30 Before Thirty: Revisited

Exactly 2 years ago today (thanks Timehop app), I made a list of 30 things I wanted to do before 30.  At the time I had 1200 days to mark all these things off my list.  As of today, I have 464 days.

After reading through this list (that I have barely looked at since creating ), I have realized a couple things.  First, 27 year old Ashley was a bit delusional about money still.  It would have cost me thousands of dollars to complete all the things on this list.  Oh 27 year old Ashley, you are cute!  Second, some of the things on this list, I really have no desire to do or just aren't a priority.  Third, the really important things are ready to be crossed off.

With Just 464 days to go, I am reevaluating some items and replacing some things.  Her'es a look.
  1. Go skydiving-Nope not even remotely interested in this one now.  It's not that I don't want to do it, it's just not something I feel like I have to do before 30.  I'll do it someday and that's enough for me.
    Replacement: Buy a nice couch- Is that weird?  I just want to invest in a nice couch that I really love (along with furnishing my next place with lots of pretty things) 
  2. Vacation in Italy - Nope!  Actually Italy isn't even at the top of my list anymore.  Again, I know I will make it there someday, just not before 30.
    Replacement: Visit somewhere I have never been.
  3. Learn to golf- I haven't done this yet, but I would still like to, so Golfing, you get to stay.  
  4. Buy a home- I'm keeping this on the list, but I don't think I will actually be able to buy a home until I am thirty.  Who knows, maybe life will surprise me!
  5. Begin graduate school- I don't know if I want my Masters degree anymore, and I don't know where I would have time to fit it in.
    Replacement: Continue my education through classes and workshops.
  6. Get paid to blog. Check! So what if it was only a few times?
  7. Get a DSLR camera- Still hoping I get one.  I do us my grandparents, but I would like a fancy one of my own.  
  8. Road trip across the U.S.-staying on the list. 
  9. Pay off all credit card debt- If everything stays on track, this will happen in approximately 6 months!  Hooray!
  10. Reach 500 followers on my blog-Check, and a name change too!

  11. Host a Favorite Things party- No, just no.  While I'd like to give away nice things to people, I can't afford that.
    Replacement: Donate my time and extra things to people less fortunate.   
  12. Have season tickets to a professional sports team- While it would be cool to be a "regular at a sporting venue, I'll settle for something a little easier.
    Replacement: See my first live NFL game- it's true, I've never been!
  13. Go on a cruise- planning to go in January!
  14. Go scuba diving- There is certification that has to happen. That sounds time consuming. 
    Replacement: Go snorkeling
  15. Take a winery tour of Napa Valley- I am amending this on to just take a winery tour.
  16. Move to a new state- (and then move back)

  17. Lose 50 lbs.- 20 down... about 65 more to go.
  18. Run a 1/2 marathon-I just don't think i like running enough to ever run 13.1 miles.  
    Replacement: Complete a sprint triathlon-
    I could totally run a 5K swim a half mile and (learn how to) ride a bike 12 miles
  19. Learn to paddle board- Why I didn't try this while I was living in CA I will never know.  I did go on a few kayaking adventures though!
  20. Learn how to ride a bikewhich will be of paramount importance for the triathlon- see above.  
  21. Get a dog- I need a companion.
  22. Do an Urban race- They look so fun!
  23. Go on a hot air balloon ride- Um, I think I envisioned this as something romantic I would do, but since I am currently single, I would rather...
    Replacement: Go see Britney in Vegas in August with my besties!
  24. Start my own business- Boom!

  25. Go white water rafting- Again, I want to do this, but I won't be upset if it doesn't happen before 30.
    Replacement: Spend a day at my favorite spot in Payson.
     I haven't gone in 4 years.  It;s time I make a return!
  26. Learn another language- I had originally intended for this to be Spanish or French, but 've been learning web codeing and I think that counts.  
  27. Live near the beach- Been there, done that!
  28. Make something old new again- Probably some furniture for the new place.  
  29. Write a book- I have started probably 20 different books over the last 15 years, but none have ever gotten finished. I really want to finish one and submit it for publishing.
  30. Hike the Grand Canyon- This just doesn't sound that appealing anymore.
    Replacement: Go camping.  I've never really been camping.  I like the idea of it, but I have never done it.  
Well, it took me two years to cross of 6 things, only 24 to go in the next 15 months!  Eeekk!  I gotta go, I have things to cross off my list!


Focus On What's Holding You Together

It's usually after a particularly bad day, or in this case a series of bad days, that I take a step back and do some evaluating.  You see, the last few days have just not gone my way and I've turned into my alter-ego Bitchy McWhinesalot.  I hear myself complaining and, as much as I hate it, I can't stop- the word vomit just keeps coming.  It's usually about this time when I can tell I am annoying everyone around me, and especially myself, that I get in my car- in this case, my rental car (yep, my car is in the shop)- and go for a drive.

Usually this drive includes a little crying, a lot of singing, and one fast food meal that ends with a side of self loathing. Upon completion of this abstract journey to inner peace, I give myself a metaphorical slap in the face and decide it's time for a change.

When I was in California, I figured out something really important- how to hold myself together.  I learned that by focusing on the things that make me feel strong and accomplished, I can overcome any bad day.  I learned that making my health a priority was an easy fix for a lot of my problems.  However, since moving back to Arizona, I stopped giving myself time.  I pretty much stopped making working out a priority.  I stopped seeing Sunday morning movies.  I stopped meditating at night.  I stopped going to yoga regularly. I stopped exploring my relationship with God.  I just, let everything else take over my life and then stood there wondering why I was feeling so disconnected and frustrated.

But today, over McDonald's fries that I shame ate in my car, I decided it was time for Bitchy McWhinesalot to get packing. Just like that, I threw away the remaining fries and I went to the gym.  I ran through a side cramp that was undoubtedly caused by the greasy little monsters that I had consumed.  I put on calming music and I meditated for 10 minutes and then I sat down here to write.

Well that's not exactly true,  before I started typing, I was distracted, like I often am, by Facebook.  But wouldn't you know it, one of my friends was sharing just the words I needed to read!

Susan has always been an inspiring friend and athlete (I mean look at those abs!), but today her words were everything I needed and I couldn't help but share. Hope you don't mind Sus!

"At the end of the day, you can focus on what's tearing you apart or you can focus on what's holding you together.  

Something I've really had to train myself on is this. I've always been the peace maker, the one that wants everyone and everything to be happy ALL the time! But let's face it- that's impossible... and every time I try to change the whole wide world in one day, I have to remind myself of this: Just focus on your core, on what's holding you together- your dreams, your passions, your morals, your values, your faith, your family, the people that support you 100% and want to see you succeed as bad as you do... Focus on that ❤️ Because if it's not holding you together, then it will tear you apart- one way or another."

Susie has more pearls of wisdom to share on her Instagram and you can follow her at @suswaters

When things are hard, it's not always easy to focus on the good.  Lord knows I have certainly had my ups and downs.  But the ball is always in my court.  I can choose how I attack a day and this life. I can choose whether I place my focus on the things that hold me together or the things that tear me apart.  

Today, I choose the good.  Today I choose to focus on my dreams instead of my fears, my passions instead of my heartbreaks, my faith instead of my uncertainty and the people in my life instead of the people that have chosen to leave it. 

Goodbye Bitchy McWhinesalot, you aren't welcome here anymore!