Friends, readers, countrymen–somehow tomorrow is my 31st birthday. Wasn’t I just turning 30, like, yesterday? I guess today I am truly 30 AF now since I have lived a whole year as a 30 year old. What have I learned in the first year of my 30s? Well, mainly that I feel much older about to turn 31 than I did turning 30!
Suddenly I feel like days past too quickly and time is flying by. It’s time to go out and there and do what you want to do–no more waiting, no more “someday.” I want to try new things in my 31st year, and have lots more adventures–big ones, small ones, and in-between ones.
If I’ve learned anything in my first year of my third decade (that makes me feel younger actually, saying it that way), it’s that life is short and I want to make the most of it.
So let’s all do that. Have that be your birthday present to me–join me on some of my adventures this year and let’s make memories together!
- You already know about my love for coffee, but I’ve recently gotten really into tea! I attribute this to our electric tea kettle which allows me to make tea so quickly and easily. I especially love having tea after dinner, and I love trying interesting flavors and types of tea. My favorite is a sort of gingerbread-y lemon-y tea that I found at Christmastime, but I also love vanilla chai!
I got my first pair of ice skates ever just this past Christmas! They’re beautiful and it was my goal to skate outdoors but the weather this winter didn’t agree with me. Who wants to help me break them in at an indoor ice rink this spring or summer? Don’t feel like you have to be good: I’m not. I’m a barely-doesn’t-have-to-hold-on-to-the-ledge skater, at best.
I went to my first comic con this year and it was so much fun! It was bigger and more intense then I could have imagined, but it was also so cool to be surrounded by so many people who also liked so many different kinds of “nerdy” things–with zero judgement about what thing it is you liked, or how seriously you liked it. If you’re in costume? Awesome! If you’re just in a cool nerdy t-shirt? Neat! Into Harry Potter, or Game of Thrones? You’re in good company. Into some super obscure comic who’s creating custom art? Don’t worry, there’s 50 other people waiting in line for that, too. It was just super, super cool.
Remember in my 29th birthday post I mentioned I loved the show Bones? Well this year I got to actually meet John Francis Daley at the Chicago Comic Con, and basically made my dreams come true! Did you know he’s actually from Wheeling, Illinois, and also helped write the Spiderman: homecoming movie, too?
- I started going to Planet Fitness in December and I absolutely love it there! I’ve gone to various gyms off and on most of my adult life, and so far this one has felt like the most “me.” I’m a big fan. I can take a guest any time, to any location if you ever want to come with! Let me know!
I’ve gone to two author signings this year and I’m really into it! I’d like to do more. I think it’s such a fun and cool thing to do, and is a great way to get even more into 1) the book you’re reading and 2) the reading community in general. Plus, now I have autographed copies of books! I feel so special and unique! (Along with the 20 other people who were there! Haha!)
I enjoy collecting pins and coffee mugs when I travel, or from specific events that are memorable. I have 8 of the “You are here” mugs from the Starbucks collection, including 2 from Disneyland, and I’d like to keep adding to that with each state we visit! I only collect the state versions, not the city ones, or else my collection will get seriously out of hand. I’m also okay with back-dating my collection to include states I’ve already been to but before I started collecting, so I may hit you up to help me grab a mug! 🙂
For our co-31st birthday party this year, Jeff and I decided we wanted to try Whirlyball, a place we drive by all the time but have never tried. Our party was last weekend and it was SO MUCH FUN. Who knew driving tiny cars around a court while bumping into each other and throwing a ball into a net could be so much actual fun? I have lots of bruises and sore muscles but would 100% do this again some day! I’m so happy we did something out-of-the-box for our party this year.
I recently got a standing desk for my home office and I love it! It’s convertible, so I can sit or stand, and the option is great to have when I’m feeling antsy and get tired of sitting. I try to stand for 10-15 minutes out of every hour, and after a few weeks I’ve been really enjoying it. It helps that it looks really classy in my office, too!
Did you know I am a member of the League of Women Voters? The League is a non-partisan political organization that educates and advocates for the public to be informed and active citizens. We host events on civics awareness, register people to vote, and help get out information about candidates in advance of the elections. I’ve been involved for about two years, and I’m currently the Communications Chair and a member of the board. I do all of our social media and PR for our events! It’s a lot of fun, and a great way to get involved in something that’s actually making a difference. Interested? There’s probably a league in your area!
- I almost failed my driving test because of parallel parking. My dad taught me I could make as many adjustments as you need when parallel parking, so I didn’t know you get a point off for each adjustment you make on the actual test! I think that’s really unrealistic, but thank goodness my driving instruction was an actual angel and let me re-do that part. (Don’t worry, I got a perfect score on the actual driving portion of the test!)
- I have 20-20 vision and I’m the only one in my family to not need glasses. I did recently get computer glasses though, and they are a huge help! I get a lot less eye strain and headaches after working all day, so I highly recommend looking into computer glasses if you also stare at a screen all day.
- I’m contemplating getting a 5th tattoo that is Harry Potter related sometime in the near future (as in, the next 3-5 years).
