I started this little bloggy four years ago, one month after I turned 25. And one year later I was in my "late twenties" and apparently couldn't believe that either. When I turned 27 I wanted all the things. At 28 I was embracing motherhood and finding moments in the normal days. At 29 I was back to wanting all the things. And this year, I want all the things too. But in a very different way. I don't want scarves or necklaces or bags. I don't yearn for boots or wine (okay, I may want a little wine). I want time and health. I want happiness and wholeness.
Looking back on my posts I thought for years around birthday posts I would teeter between wanting things and trips mixed with a little sappiness ... and I think that will continue to be the case. But I also knew at some point I would fear for my health, but never in a million years did I think it would be before I turned thirty. And ironically, here I sit. 60 days out from my thirtieth birthday, and the only thing in the world I want is time with the people I love filled with happiness and wholeness for all of our lives. Hell for the whole world! That's my wish.
I watched the ESPY's last week and I was touched to my core with Craig Sager's story. If you missed him being honored for the Jimmy V Award, do yourself a favor and catch up on that by clicking this link. You should also watch the story compilation that they put together prior to the acceptance speech, but I'll be okay if you at least watch the speech part. The speech and video tugged so tightly at my heart strings and there hasn't been one day that has gone by since that I haven't thought about it. Namely these parts:
- As Craig addressed his family he said, "My battle has become their battle."
- This could not hit closer to home. What I have been through in the last couple of months effects my family in so many lasting ways. As the dust settles, we see and are reminded daily of how much this battle effects not only myself but them as well. And my wish for families fighting this is to continue to remain together, a unit. As stands our great nation, stands our families. United we stand, divided we fall.
- On the heels of above, "Donate. Fight. Do it together."
- They say their is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer. And my wish is we all remember we are ALL people. We all need support. We all need help sometimes. And we all need to lift one another up. In whatever way, whatever form we have. Help one another.
- Craig's explanation and will to fight, "The way you think influences how you feel. And the way you feel influences how you act."
- A reminder to myself. This battle is far from over. Even if the cancer never returns, I will be mocked and reminded everyday when putting on my compression garment that cancer existed in my body. Everyday I will battle swelling in my right leg, forever. There will be things I "cannot" do because of my lymphedema. But I GET to battle. I get to fight. I get the chance to live. And I can choose to do it with grace and dignity or I can choose to let it defeat me. And I wish for grace and dignity. I wish for positive thoughts to feel good. And feeling good to act graciously and let that spill and overflow to others that need encouragement.
- And last but not least, a charge. A goal that carries me into year 30 with a happy heart and good head on my shoulders. A challenge to myself and a focus to grab life by the horns and live it. The narrator of Craig's story explained Craig's drive to live everyday, "complete one day just the way you want to. And then start the next one with the same goal."
- An ever present reminder, life is now. It is not tomorrow, or next week when you're on vacation. It is now. Live it.
All of that to bring me back to my 30 before 30 list. It's a list I created several years ago, and have been checking things off as we go along (but for today's post I finally put it to public paper and made a fun little collage). I may not complete everything before 30, but I'm working towards it. And I'm heading into 30 and the years beyond with an updated list and a shifted focus. And I'm pretty a-ok with that.
My current list. (Italicized items are not yet complete)
- Marry the love of my life
- Have a child (and another!)
- Focus on photography
- Buy a home (or three!)
- Travel to back to Europe (this totally happened, but I blogger failed and never posted about it)
- Visit Seattle -- s(till on the to do list)
- Do wine country in California
- Have a mourning routine - (I've gotten better at this, but I still need a true "routine" mine is all over the place)
- Paint/get creative more often - (I could do MUCH better here)
- Take cooking classes - (FAIL)
- Travel to Australia
- Host a Murder Mystery Party - (I'm looking at you Laura. Why can't I make this happen? I talk about it every 3 months. )
- Have something published - (nope, nada)
- Open a studio or boutique - (my dream since I've been about 13)
- Buy a fixer upper and renovate - and make a profit! - (we talk about it, A LOT)
- Run a 5K - (I've walked one! ha!)
- Turn my Chi Omega t-shirts into a quilt - (I finally sorted them into a tub, does that count?)
- Make homemade sushi and have people eat it
- Go skydiving
- Have a signature recipe those close to me know is "mine"
- Learn to drive a stick - (I've learned like 5 times, it never ends well. )
- Have a photo shoot done of just myself
- Volunteer - and make it a habit
- Go to Mardi Gras
- Move to another city
- Plant a tree with meaning and visit it annually
- See the Grand Canyon
- Go back to school
- Watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy
- Do a friends trip to Vegas!
So, I'm 10 for 30 and yet if you asked me if "did a lot" I would most definitely answer yes. Funny thing is, I'm not doing all the things I want to do! What am I waiting for?! Craig Sager said it best, "everyday is a canvas waiting to be painted" ... so the bottom line is I wish for myself to start painting. Stop putting things off until tomorrow and start doing the things I've always dreamed of doing. And more importantly, bring others along for the ride. Because life is often always better when good friends and family are involved. Cheers to nearly 30 years, and cheers again to 30 more! I hope to report back here in sixty days with more items checked off my list. And in the mean time, I'm going to be adding to my list and filling up those empty 10 spots!