The First of Many

{Image source: DaveCrosby}
Today is the first of many, many 29th birthdays. Because, clearly, I don't plan on getting any older.

Except, I will. No matter how badly I lie about my age (and I will), I'm eventually going to be 30, 35, 40, 50, and so on. Today, really, begins the end of my 20s.

Please take a moment of reverent silence.

OK, now that that's out of the way, I'm going to celebrate! For years, I've had lists of things I wanted to do by such-and-such a date. Included in that was "By The Time I Graduate College," "By 2008," and "By The Time I Turn 30."

Turning 30 is upon me, so I took a good, long look at what I wanted to do. Some things are just no longer feasible: I'm not going to be able to visit all 50 states and I'm not going to become fluent in a foreign language. Some things I've already done: get married and have kids are two things that come to mind.

After some contemplation (and a brief reading of Siobhan Adcock's 30 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do Before Turning 30), I came up with a list of 12 things I'd like to do during this next year. They're divided into four categories: Things I Used to [Know How to] Do; Things I Should Know How to Do by Now; Things I Meant to Do a Long Time Ago; and Things I Want to Do, Damn It. Each month, I'm going to pick a task and focus on completing it. If I can't do it inside of that month, that's fine, just as long as I do it before I turn 30.

Ready for the bucket list? In no particular order:

1. Do a Level 5 floor routine. Back in the day, I was a gymnast. A relatively good one, at that. I know I can never be at the same level that I was, but if I can complete a floor routine of the lowest competitive level, I'll be happy. Oh, why floor? I no longer have callouses on my hands (ruling out the uneven bars), I'm no strong enough for the vault, and the beam scares the living crap outta me. Floor it is.

2. See 5 new places of national or international historical or commercial significance. I've been to a lot of places. I've seen the Berlin Wall, the Golden Gate Bridge, Buckingham Palace and Stonehenge, Martin Luther King, Jr's church on Dexter Ave., etc. But I've never been to the White House, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, or a slew of other places. I'd like to check a few off.

3. Whistle through 2 fingers. You know how in movies, the dashing male lead hails a taxi for the damsel in distress using nothing but his thumb and his forefinger? Yeah, I don't know how to do that. I'd like to know, despite the fact that I am neither dashing nor male.

4. Get a piece "audition ready" on the oboe. I've been playing since I was 13, but it's been a long, long time since I've played for real. I'd like to get something prepared to the point that I can audition with it; actual auditioning need not happen.

5. Play roulette in Vegas. Of the times I've been to Vegas, I've never placed a real bet. I've always stuck to the slot machines. While it can be fun feeding pennies into the slot and pushing the button/pulling the lever, there's something awesome about taking a wad of cash or stack of chips, placing it on the table, and saying, "Put it all on black!" Or red. Or 31. Whatever. The point is to do it. (COMPLETED August 2011)

6. Run a 5K. I can't lie, I hate running. Even back in my in-shape days, I hated it. I only did it because I had to. However, I've always wanted to do a race longer than a mile, so 5K it is. (COMPLETED April 2012)

7. Travel to 5 new states. This one went under extensive renovation. At first, it was visit all 50 states, set when I was 20. Then I moved abroad and realized that 50 states was never going to happen, so I said 30 state capitals. A quick assessment a few days ago revealed that I'm 12 short and we simply can't afford for me to go jet-setting around the country just so I can reach a (kind of silly) goal. So, considering that I've already been to more than 30 states, I settled on adding five new states to the list. Delaware, here we come!

8. Refinish 2 chairs. I have these old, ugly chairs sitting outside on my porch just waiting for a new coat of paint. And maybe a cushion. I've never appropriately refinished a piece of furniture, so I figured that this was a good one to cross off the list.

9. Learn to play the piano. I am solidly a righty. So, despite the fact that I can read both treble clef and bass clef (although treble with a MUCH higher comprehension), I can't play the frickin' piano properly because my left hand just won't work. I'd love to be one of those people that can sit down and play something other than "Heart and Soul," so I'm going to become one of them.

10. Take a hot air balloon ride. This one is a combination of minor (read: major) influence from my husband and jacking from someone else. It's not an original idea, but it's a good one. So I'm going to do it.

11. Decorate a cake nicely. This one never used to bother me, but after botching cake after child's cake, I have to learn to do it nicely. Before they start remembering their birthdays. (COMPLETED July 2011)

12. Be in a play, commercial, or other dramatic production. I didn't do this in junior high or high school because a) drama kids were weird and b) most of the productions were musicals and I can't carry a tune in a bucket. But you know what? I'm going to do it. Or at least try.

I have other things I want to do, of course, like get published in a non-online forum, get my pre-baby body back (or at least weight), and meet someone famous, but they're not limited to my 20s. Well, that and I don't really have control over the last one ... unless I completely prostitute myself out, which I'm not going to do. If they happen, awesome, but if they don't, there's always the next 30 years.

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