- I currently only 9 pairs of Minnie Mouse ears. I have no shame and I can’t promise you I won’t buy at least 1 or 2 more in the next 6 months. I’d like a star wars themed one, for sure!
- I change my computer and laptop desktop backgrounds every month. It makes the first day of the month exciting! I always get mine from here.
- I’m completely obsessed with my Apple watch. I’ve always had trouble keeping the habit of wearing a watch consistently, but ever since I got the Apple watch last September, I’ve worn it every day! I love feeling motivated to complete my circles (Movement, exercise minutes, and standing hours), being able to change the bands, getting notifications, tracking my heart rate, and so much more. I really feel like it has made me more conscious about standing more, walking more, and also–using a watch to actual tell the time! It’s great. I highly recommend it.
- I’ve been working at my current copy-writing job for 3 years this month! Before that, I worked at a digital content strategist job for 9 months, which means I’ve been working as a writer, commuting into Chicago, for almost 4 years! What an accomplishment. I feel like my high school self who dreamed of working in the big city would be ridiculously proud of myself. My 31 year-old-self is pretty proud of me too.
- The past 2 years I’ve taken my birthday as a PTO day from work, and I can’t recommend this practice enough! If you have the ability to use a PTO/personal day in this way, it’s such a nice way to treat yourself. Whether you spend the day reading or catching up on Netflix at home, or use it to treat yourself to brunch and a manicure (my preferred plan!), it’s a much nicer way to spend the day then at the office, agreed? Tomorrow I’m getting a massage, checking out a new coffee place, treating myself to a new phone case, and then getting ready for dinner out with Jeff at a Spanish tapas place! I can’t wait!
- I’ve been playing HQ trivia, a live trivia game show app, for over a year and it’s a really fun part of everyday! You can win money if you answer 12 questions correctly each game. I’ve only won twice, but it’s still fun to play each night (and some afternoons during the week). They have fun themes, and it’s become a part of our evening ritual every day!
- The past year I’ve gotten SUPER into podcasts (check out my blog post about my favorites!), and honestly it’s totally changed my life–is that cheesy to say? Maybe–but it’s true! I listen to them while working out, while driving, while at work, while cleaning and pretty much all the time. Tasks that I used to dread I look forward to because it means I can listen to more podcasts! My favorites right now are true crime podcasts like Crime Junkies and Serial (yes I’m 100 years late on that one).
- I’ve been really into 2 new Netflix shows the past year that are on the spookier side: the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (so good! Such a dark twist on the sitcom version I loved growing up), and the Haunting of Hill House (so twisty and suspenseful, you can’t stop watching).
I’ve been reading a lot of new releases lately, and my favorites that I’ve read in 2019 so far are: Educated, Hate U Give, The Wife Between Us, The Great Believers (this one I’m only halfway through, but it’s good enough already to include on this list.)
- I’m traveling to Las Vegas and Massachusetts (both Boston and Plymouth!) this year, and I’m so excited for both trips! One trip is with friends, and the other is for a wedding. I love traveling to new places and can’t wait to explore them both.
I recently went to a trampoline park with my book club friends and it was SO MUCH FUN! There was so much to do there–diving into foam pits, jousting, dodge ball, rock climbing wall. But honestly, just bouncing around on the giant trampolines to fun music with my friends was the best. I was sore for about a week after, in places I didn’t even know I had muscles. But I loved it! I would 100% do this again!
- I’m on the Wellness Committee at my work. We meet monthly and plan activities like healthy recipe potlucks in the office, or “Wear Red” days during American Heart Month. It’s like a healthier version of the party planning committee. It’s fun!
- I LOVE planning things, like parties and vacations. Maybe in my next career or life I’ll be a travel planner or party planner or something. I have several itineraries for imaginary trips ready to go complete with things to do, places to stay, restaurants to eat it, flights times, and everything. The planning is part of the fun for me!
- There’s a heron who spends the spring and summer at the pond by our house, and he’s so graceful and lovely! We spotted him for the first time a week or so ago, and he’s how I knew spring was truly here. His name is Harold.
- I also love Spring because of the baby geese that hang out at the park by our house. Is there anything cuter than baby geese? Eventually they grow up and become large, less friendly geese, but for these next few months they are yellow and fluffy and adorable!
- Combing my hair out after a shower is my least favorite activity, maybe of all time. It takes forever and is annoying and painful. My hair is long and thick so it gets tangling and basically I’d avoid washing my hair forever if I could! BUT! I recently found an amazing de-tangling spray that actually makes this somewhat less awful, so thank god for small miracles.
My favorite thing is when my cats lay in the sun all stretched out. They look so happy and it makes me so happy. Our pets are a wonderful additions to our life!
I love driving up a hill and seeing a vista spread out below–whether it’s mountains, or trees, or just rolling farmland and a blue sky dotted with clouds. It’s moments like these that make me feel like it’s a joy just to be alive ;-).
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning 31 MORE things about me on this eve of my 31st birthday! I’m looking forward to another year of learning more, traveling more, trying lots more new things, and trying to make the most of each day as it comes.
Cheers to the year ahead!