My 30 Before 30 has been a longstanding project on my blog, and quite frankly, I’ve been failing miserably at it. At first, it was largely due to me being a lazy bitch, but then it became something I could blame Covid for (let’s face it, it’s fucked up everything else). Since then, I’ve had to remove a lot of stuff from my original list – a lot of which was travel based – and revisit it. However, the idea behind the whole list was to do that shit that I’ve always wanted to do, and to get out of my comfort zone for a change, so, in that spirit, I’ve reworked it. The idea being that I’ve removed anything that wouldn’t be doable in the current state of the world (or, realistically, in my current mental/financial state), and replaced it with things that are a little more doable. So, dear reader, I give you the Revised Edition of my 30 Before 30.
Let’s kick things off on a positive note. I got the tattoo I wanted in April 2019, followed by another two a few months later. As my 30th approaches though, I’m considering getting another, but I’m undecided on what to get. It’s likely it’ll be some form of Taylor Swift lyrics, but I need to think it through properly.
2: Learn to Play a Song on My Ukulele
You may remember back in early 2019, I bought myself a ukulele in the hope of teaching myself to play it. I spent a month or two attempting to learn the Lava song from the Pixar short, and, surprise surprise, I failed. Mainly, because I lost my patience with it, and making one mistake meant I was a failure. Two years on, I haven’t touched the little bastard, and I’m determined to change that. It probably won’t be the Lava song, but I need to learn to play something on it. I have to. I know a bunch of Taylor Swift songs by heart, maybe I can do something there.
3: Get a New Job
I had already started my new job when I reworked my 30 Before 30, but because it was such a big thing, I wanted to keep it on here so that I could tick it off properly. I have a new job, and – brace yourself – I’m happy with it. I’m more than happy with it. I love it.
4: Complete Couch to 5k
I started Couch to 5k back in 2017 in preparation for a charity fun run that Lillie and I signed up for – while I didn’t actually complete it, we still managed to do the run itself. Fun fact – we raised over £300 for the charity that I’m now working for – BOOYAH. Sorry, that was unprofessional. Anyway… after we finished the run, we both stopped running. Cut to 2021, and as you may remember, I started running again, but I completely fell off the wagon with it. I’m determined to actually finish Couch to 5k properly before I turn 30 – by that, I mean to complete every single one of the runs on it. There’s no particular reason, other than the fact I want to prove I’m capable of doing some sort of physical exercise without crying/passing out/shitting myself.
5: Make Something From My Food Porn Pinterest Board
It’s common knowledge that I’ve never been good at cooking and/or baking. However, I’ve got a Pinterest “Food Porn” board full of crap that I’d love to at least try and have a go at. When I’m in a good mood, I look at it and feel like I could make a fair few of the things listed, but when I’m in a crappy mood, all of that enthusiasm goes away. However, I realise I’ve spent pretty much all of my 20s being a cantankerous, pessimistic little bitch and I need to do something about it. So, if I can keep just enough optimism to bake a fucking Pinterest worthy cake, I’ll treat that as some sort of achievement.
Hands down, going to Disneyland with Lillie back in 2019 was one of my favourite holidays EVER. It was something I wanted to do ever since I was a little kid, and going there as an adult was amazing. Yes, I felt immense rage at all the spoiled little brats there and almost punched a number of children, and I almost had an OCD-infused breakdown at the dinner buffet, but at the same time, it was an experience I’ll never forget, and it’s probably my most favourite memory I have with Lillie. Meeting Donald Duck, seeing the fireworks, trying on princess tiaras, watching the parade – I loved every minute.
This is one I wasn’t quite expecting to tick off in all honesty, especially not during a pandemic. Weirdly though, it happened, and we’ve now been living in our new house for over a year. There were a LOT of tears and arguments in the process, but looking back, none of that matters. We have a house, and it’s ours. I can finally use the phrase “GET OFF OF MY PROPERTY!” Not that I need to right now, but it’s always good to have it in the bag.
