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Happy Birthday to me!  I’m 30 years old, and as you may have guessed, I’ve completed my 30 Before 30!  You’ll notice my updates: I felt no need to keep items that I was unable to complete.  So I changed them.  It is my list, after all. Remember that the point system is arbitrary.

Total Points:   1235/1025

30 Before 30

1. Lose 25 pounds  Eat a salad every day for a month  50pts   25/50

2. Write 30 letters   50pts  75/50
+25pts if to 30 different people

3. Watch all the Harry Potter Movies in one weekend  25pts   25/25

4. Finish Thesis Sing at a Karaoke Bar Participate in the Birthday Dance 25pts   25/25

5. Memorize Nicene Creed Try to memorize the Nicene Creed but fail 15pts   15/15

6. Read 10 new non-school related books  5pts/book  50/50

7. Walk the neighbor’s goats  Walk a friend’s dog  Go shampoo free  25pts   25/25

8. Go to a concert  25pts   25/25

9. Eat vegetarian for 2 weeks  50pts   50/50

10. Don’t drink coffee for one month  50pts   50/50

11. Drink a beer every night for a week  35pts   70/35
+5pts per new beer

12. Memorize the Greek & Hebrew alphabet  15pts  15/15

13. Try a new food every month  25pts  25/25

14. Go to the zoo; talk to the animals  15pts  15/15

15. Join a community group at church  50pts  50/50

16. Finish Mom’s scarf  25pts   25/25

17. Visit one new place a month  50pts  50/50

18. Go to my local science museum  15pts  25/15
+10pts for the exhibit also

19. Go dancing at least once a month  100pts  100/100

20. Visit Forks & pretend to be a Twilight fan  50pts  75/50
+25pts for wearing Twilight paraphernalia

21. Blog every day for one month  30pts  30/30

22. Learn the Shim Sham  25pts  15/25

23. Go tanning at least once this winter  Get a paid massage  15pts  15/15

24. Smoke a cigar  10pts  10/10

25. Throw a party  50pts  50/50

26. Don’t sabotage the next potential relationship  50pts  50/50

27. Push all the buttons in an elevator, then get off  15pts  15/15
+10pts if it’s over 15 floors

28. Write poetry  20pts  20/20

29. Go to a swing dancing workshop  50pts   50/50

30. Go to a fancy donut shop  15pts  15/15

Bonus List

Kiss a man  50pts  50/50
+25pts if he’s wearing plaid
-25pts if we’ve been drinking

Go to ETS in California  100pts  100/100

Go to Harry Potter World  150pts  0/150

Get a puppy  50pts  0/50

Reform a baby alligator (so it doesn’t eat people)  100pts  0/100


It’s almost my 30th Birthday.  My 30 Before 30 list is almost complete: I have five items left, and all will be (hopefully) finished before Wednesday.  And I plan on posting the completed list on my birthday, so get ready.

I’m doing an AdvoCare cleanse right now.  I’m on day 3 out of 10.  It’s not bad except you’re hungry a lot.  The basics are no meat, no dairy, no white carbs, no sugar (except fruit), no fats.  Plus you’re supposed to make sure to eat 8-10 servings of fruit & veggies each day (and veggies should be raw or lightly steamed), plus drink 8 glasses of water.  The water isn’t hard: you want to drink that much because you’re thirsty from the fiber stuff you’re taking.  I do like being able to eat all this fruit.  Normally I limit myself to one piece of fruit a day (because of cost).  This is delightful.

Well. It’s raining today, but that should be good incentive to get work done?  Maybe some work on my thesis, and I really ought to clean the apartment.

I went on vacation to Forks, WA.  It was everything I hoped it would be.  Twilight-wise, that is.  Otherwise, it was everything I remembered it was.  Technically, we spent most of our time around La Push, at Rialto Beach, which is one of the better beaches up there.  I took a photo tour of all the Twilight sites; it was spectacularly funny.

I have a dilemma.  The Twilight books are awful, literature-wise.  Yet there is something very compelling about them…  Something that makes you want to read them more than once or twice.  Is it that I want to live in a fantasy world where everything turns out right?  Probably.

