30 for 30

23 Aug

While I’m out of commission this week, post-surgery, I’m hoping to blog a little more and catch up on some posts I’ve wanted to write for a while. In that vein, I’ve really abandoned my personal blog in favor of putting more effort and time into this blog. I don’t regret it whatsoever – talking about my non-existent dating life and my work life and my family and my friends can be exhausting, especially when there isn’t much to say (publicly anyway). But one thing I’ve figured out that I miss is having a place to talk about my non-reading goals. I’m not going to move any of that here, except for my newly created life list – 30 for 30. My 28th birthday is quickly approaching in less than two weeks, and I decided that there were a few things I want to accomplish before I hit that big milestone. I was partly inspired by Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm. We’ve got a few of the same things on our lists, so I thought I’d post my complete list here, under the Challenges section.

Before I do that though, some explanation. The idea of a “life list” – things I want to do before I die – feels kind of morbid and also completely overwhelming, but a list of things to cross off my list in the next two years is doable and exciting. Of course, because I am me, there are book goals on my list as well. Two years sounds like a long time; it’s not, especially when you consider that some of these goals are year-long adventures, and that some of them are traveling goals, which require planning and money. Some are easy, some are hard. Some are a little bit out of my control, no matter how hard to work at them. I originally had more than 30 on the list, but I managed to narrow it down to these:

  1. Throw a dinner party
  2. Learn how to make homemade pasta
  3. Live alone
  4. Take a spontaneous road trip with no planned destination
  5. Get a job in book publishing
  6. Start saving for and do research into having my eggs harvested and frozen
  7. Run a marathon
  8. Do an Olympic triathlon
  9. Take a photo every day for a year
  10. Ask a stranger out on a date
  11. Go alcohol-free for a month
  12. Knit a scarf as a gift for someone else
  13. Donate $50 to a different charity once a month for a year
  14. Take my parents out for a really nice dinner
  15. Eat only local for a week
  16. Set up my freelancing services (i.e. hang out my shingle)
  17. Take a vacation with my friends – no weddings allowed!
  18. Read all seven Jane Austen novels
  19. Go sky-diving
  20. Read Anna Karenina
  21. Eat crabs on the DC waterfront
  22. Volunteer with the Obama 2012 campaign
  23. Start writing fiction again
  24. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  25. See every movie on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list
  26. Travel internationally at least once a year (Canada doesn’t count!)
  27. Read all seven Harry Potter novels back to back
  28. Learn Photoshop, InDesign and HTML
  29. Get kissed under mistletoe
  30. Be happy

I managed to cross off #2 on my list on Sunday night. My mom taught me how to make homemade pasta and I can’t wait to try it out myself. I’ve totally got the bug and I want to teach myself how to make ravioli now too. I also realized – even though it’s not officially on my list – I did something else pretty cool (and it’s on Kerry’s list!): I learned how to shoot a gun!

Do you have a similar list? Any tips for getting some of the things on my list accomplished?

For one of the book goals, I’m going to participate in Unputdownables’ Anna Karenina read-a-long this fall/winter which I think will make me more motivated to finish it. Is anyone going to join me for this one?


25 Responses to “30 for 30”

  1. Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog August 23, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    What a list! I look forward to tracking your progress, and I think, since my 30th birthday is just 16 short months away, I may have to do my own version as well. Good luck, Rachel!

  2. Ellen Rhudy August 23, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Ambitious! I’m impressed that you learned to make pasta – it’s one of those things I know I could do if I just weren’t so lazy. Maybe when I get back to the States, I’ll talk my mom into doing that with me, though.

    I’d love to hear about the marathon, if you end up training for that. I’m not sure I’d put running a marathon on my list (again, lazy), but I want to start running again and do some races when I’m back in nj.

    • Rachel September 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

      Making pasta – like just noodles – was surprisingly easy. And it’s so much better tasting.

      I’ve done a couple half marathons but I’d love to do just one full. My mom’s done 6 now, but I’m like you – lazy 🙂 – so we’ll see if that one happens.

  3. Alley August 23, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Good luck with your list and congrats on already crossing one thing off!

  4. Kari August 24, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    I’m reading Anna Karenina now for book club. Without some read-along or group to read it with, I’d never do it otherwise. Good luck with the list! My goals seem a little sillier in comparison. 1) learn to play a stringed instrument, 2) learn to ride a skateboard. That’s all I have so far, but I’m starting banjo lessons next month, so that’s one down, one to go!