8: Complete a 30 Day Fitness Challenge
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know about how I was a fan of Blogilates workouts when it came to my fitness journey. One thing Blogilates (aka Cassey Ho) is known for are her 30 day challenges. Whether it’s 30 days to a toned butt or 30 days to learn the splits, she’s got a whole bunch of them over on her YouTube channel. You may remember that in my original 30 Before 30, I wanted to learn how to do the splits. Realistically, I’m not sure how possible that’ll be (let’s be honest, it’ll probably go to shit after the first week knowing my track record), but I would love to do one of her fitness challenges. Mainly, to see if they really do work, and also, to see if I can keep something going for 30 days. Put it this way, I wanted to go a week without drinking after having my Covid vaccine (just to be on the safe side), but after 24 hours, I was fucking gagging. It’ll be interesting to see how long I can keep this habit up for. I haven’t decided what challenge to do yet – maybe it’ll be the splits, maybe it’ll be one to tone up my ass, I don’t know. Either way, I’d like to give one a go. I saw some real results back when I was properly committed to doing her workouts, and that wasn’t even through doing the challenges, so I’d be interested to see how doing a challenge would work for me. Not to lose weight, but to tone and generally feel more confident with how my body looks.
9: Complete an OCD Workbook
Over the years I have spent an insane amount of money on OCD self help books that I’ve barely scratched the surface of. I don’t even know why I haven’t continued with them – it’s my own money I’ve invested in them and it’s for my own benefit, but for whatever reason, I’ve given up all too easily. I have a number of OCD “workbooks” that have gone untouched since buying them, and I feel now is probably a good time to dive into them. I’ll admit that I’ve skimmed the surface on some of them, but I haven’t really had the willpower to do things properly, and – I’ll be honest – I’ve never worked well on my own when it’s come to this sort of thing. It’s ironic – I fucking hate any form of group work EVER, but ask me to complete an OCD workbook/diary on my own and I desperately need some sort of companion to do it with me. It’s not even like the books I’ve bought are crap, either. I did so much research before I bought them, only buying the books with the best reviews and so on, so really, there’s no excuse. Given the Panny-D has shat on a lot of my OCD recovery, I think now is as good a time as any to have a go at clawing back some of the progress I made and subsequently lost over the last couple of years. Going it alone will be difficult, but I’m trying to focus on how good it’ll feel if I manage it.
10: Put Together Those Bloody Photo Albums
This is a difficult one. For years, I’ve been printing off photos that I’ve taken with my friends. We’re talking circa 2006 and so on. That’s a lot of bloody photos. The overall aim, while taking advantage of Snapfish’s 50 free prints via the app, is to print off all of those photos, and build up an epic photo album (or seven) of dreams. I know in this day and age, it’s all online, but there’s something about looking through a physical photo album that makes things that bit more special. However, there’s a problem. While those photos have some cracking memories attached, a lot of the people in them are people I don’t see anymore. The reasons are varied, but of course many are due to just growing apart, but that doesn’t make it any less painful when you go through them. Hell, even going through my wedding photos, there’s people that I no longer have contact with, and that fucking hurts. Anyway, I digress. I really want to put together these photo albums, because taking pictures was such a big thing back then (let’s be honest, it still is). However, I don’t see the point in putting together an album packed with photos of people I no longer speak to. Of course I have some incredible friends, and they will without a doubt get pride of place in these albums, but what do I do about the people whom I had so many good times with, but don’t actually give a shit about me anymore? Answers on a postcard.
11: Go to an Outdoor Cinema
Outdoor cinemas seem to be growing in popularity, and I’d love to go to one. The indoor cinema experience is one that I don’t mind, but from what I’ve heard, the outdoor one is something that is a little bit extra special. The cosiness of wrapping up warm, the festivity of kicking back with a couple of tinnies and the community of watching a film that everyone else there knows and loves so much – it all seems like something I could get on board with. Yes, I get incredibly bitchy when I’m cold, but if I was going to be kicking back with a hot chocolate watching a classic film on the big screen with my friends and my Mama, I’m sure I’d be fine. Mama J went to see Dirty Dancing at an outdoor cinema recently, and she said it was amazing – and that was even after sitting in the pissing rain for most of it. Basically, what I’m saying is, if you know of any Disney films or shit like The Greatest Showman and so on playing at an outdoor cinema near Bath, hit me TF up.
