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31 for 31: a bucket list

So, yesterday was my birthday. My 31st birthday. Joshua has looked at me at least 15 times today and said “You are firty one now, Mama!” Just in case I forget. I’m actually IN my 30s now.

I managed the first year of my fourth decade with…uh…lots of wine. And also cookie butter. And baby snuggles. But definitely not with sleep. Or tons of grace.

It’s been a good year.

I want this one to be better.


I keep a running bucket list in my head of the things I want to do before I die. But hopefully that’s a long, long time from now. So a while ago, maybe a month or so, I decided to create a bucket list of 31 things to do in my 31st year.

Things that I want to do, and things that I need to do, and things that will make me a better person. Sorry for the wall of text.

They are, in no particular order:

  1. Lose 31 pounds. Why 31? Well, why not. It’s a goal. It’s easily attainable. It will put me somewhere between wedding weight and pre-Joshua weight. My clothes are fitting weird and I can’t keep buying more pants when I have a closet full of them waiting to be worn. So, 31 pounds are going.
  2. Be bold. I know it comes as a shock to those who know me and would say I’m already bold, but I don’t feel bold. I feel meek a lot of the time. I guess it’s time to embrace my boldness.
  3. Raise money for a charity. $310. In honor and memory of my friend Jenn’s twins, William and Daniel, who were born at 24 weeks, this charity will be the March of Dimes.
  4. Read more books. I grew up loving to read. I still love to read. I want my kids to love to read. So they need to see me reading. So, I will read more books. Let’s say 12, one new book a month.
  5. Get a(nother) tattoo. I’ve been kicking the idea around for a new tattoo for a while now. I just haven’t gone through with it mostly because I think I’m not cool enough for a visible tattoo. But maybe this year.
  6. Go on dates with my husband. Dan deserves more of my time. I deserve more of his time. We need to get out more.
  7. Start a Mom’s Night Out. Remember how I was frustrated with how hard it is to make friends? What I think the bigger problem is, is that it’s hard to find time to get together with the friends I already have. I want to just say “hey, every second Saturday of every month is MNO. Be there.” And then do that.
  8. Write more. I have stories to tell. I want to tell them. I sit down at the computer and open up my dashboard and then get caught up on Twitter or get pinged to death by that damned sound Facebook keeps making or fall into a Pinterest Spiral and then before I know it nap time is over and I can’t do any more writing.
  9. Mail real letters. When’s the last time you got a real piece of correspondence in the mail? We need to send more real letters.
  10. Continue making this house a home. Our house is our home, but it doesn’t really feel like “us.” And I’m not exactly sure what “us” feels like when it comes to home decor, but I’m finding out this year.
  11. Be a real adult. I feel like real adults are capable of keeping their houses presentable. Maybe not spotless. Maybe “turn the lights down so no one sees the dust bunnies in the corner.” Sometimes I feel like I’m living in chaos with all the stuff. I need to find a way to keep it under control and have a presentable house.
  12. Wash my face every night. I’m badbadBAD about not washing my face at night before I go to bed. And I also don’t shower every day some weeks, so then it’s days before my face gets washed. I love you, skin. I’ll do better.
  13. Yell less. I’m a yell-er. It stresses everyone out. Including me. I would do well to learn to speak to people the way I want to be spoken to.
  14. Learn more about my camera. I think I’ve done well so far just by switching it to manual. I’m able to snap a good photo here or there. But I know there’s more to learn here and I want to learn it.
  15. Learn Lightroom. I’ve had this program since Christmas and I’ve opened it twice and both times it has freaked me out. So I’ve closed it.
  16. Try 31 new recipes. I’m a comfort zone cook. I don’t like to stray too far from what I know. But I want more variety in our diet.
  17. Put a crazy color in my hair. I’ve worked in banking an education, two fields where I personally felt the need to be more conservative. I’m out of those environments, so now I can do something silly and fun.
  18. Take a relaxing vacation. I’m sort of cheating on this one since our vacation is booked. It’s the relaxing part that will be hard. Vacationing with kids is pretty much not relaxing. But we can find relaxing moments, right?
  19. Run/Walk (okay, definitely walk) 3.1 miles. Basically, complete a 5K. Just because I hate to run so this will be a challenge.
  20. Be a better friend. I’m bad at keeping up with people despite the fact that it seems like the internet should make this easier. I need to call people more or at least send a text to say “hi.”
  21. Give each of my kids one on one time. I want to take them on special outings with just me. While it’s fun for us to all go and do things together, I think they both need one on one time to build relationships with me that are independent of the other child’s relationship. I’m not sure I’m making much sense here.
  22. Practice a random act of kindness. I suppose it’s not random if I plan to do it. But I’d like to make someone’s day by paying for their coffee or something. I would hope they would pay it forward.
  23. Listen to music more often. Music used to be a pretty big part of my life. Now it’s only a big part when I’m in the car.
  24. Get outside. I feel better when I spend more time outside. My kids love to be outside. So why do we stay inside so much?
  25. Create. I’m a crafty kind of person. I love starting projects. I love finishing projects even more. I guess this should be “finish the projects you start.”
  26. Unplug more often. We’re a tech-loving family. Sometimes we love our technology a little too much. To model good behavior for my kids, I need to take breaks.
  27. Save up for something I want. You would think that in 31 years, this is something that I would have done by now, but no. It’s not. I can’t think of anything that I’ve said “I want that. Let me save up for it.”
  28. Teach Joshua to swim. My little man is kind of scared of the water because he’s so been exposed to it so few times. I want him to be comfortable in the water.
  29. Learn when to say “no.” If something comes up that doesn’t add value to my life, it’s okay for me to say no.
  30. Learn when to say “yes.” There are times when I need to say yes. To my kids. To Dan. To myself.
  31. Continue making memories. 30 was a good year. 31 will be better. I can feel it.

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Thursday 20th of June 2013

I found your blog looking for something else and then stumbled upon this post, and was astonished! You see, 9 months ago I turned 28 and made list of 30 things to do by 30. (Yours look way more fun, my life is actually kind of a mess, and I'm trying to fi that.)

You having posted your list inspired me to actually set-up my website and post mine. So thanks!

Good luck! You seem totally amazing, so I'm sure you've got this in the bag.

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