May 23, 2016

My Last Day as a 30 Year Old

For the entire year I was 29, I checked my 30 Before 30 List daily and worked hard to cross everything off. I was obsessed with completing this list. I had a lot of fun doing it.  The problem was that I also read all the thousands of other articles telling you what you should have accomplished by the age of 30. All of sudden, I felt like I hadn't accomplished anything - no life changing safari, no mind altering yoga retreats and I definitely hadn't cooked my way through a fancy cookbook. Those lists were a bitch.

Truthfully, I thought I would wake up on my 30th birthday feeling totally different. I didn't. I felt the same. Not once in the past year have I had to change a tire, set a fancy table, make my own signature cocktail or write a kick-ass cover letter. But all those articles made me feel like I needed to experience all the wild and crazy things in my twenties AND learn all of the "important" things in life because I was expected to have it all together the day I turned 30. Like I said, they were a bitch.

What I can tell you is that I feel different today than I did a year ago. I grew a little bit the last year. I got burned a few times. I accomplished some stuff I didn't know that I could. I found more awesome people. I learned more about the world. 

I've survived the first year as a 30 something. I feel compelled to write a list of things. My list of things that I learned or experienced in the last year. But really, I want you to ignore this list once you've scrolled through it. Make your own. That's way cooler.

The 2 things I wish I would have started 10 years ago, good skin care and stretching.

Champagne tastes good with all juice, not just orange juice. Thanksgiving morning should involve apple cider + champagne (Thanks Meredith). Plus, it always makes you feel a little fancier. 

Don't keep things because you feel guilty getting rid of them. It's OK to let things go

On that note, don't pass on your junk to your friends & family - most of the time, they will just feel guilty if they don't take it. Donate everything (or have a garage sale.)

I've got a weird thing about flamingos. I love their awkwardness. Apparently, they are a big trend this year. In the past, that would have annoyed me, but now it makes me happy because I see them everyone.

Send mail. I've tried to put more focus on that the last year and it has been a blast.

Handwrite your thank you cards. Keep a list, catch up often and always have a few on hand.

Grind your own coffee beans. The smell, the taste - everything is better.

Invest in a coffee machine that allows you to schedule the next day's brew. I wake up to the smell of fresh coffee - it's incredible. 

Breakfast is the greatest meal. I know they say it's the most important, but I also think it's the best. 

Your parents are human. They aren't unbreakable or invincible. But they are still so awesome and will always be your people.

Unsubscribe to emails. You'll be surprised how much time it takes just to delete all the junk each day.

De-multitask. It annoyed the hell out of me the first time I heard that, but it really does help you get things done quicker. 

Plan vacations with friends. The older we all get, the less time we have for shenanigans with our friends. A vacation gives you some solid bonding time while experiencing new places. Most of the trips we took in the last year were with friends and we had a blast - Montana, the Catskills, Costa Rica, New Orleans and this upcoming weekend, we are celebrating birthdays with friends in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Plus, you get a good ab workout from the nonstop laughing.

There is trash everywhere. Pick some up.

My place is the mountains. When I need to reset, I find that flannel, coffee, big trees and sweeping views make me happy the quickest. 

Knowing how to evaluate relationships. You should give a lot of love, but you should also be receiving a lot of love.

I love lots of pillows and high thread count sheets and I don't care who thinks that's annoying.

It's good to talk about politics with your friends - as long as you don't act like an asshole. Everyone has an opinion and it can be really awesome to have an intelligent conversation about things happening. You can learn lots of good stuff from your peers. Warning, it's probably more of a coffee chat than a few beers deep chat. 

Last, but not least, learn your stress limits. I've learned the warning signs and I've learned how to reset. I've learned a lot more about me. That has been the most valuable and life has seemed just a little better this year.

Of all the things the internet will tell you that you need to experience or learn, the most important things are the ones you create for yourself. Truth is - you're probably pretty awesome and the sooner you learn that, the sooner you can share some of that with the world.

So make your own list of stuff you want to do, want to learn, want to share. Don't listen to what other people tell you that you should have accomplished. 

I'm thinking about another list of my own. Maybe a 101 in 1001? Maybe a 100 day challenge? Stay tuned... 


  1. Really great post - lots of good stuff learned (and lessons for others to think about) but the third paragraph from the bottom is where it's at.

  2. I've been on the fence about a 30 by 30 list and you might have just convinced me because I see the value so much in making your OWN list vs those lists that try and make you feel like if you're not able to ____ you failed kind of a thing. Sparkling cider is probably one of my favorite drinks of all time, so adding champagne to cider is going to happen all the time next fall- thanks for the suggestion ;)

  3. Love this post! I love where you said it's OK to get rid of things. I'm starting to pack up to move again, and it's so hard to let things go.

  4. Every time I see one of those posts that tells you what you need to do in your 20s or by they time you're 30 or whatever, I always feel a little bad when I know it's something I'll never be able to do in time. Thank you for posting this! It is so true that we should only worry about our own list of things we've done and learned.

  5. hell yes to all of this! things only get better from here and the saying is 100% true -- with age, comes wisdom. we need to keep in touch with those we love, even though life can see super only takes a moment to reach out and connect with people which is what i've been doing in the last few years and haven't regretted it one bit!

  6. Love this list! I couldn't agree more about the skin care and stretching, especially now that I'm sneaking up on 50. Ugh. Happy Birthday!

  7. i love this list but i also love that you said make your own. all the lists out there that make you feel like you should do this or that by a certain age - they really are a bitch. meanwhile, i really need to start practicing good skin care and i have no idea where to start. it's so overwhelming! happy belated birthday :)

  8. Had fun in my 20's but they are way overrated. Life really starts after 30. Man, if I only knew then what I know now......

  9. You're the best. I can't wait to see you in a few short days. Your blog posts always put a big smile on my face and a warm glow in my heart. Xoxo


Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.