Well. I made it to 30. And so far it’s pretty good. And not so terribly unfamiliar. I’m still me. I just wanted to check in one more time and update you on the #30in30. This will be my final report. Then I’ll just get on with being 30 and you can get on with being whatever age you are, and we don’t have to keep talking about it. The list never had any expressed goal. I just made it for fun, and I did the things on it for fun. But it did change something in me. The list reminded me how to be spontaneous (in a really backwards way). It reminded me how to laugh–hard and unhindered. It made me a little bit braver because once I’d committed to something, I felt compelled to see it through. It made me intentional in setting aside time to do things that I might have thought were silly or pointless if I hadn’t put them on the list.
And maybe they were silly, but the life they made me live is not silly. It is real. And our Father intends that we live it!
The list made me realize the value of doing things beside the ones we love. It deepened friendships (and friendships within my family too…family-ships?). These people that I love were willing to do crazy and sometimes inconvenient things simply because I had written them down on a list. They were willing to road trip and train trip and run and bike and swim. They were willing to wake up long before dawn for a hot air balloon ride. They were willing to eat the strange things I dared to cook. They were willing to enjoy the thrill of it right alongside me. They were willing to let my list become their list, and it was more fun because they did! And those very same people were still there on the hard days and the mundane ones too.
Because life isn’t all fun and laughs. There were days during that 30th year of tears and questions and anger. There were a few fights and misunderstandings. Because it’s real life.
But the list reminded me that I’m glad that I get to live this life. That it’s mine. And that it’s real.
So… here is the final report:
1. Go to a trampoline park. It’s how I imagine living on clouds would be. (If clouds weren’t vapor and actually felt the way they look.) We did it! I convinced our discipleship group it would be a great idea. It was! Until the next day when we remembered that we aren’t twelve anymore. #ouch
2. Cook a lobster. Finally. I went and picked them up all by myself. Alive. Like still-moving-alive. I felt like I had bought giant hermit crabs. I named them Frank and George. Turns out that they didn’t fit in the pot at the same time, and I had to cook them separately. So we made lobster rolls from Frank while George cooked. And that was a really good appetizer. And then we dipped George in butter, and it was really good! And not that scary. Or hard. I think I’ll be doing this again.
3. Roast a turkey. Maybe for a major holiday. Maybe for a random Wednesday. We shall see. I don’t actually like turkey. But it seems like something you should know how to do before you’re 30. I did it! Christmas in July was a success. Read about it here.
4. Visit Cody, Wyoming. (I’m named after it, didja know that? But I’ve never been there. Incidentally, neither have my parents. Also, today, I got an email inviting me to the Bayou City Fellowship Men’s events. Haha! I declined the invite. But thank you, Mom and Dad, for the gender-neutral name. It has provided ample opportunity for awkward.) This one isn’t looking likely. But who knows. Yeah, no. Didn’t happen.
5. Take a train from Chicago to San Francisco. It’s reminiscent of the Oregon Trail. But there’s no need to hunt rabbits/buffalo or to ford the rivers. I’m accepting applications for travel companions. Check! Morgan came along, and we made it across the country. Turns out lots of people still use trains as a major mode of transportation. And they found it completely bizarre that we had flown from Houston to Chicago to catch a train to San Fran. I’m not sure I ever need to do this again. But I’m glad we did it. More to come on this adventure in the near future. #crosscountryTRAINing
6. Stop waiting for a “reason” to write what I want to write and start actually writing it. Hmmm…We need a way to measure this. Suggestions welcome. I think I’m making progress. It’s slow, but it’s progress.
7. Ride in a hot air balloon. (I think.) Done! In California. It was amazing! Thanks, Mom and Dad.
8. Read at least one classic novel. I haven’t really ever read any. What do we think? I’m leaning toward Emma. Or Gone With the Wind. (Is that a classic?) I’m on page 1026 of Gone With the Wind. I have spent the summer carrying a brick around in my purse. An added bonus: strength training.
I finished it!
9. Go to the top of the Empire State Building. (This is mostly a ploy to get back to NYC!) Did that too! Want to see a picture? Thank you, Lindsee, for turning 30 first, choosing to celebrate in NYC and basically helping me to achieve all my life goals!
Fun side note: these two are now my roommates! We haven’t yet moved to NYC.
10. Run/Swim/Bike a triathlon. A short one. Preferably in a pretty place. Where the water is clear. I reserve the right to bail on this. Training has commenced and we are registered for one this fall. Thank you, Morgs, for making my dreams your own. We did it! And I kind of liked it. It was WAY better than a half-marathon. One thing we did learn is that it would have been helpful to have actually ridden a bike before we did this. I realize that probably seems obvious to you. My training consisted of spin classes. So on Saturday afternoon (before our Sunday morning race), we rented 2 bikes and proceeded to learn how to ride them. In. The. Parking. Lot. It was not our finest moment. But we find ourselves quite entertaining, which is always to our advantage.
