Thirty is not a particularly fun birthday. It feels like a turning point even though it’s not like someone hands you a card that says you are old. There’s no sudden shift in rules or weird restrictions. You just have this sense that it’s time to get serious and that options are now definitely eliminated.
But you go on. You keep going to work and you laugh with your friends and not much seems to change, even though you’re aware more than ever that you have mortality and what will you do with it?
A year ago tonight on the last night of my 20s, I made a list of 30 things I wanted to accomplish this year. Unfortunately, I only checked this list once during the year, so I didn’t have much success getting everything done. I managed 13.5 things on the list. I gave myself a half point for creating the Summer Reading Project because Item 9 was to read all of my unread books. I gave myself partial credit because I’m more than half way through that list. Also, Item 20 was to be something other than a super hero for Halloween, but then I decided that was really stupid because wearing a cape once a year is one of the best things I do. I didn’t give myself credit for that one, but I did lower my list to 29 items.
Here are some highlights of things I did manage to cram into the last year.
Item 1: “Leave the country. At least go to Hogwarts (in Florida). “
In May, I went to Germany and Austria. I blogged about it and went on a Sound of Music tour. Very successful!
Item 4: “Speaking of follow through, post 1-2 times per week on at least one of my two blogs.”
I didn’t manage this very well on this blog, but I was nearly perfect at my book blog.
Item 10: “Read a classic book I’ve been skipping.”
Read A Confederacy of Dunces. Was not disappointed!
Item 13: “Send actual Christmas cards. Pictures optional.”
DONE. Already planning new ways to exploit my dog for next year.
Item 19: “Try a food I have not tried before.”
I had many strange foods this year. This one sticks out because it came out of a food stand in Germany. Mustard helped.
Item 24: “Eat at Bacchanalia.”
In case you are not in Atlanta, this is an extremely nice prix fixe restaurant. It’s the kind of place your parents take you, but you could never go alone. Luckily, my mother wanted to go for her birthday.
Item 26: “Go to a social event that I would usually turn down and find a way to make it good. i.e. don’t be awkward.”
Considering that left to my own devices, I would just stay home and watch Netflix Instant and read books, I’m going to call it a win that I left my house at all this year. I’m sure I stretched my comfort zone at some point. Maybe when I wore sequins to a Taylor Swift concert?
Item 27: “See at least half the movies nominated for Best Picture.”
I actually did this! I loved The Artist, and Moneyball was better than I expected. The Help was WAY out of its league and The Descendants was really depressing.
Item 29: “Do something for New Year’s Eve. Do not just sit at home and eat junk food no matter how much you might want to do so.”
You will notice I’m not in this picture, but it’s only because I took it myself. UVA played Auburn in a NYE bowl game in ATL and I went with some friends from here. My friend Dave captured the general spirit, but UVA pants were sadly not the norm.
Tomorrow: 31 things to accomplish in the next year. This year, I’m keeping the list posted on my wall and I’m super serious about it.
Until then, good-bye, 30. You really weren’t as bad as I heard. In fact, you were basically okay. You have a bad reputation but you’re actually misunderstood. Like Judd Nelson on The Breakfast Club. But with less leather.