Natasha Maria | 30 Before 30
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30 Before 30

Procrastination is a bitch; a bitch I can’t seem to shake. She hung around particularly closely through my early twenties, delaying plans of travel, saving, fitness and study. She grabbed my wrists when I set my mind on something and said Nooo, next week! We have so much to do right now. Of course, we didn’t. Our “so much” was made up of television screens, online shopping, cheap wine and one big, fat, unshakeable comfort zone. We sat at home together weekend after weekend, unhappy but okay about it. When I did try new things, or visit new places, she’d somehow be there. Oh, you’re in a play? Cute! Learn your lines later, I’ve got something to show you. 

We have a much better relationship now – more distant – but she still pops around more than I’d like. This blog is a perfect example. It’s taken weeks longer than it should have to put some simple words in sequence. I’m at the opposite end of my twenties now; I should have better control of this shit. And actually, I do – I have a day job that demands zero procrastination. I’ve got it so nailed in the 9-5 that by the time the weekend comes, the idea of doing nothing is positively luxurious. Of course, that’s no way to achieve the things I want to get done in life, and so, I started writing lists.

I took the same approach with my personal life that I did with work, splitting my To Do’s into three categories: Urgent, Soon, and Whenever You Can Get To It. And I started ticking them off. Somewhere along the way, I noticed there was a bunch of stuff I wanted to do by the time I was 30, but with no real order (or reason), no prioritisation; just a bunch of stuff I hoped to have done by the time I turned 30. And so, my 30 Before 30 list was born.

See, once upon a time, I thought 30 was old. Ancient. Real, proper adulthood. My mother was married at 19, had a mortgage two years later and three children by 29. Therefore, 30 was old.

Of course, it’s not, and now, as a 29-year-old myself with the big Three Oh looming, not only do I find the thought of 30 being “old” hilarious, I also find a bunch of the things I wanted to get done by 30 downright ludicrous.

We’re talking:

1. Climb a 7B (25)
2. Get my motorcycle licence
3. Write a book
4. Own a dog
5. Learn to speak Te Reo
6. Grow a successful vege garden
7. Visit somewhere epic and photograph the entire trip on film only
8. Order a keg at the ramen place and not leave until it’s done
9. Learn to surf
10. Play Lady Macbeth (properly, not drunk at home)
11. Own a designer handbag
12. Go on a horse trek
13. Run a half-marathon
14. Visit Queenstown
15. Learn to single-water-ski
16. Have my own photography exhibition
17. Get a large tattoo (sleeve or back piece)
18. Drive a supercar
19. Learn to cartwheel
20. Perform stand-up comedy
21. Learn Italian
22. Get a perm
23. Jetboat a river on my own
24. Party at Glastonbury
25. Complete some form of tertiary study
26. Take Paul on a helicopter ride over South Island mountains
27. Own a Mini
28. Get lost on Great Barrier Island
29. Unicycle
30. Hike the Tongariro Crossing

Some of those, fine. In fact, some of them, tick. But get a perm? Do stand-up? Unicycle?

I have completed six of the 30. Six, and actively working on a few more – I’m learning Italian, attempting to surf, and using my inhaler far more than usual as I train to run a half at the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon. I don’t know if I’ll have the funds to buy a Mini by March, but everything else is reasonably achievable. With effort, of course. And no procrastination.

Watch this space.

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