I’ve got this great app called Countdown Star on my phone that I love. You input an event and it how many days there are until the date (or from the date, if you’re counting up from the day of your birth or whatever past occasion you want to celebrate or remember). 19 days until Steve and I go to Japan. 59 until we go to Tasmania to hike the Overland Track, 11 days since we got engaged (oh yes, did I not mention? …more on that next week), 10,457 days since I was born, and so on. And today it is exactly 500 days until I turn 30. Because I’m me and I love a good list, of course that called for one. A short-term bucket list of sorts, 30 things I want to do between now and 500 days from now, when I leave my twenties and join the world of thirty, flirty, and thriving.
I won’t share the whole list as some things are quite personal, but here are some of the items I plan to check off:
Number 1: Run a marathon
This one will be easy. Well, not easy, obviously, but in terms of making a plan to do it I’m already well on my way with a registration for the Melbourne Marathon done and plenty of miles on the training plan. The race is in a bit over 5 weeks and I look forward to that lap of the MCG that leads to the finish line. Although I haven’t been as diligent as I intended to be about completing every run of my training plan, I have mostly been running several times a week, including long runs (I’ve got 31 on the docket this weekend!), so I’m feeling pretty confident that race day will go well.
Number 10: Submit a short story
I haven’t been writing too much fiction lately but volunteering at the Melbourne Writers Festival this week has gotten me so inspired to get back into it. Since I’m funemployed now after finishing up my job recently, I have a lot of free time and I’m determined to carve out plenty of time for writing. My goal before 30 is to have at least one short story that’s finished and polished enough that I can submit it to publications. I’m terrified and excited for the rejection letters that are sure to roll in and maybe someday an acceptance letter that joins them.
Number 11: Volunteer in the 2020 election
I won’t be in the United States for most of the next election cycle, apart from a few weeks visiting next March or April (I’m wondering if my trip back will coincide with PA primary day?) and a few weddings I’m hoping to attend, but I’ll be very surprised if Ireland doesn’t have an active chapter of Democrats Abroad, and I intend to get involved however I can. This election is too important to just sit back and send in my absentee ballot, and if nothing else I’m going to remind every immigrant American I meet in Ireland to send in theirs.
Number 19: Reach a conversational level in German
I’ve taken a break from learning German on Duolingo to try to learn some basic Japanese phrases and hiragana before we head off to Japan at the end of the month, but when I get back I want to get back into it. And when I move to Europe, I’m definitely going to look for a class or at least opportunities to talk with native or other student speakers, because the downside of learning from an app is you don’t have much chance for conversation. There are several other languages I hope to learn as well one day (including Irish and, following my role at Alibaba for the last six months, Chinese), but German is notably easier than either of those two, so it’s a good one to be working on for now.
Number 24: Start keeping houseplants
I have always secretly dreamed of being a plant mom. However, moving around so much, it’s been just as difficult to have leafbabies as it is to have the furbabies I also dream of. I can’t take them with me and I don’t want to just leave my little plant children to fend for themselves in the wild. However, when we move somewhere more semi-permanently next year, I definitely intend to buy as many succulents as I can get my hands on. I’d love a garden as well someday, but that may have to wait a while yet. In the meantime, I’m planning to fill any apartment or house we end up in with plants (non-toxic ones because I definitely also plan to be a cat mom as soon as possible).
Number 28: Create my professional website
This is one of those things I say I’m going to do all the time. Even though I’m looking to stay out of the full-time freelancing world for a while, I’m always looking for clients for side gigs (and if you’re looking for a kickass copywriter or editor, my email address is on my About page, hint hint). However, I have yet to make myself a professional online presence (I used to have a public and a private twitter, at least, but then I deleted the private one and now I tweet all my dumb thoughts to the world). One of these days I’ll make my pro website and portfolio and then I’ll be in business.