30 While 30 – The Comprehensive List

Here it is.  My list of 30 things to do while I am 30.  If you just want the bullet list, just go here.  On this post, you will find the list and some of my thoughts or reasons why I want to accomplish these things … this year.  This will be a long post.  Just be forewarned.  There is no logical or reasonable order to these items, so don’t infer one. 🙂

1. Read 30 books.

Charles Jones once said:

“You are the same today that you are going to be in five years from now except for two things: the people with whom you associate and the books you read”.

I am to tackle this from both angles.  This covers the second half.  I know 30 seems like a lot, but I have included a smattering of long and short ones, fiction and non, across several genres.  Some are new reads and some are re-reads, but that’s the goal.  For the list of the books, go here.  At the time of this posting, the list isn’t complete.  I realized that as I begin this journey, where I end up might find myself wanting to read some very different things.  I am leaving it open-ended.

2. Lose at least 30 pounds.

You might be thinking: “Oh geez, is this some glorified New Year’s resolution list?”.  Well, you are only part right, especially if this were an new goal instead of a continuation of an old one.  By the time you read this (well depending if you read on post day, or dig it up way later) by my 30th birthday, I have lost 12 pounds.  This goal is a continuation, and will be helped by some of my other goals.

3. Climb a mountain.

I’m not too picky.  I placed this criteria: “Have my picture taken next to ‘X Peak’ or ‘Mount Y’.”  Now, you’re going to have to take my word for it … that I didn’t ride a train up there to the peak … but if you can’t trust me for that, well then this is kinda pointless.

4. Learn to ride a motorcycle.

Let’s just say I’m getting my mid-life crisis out of the way early.

5. Run in 2 5k Races.

Ran my first back in September 2010.  I want to do at least two more.

6. Run a 10k.

Because I am a glutton for punishment.

7. Run a half marathon.

Because I might very well be insane.

8. Earn my carry permit / take a handgun course.

I am not totally settled on this one, even as this post goes live.  I’ll just cover my bases and put up both, and 1 out of the 2 will get it done.  I figure, I live south of the Mason Dixon line … this has got to be a rite of passage, and one that I haven’t passed yet.

9. Find a good table wine (and understand what makes a wine a “table wine”).

Sometimes I eat at fancy places.  Sometimes when I eat at fancy places, people order fancy drinks.  Sometimes when I eat at fancy places, and people order fancy drinks, they talk about their drinks.  Most times, I sip on my Coke.  But as you will find, Cokes are going to be out of the question, so I think it prudent to at least have something to talk about.

10. Find a good mixed drink.

This is the partner to #9.  Same line of thinking, but also, might be nice to have something that I don’t have to “go out for”, that can be easily made from the comforts of my own home.  Something to surprise my wife with after a hard day, or to celebrate something.

11. Be free of carbonated beverages for one calendar year.

This. Is. A. Doozy.  I love my Mountain Dew.  I mean …. really.  This is going to be the hardest thing on my list, I think.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still get my caffeine, but it will be more likely from hot bean-based substances instead of chemicals mixed in a bubbly colored brew.

12. Visit another state.

I have seen or driven through almost half the states in the US.  Want to add another one, at least.

13. Get off Lisinopril.

This past year, due to my eating and my weight (along with a healthy dose of family history) I was prescribed a medication to help with my blood pressure.  I am aiming for this not to be a permanent part of my life.

14. Paint a Picture.

Not the refrigerator variety.  The wall variety …. that stays up even when strangers are coming over.

15. Have a photograph published.

This goal also entails several other steps, mainly around my once common hobby of photography.  Take lots of pictures … submit to lots of places … meet goal #15.

16. Fly an airplane.

Haven’t you?

17. Attend a nerd conference.

I am a self-confessed nerd.  I like video games, star trek, and it is my lifelong fantasy that my boys will be star wars nerds just like their daddy (much to the dismay, I think, of their mother).  I am not sure which, whether it be a ComicCon or BlizzCon, but that’s what’s on the table.

18. Invest myself in a cause greater than myself, outside the shores of the United States.

This coming from one of the books on my list.  More on this particular goal later.  Another comprehensive one, multi-stepped goal.

19. Complete 30 random acts of kindness to 30 total strangers.

I like plays on this whole “turning 30” thing, and also an idea that I got from another 30 before 30 list that I was able to take a look at.

20. Write 30 old-fashioned, snail-mail letters to 30 people that have had a meaningful impact in my life.

No one writes letters anymore.  I am to start a trend.  Besides, I hear the USPS is down on revenue, so I am going to help, 44 cents at a time.  Stamps are still 44 cents, right?

21. Take a cooking class.

My wife probably cooks 99% percent of the meals in our household.  This is simply a product of her profession (a professional home environment manager and CEO of V-Family Inc.) and the fact that for most of the (coming up) eight years of our marriage, I have been the eternal commuter, never really able to effectively get home in time to cook a good meal.  This is, though, in spite of the fact that I fancy myself a decent cook.  But I don’t cook.  I aim to correct this paradox.

22. Get a professional fitting.

Going along with #2, when I make my goal, I want to visit one of those nice stores in some big city where people pick out clothes just for you, matching your body type, and all, “What not to Wear” style.  I’ll just get one outfit, but will use it to celebrate a relative return to my collegiate physique.

23. Begin to learn a foreign language.

This one works in tandem with #18.  If I’m leaving the borders, I need to be able to speak the language …. well at least a little bit.

24. Go vegetarian for a month.

I love meat.  I really do.  I will eat a big steak at the Stockyard in Nashville to celebrate my birthday.  I know lots of folks (both some I am fond of, and those I am not, calling into question my theory that the lack of red meat makes people snippy and mean ….)  I shall join the ranks, even if it is temporary.

25. Write an original song.

When I was a wee lad of 20, I used to play a mean guitar.  The knowledge is still there, but the fingers are callous-free and soft.  This year I will answer the request of my wife to pick back up one of the things that helped her fall in love with me, and add to the half-dozen or so works circa 2000-2003.

26. Blog regularly.

This blog will do it enough.  I have enough friends and folks that might be interested that I owe them that.  Not only that, but I have to start collecting some data for later (maybe more traditional) publication.  “Regularly” constitutes at least 3 posts a week, minimum … likely more when #27 is up and running.

27. Launch my professional entity website.

I have had my counseling license since May of 2010.  Having done some freelance work and some oral presentations since that time, I think that it is time to develop my “brand”.  This site will be the core of that push.

28. Decide on whether or not I am going on to my PhD.

It’s time to figure out if I am done with school … or more importantly if school is done with me.  I looked at a few schools, and applied to one.  We will find out by April if I rejoin the world of academia for training as a clinical psychologist.

29. Finish my Paw-Paw’s book.

In February 2010, my Paw-Paw went on to be with the LORD.  I asked for only one thing from my grandmother at his passing: the pieces of a book that he had spent years working on, until his eyes got too bad to see what he was doing.  I aim to finish what my 98 year old grandfather started.

30. Go on a polar-bear plunge

I hear its cold … and looks fun.

Well, there you have it.  It took me about a good month to decide on the list, and if you are interested (and you might be forced to as I will be blogging about it regularly, flooding your twitter or facebook feeds) I hope that you will follow me a bit in this journey.  If not, at least have a laugh.  At best, maybe you might think that today is the day to tackle those things you have always meant to do but always thought that you could wait till tomorrow to do so.

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