Julia’s 30 Before 40

It was hard coming up with this list. Travel is a major part of my life and I’m fortunate to be able to travel as part of my job. I don’t have a particular place I need to visit before turning 40. There are places I still plan on visiting, but that’s an entirely different list. I’m finishing up this blog post from the beautiful island of St. Maarten. So, life is very good for me at the moment.

I plan to go into 40 with my head held high. For most women 40 feels like a burden. They can’t even mention the number. Which is sad. Ladies let’s stop pretending getting older is not happening. Embrace it. My philosophy is that I’m on the right side of the ground. So 40, here’s looking at you. In my pursuit to get to 40 different things I came up with 30 great things to be completed by December 18, 2012. If I see the need to add 10 more I will update the list.

If you haven’t made a life list I suggest you do. We get one life and we might as well live it to the fullest. I hope this inspires you to think out the box, challenge yourself, be open with possibilities, and enjoy this beautiful life. As the poet Mary Oliver says “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” And without further ado.

  1. Write 1 thing I’m grateful for each day. I’m a blessed woman and I know it. But, there are times when it doesn’t dawn on me. It’s time to rectify that situation.
  2. Spend 1 week with my mother and aunt. I have the best mother in the world and an aunt who has been my second mother. They deserve my undivided attention and presence for 1 straight week. I need to go to Louisiana, take care of them, and laugh all night with them. I owe them that much.
  3. Sunday Suppers. I miss the idea of the Sunday family dinner that I had as a child growing up. We would come in from church and my dad would be at the stove. We sat down as a family before heading back to evening service. So I’m planning on 10 Sunday Suppers this year with my extended family. I think I will send a proper invitation through snail mail and bring back a little civility.
  4. Take at least 10 photos a month of myself, people, and things. I need to document my life more for me and my family.
  5. Write 40 notes to family in friends telling them I love them.
  6. Call, text, tweet, Facebook, Face Time, and Skype my nieces and nephews. I miss them terribly.
  7. While I’m on true connections – Skype or Face Time once a month with friends who live out of state or abroad. I like email, but it will be great to see their gorgeous faces more.
  8. Get back to journaling. I used to be an every day journal writer, now I’m “where is that journal” writer. Journal at least one day a week.
  9. I want to be a tourist in my own city this year. This means I need to spend my free time exploring Washington, DC. There is so much to do in DC. When I first moved here I enjoyed my city. It’s time I fall back in love with it.
  10. Read 40 books this year.
  11. See 40 independent and/or foreign films. I love movies set in faraway places and the more subtitles. I need to support my indie movie habit.
  12. Write in longhand every day. My penmanship has slowly deteriorated with my life revolving around the computer. I write thank you notes, but that is not going to cut it anymore. I want beautiful handwriting like my mother so I definitely plan to spend at least 10 minutes a day working on my handwriting.
  13. Find an online repository so my family can view my photos. I travel a lot, but family hasn’t seen most of the pictures. My goal is find a good repository with lots of space so they can see the photos. I could definitely use the blog, but my family will just want to go right to the photos.
  14. Finish my 200 Yoga Teacher Certification.
  15. Complete a triathlon (sprint). I have no idea what has gotten into me, but I have this silly idea in my head to do a triathlon. Lord help me.
  16. Learn how to ski. My husband loves to ski. He has all the clothes, gear, and other accoutrements. Me? I want to après ski. I want to sip cognac after a blisterly cold day watching my love ski. But, where is all the fun in that. I want to learn enough to ski at least 25 feet.
  17. Learn how to snowboard. Skiing and snowboarding are completely different and from what I can tell on You Tube snowboarding seems harder.
  18. Take 1 dance class a month. I really like dancing and moving and I need to add that back into my life.
  19. Run a half marathon. In another country. Enough said. The recurring theme is fitness if you can’t tell.
  20. Do a handstand in front of the Washington Monument. Yes, this is a bit much.
  21. Stop watching so much television. I could spend time writing, reading, and so much more. I’m definitely interested in pop culture, but I need to reel in all these reality shows. I am not talking about my beloved Food Network and Cooking Channel.
  22. Take 1 bed day a month. A bed day is where I can read, sleep, and do absolutely nothing. It cannot be on the weekend.
  23. Go vegetarian/vegan for one month. My husband is on the Forks Over Knives diet, but I love olive oil so I’m not giving it up. I want to challenge myself to see I can be a vegetarian for a month. I love meat, but I’m trying to be like Oprah – veganish. (My husband is reading this one and laughing out loud. I can hear it.)
  24. I love to cook and enjoy different cuisines. One of my favorite food items in the world is kimchi. I need to learn a simply, but spicy recipe so I don’t keep buying it in a jar from the grocery store.
  25. One solo yoga retreat. I’m going on yoga retreat in May, but it’s with friends. I want to go away on a solo retreat where I have a yoga adventure with myself. Costa Rica is high on the list.
  26. Go to more concerts. After going to see Jay-Z and Kanye West in New Orleans I realize I love live music. I need to attend more concerts. If I can’t find anyone to go with me I plan on going by myself. First up Rebirth Brass Band in DC because “I feel like funkin it up.”
  27. Make my office area deluxe. I’m fortunate that I have “a room of my own” a la Virginia Woolf. It’s time to regroup, redesign and make it functional and cozy.
  28. Buy a pair of red pants. Why is this important? I used to wear tons of color, but living in DC has me obsessed with black. The hunt is for a great pair of red pants that travel well and look good. To and from yoga.
  29. Buy a pair of bright kelly green ballet flats. I don’t know if green is my color for 2012, but I think a divine pair of kelly green flats will look divine as I’m going from terminal-to-terminal or tooling around.
  30. Wear red lipstick or any bright lipstick for 40 straight days. I’m a gloss girl, but lipstick is so fun and I need to wear it more often. As a beauty girl I had to end the list with my beauty resolution.

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7 Comments on Julia’s 30 Before 40

  1. Miriam
    January 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm (4 years ago)

    You go for going “veganish”! I use olive oil all the time (even on the kale chips). Looking forward to seeing what you end up eating during your veg month.

  2. elvira
    January 15, 2012 at 10:37 am (4 years ago)

    I love this list. There is so much I can relate to and would like to add to my own list, especially the deteriorating handwriting, the Sunday suppers, DC tourist.

  3. Mythili
    January 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m totally with you on the ‘apres ski!’ I’m more of a ski ‘lodge’ bunny. I love the rest of this list, very inspiring. As I hit my 30s I think I’ll post a similar sort of list too. And if you ever need vegetarian/vegan Indian recipes, let me know:)

  4. Lianne
    January 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm (4 years ago)

    GREAT list Ju Ju!! I need to make a list of 45 things to do before I am 45!! LOL

  5. Jewel Wrenn
    January 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm (4 years ago)

    Great List – enjoyed it very much. I’m definitely with you on the dance class – used to do adult ballet when Khary was small – miss it. Got to back in shape.

  6. kathyrenee
    March 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm (4 years ago)

    i love your list. approaching 30, this has me so inspired. i often get trapped in the routine of repettitive routines and it really sucks the life out of my eceletic spirit. i plan on making my own list. and making a supplementary to do list that will help me target what needs to be done in my daily life to scratch my goals off. great blog!

  7. Joanne Schwarz
    November 11, 2012 at 9:47 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Julia
    I’m so interested to see how much of this you actually accomplished. It all sounds doable and seems it would occupy all yr free time.
    Would love to start yoga myself


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