give blood twice and both times my blood pressure has fallen too low and they had to stop. I don’t know why that happens, I’m not THAT squeamish!
  15. Start Saving. Check! Thank you Tax-Free Savings Account!
  16. Travel. I’ve done some travel. I treasure the experiences. Coast to Coast USA, QC and ON in Canada, Japan, Ireland, Scotland and Belize. I’m aiming for the Caribbean to be my next stop.
  17. Be Out of Your Parents’ Care. I know lots of people who have waited until after 30 for this one. It was important for me to either be on my own or to contribute once I finished school. I moved out the summer I finished my Masters.
  18. Fall in Love. Check!
  19. Get Your Heart Broken. I think living and understanding this pain gave me a whole new appreciation for love.
  20. Make Yourself Interesting. Develop interests and have experiences that are your own, this makes you interesting. You need to be more than just your work or school life. What makes you interesting? I draw, I’ve been to Japan and worked in a cadaver lab. One of those tidbits is usually enough to spark a conversation, usually the third, lol.
  21. Go Out with Someone Who is not Your Type. I think this is a valuable learning experience. It’s just as important to know what you don’t want in a partner as what you do want. Years ago, I would have said my husband was definitely not my type, turns out I had no idea what my type was, lol. You don’t know until you try.
  22. Kiss Someone at Midnight New Years Eve. It’s very cliche, but you’ve gotta do it at least once!
  23. See a Play/Musical/Ballet. To some this isn’t very exciting, but I think it’s an important cultural experience. I highly recommend the Phantom of the Opera. The Lion King, Hairspray and Mamma Mia are a lot of fun too!
  24. Walk a Dog. This was on a few lists I looked at. I’m not really sure why, but I’ve done it, so check!
  25. Have a Piece of Furniture that is Your Own. It can be used or new, as in not a hand-me-down from a family member or something a friend didn’t want anymore. I am barely able to check this one off. Hubby and I have bought a coffee table and a mattress, everything else we own is a hand-me-down, lol!. Thank you parental units!!
  26. Start a Career. I’m praying that I can check this one off! I’ve always wanted to work in vision, so I plan to stay where I am.
  27. Know How to Quit/Break-up/Move on. It’s hard and I still don’t enjoy it, but I think I’ve learned how. Check!
  28. See Your Favourite Band Live. I’m going to check this one off because I have seen most of my favourites (Aerosmith, KISS, Bon Jovi, No Doubt). I’m just missing my childhood favourite, The Spice Girls, haha.
  29. Live in a New Place. I’ve lived in Toronto and Montreal. Check!
  30. Party All Night. I’m not much of a partier, but I did stay out all night once, it was prom.
  31. Learn Your Genealogy. This can require a lot of time. I’m lucky my aunt is interested in it, so I can read her research. I have a relative in Australia and I’m related to a famous doctor in Scotland. Who knew?!
  32. Learn to Play an Instrument. I played viola for a few years. It’s like a violin, but a little bigger. I enjoyed it, but it was on loan from the school. I had to give it back when I graduated.
  33. Go Camping/Hiking. Thanks to Girl Guides I can say I’ve done both.
  34. Run a Race. I’d like to do this again actually. I was on a cross-country running team for a couple years. I think 7.5Km was the longest I’ve done.
  35. Sing Karaoke. Check!
  36. Learn to Live Healthy. I don’t have any bad habits, like smoking, I know how to eat healthy and that exercise is important. I think this one is very important, it doesn’t mean I’m a saint all the time though. I love cake!!
  37. Learn to Parallel Park. I was ace at this when I did my driver’s test and then promptly forgot. I still get a point for having learned though!
  38. Learn to Drive Stick. A friend of mine taught me in her boyfriend’s car. I didn’t stall, but I definitely burned some rubber. I don’t think he knows, shh!!
  39. Get a Mani, Pedi or Massage. Love pedicures, and they last so long, definitely worth the money. Check!
  40. Learn to Sew. Sewing on a button or fixing a seam counts! Check!
  41. Learn to Forgive. Check!
  42. Go to a Casino. I guess it’s quite the experience in of itself. I was in several in Vegas. We played a bit on the Batman slot machine.
  43. Visit a Haunted Area. I don’t mean one of the haunted houses they’ve set up for Halloween. I mean a legendary place. I’ve been on ghost tours in Montreal and Edinburgh, they were interesting.
  44. Get Familiar with the Classics. Read a classic novel and watch a classic movie. I’ve read several Shakespeare stories and the Great Gatsby. I’ve seen Gone With the Wind. I think that’s enough to count!
  45. Jump. Skydiving and bungee jumping were popular list items! I haven’t done either, but I did do an amusement park ride that is kind of like bungee jumping. I’ve also jumped off a bridge and several big, scary waterfalls. I think those experiences count.

So that’s my list. I was happy to see that I’ve accomplished a lot of the common ones already. Have you done all these things? Are there any that are still on your bucket list? I think some of them are really important, but some of them I could go without. What do you gain from singing karaoke other than the experience itself?  Check out the next post for the rest of the list, the yet to be accomplished portion!

hot air balloons

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    May 13, 2014 @ 09:06:03

    I closer to the 4-0 now, but I don’t think I had a list like this before. Maybe I need to make one now, while I still have time 🙂


    • somberscribbler
      May 13, 2014 @ 09:09:55

      Do it! Put it on your blog so I can see what you’ve come up with. I just talked to someone who is doing a list to complete during their 50s. It’s never too late and I think it gives life a little more fun! 🙂


  2. RZT
    May 13, 2014 @ 12:14:06

    AH I am at least twice as old . . . . Thats a long list. . . Thirty was a tricky one for me as someone sort of drove a car over the top of me at speed (although not on purpose, they were a bit drunk) . . . . . so I was a crumpled.


  3. Trackback: Milestone Birthday Checklist, Part II | Somber Scribbler

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