The 3:30 Project is a collaborative blog by three life-long friends: Maggie, Mary Margaret and Jillian. On Saturdays, Mary Margaret plans to post something from the week that made her smile.
My birthday is now less than a month away. I have just a few short weeks left in my twenties, before the clock strikes midnight, and I join my fellow 3:30 girls in hitting 30. I admit, I’m still not really sure how that is going to make me feel. One thing I have done for a number of recent years in anticipation of my birthday is to create lists. For one thing, I love a list. Let me try this again…I LOVE a list. Arbitrary or not, they help me feel calmer because they allow me to create some semblance of productivity, order, and organization out of situations that seem overwhelming. A list doesn’t solve something outright, but it helps me articulate what I feel spinning around my brain in a way that feels more manageable. Sometimes lists are about organizing time. Sometimes lists are about remembering. Sometimes lists are even about giving language to hopes and ideals. I’m a firm believer that while by no means exhaustive, lists can range from the mundane to the profound in expressing the clutter of the human experience of having a monkey brain. I mean, c’mon, Moses came down from the mountain after meeting with GOD, and what does he bring back to explain how the Israelites should conduct their own lives and relationships? A list!!
Now that you are all firmly convinced of my Type A neuroticism, let me explain what I’m getting at. I started creating lists (with the exception of 1 year) after age 25 at my birthday, calling them “25 Things in my 25th Year,” “27 Things in my 27 year” “28 Things in my…” you get the picture? On these numbered lists would be ideas for the year ahead– ranging from activities purely fun to more goal-oriented tasks. I don’t really go in for “bucket lists,” but I like the idea of prompting and urging myself to try new things as I get older. It isn’t so much that I dread age the way some do, but that I want to counteract a feeling that with age, the more engrained becomes force of habit or stasis. I’d like to believe that continual evolution, innovation, and learning continue throughout life.
I add to these lists places to go, experiences to have, foods to try, books to read– a mix of things that can be done in an hour, a day, a month, and spread throughout the year– some things should be no-or-low-cost (in resource and effort), and others require something of me. Here are a few things (in list form!!) that I’ve done in the past few years:
*Read the entire Bible
*Ran a half-marathon
*Watched an opera at the Metropolitan Opera House
*Opened a Roth IRA
*Joined the bone marrow donor registry
*Knit two quilts
*Taken an African dance class
*Seen the Rockette’s Christmas show
*Tried chicken & waffles, New York egg creams, and whiskey sours for the first time
*Visited the Whitney Museum, Museum of the City of New York, and the Jewish Museum of NY
*Read Atlas Shrugged, War and Peace, Moby Dick, Pilgrim’s Progress, and The Seven Storey Mountain, among others
*Done the balancing yoga pose “Crow” for 10 seconds
*Gone on dates via a dating website
*Seen classic films I’d never seen like Citizen Kane, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Vertigo
As you can see, there is a mix of fun and business, some things that are time consuming, and others humorously easy. I never accomplish all the things on the list, but there isn’t actually pressure to complete the list. Sometimes things roll over to the next year if I still have interest, and some just go away.
I’m telling you all this because I’m starting early this year to compile the list. This year it’s THE BIG 30. And I’m taking suggestions. Is there a book, movie, experience, food, drink, museum, location, goal, project, class that sounds interesting to you that you’d suggest I add? I may already have done it, no problem. I may not be interested, no offense. But this year I’d really love to have people help me brainstorm if they have any inclination! It helps me continue to expand what the list can be, which was the idea right? I may be turning 30, but my world and me in it, can still grow.
So throw ’em at me folks!! Any ideas?