The List – 29 Things After Turning 29

While I was in Florida, soaking up the local color (switching from 100+ spf to 45 spf+ got me plenty), I managed to compile the list. It’s been tweaked and revised in my head so many times that I just need to get it down in writing.

I probably won’t achieve all of these this year.
I probably will think some of them are dumb later on.
I probably will add a few that I think should be on it.

But the good news is that this list is supposed to spur some change and thoughtfulness in the next 357 days. So my type-A personality is freaking out that I’m 8 days past my birthday and the list isn’t up yet… I even briefly had the thought that I shouldn’t even bother anymore because I wasn’t doing it 100% right.

At least I realize that’s a silly thought. And really, reading the number…three-hundred-fifty-seven… in all its glory does make it seem like it’s eons away. So let’s just get down to what I’ll be focusing on, eh? (The photos are extra ones from my trip that I didn’t have a chance to put in the last post. Enjoy!)

Develop a skincare routine. I do a good job at using moisturizer on my face everyday, but I’d like to focus on the other skin on my body, and really the skin around my eyes, neck and back of hands. I’ve also been avoiding SPF in many of my products because I read about it not being good for you in EVERYTHING. I want to make sure that info is accurate and still worthwhile.

Read. I have a stack of magazines in my office that I haven’t gotten to (a best friend of mine could tell you…. as she pulled unread Christmas and Thanksgiving ones out of a box to help me unpack and looked at me like I was insane. Ha!)

Develop a gym routine. I was so good about going Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday that the moment I stopped one day? It was hard to go back.

Walk the dog everyday. Rain or shine. The poor thing is pretty sedentary, and most of it is due to me. 30 minutes each morning.

Look into teeth whitening. I’ve been told it’s a maintenance thing, but in the past 10 years I’ve noticed a significant difference in the white of my pearly whites.

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Learn to swim. Everyone is always amazed at this. “You can’t swim?” And then when they try to teach me, they do so by saying, “Just do this!” Yeah…if it were that easy, don’t you think it would have taken less than 29 years?

Go places I wouldn’t normally go to alone. I often say no to things because I don’t have someone to go with. Who knows? I may meet someone cool along the way.

Learn to run. I’ve admired people who run. And I feel like a lot of gals my age are just now taking up the sport. I want to learn to breathe. Learn to run. Learn to compete. And possibly do it in something longer than a 7k. I’d love to sign up for a half marathon!

Research PhD programs. I’m not done with school. I think I can swing starting a program in the next three years. Where. When. How much.

Travel more. I haven’t been to Yellowstone–and I live in the darn state! I want to focus on traveling in the U.S., locally, and overseas. (My best friend gave me a 3-month subscription to Escape Monthly: A Vacation in a Box and I LOVE it. It was such a good gift to inspire me to travel!)

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Don’t say no to going out. I say no because I could be cleaning, or working, or sleeping, or watching TV. Am I going to remember those things later on? Nope. Get.Off.Ass.

Develop a chores routine. I’m totally guilty of piling dishes in the sink. It’s just me–so it never makes sense to load the dishwasher for TWO plates. But it needs to happen.

Change name with Social Security, and get new drivers license. It was hard to change it in the first place (I cried), but it’ll be hard to change it back.

Develop a writing schedule. Get something on the calendar. I’m thinking early in the morning, because there’s little ways I can motivate myself to actually work out in the morning. I’m not much of a morning person. Ahem.

Do/Eat only what I love. Life is too short to eat liver. Or mac and cheese. Or carbonated beverages. I’m going to vow to only eat things I truly enjoy in the next year. Then I’ll tell you about the fabulousness.

Get butt on a bike. I have a bike that I love, but haven’t ridden it in a year. It badly needs a tune-up, as well as some cleaning and possibly a new tire. There’s an awful lot of open roads here in Wyoming.

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Reconnect with friends. There’s some I haven’t spoken to in ages. Some I’ve never met in person (the internet is a wondrous thing!). Some I haven’t seen since switching jobs. I want to ensure those friendships are solid. Maybe letter writing would be a good option?

Get my motorcycle license. I tried last year and missed it by two lousy points (They docked me for not going fast enough around a turn. Pfft).

Take a baking class or learn to cook something new. There’s no number to this, but I would like to continue to hone some baking skills. I’ve gotten certificates in International Pastries and Yeast Doughs… but there’s a lot more out there. Who wants to eat baked goods?

Keep up with the blog. Yep. I’m one to start something and not often finish. I won’t have a dedicated schedule, but I want to routinely post. For a year.

Start a side business. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting extra income somehow. I’m not certain what this is, but it will be something I enjoy (and don’t spend all my money at. So no clothing stores!).

Finish the inside of the house. Minus the kitchen. Minus the flooring. I’d like to have all the rooms painted. The windows replaced. Lighting replaced. And doors/doorknobs done. But I can’t realistically have the funds to do it all. We’ll see how far I get.

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Date night with Grandma. I’ve told myself over and over that one of the reasons why I’m back in Cheyenne is because of my grandmother. She’s 88 this year, and we can either eat food, play cards, talk, or just read. Maybe a trip to the Library is in order.

