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30 Before 30

Hello. It has been awhile. It’s time to get back to this. Back to keeping a digital record of my art and maybe even a little bit of my life :) So here we go!

Today I have traveled around the sun 29 times! Recently I had a conversation with my mom and she warned me about “the nines”. The end of a decade, she said, can make you feel restless. She advised me to take this year as a time of reflection. So as my first act of reflection I have created a list of 30 things I would like to accomplish before my 30th birthday.

This was an interesting exercise for me. In my 29 trips around the sun I have done some pretty amazing things! Travel Europe, touch the Mediterranean sea, road trip across the United States, get married, have a baby, and now I get the amazing opportunity to live in Japan.

So without further ado here is my 30 things I would like to accomplish before I turn 30:

1. Donate Blood

When I was pregnant I found out I am O- which means I am a universal donor. I have a slight fear of blood so I have never donated before. It’s time for me to get over it and start donating.

2. Complete a 365 Art Project

After our son was born I started a 3x5 card mini art project. I would like to do that again but continue for 365 days.

3. Complete a Coloring Book Cover to Cover

I am very good at starting things but not always good at finishing them. I have all of the Harry Potter Coloring Books and I would like to complete at least 1.

4. Learn a Poem by Heart

I cannot remember the last time I had to memorize something for the fun of it. I am challenging myself to find a poem that inspires me and to memorize it. Bonus points if I recite it at a public event.

5. Learn Japanese

I live in Japan. I will live here for a total of 4 years. If I can live in a foreign country for 4 years and not learn that language, even if only conversationally, then I have failed myself. I need to make this a priority.

6. Run Half Marathon #3 in 2016

I ran my first half in 2014, and my second in 2015. I would like to make this a little tradition to do every year. I signed up to run my 3rd a couple of weeks ago. Now time to train and race on November 6th!

7. Climb Mt Fuji

Mount Fuji is only a short plane ride away. I think this will be one of the hardest to complete. Mount Fuji is only open for climbing a few months of the year and our son is too young to climb, and the timing could conflict with some of my other goals. But goals and meant to be big, so if I can figure it out I will!

8. Unplug for a week

Technology is amazing. I have found I am on it way more then I would like to be. A nice detox will be good for my mind.

9. Make a Baby

My husband and I have always talked about having lots of kids. Our son is getting older and it would be nice to have children close(ish) in age.

Blueberry at 4 months old

10. Learn to French Braid

French braids are beautiful and I have always wanted to learn how to French braid. I think I have done one French braid ever and it was kind of a fluke.

11. Vote for President

The right to vote and the right for women to vote is an incredible privilege. I will be exercising this right by casting my vote come November. Living overseas slightly complicates the process but I will make it work.

12. Start a Blog (or restart )

I was really good at keeping a blog in college (check it out). I made a ton of art and it all went up on my blog. I took a year off from creating after college and once I started creating again I didn’t start blogging. So here is my restart :)

13. Go on 1 Date Every Month

10 years we have been married. It is important to keep that passion and love alive. After our son was born we lost that a little bit. The first 2.5 years of his life were crazy. We were in survival mode. Now that life has settled a bit time to make our marriage a priority again.

14. Learn Calligraphy

I have terrible handwriting. I think calligraphy is beautiful. Something to add to my art tool box.

15. Create 30 NEW! Works of Art

I need to get back in my studio and create. While I have fun with my art journal and doing plein air paintings I need to make time for my art. Time to make big pieces.

16. Go to Hong Kong or Tokyo Disney

I love Disney. I have been to Disneyland too many times to count. I would love to visit any of the Disney Parks in Asia.

17. Have a Solo Show in Japan

I have a body of work ready to hang, now to find a great place to hang it!

18. Take a Class

With a human being, outside of the house, once a week, for a month or more. Online classes are great but the energy of a room full of people learning together cannot be recreated online. Art, writing, SCUBA Certification, something fun!

19. Make New Friends

There was a period of my life where I felt like I didn’t need new friends. I had enough friends who I didn’t get to spend enough time with so I didn’t need anymore, thank you very much. Now I am a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and a little bit lonely. Making friends gets harder the older you get but I need to suck it up, make myself venerable, and meet new people.

20. Knit a Scarf

I taught myself how to knit by watching YouTube videos a few years ago. I have not knitted in quite a while. It’s time for me to pick my needles back up and knit a scarf. Maybe I will send it to one of my friends who live in a cold climate.

21. Meditate

For 5 minutes, everyday, for 1 month. Meditation is good for my soul. I don’t do it nearly enough.

22. Go on at least 1 Adventure a Week

This is easy, as I love to go on adventures and so does our kiddo. Just a reminder to keep trying new things.

23. Go on a Yoga Retreat

I love yoga. Another thing that is good for my soul that I don’t do enough.

24. Visit 3 Ryukyu Islands

One of my biggest regrets about our 2 years in the Azores is that we never visited any of the other islands. The language barrier really scared me. I will not let that be a regret about living in Okinawa.

25. Snorkel with Sea Turtles

For my 25th birthday I went snorkeling with sea turtles in Hawaii.I would like to do that again on my 30th birthday but in Okinawa instead of Hawaii. I have heard the Kerama Islands have the best sea turtle snorkeling.

26. Write at least 10 Thank You Notes

A lot of wonderful people have had an incredible impact on my life. I would like to write a heartfelt note to at least 10 of them.

27. It’s a Secret

"Secrets are the currency if intimacy." -Frank Warren creator of

28. Boudoir Photo Shoot

I did one was I was 8 weeks pregnant with our son. It was so empowering. I would like to do one again.

29. Visit at least 1 East Asia/ Pacific Country

Malaysia, Bali, Fiji, Korea, Thailand, Guam, Singapore, etc. So many options!

30. Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal

I am thankful for a lot of things in life. Keeping a gratitude journal will help me be mindful and intentional about my thanks.

Wish me luck!

I would love to hear:

What are some of your big life goals you hope to accomplish? What is holding you back?

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