11. Use my brother’s name more frequently in conversation. It has recently been brought to my attention that even some of my closest friends don’t know his name. I talk about him all the time. I always say, “my brother…” and never his name. It’s Hunter, by-the-way. Now you know. I think I’ve succeeded in this department. Also, he got engaged. Yay, Hunter!!! He came to my 30th birthday dinner. And everyone there knew his name. #winning
12. iFly. Do you know about this? You can fly. It’s a new life goal. Speaking of Hunter. He and Darcee just agreed to do this with me. Stay tuned. We did it! On my birthday. I literally soared into the next decade. Haha!
13. Read the whole Bible. So far, I’ve made it to 2 Kings… and now I’m to Esther. Yep, that’s basically no progress. I blame Scarlett O’Hara. I made it to Luke. My mom did manage to read the whole thing during my 30th year. So there’s that.
14. Visit the place where the four states touch. Even though my cousin Mark informed me that there is nothing there. Well, I will be there. Someday. This year. I’m not thinking this will happen. I’m not even sure I still want it to. Yeah. No again.
15. Float the river. I’ve never done this. Dear friends who went last year without me, you’ll have to go again. We did it. And I [mostly] enjoyed it. But here are some thoughts about something that made me really mad.
16. Use eye cream regularly. I just got some and started using it on Wednesday [this was in February]. We’re off to a great start. Still going strong. But I may need stronger cream. Aging is a real thing, folks. I ordered new cream last week. I just don’t know. The one I have makes my eyes feel strange and I’m convinced it’s melting off my makeup.
17. Learn to make ice cream. This is more of an immediate goal. Thank you, Kimi and Katie, for the ice cream maker! I’m basically a master of strawberry and cinnamon. Side note: I miss Blue Bell. And I’ve heard a rumor that it’s returning August 31. And I can hardly sleep with all the anticipation.
18. Wipeout Run. March 28. Save the date. …and DONE! Read about it here.
19. Finish crocheting a blanket that I started for a baby who is now in the 2nd grade. (I’m really about 80 years old on the inside. And I have been since I was 16.) This is…well…not looking good. In other news, said child began the third grade last week. I didn’t finish it. But I did give away all of the yarn and the beginnings of the blanket. Know your limits, folks. And if you can’t complete it, just move on.
20. Drink more water. Check. I have found the trick to be cute water bottles. Of a colorful variety. And straws.
21. Houston art sign pictures. In real life, some Fridays are boring. So you start googling. And you end up driving around taking pictures with graffiti, acting like tourists in a town that has basically zero tourist attractions. And then you add it to the #30in30 list because it makes you feel like you accomplished something. I don’t know why this picture makes it look like we were both pasty-white with flu-like symptoms. We were fine!
22. Paddle boarding in Galveston. I didn’t know this was a thing. But I added it to the list once we did it!
23. Wreck This Journal. An exercise in “letting it go” for rule-followers everywhere. We picked this up in NYC. And spent an evening laughing until we cried. Maybe we’re easily amused. Or maybe this is the best entertainment ever! Probably both. It’s pretty hard to explain. Perhaps this one deserves its own post.
24. 1000 gifts — make a list of 1000 things I’m thankful for. Starting today! I think that for some people this is a really helpful habit. For me it was stressful. Because if I said I was thankful for one friend, then I felt compelled to list all of the friends (because what if I die, and they find it, and I only thanked God for one of them and the rest of them have to wonder forever if I was thankful for them too?!). Let me just take this moment and tell you all that I’m thankful for you. And I’m thankful for family. And for food. And for air. And for lots and lots of things. But I can’t list them all because it made me tired and stressed.
25. Do more handstands. Everywhere. At the most bizarre of times. It’s amazing what this can do for your attitude. Thank you, Kimi, for all the moments we’ve spent upside down this year. #lifeupsidedown
27. Plant tulips. Hope they grow in this coastal climate. This was perhaps the sweetest thing. I did what the Internet told me to do and stored them in the fridge until January. Then I planted them as best I knew how. Then I waited. And they sprouted! And it was incredible. And then I waited some more. And on the night of my birthday, after all of the celebrations had ended and the phone had gone silent, I remembered the tulips. And I wondered… And I went to check them. And they had bloomed! We have a God who sees and knows and cares. A God who makes tulips grow in Houston and bloom on birthdays just because He can.
28. Feed a camel. Not on the original list. But some things are unexpected. And worth doing! Even if you’re not particularly crazy about animals. (Which I’m not. As we discussed earlier.)
29. Escape the Room. Again, not on the original list. This was perhaps when I realized that the list had changed me. When my mom and I had a rainy morning in L.A. and “Escape the Room” came up as an option, we were hooked. Both she and I. Because she has always known what the list helped me to see–that life was made for living. Escape the Room is basically this thing where they lock you in a room and you have to solve a mystery to get a code and get out of the room before an hour is up. Some of them are scary, I think. Ours wasn’t. And we did it in 1 hour and 7 minutes, so we didn’t really win but we didn’t lose either. It was well worth it!
30. Turn 30. Yep! I did it. And it feels like an accomplishment. And I’m glad I’m here.
May you embrace that one life you get to live. May you know that it is sweet even when it is painful. May it be full even when it isn’t fun. May it be unexpectedly beautiful even when it isn’t perfect. May you live it. And may you know the presence of the God who created you for it and leads you through it, of the God who sits in it with you. He’s worth everything. And He makes everything worth more.