Tuesday, March 10, 2015

30 by 30: How Did I Do?

Last year, right after my 29th birthday, I made a 30 by 30 list - basically 30 things I wanted to work on or do before I turned 30.

Well, last Thursday I turned 30.


So how did I do?

1. Go to 3 new American cities.
I went to Boston, Worcester (MA), New Haven, Farmington, Hartford (CT), DC, Las Vegas, and Laughlin (NV).

2. Travel to another country, bringing my total to 6 in the past 4 years.
I didn't take an international research trip this year, and didn't get close to either Canada or Mexico. Well, I guess I got close to Mexico, but I was in a rental car and didn't have my passport. So not a good idea.

3. Eat something green (that's not gummy and shaped like a bear...) every day.
I don't know about *every* day, but I've done so much better at eating veggies this year. I love all fruit, so that's never been a problem, but I don't like a lot of vegetables. But this year I found some ways to really love them (roasting helps - so does dipping them in hummus!) and feel good about my progress.

4. Really pare down my closet.
Well, never really done, but I've probably taken 3 carloads to Goodwill, given away a ton of stuff, and really gotten down to basically what I consider the stuff I really love.

5. Write 3 chapters of my dissertation.
I'm turning in my 3rd chapter draft this month. So progress!
(Anyone wanna read drafts?)

6. Start a savings account.
I have money saved up to live on this summer (Memphis doesn't pay its grad students during the summer - and no one wants to hire me for 2 1/2 months - so I have to save money/cobble together odd jobs during the summer) but that's it. Working on this, probably for a long time!

7. Go to the gym regularly.
I kind of fell off the wagon, but I am much more active, and my FitBit makes me really competitive (in a good way!).

8. Volunteer for a charity/charitable organization.
I've done a ton of stuff for school, but I also volunteered for the Friends of the Library this year.

9. Run a 5K.
Kirby and I ran an 80s 5K last April!

10. Get an article published in a peer-reviewed journal.
But I am published, and I'm making good progress on my diss. That's probably a project for fall, or while I'm in between turning in a draft and getting feedback.

11. Be better at writing thank you notes and follow-up letters.
I sent thank you notes to all the places I researched last summer, and to a lot of other people. Plus I got to buy some really cute stationery. :)

12. Learn to accept a compliment.
I've been being really conscientious about this, and I think I've finally got it. Saying "thank you" to a compliment is getting easier and easier!

13. Go a week without complaining about anyone/anything.
I'm complaining less, but I can't avoid saying anything negative. And that's okay - I don't need to bottle that up!

I definitely don't want Summer Roberts style rage blackouts.

14. Eat breakfast regularly.
Maybe not every day. But almost every day! And not just coffee!
Plus on my birthday I treated myself to this breakfast - yum!

15. Read 25 new books.

(Anyone got a source for this? I can't find one, but I love it!)

Actually I read 26 new books! Plus I reread the entire Harry Potter series, the Outlander series (by Diana Gabaldon), Fifty Shades of Grey, and Deborah Harkness's trilogy (The Book of Life, Shadow of Night, and A Discovery of Witches). And a ton of books for school. Certified book nerd here. Check out the full list on my 30 by 30 page.

16. Get my French back to conversational level.
I overheard a conversation in French the other day that was clearly meant to be private, and understood about 90% of it. Now whether I can converse back is the question.

17. Learn enough German to have rough conversational skills.
I can find my way around, talk a little about the weather, and read some documents. I'll take it.

18. Make schnitzel.
But I did find a really good recipe, so soon!

19. Make magenflaster like my gramma.
Just didn't get around to it. Plus frying things is generally a bad idea for me...I'm a disaster.

20. Finally figure out how to use my "grown-up" camera.
I'm probably about halfway there on really being competent, but I'm noticeably better, so that's progress!

21. Take a spa day - with no phone!
And this makes me very very sad.

22. Visit all the museums in Memphis.
I've been to the Dixon, the Brooks, the UofM art museum, Graceland, and the Pink Palace (and the Bible museum in Collierville because, why not?). I didn't make it to the Metal Museum, the Cotton Museum, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Belz Museum, or the Children's Museum.

BUT I'm going to try to go to those, and I did go to all the Smithsonians and a ton of other museums this year. So I've at least gotten plenty of culture this year!

(Mary of Modena at the Yale Center for British Art. An early modern bad ass bitch.)

23. Blog at least twice a week.
Life gets in the way sometimes, but I will do better!

24. Work on my faith.

25. Take a trip to the Gulf Coast.
But I went a lot of other places!

26. Try a new hair color.
Well, by "new," I mostly mean that I went back to my natural color. Yep - no highlights or anything. First time I've seen it since 2002!

27. Find the perfect pair of jeans.
My American Eagle jeggings are perfect, and I found a great pair of jeggings from Maurices!

28. Make at least 3 projects for myself with the sewing machine.
I made a bunch of knit items, but I didn't do much sewing, unfortunately.

29. Start (and maintain) a book club.
But I'm still interested!

30. Stop letting people take advantage of my kindness.
I do think I'm getting much better at telling people no. MUCH better. Now I just need to work on being consistent about it!


I actually really enjoyed having goals to work on, even though I didn't accomplish them all. Should I do a 31 by 31, or maybe a longer-term 40 by 40, with some big life goals?


  1. We need to make a date to take Cloe to the CMoM!

    1. Yes! I've always wanted to go but it's creepy to go without a child...