Boy how the time has flown by. I can remember being a little girl, practicing my “signature” on a cheque (yes we still had those in my day), because that is what you did when you are grown up, and I wanted to be grown up. Going to university, meeting someone, getting married, being an adult. Can you believe, then 30 seemed so far away, and so old. I mean, my grandparents were ancient, and they were in their 50s! But from the perception of a 6 year old even 30 seemed light years away. And now I am a few weeks away of actually turning 30! (Just so you know, all that practicing my signature never paid off, still cannot do a decent signature!). Looking back, I wonder if I missed things, some opportunities that presented at odd moments, and thus slipped away, or things that I was not even aware off. I have always seen myself as a positive person, believing that it is never too late for anything. Thinking about this, I decided to make a list of the 30 things I thought I wanted to do before 30, keeping in mind I have less than a month to do them in. Where I have already done something I will tick it off, and update as necessary.
My quick list for 30 things to do before you turn 30!:
- Date someone who isn’t your “type”, then get married to someone who is perfect for you: Done
Did that, didn’t work out, obviously because he wasn’t my type. Married my husband, who at first glance also wasn’t my type but turned out to be exactly who I wanted and needed. This was a lazy item, since I am already married 🙂
- Figure out who your real friends are: Done
Friendships are hard, and real friends are difficult to come by. We all should have different levels of friendships, from mere acquaintances to that friend who is closer than a sister/brother. Find out who in your circle fits into which level, and if you don’t have that really close friend, make a point of getting one. You need someone who will have your back no matter what.
- Start thinking about retirement: Not done.
Get a retirement plan, and start paying it monthly. Even an investment account is a step in the right direction. I have saving plans for my kids, but for myself, nada. Need to pay attention to this ASAP!
- Go camping. Not glamping, actual camping: Planning to very soon!
This is not going to happen before I reach 30, but definitely this year! Want to take the kids on a fun and memorable camping trip, think A2 is almost old enough to enjoy it with her sister (if she will just get up and walk now please). So this one is on the cards for this year, just after winter.
- Buy some stocks: Planning.
Part of my “saving for the future” plan, I want to get into stocks. Hubby is trying to teach me, but seems I am a slow learner when I want to be!
- Stop holding grudges: Think done?
This is a tough one. Life is full of milestones, and I think it is vitally important to do a fair amount of introspection every time you reach one. I did the accompanying “get to know yourself” journey when I left school, finished my degree, started my business, got engaged, got married, got pregnant. Now for the 30-milestone. As part of said introspection you need to sort out what you can forgive, what you can’t and the reason you can’t, and then ways around it. Holding grudges are not healthy, and as hard as it may sound nothing in this life is unforgivable since we are not the ultimate judges. If you cannot forgive, learn how to, then forget and move on.
- Learn the value of physical intimacy: Busy!
Physical intimacy is, to me, a lot different to merely being physical. In my current life stage I crave being close to my husband, holding is hand, cuddling, sharing a kiss, much more than I crave “rip each other’s clothes off” sex. Off course that is nice, and needed, but the intimacy that comes with knowing someone, trusting them, liking them and loving them, is so much more special. Having mind-blowing sex because you know someone that well is of course a bonus.
- Take a cross-country road trip: Done, but planning another one soon!
We try to get away once a year. This never works out, but at least we try. Our last cross-country trip was in 2016, when we went to the Drakensberg and later in the year to Durban. Although not completely cross-country, doing it with a then-1 year old was challenging! Would love to do the trip that we did in 2013 again, going from Pretoria to Balito and then from there, to Knysna on to Cape Town. But the kids will have to be a lot older. A lot.
- Throw yourself a birthday party: Busy planning.
Oh yes. Definitely happening. I never have a party, because I don’t see why I should have, and my line of work makes it impossible to throw a surprise party. So every year comes and goes with no celebration. This year Hubby and I are planning a joint birthday bash, somewhere in the middle of our birthdays. Nothing big, just something to celebrate another decade going and one coming.
- Attend a multi-day/weekend music festival: Done.
We used to go to Aardklop every year. This died out when we got married and the kids came along, but would love to get this tradition back on. Maybe even go a bit further like Grahamstown or KKNK. Will see what the year holds!
- Set a reading goal: Done setting, busy reading.
At first I thought let’s do something manageable, like 1 book for the year… then I though no, let me challenge myself – 2 books! Haha no, in all seriousness this is the one goal I think I am not going to make, but I will try as hard as I can! Going to try and read at least 1 book a month, which to you may seem like nothing, but to me is a big deal. I use to read 3 to 4 books a week, but then life and work happened. So getting back into it, and finding the time, will be challenging.
- Have a morning routine: Trying!
Something like: wake up – no snoozing!, read Bible or pray, get up to make coffee, wake the kids, make breakfast, get everyone dressed and off to school, get dressed yourself, read and answer emails, do marketing, get ready to leave for the office. Progressing nicely with this one, which my days just had a bit more structure.
- Join a club: Desperately trying.
But with my reading goals, who would want to take me? So for now, I have decided to look for a home cell, maybe even starting one once we are in the new house. That is a club of sorts right?
