I'm turning twenty-nine this August.
For those of you who are mathematically challenged......that's one year away from THIRTY.
And I'm okay with that.
In fact..........I'm kind of looking forward to a new decade in my life.
Last summer I went to the 30th birthday party of a friend of mine from work. During the course of dinner the inevitable "30th birthday" question popped up - was she dreading turning 30 and saying goodbye to her twenties.
She cocked her curly haired head and pursed her lips thoughtfully.
"You know......my twenties was full of change and instability. I was a college student, a teacher, I got married, had two daughters and then became a stay-at-home mom. I'm looking forward to the next decade of my life being more settled. I know who I am and the path my life is on - there's no uncertainty and angst."
Okay. I might of paraphrased a bit, but that was the general gist.
Her response has stuck with me because she's right. I started my twenties as a college sorority girl in a relationship with an abusive alcoholic and I'm exiting this decade as a settled and joyfully married teacher and the mother to a beautiful little girl. Not to mention the amount of roller coaster-ing I did in the years between. I'm ready to enter a decade in my life where I'm secure in my marriage, my career, my relationships and most importantly.......MYSELF. I don't look at thirty as a looming death sentence, but instead a breath of relief and an important milestone.
But no major milestone wouldn't be complete without some sort of fun adventure along the way so as many women do...........I am attempting a "30 for 30" list of things to accomplish before I hit three-oh on August 7th, 2013. Coming up with a list is actually a lot harder than I expected - maybe because I have experienced a lot of the "typical" things people would normally put on something like this.
Here's what I've got so far:
1. Eat at a Chinese buffet. I know, right? I've NEVER eaten at a Chinese restaurant (besides PF Chang's which probably doesn't count as "real" Chinese food) because I was scared? Of the sauce? Unfamiliarity? I'm not really sure why. My parents didn't really venture out for Chinese (or Japanese or Thai or Indian for that matter) when I was growing up so maybe I just somehow convinced myself that I wouldn't like it.
2. Spend five minutes in The Anger Room. Bear with me here. I'm truly not a violent person but I think being in a room smashing everything to bits with a baseball bat for five minutes would do me a world of good. The word cathartic comes to mind. When I played competitive sports, I would release my aggression on the court and against the other team, but when I play with my 8th graders that really isn't an option........at least if I want to keep my job.
3. Do something touristy in DFW. I've lived here all my life but there is still so much to explore. Apparently people come to Dallas and Fort Worth for vacation and I would love to see the area through their eyes. Maybe the Stockyards or the Sixth Floor Museum.
4. Read a "classic" novel that I cliff noted in high school. Since The Great Gatsby is coming out this holiday season I think that might be the one I choose.
5. Do one of those painting classes. I see the pictures all over Facebook of fun Girls Night Out groups all proudly displaying their artwork. I don't let it out much, but I've got a pretty wicked creative streak and I think getting a group of my friends together to spend the evening painting and drinking wine would be tons of fun.
6. Send birthday cards and small presents to all my friends celebrating 30 between September and August. This will probably be the most difficult because I am TERRIBLE at remember birthdays to begin with, much less buying a card and a present and getting that all in the mail in time for the actual birth day.
That's all I've got so far. Six. Yikes. Craig is turning 40 just a few months after me (December of 2013) so we've tossed around the idea of combining our lists and doing a lot of these things together. His first thought was "I want to take you to Maui before you turn thirty." Okay. Well. That sounds absolutely lovely, but I was thinking of stuff more budget friendly, but that's just the way that Craig thinks. He has the big ideas and I pull him back down to Earth.
I introduced him to my list on Thursday as we were making the trek up to Frisco for Natalie's second hematologist appointment (still not where she needs to be, we're continuing iron supplements) and he suggested that we go ahead and mark the first item off the list. So after we left Children's hospital we headed off in search of a Chinese buffet.