30 Before 30

My twenty-sixth birthday came and went this month. It’s that monumental age when… I don’t know, I’m ineligible to be on my parents’ insurance? That’s the only milestone I can attach to that age.

Regardless, 26 is no small achievement. Over a quarter of a century has passed since my birth, which prompted me to create a 30 before 30 list. 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. I saw a few friends do this, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and tackle these achievements in the next 4 years. Please note that as I make progress toward these goals, I will be updating the page to show my achievements. One asterisk means I’m actively working toward the goal, two means I’ve accomplished it! Here goes:

  1. *Pay off the mortgage. This is my number one hope for the next four years. My parents paid off a home for the first time before age 30, and they were on one meager income with three hungry mouths to feed at the time. With no children around and two incomes, my husband and I should be able to buckle down and accomplish this one thing for ourselves. We share a passion for financial stability and hope to pay off our home ASAP. My ambitious hope is to do it by age 30. We’ll see….
  2. *Finish the Spirit Seeker Series. How many books will there be? God only knows.
  3. Begin work on my next writing project. The details are confidential 😉 .
  4. *Learn to dance reasonably well. I’ve taken up ballroom lessons recently, and I enjoy it immensely. While my childhood ballet lessons have laid a solid foundation for learning dance steps quickly, I still feel like I’m stumbling around half the time. All I want is to be able to get through a dance without apologizing to my partner. I don’t set my expectations too high.
  5. *Find a place to volunteer regularly. I have been blessed in so many ways, it’s time to give back using my unique skills. I just have to discover useful skills of mine first….
  6. *Expand my garden and grow some wholesome food.
  7. Take a cooking class so I know what to do with said wholesome food.
  8. *Build habit of cooking every day.
  9. **Renew my passport and get the husband a passport. I know because we are so dedicated to the first item on this list that an international trip may not be in our future for many years, but getting passports will be a promise to ourselves that we will travel outside the US in our thirties.
  10. Purchase a new refrigerator that isn’t held together with masking tape.
  11. Paint kitchen cabinets. At present, they are mismatched and it drives me insane.
  12. Replace linoleum floors in the kitchen that were improperly installed.
  13. Fence in our yard for our rather hyper dog.
  14. Put a back door on our home so we can get into said fenced yard without going through the garage.
  15. Renovate our groovy blue bathroom into a master bath / walk-in closet. (This may be pushed into our 30’s due to $$$)
  16. *Finish painting every room in our house (still got five left, plus the hallway!).
  17. *Start a reading list. And actually read the books on it.
  18. *Visit friends out of state. So many of my friends are spreading out across the country. I want to keep our relationships alive!
  19. Help my parents renovate their kitchen. This will be my practice round for gutting our kitchen later in life!
  20. Have nieces and nephews over more often. Give my four siblings a break from parenting once in a while.
  21. Learn some basic plumbing skills. This is a serious hole in my home improvement repertoire. I’m a grown woman. I should be able to repair a leaky faucet.
  22. Own a vehicle that was made in the 21st Century. This will be a big milestone. Maybe it will come with power locks?!
  23. **Go on a trip just for my husband. So far our travel plans have been mostly orchestrated by (and for) me. For once, I want to go to St. Louis so he can play in a chess tournament, or visit Cedar Pointe like he’s always wanted (even though I’m way too old for roller coasters and holy-cow-I’m-going-to-have-a-heart-attack feelings ensue every time I’m on one anymore).
  24. Find a church. This is a challenge for me and my husband, as we grew up in very different church environments– him with the reverence and structure of a Roman Catholic mass, me with the theological depth but casual atmosphere of a mainstream, non-denominational congregation. We’ve got to find a middle ground somewhere….
  25. Do something nice for my parents. I don’t know what it will be, but it better be fabulous, because they’re incredible people and they help us in more ways I can count. Throwing a party wouldn’t do it because my mom would kill me. Sending them away for a weekend getaway sounds better but I don’t think they can relax except on their own terms. Maybe I can just give them a gift card? Help me!
  26. Begin some kind of workout routine. Kinda-sorta-sometimes doing yoga does not cut it. Especially if I’m going to be going into my 30’s. My metabolism is good, but I need to start working hard if I expect to keep downing Whoppers in my next decade.
  27. Purchase a jack and do my own oil changes. Paying someone else for basic car maintenance is just silly.
  28. **Organize my pantry. It’s really scary in there. This is a serious project for future Hannah.
  29. *Write letters. To everyone. Out-of-town friends, nieces and nephews, etc.
  30. *RELAX. Boy, this list alone is stressing me out at this point. I need to find time in the next four years to breathe and appreciate the moment. It’s lovely to set goals for the future, but what use is any of it if I don’t take a minute to enjoy the blessing of life and to appreciate the marginal progress of every day?

*In progress


There you have it. Creating this list was more difficult than I anticipated. My life has been blessed for 26 wonderful years. It’s a challenge to think of anything else I could ask for, but I do have high hopes for future achievements. If my good fortune continues, I will have every hope for

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