- Treat yourself to something really expensive…and pay for it in cash: umm, yeah…
Must first figure out what I need (because yes, we only buy what we need and not necessarily what we want) and then budget and save and then only can I buy it. If I have to go top of my head, a laptop will be on the list as this year’s splurge item.
- Practice photography skills: ooh boy, so trying to work on this!
Taking beautiful pictures may seem easy, but it is not! I have bucket loads full of respect for photographers – capturing that perfect moment, editing it just right. Wow, that is talent. I don’t have that talent, but like most things in life I believe I can practice just enough to at least get a pass-able photo. Still practicing!
- Forgive yourself for mistakes: Done, and will keep on doing.
Especially the ones you made when you were young and desperate. We all have the right to a few mistakes, and life goes on – so forgive yourself! Learn from them, choose to not repeat them, and that is that.
- Eat really expensive food: Done.
With this I don’t mean the normal food you buy, although buying groceries lately constitutes as “expensive food”. Here I mean a smart restaurant, or an ingredient that is really special, like truffles or foie gras. Treat yourself to something mind-blowing, and eyebrow-raising expensive (just not put-yourself-into-debt expensive), and do this at least once a year. You are worth it to experience the finer things in life.
- Pay it forward: Done.
Be kind, be gentle. To yourself, and to the people around you. Be sensitive to other people’s struggles, and support them in whichever way possible. Not only will it make you feel better, but you might discover things about yourself that you never knew. Do something good for someone else, every single day.
- See a theatre play: Done.
Whatever falls into your tastes, be it a show, musical, play, anything that is done on a stage, where you had to purchase tickets. We saw Priscilla Queen of the Dessert when it was on at Monte Casino, and we are planning at least two other shows this year. You need to make time to experience culture as well!
- Read more news (but don’t allow it to make you negative): Done.
Know what is going on in the world around you. You don’t have to be interested in the war in the Middle East, but at least know that there is a war. If your interest is more fashion, or food, or celebrities, it doesn’t matter, just read a bit more. At least then you will have something in the way of small talk over and above “strange weather we are having”.
- Have your family over at your place for dinner as much as you can: Done!
I cannot emphasise this one more! Make time to spend with your loved ones, and especially with your family. Invite them over regularly, even if it is just for a coffee. Dinner doesn’t have to be fancy, you can even arrange that everyone brings a dish, sort of potluck dinner, the point is to spend time together.
- Get a hobby: Done.
I have always struggled with this. I don’t have hobbies because I like working. So there is never time for a hobby. This year I decided in line of a hobby I will build my two girls’ a doll house, complete with furniture, the works. I have started, but had to stop since we are moving in 3 weeks. So everything is being packed away. But it is something that I enjoy, so cannot wait to start again!
- Get your finances in order, and learn how to budget: yeah… still getting there.
This is a tough one. I am a very organised person, who loves lists and things to tick off. Yet I am unable to work within a budget. Maybe because I work for myself, and every month is a surprise in terms of salary, but working out and sticking to a budget remains a challenge. For the rest, I am slowly busy paying off student loans, my credit card is almost done (it is manageable) and I have no other real debt in my personal name. So this is almost all good!
- Round up the group, and spend a day as you did back in your childhood: Count me in!
Get your friends together and spend a day the way you use to, back in the day. For my group it will be a Christmas bed, with a few movies and lots of treats. Although now it will probably have to be animations….
- Improve your wine knowledge: Done.
I completed a wine connoisseur course, and received a certificate for my troubles. What can I remember? Pretty much just that chardonnay smells like grass, some reds smell like forest floor, and shiraz or cabernet can have pencil shaving notes. Maybe I must take my notes out for a refresher course…
- Host a massive dinner party and cook everything yourself: Yes!
I love love love to host. To have friends and family over, everybody talking and laughing, music in the background, me in the kitchen. Cooking and baking, with everyone enjoying it. We do this often. You should too.
- Learn to fight: Need to happen!
Learn how to defend yourself. Something I need to do (because growing up with two very physical brothers doesn’t seem to be adequate practice).
- Take care of your body: Started, now to continue.
Not necessarily weight or exercise related, but more holistically. Take care what you focus on, where you place your attention. Sleep a bit longer, laugh a bit louder, read a bit more, meditate, drink your vitamins, drink water, eat more fruits and vegetables, have that glass of wine. Stop criticising yourself, love your body!
- Publish an ebook: Working on it.
Something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I have a few ideas, so hopefully this will be the year!
- Plant a tree: Done.
Plant a tree at least once a year. You can do it as a symbolic act, or just because. Maybe plant one for every person you have lost, but also every person you have gained. I want to plant trees for each of my girls. Make it happen.
That is my list. I think most of the things on it is easy enough for anybody to do, quick enough to do without planning, and cheap enough to get done without a budget. I don’t know if I will get through all of them before the clock strikes 30, but I will give it my best shot. Most of the items on the list are in any case an ongoing thing, something to continuously work on. Off course I could add a few more items, but I will leave them for my 40 before 40 list.
Drop me a comment – what are those things you are planning to do before you turn 30?