Five by 30

My 30th birthday is looming, just over 3 months away.  I’ve already had to come to terms with gray hair, settling down, being responsible…so it’s not the idea of another year older that bothers me.  I’m got a heightened sense of awareness about the idea of turning 30 because this is the year that my husband and I have decided we want to start having kids.  So, it’s not that I’m getting older…it’s that my life will be changing drastically over the coming year or so…give or take…who knows how much time I have left.

I tell my husband all the time, that even when we have kids, we’ll still get to do the things we enjoy.  Going out, working on personal projects, spending quiet time with each other.  I believe all of these things to be true, but I’m also profoundly aware of the limitations that children will bring to our lives.  Money, time, and freedom will all be shared with a little soul more important than our own.


photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society

photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society

I’ve already made the commitment to take a big, epic trip, before even trying to get pregnant.  My first destination is Angel Canyon, Utah.  I know what you’re thinking-doesn’t “big, epic” describe ascending Mt. Kilimanjaro or something?    Well, for the mid-western girl that’s never been to a city bigger than Chicago, a trip most of the way across country, to see the canyons, is pretty big, epic,


The second trip in the works is to Europe…ideally England, Scotland and perhaps a detour to the motherland of Switzerland…more on that big, epic idea later.

But, neither of those trips are an option until a break in our class schedules, so I’ve got nothing but time to sit and stalk our destinations via google earth.

But, back to the dirty-thirty…

I was perusing some WordPress tags, and came across My Kids are Stronger than Me, a blog where Jim chronicles his bucket list of 30 before 30. Turns out he’s not the only one. Seems like most of these folks started more than 90 days out though…or 94 as in my case.

So, I woke up this morning, thinking I needed to complete a 30 by 30…just making the list is a task in and of itself…how about I go for quality over quantity.

1. run 50 miles. (not in a row!  are you nuts!  no, just 50 total…)

2. take more pictures with new fancy camera, all in new places.  print 5 of them, and frame and hang at least 1.

3. knock down the best jammer on my derby team.  (not naming names-she can’t know I’m gunning for her.)

4. drop 2 inches off the tummy, to be ready to wear a bikini for the first time ever (at 30!).  ECE is coming in June, and I need to be ready for the pool.  I’m big all over, but my mid-section is the area that is dangerously fatty.  This goal seems like it should be easy enough, considering goal #1.    Stick to the workouts, keep eating around 1500 calories/day…should be ok, right?  (Famous fat last words…) Starting measurements 39 inches at the belly button.  (This is why I’m blogging anonymously.  How do you like them apples, interwebs?)

5. Write 4 short stories, fiction or non-fiction.  That’s no small task, considering I’m the one making myself write them-they’re not assignments or deadlined.  It’s a self-inflicted deadline.

P.S.  I refuse to refer to this list as a bucket list.  First of all, the term “bucket” also means one’s buttocks, according to my Polish upbringing.  Secondly, the phrase just makes me think of a bucket full of golf balls.  Who wants a list of balls?  No, thank you.

Top 10 of ’10

I tend to think in terms of “top 5” lists.  “Top 5” movies. “Top 5” favorite desert island snack foods.  Of course, my internal dialogue hears them read by John Cusack…justifications and all.   So, when end of year rolls around, it’s like an excuse to think in terms of “top 5 lists”.  Except “Top 5” of ’10 seems to be missing the mark…so for the end of decade…let’s shoot for 10…granted, it may be a watered down 10, and I’m not going to put them in any particular order, because we all know these things vary from day-to-day.  Pretend you hear John Cusak too…

Top 10 Great Personal Moments of 2010

  1. Saw Dolly Parton (and Kenny Rogers) at DollyWood Amusement park.  Dolly’s my hair hero…and while the gal is looking a bit rough with all of the plastic surgery, I love how she embraces her gay fans and can laugh at herself when need be.
  2. Skated in a double overtime derby bout.  If you know derby, you know how amazingly rare this occurs.  It was epic.
  3. Did yoga for the first time.  Lots of people talk about yoga like it’s just resting, and that if you want to gain anything from it, it has to be hot yoga or rope yoga or yoga with your cat.  But they clearly haven’t tried traditional yoga.  I did shoulder stands and hand stands and learned that I’m actually pretty flexible for an out-of-shape girl.  More importantly, I grasped the concept of clearing my head, thinking in a slow, and logical way.    Tuning out distractions, and focusing on the one thing in the pose at that moment.  Since starting weekly yoga, there are times where I can even drown out sounds in order to listen to something more carefully.  It’s euphoric, and still, all at once.
  4. Ran my first 5 k.  Not bad, considering it took me years to get up to running a mile, or 20 minutes consecutively.  Somehow, I did it.  In 20-degree-weather.  I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again, but it was one of the few times I’ve ever really been proud of myself.
  5. Transferred to a big girl college, not just the community college that I’ve been at for years, and years.  I’m establishing my major as a creative writer, and feel very good for having finally come to a natural conclusion about my path in life.  Writing is at least my 4th major in college, but it’s been something I’ve known I enjoyed since I was old enough to enjoy anything.   I’m glad that I’ve finally realized that I’m not trying to get a degree to get a job-I want to learn to be good at something that is important to me.
  6. Road trip to the Carolinas with my husband.  Honestly, the vacation itself sucked, but you know what they say…it’s not the destination, but the trip…or something like that.  It’s a bonding and strengthening experience to spend literally days in a car with a loved one, and find yourself still wanting to be with that person at the end of it all.
  7. I got to be on Man vs. Food.  No big euphoric point here…just pretty damned cool.
  8. Got a tattoo.  It was deeply personal, and symbolic of the strength that derby gives me…another means of carrying that strength with me in other aspects of life.
  9. Had my derby comic book published, via Oni Press.  I wrote it, but I was very fortunate that my artist did such a remarkable job with the details and essence of me and my team, so the story really does portray my experience.
  10. seeing my 2nd cousin join jr. derby at age 13.  I can’t describe how grateful I am that young women are getting the benefits of derby at such a critical and difficult time in their lives.  I’m so proud to be in this derby-society, and even more proud that these young girls are joining us.

And…a few more “tops”:

  • Top Beer: the beer that I drank on the bleachers at East Coast Extravaganza Derby event…at 11 am.  Something about the freedom to drink at 11 am makes the beer taste better.
  • Top Song: The Heartless Bastards “Out At Sea” (they’re also my “top show”)
  • Top Movie: Mary and Max.  It’s claymation, it’s on netflix on demand…and it’s rare that I’ll get so emotional watching anything.
  • Top Book: to be honest, I read a ton of short fiction for classes this year, and I can’t really pick.  Mike Birbiglia’s, “Sleepwalk with me” comes to mind though, and I have a feeling he’d like being on anyone’s top list.
  • Top Meal:  damned hard to pick.  the breakfast place we went to during Derby Nationals in Chicago, the post 5k omelette and pumpkin pancakes, the pre-tattoo chicken tacos…I really can’t pick.

Wow…writing a list of top anything can make you feel optimistic…i started this post thinking that maybe I’d be doing a low-points list (which would include seeing only the dead sea turtle while on vacation, watching my neurologically challenged dog drag herself around the house, and nearly totalling my car) but who wants to think about that crap?

Happy New Year Interwebs!  I hope 2011’s a good one.