    • Rachel September 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      I don’t think those are silly at all. I can’t do either one! I’m so musically challenged and my balance/grace is non-existent so I think those are great goals :).

      I think the readalong is going to be key for getting through Anna Karenina. It’s just not something I’ll pick up otherwise, and I do really want to read it.

  5. Meg August 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Ooo, I love the idea of having a list like this one. I may have to make my own!

  6. Meg August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    I love your list — it’s very inspiring! I would also love to read all seven Austen novels back to back.

    I’m actually in Southern Maryland and enjoy nothing more than sitting around pickin’ crabs (though, yikes — expensive! We were at a crab house last weekend). If you’re down this way and would like to visit this waterfront for some crustaceans, drop me a line! 🙂

    • Rachel September 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

      Omg Meg, I may totally take you up on that :). I knew you were close to me, but didn’t quite put two and two together.

  7. Rebecca August 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Love this list! Super fun ideas on there.

    I’d be happy to show ya how to make homemade ravioli! Just made some last night, in fact!!

    • Rachel August 29, 2011 at 10:25 am #

      It’s so funny that you should offer. I actually spent the hurricane weekend making more ravioli than I care to remember. Such hard work but so worth it!

      • Rebecca August 29, 2011 at 10:56 am #

        Oh, it’s absolutely worth it! I’m actually going to be posting a video of the process probably tonight on my blog.

        What kind did you make? I made plain pasta w/ pumpkin filling. So, so delicious. Might be my favorite pasta I’ve ever made.

        • Rachel August 29, 2011 at 11:00 am #

          I made two different kinds – Artichoke & Goat Cheese w/ truffle butter sauce and Wild Mushroom. So amazing. My mom is now getting me a hand cranked pasta maker for my birthday 🙂

          • Rebecca August 30, 2011 at 8:12 am #

            Yummm… those sound delicious! And you will LOVE the hand cranked pasta maker. My sister gave me one for Christmas last year, and it’s the best thing. So much easier to get even, thin pasta dough.

  8. erica barmash August 28, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    If you’re ever up here not during BEA time, I’d be happy to trek across the brooklyn bridge with you!

    I also want to learn photoshop and indesign and HTML. They gave us a class at work on photoshop and indesign, but it was just a basic class and then they didn’t let us actually have the programs on our computers, so I don’t think I retained any of it.

    • Rachel September 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

      Oh yay! I always mean to when I’m there, but just never have.

  9. Cheney August 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    It’s good to have a list of things to do – here is mine:


    I have already crossed one off – just have to blog about it!

  10. Clinton Kabler (@clintonk) August 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    We’ll walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at BEA 2012, and I can get you pumped for your first Triathlon.

    • Rachel August 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

      I’ve done about half a dozen sprint tri’s but I’d like to tackle my first Oly. 🙂

      • Clinton Kabler (@clintonk) September 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

        Didn’t realize that… skip the Oly and do an Ironman, then you can retire to one sport.

        • Rachel September 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

          Ha! You overestimate my athletic ability. I used to be a one-sporter (swimming) and got bored. I’ll stick with the three 🙂

  11. Bree August 30, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Great list. You’re very specific which is a good thing. I think I need to revisit my list to be more specific and maybe add a timeline so I actually do the things on my list. Good luck in achieving.

  12. Kerry August 30, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Love this! Glad that my list could motivate someone else to make a list, too. I am totally with you on the morbidity of a life list – it’s just too much for me! – but a list with a deadline, that’s a list I can live by. I would love to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (I lived in NYC for 6 years and never did it, shame on me.).

    Also, thanks for the info on the Anna Karenina read-a-long. My own list includes War and Peace, but Anna Karenina has been peeking at me from my shelves for FAR too long as well!

  13. Kerry August 30, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    Oh, and also, what did you think of shooting a gun? I have to admit, I was terrified of it (that’s why I put it on my list, to get over that fear), and after going to the range once, I must say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

    • Rachel September 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

      I enjoyed it more than I thought I would as well, but actually firing the thing has given me a much more solid and concrete fear and respect of guns. Rather than this vague “that can kill me” fear, now I know exactly what it looks and sounds like. I might just need more practice though 🙂

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