This is the post you’ve all been waiting for with bated breath for the past five-ish months (geez, has it been that long??). This is what you’ve been dying to find out: how did Alice do with that crazy list of 30 things she wanted to do before she turned 30?? Which, by the way, was back in August. What an embarrassing blogging and update fail!
But that’s probably not the most embarrassing part. The most embarrassing part is probably how I fared in conquering my list. I may have definitely bitten off (a LOT) more than I could chew at the time, especially while finishing up graduate school full-time and working with Navs part-time. But I’m all about transparency and allowing others to share in my failures as well as the good stuff, so I invite you to laugh with me as I go through my 30 before 30.
1. Read the New Testament, Proverbs, and Psalms in one year.
Well, I made it most of the way through the New Testament and even made up monthly goals in terms of reading, but right around the time of my final case presentation, things got a little off track. Unfortunately, I was never able to catch up. You see, I am someone who would rather camp out on a few verses at a time rather than read a huge chunk so that I can really zone in on what God’s trying to say to me. I didn’t think He’d mind if I took it slower. :)
2. Sew an outfit that I’d be proud to wear out.
Sadly, this didn’t happen either, BUT I did complete my first sewing project, which was an infinity scarf! I consider that I huge accomplishment. My sister has a very similar infinity scarf from American Apparel that she bought for about $40. Again, me being very frugal, and finding a discounted bedsheet set of similar color and material (Cindy would be so proud!) for $20, the scarf probably came out to about $10 to make. And though it really consisted of two straight lines being sewn, still, around the inside it’s a little wompy. Womp womp!!
3. Build a chicken coop with RJ and start raising some chickens in our backyard.
Did not happen. But WILL happen. But definitely did not.
4. Make some SWEET Halloween costumes!
Yeah, this didn’t really happen either. The closest that I can think of to coming up with a cool costume is RJ’s hobbit costume, which was quite simple really. It just involved earthen toned pants, a white button down shirt, and a beigey-brown vest that he already had. His wild curly hair only added to the “hobbit-ness” of his costume.
Umm..I made my hair and make-up look like an elf’s?? I even researched Liv Tyler’s Arwen and Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel for inspiration! Does that count?? Yeah, I didn’t think so…
5. Can something.
FINALLY, something I’ve completed!! For my first canning project two Septembers ago, I canned 20 lbs of tomatoes into tomato sauce to be enjoyed in later months, as well as fig preserves. Not bad, right?
6. Run a 5k.
Another completed 30 before 30! I ran a charity 5k on Thanksgiving Day 2011, and did way better than I ever thought I’d do! Check out this post here to read more about it.
7. Visit Taiwan and Indonesia and reconnect with both RJ and my cultural heritage.
Again, DEFINITELY did not happen. But we did visit Holland, which is part of RJ’s heritage. Even though I was initially way more excited about connecting with his roots than he was, we both agreed there was something fun and special about seeing the place where his father lived for a while.
8. Learn basic photography and how to use a photo editing program.
After asking like 5 people to explain to me how the rule of thirds worked, I think I finally got it. And I think it finally clicked when I was overseas and my buddy Jason had no choice but to sit next to me, hahaha. He is also the one who has dumbed down things like “aperture” so that I can actually understand what it means. I would say that my basic picture-taking skills have improved greatly over the past year.
As for a photo editing program, I bought Lightroom and have picked up random little tidbits from others. Am I a pro? Hardly. But I’m better, and that’s what learning is about, right?
9. Get another tattoo.
This is another blog post in the making, but YES. This DID happen!
The most popular guess is that the tattoo is written in Thai. What do you think it is?
10. Start exercising regularly.
Um…this…semi-happened? I was going strong for a while right after Insanity, and after that, I joined a kickboxing class at UCR that met twice a week and lifted weights. Then I got sick and couldn’t work out for a few weeks, so I didn’t work out for like six months, of course. You know, to make sure my body’s fully recovered. Lately, I’m averaging about 2-3 times a week.
Anyway, this one is hard to gauge, since it vacillates so much. Hahaha. But for the time being, check!
11. Stop drinking diet coke.
Who am I kidding??? This will NEVER happen!!! I just love it SO much!! The crisp, cool, refreshing, bubbly-ness on a hot summer afternoon…nothing beats that! I may have aimed a little too high with this one. Hahaha.
12. Hike to the C.
Another success! You know what they say…third time’s a charm.
13. Write a new song.
YES, if you count all of the random silly songs that RJ and I make up each day. NO, if you are counting real songs.
14. Re-record my old songs.
Um, yeah, no. Didn’t happen.
15. Finish a baby boy blanket I promised to make a friend back in 2005.
This happened after my 30th, but hallelujah!! It is finished!!
RJ thought it would be hilarious if I mailed this to our friend six years later, but after working on it for six years, I just couldn’t part with it without knowing it’d go to good use. So I gave it to my friends who just had a little baby boy. They have both meant a lot to me in friendship and have both been so instrumental in my walk with Jesus.
16. Bungee jump, even if it’s at a state fair.
For some reason, I didn’t end up around anywhere that had bungee capabilities. And I didn’t go looking either.
17. Do Insanity in completion.
This was probably my proudest accomplishment of the year. Good grief, was it a challenge!! But with the help of a good exercise buddy of a husband, recovery formula, and my pal, Shaun T, we did it! And I got the shirt to prove it!