Eat better. This goes along with the next one, but as a Weight Watchers member, I want to maintain my good eating habits.

Learn to can. I have cans. I have the equipment. I know the how-to. But I haven’t done much of it. Start small with freezer jam and freezer preserves. Then move on to the longer-shelf-life stuff.

Lose 10 lb. Yep. I’m at the high end of my healthy weight. And I want more wiggle room. So that extra 10 that I’ve been waffling over for the past three years is gunna go!

Get my conceal carry, and maintain a shooting schedule. I took the course. I have the guns. I need a holster and the conceal carry. But I think this will help me go to the range more often.

Save/Stick to Budget. Guilty. Of not doing this. I make X then manage to spend X+5 because of student loans. House. Medical. Etc. I’d like to learn more about apps that make this easy for me!

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Date quality. And finally…. Date intelligent. Date kind. Date quality. Period.

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The List – 29 Things After Turning 29

Let’s Talk 29 – Of Peaches, Beaches and Humid Things

You know those themed “over-the-hill” parties that are thrown when someone turns 50? Usually they involve black clothing and tombstones? They’re depressing.

I feel like those dreaded years keep getting younger and younger. On my way home from work, I noticed a sign in a front yard with, “Lordy, Lordy! Look who’s forty!” God…I really hope the person turning 40 didn’t care.

I just turned 29. And I care about 30. No one is allowed to say any negative things or point out that fact. I already cringe when I hear, “ONE MORE YEAR!”

One year closer to 30. And one year away from a reminder that my life isn’t quite what I anticipated it would be. You see, I’m having a hard time with reality right now. I just got this packet in the mail. May not look like much to you, but it was enough to make me cry.

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I’ve been separated since October 2013, and was stalemated. Dating around some, but not moving forward with anything. Finally, the topic of divorce was brought up earlier this year. January 2015. And in the beginning of May, paperwork was filed. I knew I needed a pick-me-up… as divorce wasn’t my first hope in solving the issues. But it’s the solution that was taken in the end. I booked a trip to Florida with a friend. The day I left for the trip, I got the self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope with the final divorce decree in it. I left on vacation officially single.

And officially depressed.

It’s to be expected—while some divorces are happy, this one is not. It’s a reminder that I messed up an awful lot. That I was too proud, too independent, and too selfish. For anyone that has experienced a divorce, you know the pain. Of not being good enough. Of failing at your “forever.” It’s an ache in your heart that doesn’t go away easily, and I am too much of a make-things-happen kind of gal to let it continue forever.

So I wanted to start 29 off with a bang. Florida was my answer.

I reached out to an old blogging friend of mine. We’ve known each other for a handful of years, but have never met in person. Same age; same job industry; same relationship status (single!). Figured, why not? Thank god she was game. (If you think about it….isn’t it weird that you can now make friends online? I swear that wasn’t as normal 10 years ago.)

I flew from Denver to Atlanta. Then drove Atlanta to Birmingham. The next day, we drove 6-ish hours to Destin, Florida where we’d hoped for some good-for-you, down-to-the-soul, relaxing type of vacation that can start the healing process. And fried shrimp. Because that’s instant happiness.

It was gorgeous. And also National Donut Day when we got there. Serendipitous, don’t ya think?

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Once out of town, with the radio up and the air conditioning on (there’s a reason why most houses in Wyoming don’t have A/C built-in…. there’s no way that most cowboys would live in the dense humidity and hot climate of Florida. This curly-haired gal had the best skin and curliest hair of her life for those five days) it felt like a normal life. And normal has been a hard thing to come by lately, ya’ll.

We stopped at a charming farm stand, where we smelled every piece of fruit there, and, no joke, saw some Peach Queens. They give out sashes dedicated to fruit to beauty queens. Yep—big hair, lots of makeup, pearly whites, and dressed to the nines. AND ONLY FOUR FEET TALL. Things are different in the south.

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We grabbed some fruit, hit the road and talked. I’d been tossing back and forth the idea of a happiness checklist for the past few weeks. Something that will get me out of my element. After all, how can you expect to be happy, if you’re not and nothing changes? Going to meet someone I’ve never met, heading to a new beach, and spending my first birthday on vacation was a good start.

But the list was next. And sitting on the beach, with book in hand, sometimes with a slushy-boozy drink, was honestly the best way to think up said list 😉

I’ll post the list tomorrow…. and hope to update you for the next year on that list, and happiness in general.

But let me at least get this image in your brains before I end this post… the south is the best place to buy peaches. Hands down. I prefer nectarines due to the skin. Typically peaches are overly fuzzy up north and out west. But in Alabama? Georgia? The peaches are outta this world.

IMG_5344They even look gorgeous (I did get to see a gigantic peach water tower in Canton, GA that reminded me of the one referenced in House of Cards. When you’re going by at 80 mph, it does sort of look like a vagina. And yes, I’m ending my blog post with the word vagina. You’re welcome).

Let’s Talk 29 – Of Peaches, Beaches and Humid Things