It’s like a midlife crisis at 30.  I was talking with a friend and we wondered if perhaps we are going through this at our age (near 30, give or take a few years) rather than during midlife because we’re still single.  We have time to examine our lives and feel discontent.  Most of our friends are married with babies/small children at 30, which means they don’t have the luxury of time to consider.  Their lives are full of family.  So once the kids are a bit older, and they breathe again, they realize their lives aren’t just what they thought they would be.  Usher in the midlife crisis.  But we’re getting ours out of the way sooner, so just you wait.  Life is going to be great for me at 40-45 while everyone else is freaking out.

There’s a silver lining to every cloud.

I want to live in a fairy-tale world.

Everything feels wrong with reality.  I try to make my own, but sometimes I’m overwhelmed by what is actual.  My daydreams do not always suffice.

I want to live in a world of music and poetry.

Maybe when I am in Ecuador I will buy a mandolin and teach myself to play.  I won’t bring my guitar with me, so I’ll need some sort of outlet.

I want God to make sense.

Sometimes you have to give up on your dreams.  Sometimes they simply aren’t attainable.  Sometimes you have to find new dreams to chase, and you have to make those dreams yours.

You also have to decide if healing is worth the effort, or if you might as well walk through life bleeding and broken.  Sometimes I’m not sure.  I’m used to my pain.  I’m used to my hurt.  It’s not that I don’t want to be healthy, but it’s that I’m not sure I have the energy to begin to figure out how to get healthy.  And I’ve already decided to make big life choices that coincide with my brokenness instead of walking a path of hopeful healing.

Life doesn’t work out perfectly in the end, with the perfect guy, perfect life, perfect family.  Life is not Twilight.

Only two more days of jury duty, technically.  We got a case that might bring us back a time or two after our last day to finish up…  I obviously can’t say anything about it, but if I could, you would read something quite horrible, but quite interesting.  Jury duty itself is still quite draining…  I’ll be glad when it’s done and I can focus on my thesis.

My birthday is coming up at the end of the month, and my 30 Before 30 list is growing shorter.  I don’t know if I’ll manage to complete it, but I’m sure going to try!  There are just a few things on it that might give me trouble.  We will see.

It’s amazing how quickly time is flying and how little I have gotten done in the meantime.

This poem has been on my  mind lately and is what I will leave you with:

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now…” by A.E. Houseman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Yesterday’s post was… poorly written.  I was trying for something, but didn’t achieve it and posted anyway.

I’m still moving forward with my South America idea.  I’ve decided I’m moving home at the end of July/beginning of August.  This is so I can save money and still afford to finish my degree, plus afford a plane ticket and the program fees.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to find a job even though I’m obviously over-qualified for the jobs I plan on applying for.

I also have a friend who is considering coming with me.  I am doing my best to give her the information she would need to make a decision, but to not push her.  In reality, I just want to force her to come.  She’s one of my favourite people, and I know I could live with her.  And we’d be the people who would buy food together and eat our meals together, like a real family.  However, I am not going to make my decision based on her decision.  Even if I’d like to.

The other reason I’m moving home is so that if I truly do jump on a plane to South America, I’ll have time to spend with family and friends.  My close friends are still all where I used to live.  They’re still the ones I miss and wish I was with.  Plus my nieces are there.

Now all I have to do is finish my thesis.  Did I mention I finally have an adviser?  My dean offered to advise my paper–he’s pretty excited about it, which makes me excited.

I have an African Violet that I got two years ago in August.  A little more than a year after, it outgrew its tiny grocery store pot, so I bought the next size up (but a beautifully glazed clay pot, of course).  Within about two months after re-potting, it grew into, and out of, that pot.  But I held off.  I knew it was going to be a pain to re-pot.  And I’ve never seen an African Violet take off like mine has.  It’s constantly covered in beautiful, purple blooms.  And I had the idea that it wouldn’t be easy to get out of its current home.  I was right.

Today I re-potted my African Violet into another pot, which it will hopefully fit for awhile…  But in doing so, I lost several leaves and the bottom half of the root system.  I feel confident that it will be fine, after the shock to its system, but I still feel bad.  And the worst is that I realized I was going to have to de-bloom it so that the plant can concentrate on setting down strong roots, instead of giving energy to flowers.  It’s so ugly right now.  Not one flower left, compared to the dozens before.

I consider this tough love.

I hope it makes it.

[UPDATE: I feel like this is some sort of analogy for my life when I moved here from home… Only I never did thrive.  Sometimes re-potting doesn’t work?]