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34 things to do before i turn 35 (yikes)

June 11, 2009

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Today I turn 34 years old and I wish someone could explain to me how the hell that happened because last time I checked, I was 13, lounging by my friend’s pool, listening to this song, crushing on Tom Cruise (I know, I know), studying for Home Ec and eating vanilla fudge drumsticks, purchased with my hard earned strawberry-picking money.

Twenty years later, I eat organic soy cream and I’ve traded in my crush for a less eccentric model and I try not to worry and be happy but my how things have changed.

Still, 33 was mighty good to me and I am sorry to see it go.  33 was a giant growth spurt and a stagnant pool, it felt like a thousand years and the blink of an eye, the beginning of one part of me and the end of another, ripe with lessons and lacking discipline, it was crossing things off the life list and homework left undone and messy on the table, it was the punctuation mark on 32 and is the dot-dot-dot leading to 34.

My birthday, more than New Year’s, is a time to take stock and make goals.  An opportunity to start all over while being grateful for the year that fueled this next part of the journey.  I was inspired by many other bloggers to create a list for myself, of things to aspire to pre-35.  I like lists, I like scratching things off, makes me feel productive.  So here’s a somewhat idealistic one.  I hope to scratch many of these items off by this time next year but realize that I may be biting off more than I can chew.  And that’s okay, because it’s my birthday and I can do what I want to.

  1. finish my travel posts.  sheesh.  it’s taking me long enough.
  2. fly a kite, ideally on a beach did this in 2011
  3. learn a new word every single day
  4. go back to school. does taking 2 writing classes and quitting one mid-semester technically count?
  5. reach the top of a 5.11 grade rock climbing wall. close enough. made it to 5.10 then my climbing partner went and got herself pregnant 😉 and i haven’t been back since.
  6. try a nia class
  7. bang on my bongos, with actual rhythm
  8. travel to Thailand or Iceland or Morocco or Ireland. iceland, oh iceland.
  9. get another tattoo. appointment scheduled for next thursday.
  10. explore more abandoned buildings.
  11. purchase a funky retro dress
  12. see a new performance by la tohu. saw psy in february.
  13. buy a macro or wide angle lens. i purchased a pentax k1000 instead, which is even better
  14. get a massage or acupuncture or osteo treatment once a month.
  15. hop on a metro, stop at a station i’ve never been to before and explore new area (done april 2011)
  16. do this yoga pose.
  17. read one book a month (doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, it’s more than i’ve read in years)
  18. spend a night on a roof taking photos with karl and romaso much fun
  19. continue to treat myself to a flower a week
  20. hide love notes around the city
  21. perfect witty repartee. a work in progress
  22. drink a milkshake at wilensky’s i found out that milkshakes are essentially milk with sweet syrup flavoring. i went, i sat at the bar with leonie and had a soda. i do not feel the need to ever go again.
  23. submit writing anywhere and everywhere. published in the fall issue of somerset life
  24. enter a photography contest. not technically, but i did have photos on display in this show
  25. attend squam. and it was amazing
  26. ride a bike in the country (take portraits of women in colorful skirts in tall grasses at sunset)
  27. go snowboarding at least once this winter (done february 2011)
  28. send more “out of the blue” postcards.
  29. join 100 strangers. started this project in iceland and nyc. will upload photos soon
  30. organize and catalogue my photos (delete the bad ones).
  31. get new glasses.
  32. complete at least half of the projects in this book
  33. go sailing
  34. don’t worry, be happy.

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2009 1:44 am

    Totally doable and sooooo cool! In the midst of cleaning and purging, I ran across a list I made years ago and sealed. Fun to look back at it and see how much I’ve done. I want to go to Iceland too.

  2. June 11, 2009 3:25 am

    ohhhhhh, happy birthday baby! i agree with Carla – this is a mighty fine and doable list! so happy i’ll be sharing No. 25 with you – i’ll be bringing my retro dresses so you’ll have to get some too 😉 love you xox

  3. June 11, 2009 6:24 am

    this list is delicious! you will love nia and please take a photo and post when you master scorpian. dresses, kites, words!!! what a lovely, lovely year you will have. happy birthday.

    p.s. the thirties are the best!!!

