March 23, 2015

35 before 35: My Bucket List for my 30s

30—that’s twenty nine more than my daughter’s age, seven more than my sister’s, and  twenty-seven less than my mother’s. It’s the exact amount of days in a typical month; and the exact minutes it takes for my daughter to get sick of a toy.  It also totals the amount of birthdays I will have, counting the one this coming Friday. 

Ah yes, the milestone birthday. Next to the proverbial 18th and 21st, this is by far the most significant I’ve had. I’ve accomplished plenty in my thirty years, but to quote one of my favorite poems, I still have “miles to go before I sleep.” And in the spirit of motivation, I’ve decided to come up with a list of 35 things to do before 35. Call it cliché or simple minded, but these are the things I’d like to accomplish in five years. It’s not meant to be boastful or arrogant. This list is an incentive; to ensure that I live out my 30s in the same fervor that I lived my 20s.

So in no particular order of priority here it is…
  1. Own a piano
  2. Teach my daughter how to play at least one song (or more) on said piano
  3. Have at least 2 pieces of my writing published (in a medium other than my blog)
  4. Ride a hot air balloon
  5. Continue to grow my blog through writing and building its solid following
  6. Continue to document my daughter’s growth & my adventures in motherhood
  7. Finish my novel
  8. Start looking into publishing possibilities with my novel
  9. Take a family vacation (a short one—a weekend, or a long one—a week)
  10. Get a dog
  11. Get down to my wedding weight
  12. Go to a concert and have a backstage pass to meet the act
  13. Stay in a fancy hotel suite for more than a day
  14. Travel to the West coast (stopover from a flight doesn’t count)
  15. Cook a meal on the grill
  16. Host a holiday meal (Christmas or Thanksgiving)
  17. Bake a cake from scratch (no cake mix!)
  18. Stratle state lines (like the one in Hoover Dam)
  19. See Shakespeare in the Park in NYC (Central Park)
  20. Cook/bake with my daughter
  21. Sleep under the stars (preferably during the summer)
  22. Cook a family recipe without help
  23. Continue to make our house a home
  24. Read as many books from the 100 books to read in a lifetime
  25. Watch as many of the AFI top 100 movies
  26. Go hiking
  27. Buy a DSLR camera
  28. Learn how to use said camera
  29. Watch a sunrise on the beach
  30. Conquer my fear of the beach
  31. Do random acts of kindness
  32. Go on a road trip 
  33. Try ideas I've pinned on Pinterest (at least 5 or more)
  34. Learn how to balance my time
  35. Be thankful for all that’s happened


  1. Great list! I just turned 31 so I can relate - and publishing a novel would be wonderful adding it to my list too! Thanks for sharing. Found via Totally Terrific Tuesdays.

  2. Cliches are cliches for a reason. I had #24 as a goal for awhile, but then I realzied I just don't want to read some of those books. Haha. So, I have a goal to read as many of them as I am interested in.

    Happy Birthday!


  3. Happy 30th birthday to you. About 3 yrs ago I had my 30th b'day. I spent alot of it in bed feeling sad, because as a milestone birthday I wanted it to have something awesome and exciting, but we did not have the money to do anything. I really wanted this birthday to be great, because I had just lost a baby (5 days old) months earlier.

    I hope your 30th birthday rocks and is very memorable. I love your bucket list. #5 is on my 2015 bucket list. #9 is on my bucket list for next year and # 13 i'd love to do for my husband and I's 10th anniversary in May. You list is very much attainable, so good for it!

    Blessings to you
    Have an awesome birthday

  4. Happy birthday. I can totally agree with you on many things and I really like that didn't just list expensive things but also the little ones like baking with your daughter. Have fun doing all the stuff you listed, I hope you can make it.

  5. Happy birthday. Maria. That's a good list - although sadly, having got married at 26, I never got close to achieving my wedding weight again. (Neither of us did ...) We've just got ourselves a keyboard as our oldest has just started taking piano lessons - and I've discovered that I can no longer read music (perhaps not surprising having not played for 27 years ...)

  6. I wish you achieve all these before your deadline.

    Happy birthday!

  7. Happy belated birthday to you, Kristen! Hoping that the novel comes into fruition for you as well :)

  8. That's a great idea. Perusing through them, I think I might have to revise my #24 to read: " many as interest me..." Thanks for the suggestion! and for the greetings :)

  9. I'm so sorry for all that's happened to you before your 30th. Losing a child is unimaginable and the fact that you've survived is a testament to your strength. I'm glad you and I share the same goals for our bucket lists. Wishing for #13 to come true for both me and you (and our husbands too!) Glad you stopped by!

