I’m turning 30 this year. I don’t have much to show for it, besides a startling number of hats I don’t wear, and several pairs of jeans that don’t fit me. Any milestone birthday means you are confronted with lists of ’30 Things You Definitely Have To Do By 30 Or You’ve Basically Wasted Your Youth’ (hot tip – we already know we wasted our youth). You know what I’m talking about. Those lists that tell you to ‘Make sure you’ve watched a sunrise in the Maldives while hand-feeding rescue turtles’, and ‘Pay off your debt’ (HAHAHAHAHA). A lot of those kinds of lists are – I’m just going to say it – unachievable to most regular people. If you’re like me, and you hate ’30 Before 30′ lists, join me as I rip one apart. This is for those of us who sometimes find it overwhelming just getting through the goals for the day, let alone half a lifetime.
1. Travel somewhere you don’t know the language.
Ok, this is not a great start, because I have actually done this one, but it is not necessarily the starry-eyed, exciting adventure that it always seems to be painted as. It’s scary, it can be really lonely, and it’s usually fucking expensive, despite the related list of ’25 Ways to Travel the World With Only $25 in Your Pocket’.
2. Stop holding grudges.
How dare they. I will hold a grudge ’til I die. Probably of a stomach ulcer from holding said grudge, but honestly, a grudge is probably the only thing in life I can really commit to.
3. Feel the rain on your skin.
Spare me. We’ve all been caught out without an umbrella, we’ve all been rained on. It’s not romantic and whimsical. It’s damp and inconvenient.
4. Treat yourself to something really expensive.
This just seems 100% trivial to me. Sometimes, spending $40 on a shirt seems absolutely frivolous to me, other times I will spend that much on novelty greeting cards and not even blink. Once I bought a quite expensive handbag without a second thought, and then the next week agonised over whether or not I needed a three pack of socks for $7. If you have the means, once in a while, buy yourself something you really want, but don’t necessarily need. Whether that is a chocolate bar at the checkout, or a full velour tracksuit à la J.Lo circa 2001, you do you. If you don’t have the means, call me. I can always spring for a Snickers.
5. Attend the Olympic Games.
This is just taking the absolute piss.
6. Pay off your credit card debt.
How is one to do this if one has just travelled somewhere they don’t know the language, bought themselves something really expensive, and been to the Olympics? Seriously.
7. Learn the lyrics to ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ by R. Kelly.
This was honest to god on a list I read. If you were born pre 1990, you probably know all the words anyway. If you weren’t, and you don’t, don’t fucking bother. Space Jam is awesome, but R. Kelly is revolting, and I’m still trying to scrub ‘Ignition (Remix)’ from my brain.
8. Make music
The only music I can make is playing ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ on the jumbo xylophone at the playground, and that’s only because my kid can’t tell when I fuck it up. Does that count?
9. Wear more colour.
I shan’t. There is a breed of people who wear grey, black, and white, and we will not change. However, I did just buy a green jersey, so maybe I’m full of shit. (Spoiler alert: I am)
10. Find something you’re really good at.
I have dreams that one day I’ll try something for the first time and I’ll just be an absolute natural. Like, maybe one day I’ll be a champion ski jumper, or a world-famous whittler. I’m guessing there’s probably a bit of hard work involved in becoming really really great at something, which is probably why I haven’t yet.
11. Jump more often.
12. Write a book.
Look, I have seen all the typos in your bloody facebook posts. Don’t write a bloody book ok?
13. Watch 100 of the IMDb top 250 movies of all time.
Ok. This one sounds fun. BUT. There are veeeery few comedies on that list, so really prepare yourself for some harrowing viewing. Also, the list was compiled based on user-submitted ratings. Just keep that in mind, and ask yourself if you want to watch 100 movies recommended by strangers who rate stuff on the internet…Maybe instead ask five friends to recommend five films each. At least then you have someone to blame when you hate them all.
14. Keep a list of books you want to read and work your way through it.
I have a list like this. It won’t be completed by the time I die, let alone by the time I’m 30.
15. Find a way to wake up in the morning that you don’t hate.
This morning I woke up with wet pyjamas because my 3 year old peed in my bed, so to be honest, this is probably a great goal for me personally.
16. Go on a blind date.
Sure, Meghan and Harry met on a blind date, but let’s be real: your friends don’t know any princes ok? Blind dates are not usually fun. They’re usually set up by people in relationships who don’t understand that Bridget Jones’s Diary is not a documentary about single people.
17. Get married.
Come on. I know my limits.
18. Spend time with children.
You can do this if you want to, but children are tiny psychopaths. I say this as a mother and a preschool teacher, so just trust me.
19. Learn to gamble.
I have ZERO interest in gambling. I can’t even hold onto money that I’ve earned, there’s no way it would end well if I felt like it was all a game. That’s why I’m so shit at Monopoly.
20. Do something that scares you.
I am scared of stilt-walkers, and those street performers who stay really really still until you walk past, and then they try to shake your hand or something? I’m not doing either of them.
Ok ok, so that’s only a list of 20. But that was gruelling work. I’m very aware now of my failings as a 29 year old woman. I’m fine with it though, because even though I might not have run a marathon, or seen a Broadway play, today I got the washing off the line juuuust before it started raining, and that’s the sort of victory I can get behind on a wet Thursday afternoon.