Sunday, April 19, 2009

30 Before 30

A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of doing 30 news things in the thirtieth year of life.

Here's what it is not.

This is not defining life through what I do. The point of this is not to collect a list of skills, achievements, and adventures in order to feel good about myself. This is not about giving me an excuse to list it up like crazy.

Here's what it is.

Instead, this is pushing myself to grow, experience new things, keep things changing in order to live in and understand the moment. It has given me a chance to get closer to people as I do this. I believe that it is important to live in the discomfort zone in order to learn who I really am, to push the boundaries of my self-definition. This is also about adding new wholesome and exciting activities to enrich my life and help me connect more with the world.

One of the definitions of aging is that you're only old when you stop doing new things. Maybe that's one of the roots of this 30 before 30 ritual. Keeping the 30ieth year fresh and vibrant.

I started making the list and realized that it was hard for a few reasons:
1. I do a lot already. I usually act pretty immediately on the things that I want to do. I don't want to add things that I've already done.
2. The things that I want to do and have not already done usually require a substantial amount of money, planning, or time. For example - a trip to South America would require a lot of all three.

As I found these difficulties, I realized that I already had established some mental boundaries about who I am. I needed to open my mind and my heart as part of the brainstorming. There are a few categories of things that I can do with the given time constraints and resources:
1. Things that I don't really want to do or that I'm scared of doing. I learn a lot by doing these things.
2. Things that usually require opportunity - with just a little pro-action I can make them happen. And it gives me a chance to seek how buddies who know how to do them.

Here's the list, including where I am so far. I am intentionally not filling it in completely at this point in order to learn more about myself and leave room to be flexible as the year continues.
# Done
Item to Do
Drink real absinthe Acquired - Thanks, Paul!
Ride a tandem bike Need partner, need to find a bike
3 X
Study with a grand master 5-day workshop with Taijiquan grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang
Surf Abby will teach me - thanks, Abby!
Make Waldorf salad ice cream Got the ice cream maker - need to do it
6 X
Become proficient in salsa I was invited to Century Ballroom's salsa level 4.
Sell a piece of art that I've made myself
Get involved in my community
This one is pretty vague, and I need to define it more crisply.
Throw a making art party
10 X
Write 30 blog posts during this year

Do something everyday for 100 days Almost there, I'm on day 90 of writing.
12 X
Volunteer in the election I canvassed for Obama/Gregoire.
13 X
Visit an eastern Washington wine region
Went to Yakima Valley
14 X
Receive a psychic reading
Tarot from Raven, and then again from Vinny.
15 X
Give a psychic reading
Thanks for teaching me, Vinny.
Climb outdoors on real rock
17 X
Visit Chichen Itza
Magnificent! One of the new 7 world wonders. Visited it with Josh.
18 X
There are some things that need to be kept private...
19 X
20 X
Buy something in an auction
1 week vacation on Whidbey Island - bought at NWIRP auction
21 X
Develop a regular yoga practice

22 X
Learn to drive stick
Earned my wings on the Yucatan peninsula driving through jungle and busy little towns. Thanks to Dad and Josh for the help.
23 X
Take an art class and learn to draw with new media
I took a finding flow in art class from William and I have been working with new media - sharpies on graph paper, charcoals, and chalk pastels.
24 X
Reiki III attunement

Ride in a hot air balloon

26 X
Take private dance lessons
Both tango and salsa
27 X
Another private one.
28 X
Rolfing Basic 10 Series

Wildcard #1

Wildcard #2

30, Here I Come.
I am pretty excited about turning 30 this year and I really look forward to what I will learn about myself from this adventure. Expect a future blog post on my learnings.

Comments Requested
Please let me know if you have any such practices yourself. Please share any ideas of things that you think for me to do. Do you believe in a particular book that every person must read? I'd like to include one of those. If you know me and can help with any of these or would like to share in these, please let me know that, too.

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