Reflecting on Chapter 30

Today I celebrate my 31st birthday!

Before I turned 30, I created a “30 Things for Year 30” bucket list that included 30 things I wanted to do in my 30th year of life. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about that bucket list and all the things I didn’t accomplish, which ultimately made me feel like I failed myself. What a way to prepare for a birthday celebration! Sick of feeling disappointed, I took an honest look at that bucket list this weekend.

This year couldn’t have been as bad as I thought, right?

As I looked at my list, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much I could actually check off my list and the areas I was making progress in.

30 Things for Year 30

  • Get a tattoo
  • Visit California
    • We started planning our trip, then COVID hit 😥.
  • Write at least one blog post/month ✅
    • I started writing for Indianapolis Moms and have been providing content monthly. You can check out my work here.
    • I also started a new series for my personal blog called Mama Spotlight, giving other moms the opportunity to share their insights on motherhood.
  • Take a dance class ✅ (sorta)
    • With our YMCA membership we got access to LES MILLS On Demand and I actually did a few dance classes from the comfort of my own living room. I still want to take a formal dance class, either with a hip hop or jazz or modern focus. Maybe I’ll do all 3!
  • Read 6 new books ✅
    • I actually “read” a few books, if you count audio books as reading.
      • Becoming by Michelle Obama
      • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
      • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
      • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
      • I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
      • Camino Island by John Grisham
  • Take a cooking class
  • Journal more ✅
    • In a way, blogging is like my journal. The things I write about often reflect thoughts, feelings, situation, etc that I have experience and already processed. My physical journal still has its place in my life and it always will.
  • Plan a girls trip with friends
  • Redecorate my bedroom ✅
    • This is currently in progress and I love the updates we have made so far!
  • Participate in a 5k
  • Go to a concert
  • Go to the movies alone ✅
    • I’ve watched several movies alone. Does that count? lol I doubt I will be visiting a movie theater anytime soon.
  • Try a new class at the gym ✅
    • I tried 2 new classes at the gym this year, Body Pump and Cardio Dance. I also started practicing yoga this year which has been great! I love the sense of calm and control it has given me.
  • Build muscle strength, tone
  • Buy one new clothing item a month ✅
    • I didn’t do this every month, but I did invest more in my wardrobe. I do not like to spend money on myself so every bit of progress in this area is good!
  • Volunteer
  • Find a new hobby ✅
    • Right now, I am experimenting with chalk paint. I want to share my projects with you soon!
    • And let’s not forget writing!
  • Study the Bible more ✅
    • I recently started getting up early each morning to spend time reading the Bible and praying. It’s helped me to start my day with a fresh perspective.
  • Learn to do my makeup ✅
    • One of my friends is so creative when it comes to makeup. I got some tips from her that I have implemented occasionally. I feel like this will be an area that I continue to explore and grow in.
  • Establish a better skincare routine ✅
    • I have established a morning and night routine. This year I have been experimenting with different products to find what will work best for my skin. After the birth of my daughter, my skin just hasn’t been the same. I’m currently using SheaMoisture African Black Soap Facial System Kit.
  • Take a fun family trip
  • Take a writing course
  • Eat better; focus on whole, plant based foods ✅
    • I have experimented with more plant based meals and want to continue to do so. I try to incorporate at least one plant based or vegetarian meal into my weekly meal plan.
  • Make a new friend ✅
    • I’ve made several new friends this year! We moved into a new neighborhood and started attending a new church which has allowed me to connect with several new people.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no; set boundaries
  • Go dancing with friends
  • Try more local restaurants ✅
    • We haven’t eaten at a restaurant in a while, but some of the places I remember trying this year are Blind Owl Brewery, ThaiTanium, Sangiovese, Taxman Brewery, and 101 Beer Kitchen.
  • Unplug for a day (or weekend)
  • Have a spa day
  • Splurge on myself at least once

While I may not have been able to do everything on my bucket list, I am proud of the things I have done. As I reflect back on why I made this list in the first place, I remember that the list was about me beginning to dream again and taking care of myself!

As a wife and mom, working full time, my needs often take a backseat to all my other responsibilities. Last year, I was beginning to feel like I was losing myself. I needed to pursue my passions. I needed to explore. I needed to learn. I needed to grow.

I’m looking ahead to chapter 31 with great anticipation!


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