Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Beginning...

The concept of this blog actually started months ago, but I pulled this post together tonight. I made my list in October, while I was in the FINAL steps of a divorce (that felt like it went on forever).  I had so many goals for my life, and was looking at turning 29. I had heard so many people talk about the things they wanted to do before they turned any milestone, and that got me thinking about what I wanted to do in life... And what I wanted to do before I turned 30...

First, a little about me... Some of you know me, and some of you will never meet me. I am obviously not 30 yet. I like reading all the time, I live with music in my head, and my running shoes are next to my bed. I teach special education during the day, and I dream of the places I could go at night.  In my spare time I love photography, and I write really bad haikus.  I love cooking, hiking, exploring, daydreaming, cloudwatching, and really at this point just existing. Life is good. :-)

Now, this is where the mission comes in. I have always had goals. I am a goal-oriented person by nature. I remember making a list of things to do before I turned 25, and I did almost all of them (except go to Russia), so I am fairly impressed with myself. I have a Masters degree, a good job, a great family, two kids, good friends, and a fair amount of free time to pursue what I like. This makes my project that much more exciting. :-)

My bachelors degree is in sociology, and I have a fair amount of social research courses between my bachelors and masters degrees. I wanted to pursue this project from a very analytical standpoint. I know some of you are already saying "lighten up and have some fun!" :-)  Now, you have to also understand that in my job my daily goal is task assessment. I write and assess the completion of goals for a living.  So, even though I am putting a rough draft of my goals up here tonight, I am sure to revise them in the upcoming days to make them concrete.  If they are vague, it will be hard to measure if I complete them. I don't do well with wiggle room.  If I can find a way to get around something, I will do it in a heartbeat! I have known myself my whole life, and I know that I will do all I can to try to skate by without fulfilling my part of the bargain. ;-)

So, here is the list of the 15 items I wrote in October.  I like the list because it is random, and it touches on many different areas of my life.  There are many areas that need improvement.  I also like it because I already did some of them (see? I already told you I would try to get by without doing work!):
Michelle's 15 Before 30:

  1. Learn to play the drums.
  2. Read ten great works of literature.
  3. Catch a fish.
  4. Learn how to create a website.
  5. Run a 10K.
  6. Learn how to decorate a cake.
  7. Learn 20 words in Italian.
  8. Fly first-class.
  9. Eat vegetarian for one month... and enjoy it! :-)
  10. Ride a hot air balloon.
  11. Visit a new country.
  12. Raise $1,000 for a charity.
  13. Karaoke... in public...
  14. Buy and drink a REALLY expensive bottle of wine.
  15. Get in much better physical shape- making my numbers look much better at my physical before 30.

Now you can already see that some of these aren't really measurable. I will say that I like all of them, and they will remain on the list.  I have a friend that has committed to helping me with number 6 (thanks Becca!).

I have done Number 13 in December, but does karaokeing for a class of middle and high schoolers count? Wait... as I write this, I have already answered my question... of course that counted... that would have to be a group of the toughest critics out there... and they could all REMEMBER the performance!

I am working on Number 15 right now. I have so far lost 61 pounds, so I believe all of the numbers will be in my favor.  As the year progresses, I will be looking at an even better report from the doctor.  In a later post, I will touch on my past medical info that will give you a glimpse at what an awesome deal it will be for me to run a 10K again. :-)

I am absolutely thrilled to look at this journey for the next 10.5 months.  It has been a phenomenal 29 years so far, and the best is yet to come.  I have led a random life, full of stories and insight that few can attain in twice or three times the years.  I think this project will add some variety to my life, and will also give me back a little of the "social research" I had been missing when I sat in my undergrad classes long ago.  Along the way, this blog will serve as a diary to record my thoughts and progress.  It is neat to think that all of these things can and will be done in a short period of time. :-)

Happy New Year!