  4. June 11, 2009 7:28 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and I just love this list. Time is a thief, isn’t it? I hope you manage all 34 of them! 🙂

  5. lunacyn permalink
    June 11, 2009 12:32 pm

    wow! that yoga pose is insane! i’m nowhere near achieving that one, but it’s a good goal to have, as are all the rest on your list. i’m definitely stealing a few, especially #3, 14, 20 and 28. thanks for the inspiration!

    happy happy birthday beautiful lady!

    ps. for your funky retro dress, you should check out daddy-o’ i own three of their fabulous frocks and there are so many more on my wish list. (unfortunately, they have to wait until my “buy nothing new for a year” vow is complete. dang!)

  6. lunacyn permalink
    June 11, 2009 12:34 pm

    that web site should be:


  7. sue permalink
    June 11, 2009 1:15 pm

    Hope you have a fabulous birthday!

    Wanted to share that we did #2 just the other day on Lorelei’s seventh birthday! I had purchased my daughters’ the way coolest kites last year… one is a seahorse with a curly twirly tail and the other is a fierce dragon…it even has small cloth dragon teeth! They have been sitting around the house for over a year. It was time for them to fly! It wasn’t that windy, so they didn’t fly too high…but we sure did have fun!!

    Thanks for all your inspiration…I will have to update my own list…
    Happy Day!

  8. June 11, 2009 2:13 pm

    love the list – I’m currently working on #33 – so painful.

    happy birthday!!! may there be many, many, many more.

  9. Elizabeth permalink
    June 11, 2009 5:13 pm

    happiest birthday to you, beautiful girl!!!!


  10. June 11, 2009 8:43 pm

    happy birthday!! 34 is a magic number and welcome on board!
    hey, i’ve been stalking your blog for a while and enjoy reading your style of writing.
    i am from thailand, living in the south. you can crash at my place when you manage to come to thailand. ;]


  11. June 11, 2009 10:28 pm

    Happy, happy birthday to you! This is a wonderful list. 🙂

  12. Penning permalink
    June 12, 2009 2:27 pm

    Nice list! Now all you need to do is write it down on a piece of yellow lined paper and carry it with you wherever you go so I can start calling you Earl. Until then, I guess I’ll just have to keep calling you “awesome”. Happy birthday, sis-in-law!

  13. June 12, 2009 2:45 pm

    Bonne fête à toi! What a great list! Nia is awesome (I took two sessions and am already looking forward to the fall to take another); I love the idea of a retro dress, and I might see you at Squam. 🙂

  14. Leonid permalink
    June 13, 2009 3:26 am

    Sorry am a bit behind with my reading… Belated birthday wishes to you!

    Fabulous list. Would love to meet you at squam if you make it in September 🙂

  15. June 14, 2009 5:14 pm

    Awesome, I love lists too. Gives the appearance of orderliness.

    For #11, I recommend checking out L’Arterie on Bernard (near Park). Their website is pretty lame, but the store is mighty cute. Both handmade stuff (kind of pricey) and vintage/second hand (less pricey!). PLUS, there is a tasty Brazilian breakfast place across the street. Yum.

    And #20: this city could totally use some love notes! : )

    Happy celebrating! Have a lovely birthday!

  16. June 15, 2009 6:23 am

    I just realized as I read your post that I am going to be 35 in 4 and a bit months. That is a very scary feeling. I had better make a mini list and get to work!!

    P.S. – I loved your list! I hope you do it ALL!!

  17. Alison permalink
    June 15, 2009 11:20 am

    Wilensky’s sounds like a soup nazi kind of place. 🙂

  18. Chris permalink
    June 26, 2009 9:44 pm

    Wow, I’m a bit surprised with #9…(just scroll on back to see which one that is) I should get to work on my list. Oh boy. Happy birthday again Jeanine, sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the latest posts…..that will be on MY list 😉

  19. sophie permalink
    November 27, 2010 3:14 am

    Well, this should help you cross off #11, especially since I reckon you’re currently in the land of rain and queen?

  20. October 5, 2013 2:45 am

    With my 34th birthday fast approaching I’ve found myself typing into google “what to expect when your turn 34”. Your blog came up and I love the positive outlook it brought to getting older. Thank you for inspiring me.

  21. backwoodsBrophil permalink
    April 8, 2014 1:06 am

    Just turned 34 and landed here. What a journey that’s brought an understanding, and ironically a curiosity of what lies ahead. Given the date of this blog, how was it? And what’s to be expected of 40? I get the notion, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Think I hit that around 30 when I accepted the cards and uncontrollables. But I still worry, still seems like the same race of a dozen years ago; I’m still determined to take my time, not let too much go to the wayside.


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