12: Do a Charity Challenge
I don’t know whether it’s the fact I now work for a charity or the fact I desperately want to prove something to myself, but either way, I want to do some sort of charity challenge. I haven’t really decided yet, mainly because I’m not sure what I should give up – the most obvious one at this rate would be Dry January, but that’s not for here. Going back to the Couch to 5k thing, it may be that I combine these two, but we’ll see. The fact I REALLY don’t want to give up booze for a month sort of indicates that maybe I should, but who knows. Watch this space.
13: Get a New Car
I paid to get Dory, my little blue Ford Ka, through an MOT in August, and I was sadly told that she probably wouldn’t make it through another one. So, it’s become highly likely that over the next few months I’ll be having to sort myself out a new car. I know absolutely bugger all about cars so it’s not exactly going to be an easy task, but I’m looking forward to the idea of a nice, fresh new one.
14: Taylor Swift Sleepover
I don’t mean a sleepover at Taylor Swift’s house – relax, I’m not some crazy ass stalker. I mentioned before that in 2019, Lillie and I went to Swiftogeddon (a Taylor Swift club night – it was fucking epic). I’ll be honest, the idea of a club night post-covid doesn’t really do much for me on the anxiety front, but I feel like we’re long overdue for a Tay-Tay booze-fuelled sesh. I want us to have an evening where we eat a shit-ton of Chinese food, get hammered and sing along to Folklore and Evermore.
15: Cook a Meal From Scratch
It’s time to grow TF up – I’m 29 years old, I really should know how to cook for myself. And I don’t mean shoving some chicken nuggets in the oven and then mentally torturing myself after eating them because my OCD is trying to tell me I haven’t cooked them properly. I’ve spent good money on recipe books and spent forever saving crap to my Pinterest board, so I feel now’s the time to actually put it into action. It will probably go completely and utterly tits up, regardless of what I choose to cook, but at the very least, I might get some half decent content out of it.
16: Get Shitfaced With My Mum
Getting hammered with my Mum is a rare thing – it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s fucking hilarious. I can’t remember the last time we actually did it (I think the closest we got was me getting drunk the night I stayed over at her house while I was supposed to be looking after her following a medical procedure – she was off her tits on sedation, I was off my tits on gin. Yes, I’m a terrible person). I feel we’ve never really had a proper night out that’s resulted in us both getting wankered before now, hence why this is going on the list.
Originally, this one was “decide on fur babies vs real babies.” Essentially, a nice lighthearted way of saying I wanted to decide whether or not to have a baby by the time I’m 30. I’ve since started to accept that this is not something I can just decide on. I had a lot of thoughts on the topic and writing them all out was incredibly cathartic – I’m also really happy with the response I’ve had from people who’ve read it.
18: Drive on the Motorway
As of 2021, I’ve had my driving licence for 10 years. In that time, I have never driven on the motorway. After I passed my test, I wanted to do Pass Plus, where one of the lessons is motorway driving, but I never got around to it. I always said, if I had my dream job that required me having to use the motorway on a daily basis, I’d do some sort of course on it, but of course, that never happened. The closest I’ve come is a dual carriageway that I drive on every day to work. However, I’m determined to lose my motorway virginity this year – even if it just means sitting like twat in the slow lane the entire time.
19: Sing Karaoke
Karaoke is one of those things I only ever do when shit-faced, so I’d quite like to have a go at it when I’m relatively sober. The main issue being that I never have the confidence to do so unless I’ve downed a shit-ton of booze. So, if I can sing karaoke after just one or two drinks, I’m checking this little bitch off the list.
20: Stay at Barnsley House Again
We stayed at Barnsley House in Cirencester just after we got married. It was legit the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever stayed in, and that was even after we spent an entire weekend at the hotel that hosted our wedding. We stayed in the most gorgeous suite – it felt a lot like our own little flat – and we had the most incredible meal in their restaurant. It was insanely expensive, but I’m determined to stay there again, preferably before I turn 30.
21: Make a Will
Okay, this is a bit of a morbid one, but hear me out. We bought a house last year, so making a will 100% is something that needs doing. We’ve sorted life insurance, but at the time of writing, there are no wills in place. Since starting my job at my local hospice charity, I’ve seen the importance of making those plans for the future – not just wills, but when it comes to your medical care too. Yes, it may seem a bit morbid, but as I’ve been discussing with my colleagues, surely it’s better to know what your loved ones would want? It’s one of those things we’ve needed to do for well over a year now, so I’m determined to get it done. Even if it means me leaving everything to Cats Protection…
Finally! Another one I can check off! We went to FriendsFest in Bristol back in 2019 and it was such good fun. Admittedly, I struggled a bit with the props side of things when it came to having photos taken, but it was still a good laugh, and I would 100% recommend it to any Friends fan.