  10. Thank you, Norina. Simplicity is key, especially if I'm going to try get everything done by 35. I appreciate your kind words. Glad that you stopped by!

  11. Thank you so much, Tim. That's great news about the keyboard. I took lessons in grade school, then stopped, and picked up again in high school. I haven't looked at sheet music in over 15 years, and just play by memory and by ear. Hopefully that would be enough to teach my daughter a tune or two ;) Thank you for stopping by!

  12. Thank you, Lux! You're too kind!

  13. Thanks, Natalie. Glad you enjoyed it.

  14. Great list, Maria! I never thought about doing this, but I'm going to create a list for myself when I turn 30 too!

  15. That's great to hear! Have fun making that list, and there's no harm starting it now either. Lovely that you stopped by!

  16. Welcome to club 30! It's a great place to be, says she who only joined it two months ago!
    I think it's a lovely idea to make yourself a bucket list, just to keep yourself on track and make sure that the actions you make on a day to day basis are aligned in some way to your goals x
    Good luck and may you accomplish ALL of them by 35!

  17. Wow what a great bucket list and I have one similar after turning 30 too! Hope you get all that you want done on your list. Enjoy accomplishing it. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  18. Thank you for the well-wishes. That's very kind of you. I absolutely agree with your thoughts about keeping myself in track with this list. It's a way for me to ensure that I'm accomplishing something valuable in this new chapter of my life. Happy belated birthday to you! I'm in such great company :)

  19. Thank you for having me, Jenny. Glad you and I share the same thoughts about a bucket list. Enjoy crossing things off your list as well!

  20. I love your list Maria! So many good things on here!

    I want to chip away at the AFI top movies list too... although there's a few I know I'll probably sleep through... LOL

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  21. Lots of fantastic things on that list and I have no doubt you will achieve them. I had a slight crisis when I first turned 30 - and then 6 months in, I loved it! Enjoy your 30s - it really is a great time of your life. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo

  22. I love how almost everything on the list is working on bettering yourself. I hope you succeed in all of them and don't worry is you don't complete all of them by 30, you've got time. Stopping by from Manic Mondays.

  23. Thank you, Vicki! I'm 3 days into my 30s and it's been fairing quite well so far. I fully intend to heed your advice--I'll enjoy it the best I can :)

  24. Thank you, Mariet. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. And you're absolutely right: completing it all by 35 shouldn't be the goal, it's the journey that should be the focus. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  25. This is a great list! I just turned 40 this year and I have to say, looking back on my 30s I can say they were my favorite, as well as my hardest decade. My 20's were just young and free, finishing college; and getting married and working and all that. And then my 30's came along and I felt like I really grew into myself, becoming a SAHM, supporting my husband's military career, moving, experiencing loss in my family, and just a whole bunch of things that I felt really gave a definitive line and definition to the "All Grown Up" me!

  26. That's some list! Thanks for sharing it at Titus 2 Tuesday!

  27. Crystal BissonnetteMarch 31, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Those are all reachable! Start knocking them off your list! BTW, once you master making a cake from scratch you won't buy box again!!

  28. JcCee Watkins BarneyMarch 31, 2015 at 5:33 PM

    I love your list Maria. I have been in the 30s club for a few years now. My husband and I was just talking about a getting on a hot air balloon in the future. It seems strange that the older I get the more I mentioned activities dealing with heights since I am so afraid of height lol. I hope you accomplished your goals :)

  29. Dori! Thank you for your thoughtful words. From experiences (even the tough ones), I feel like the feeling is mutual when it comes to my 30s as well. I feel more grown up and more secure with myself and what I really need to be. I'm glad you and I fair in that same boat! Thank you so much for stopping by! Hoping you're having a good week!

  30. Thank you so much, Michele! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

  31. Thanks, Crystal. I'm slowly working on it. Good to know about the cake. I'm a bit scared of it, but excited as well. Glad you stopped by!

  32. I'm scared of heights too, so that hot air balloon will be double the feat for me too! Let me know how it goes for you on that hot air balloon. Thanks so much for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  33. I, too, will hit 30 this year...womp womp! I really enjoyed seeing your list and am inspired to think of my own personal one...and share in a few of yours! Especially #34 and #35 Thank you for linking up at #MeetUpMonday with (and me, but I missed it this week)!

  34. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece, Amanda! And happy early birthday to you as well. Hope #34 and #35 bodes well for the two of us!

  35. That's a good list. Why do you have a fear of the beach though?

  36. Thanks, Jason. I think I have the fear of the ocean more than just the beach. It has something to do with the fact that I can't see the bottom and goodness knows whats lurking underneath that sand that would be potentially harmful to me. I'm getting better though. Crossing my fingers that I'll be over it when 35 rolls around. Thanks for stopping by!


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