18. Become proficient in Mandarin.
I got BETTER. I would survive if I were stranded in Taiwan or China. As for being able to hold deep spiritual conversations, I am not sure that could happen. Yet.
19. Learn biblical Greek.
Good grief, what was I thinking adding a whole new language while I was full-time in school and part-time with Navs??? This did not even come CLOSE to fruition!
20. Climb real rocks at Joshua Tree.
This one was pretty doable, and surprisingly it didn’t happen. Perhaps it’ll make the cut for next year?
21. Do two full pull ups.
A physical impossibility!!!!! I am convinced!!! Boys strut around without having worked out for months, able to squeak a few out, and I, in the peak of my physical fitness, came NOWHERE NEAR this goal!! I have heard that it is easier for women to learn with the help of resistance bands, which I may try. But good grief.
22. Solidify my surfing skills.
Nope. I realize, I don’t really like the beach too much. It’s dirty, I feel sticky, I don’t like going in the water because it’s too cold. I’m just not a beach girl. I’d rather be in the mountains.
23. Karaoke in front of others.
This happened at my 30th birthday party. Thanks, Clarence, for suggesting it and making it happen! :)
And who better to sing with than my brother! And to A Whole New World! Wait…this got weird…
Of course, he chose a version way too low for me so it sounded kind of gross on my end, since I was singing low chest voice. But it was a fun evening! :)
24. Be vegetarian for one month, instituting a one veggie day/week afterwards.
Similar to Diet Coke and pull-ups, I swear this is another impossibility. Let me tell you how close I got. I started out super strong and really excited…and then I started seriously craving meat! To the point to where I started getting cranky, mostly towards my poor husband. Whenever I would say, “I’m just going to give up!!” he would always encourage me to keep going. Until that last time. He stayed silent after my usual threat of giving up, and I asked, “Well aren’t you going to convince me to keep going?” To which he delicately responded, “You are a little cranky when you don’t eat meat.”
So, for the sake of our marriage, I did the right thing. I broke this vegetarianism thing the next day at all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ with my family. It was the right thing to do.
It wasn’t all a loss though. We found a bunch of delicious non-meat meals!
I actually do think that I could easily institute the latter part of this goal, which was to institute one day a week of vegetarianism. Research indicates that not only is it good for your body, but it is also good for the environment.
But let’s be clear. Alice + meat = happy. Alice + no meat for extended periods of time = exceedingly and unbearingly cranky. Conclusion? Alice needs meat.
25. Ride a motorcycle. Not necessarily drive one, but ride one.
Umm…haven’t been around anyone with a motorcycle! I think I was semi-hoping this would be fulfilled if I went to Taiwan, but that didn’t happen either. :(
26. Get published somehow.
This actually did happen at a very large Chinese Christian convention two Decembers ago, the Chinese Mission Convention. I was asked to write a brief column for the daily newsletter, which was distributed to a couple thousand conference participants. I think that counts!
27. Go to a bed and breakfast with RJ.
Sadly, no! I think it just flew our mind. I did look into some bed and breakfast options in Temecula here, our closest “wine country.” Maybe this year!
28. Read Lord of the Rings in completion.
Okay, this is why I KNOW I am an ENFP for sure. I am literally in the last couple of chapters of the third book! At this point, **spoiler alert in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 7 years** the Ring of Power has been destroyed, Aragorn is King, and all that is left is to go home, get rid of Saruman, and depart for the Grey Havens!! That’s IT!! And I just don’t have the motivation to finish it! So I started the Hobbit. Haha. You know, since the movie just came out?? The life of an ENFP: many starts, few finishes. <Sigh> I’ll get around to it soon.
29. Become more educated and proficient about different wines.
Originally, the goal was to go swing dancing with RJ at Coffee Depot, but seeing as how it was closed when I wrote that, I had to come up with a new goal.
Though I am definitely not an expert on wines, I do believe that I have become more educated and proficient about different wines. I know that I like dessert wines (ports and moscatos), I have a general idea of what the red wines are and what the white wines are, but only if you name them first. Oh, and I figured out that I don’t really like red wine, unless it is a dessert wine.
30. Master the art of throwing a frisbee…BOTH forearm and backhand!
So there you have it, folks! The recap of my overly-ambitious-and-idealistic 30 before 30 list! I hope you had as good of a chuckle as I did at my “success” with this list. :)
I will say this though. I would truly encourage everyone to make a list of goals they would like to accomplish for each year. This was my first attempt, and though it wasn’t hugely successful, it really allowed me to live far more intentionally and with purpose throughout the entire year than if I didn’t have the list. As we go through the year, it is easy to let the days slip by, and before you know it, another year has passed and you haven’t accomplished much of what you wanted to do. Having my 30 before 30 list in the back of my mind, I accomplished far more than I ever could have imagined in my 29th year of life. Finishing Insanity?? Running a 5K?? Learning to can?? Those are all things that probably wouldn’t have happened unless I intentionally sought out to do so. So I’m incredibly thankful for this experience!
So be on the lookout for my list of goals for 2013. Yeah yeah, I know, well, I’m about 5 months behind in making a list to accomplish before I turn 31. So I decided to make it a list of goals to accomplish for 2013. And hopefully my goals for 2013 will be a little more attainable and a little less ambitious than my 30 before 30 list. :)
And if you decide to make a list of your own, let me know what’s on it! I’m always open to new ideas! :)