23: Put Together a “Death Folder”
As you may have realised, working for a hospice has made me a bit more morbid. Not only do I want to put together a will, but I also want to ensure that both of us put together an “emergency/death folder” – you know, the classic stuff. Something that contains all your passwords and accounts and crap, and maybe a bit about what you want for your funeral. Conga line ftw. Only joking. Yes, it may seem like a bit of a morbid thing to do, but the one thing I’ve learned in my new job is that it never hurts to plan for the future.
24: Write a Blog and Stick to It
Past me didn’t really set any targets with this one, so, considering that I’ve kept Sassy Cat Lady going since 2019, I’m going to tick this one off. I don’t really feel worthy of doing so given that I’ve just had a 2 month break from blogging, but I’m going to look at the bigger picture.
25: Give Blood
I fainted while accompanying my friend to give blood 10 years ago, so fuck knows how things will turn out if I go to do it myself. However, giving blood is something that I really want to do. I (along with many others, I’m sure) would take a blood transfusion if I ever needed one, so I feel like it’s only fair I do my bit and donate myself. I’m absolutely terrified – not necessarily because of the needle, more because of the fact I might faint/puke/shit myself – but I’m determined to do it, because it’s such an easy way to save someone’s life.
26: Share My Unfiltered Thoughts on Turning 30
Again, similarly to the baby stuff, this is one that is likely to be a controversial post, but I feel when I have so many thoughts on it, I need to get them out. Hopefully, if you’re a similar age to me, you’ll find them relatable – or at least, that’s the aim anyway.
27: Watch the Films on My Disney Bucket List
This is one I made up at the last minute when I had to bin off the extravagant shit from this list, so apologies if it sounds a bit pathetic – I blame Covid. Anyway, I’m a HUGE Disney fan, as most of my readers will know, but believe it or not, there’s a whole bunch of films that I haven’t actually seen. For example, everyone raves about The Emperor’s New Groove – mate, I haven’t seen it. Don’t @ me. I’m going to rectify it, okay?
28: Book Tickets to a Musical
I know in my original list, I really wanted to go and see Wicked. Of course, that’s going to depend on where it’s showing and the dates it’s running, and chances are I probably won’t get to see any musicals between now and my 30th. However, because it’s something I want to do, I thought I’d keep it on the list but just tweak it a little. I’d still love for it to be Wicked, but I’m open to going to something else if the right thing comes along – fuck it, I’d be more than happy to see Avenue Q again if I can!
29: Complete a Reading Challenge
We all know the last year or two I’ve been really enjoying smashing through my TBR pile, but it’s a slow process where I barely set aside any time for it. My friend Cheryl has introduced me into the world of Bookstagram (I’m @amesreadsstuff if you want to follow me), and I’ve been seeing so many challenges popping up on my feed, many of which I’ve not done, purely because I know I don’t have the time. However, I’m determined to do at least one – so here it is, I’m putting it out there.
30: Finish My Digital Marketing Course
Back when I was balls deep in my job search, the employment support team who were working with me (more on that later) suggested I enrol in one of Google’s free online digital marketing courses – because I was so desperate to get out of my job, I got straight on it. However, once I ended up getting my new job, I completely forgot about it. It’s still there on my account, at about 5% done. I hate that I’ve left it unfinished, so I’d love to complete it before next year. Not only to prove to myself that I can definitely finish something, but also, it wouldn’t hurt to have it in my back pocket for the future – it’s free, and it’s something I’m interested in, so either way, it’s worth doing.
I’ll be honest guys, this list took me a good 8 weeks to put together, because I was running out of crap to add to it that was genuinely doable with my enthusiasm and self esteem at this current time. At the moment, I’m not entirely convinced I’ll tick much of this off, but I guess that’s not the attitude. If anyone has any tips on how I can motivate myself to smash through this list, please let me know – I’m going to need it!