Thursday, July 17, 2014

Strike That. Reverse.

Ever since my birthday I've been kicking around the idea of doing a “Thirty by 30” project over the next year. I like the idea of having some middle-term goals to work towards and lists and even numbers are appealing to me. But having a “What do I hope to accomplish in life?” conversation with myself is distinctly unappealing for probably obvious reasons: the odds of my getting married before 30 are pretty slim, and the chances of my having a kid before 30 are days away from being a biological impossibility. It's very depressing to think about, so I tend to try not to. And this idea stayed just an idea.

But last Sunday I went to a fireside where I had the epiphany was prompted by the Spirit to stop focusing so much on things I cannot control and spend some time improving areas that I do. (Side note: The Church is true, guys.) I started making a list that night, but it turns out that thirty things is a LOT of things, so I started Googling some other lists for ideas. And as I looked I was struck by how many goals other people made that I've already accomplished. And how many dreams other people had that I've already fulfilled. And I felt a little bit of the worry about the future dissipate in the wake of a strong feeling of gratitude for the life I've already lived so far. So instead of a “Thirty by 30” list, I started working in reverse and made a list called “Twenty-nine by 29”. Twenty-nine popular accomplishments that I've already achieved -- some I was already proud of, and some I had never thought of before as noteworthy:

1. Fly on a plane
2. Buy a car
3. Move away from home
4. Go to college
5. Go to grad school
6. Get a passport
7. Travel to a foreign country
8. Live in a foreign country
9. Pay off credit card debt
10. Run a half marathon
11. Fall in love
12. Survive a heartbreak and come out stronger
13. Go skinny dipping
14. Get a real job
15. Quit a real job
16. Touch a snake. Voluntarily.
17. Sing karaoke. In public. While sober.
18. Win a championship
19. Live alone
20. Climb to the top of a mountain
21. Sleep on the beach
22. Hold a spider. Voluntarily.
23. Win a contest
24. Get something published
25. Volunteer
26. Learn a foreign language
27. Go on an epic road trip
28. Present at a conference
29. Hold a Guinness World record

I am actually working on my “Thirty by 30” list now, to help me progress into the uncertain future, but I keep this list to remind me of the past that gifted me my present. And at the end of the day, I wouldn't return it for anything in the world.


Mindi said...

Holy cow Meagan! You are amazing! I cannot tell you how many of those things I wish I had done, but maybe still have time to do:) Can't wait for your 30 list. So glad to have a awesome friend like you!!!

see what i sea designs said...

How long have we all been trying to tell you how amazing you are?! The proof is in the numbers, my friend!! Can't wait to see where this next year takes you!

Stephanie said...

I wish I had a way with words like you do! You're amazing

Lauren said...

What a great idea!!!