30 Things To Do in Your 30th Year

My 30th birthday is tomorrow.

You can read all about my emotional acceptance of the big 3-oh here.

I’m spending my weekend going full circle, watching Fuller House. I spent my Friday night on the verge of tears (okay – sometimes crying, crying a lot). But seriously, did you see the intro? Cue the ugly cry.

As it rolled, tears welled in my eyes (yeah, I know. I can’t help it).

I turned to my husband with the scene of that iconic San Francisco street in the background and the music telling me, “When you’re out there and you’re all alone, a light is waiting to carry you home,”

With tears in my eyes – okay, who am I kidding – rolling down my cheeks, I said to my husband, “It’s like the perfect way to turn 30.”

He was baffled, “I don’t even know what you mean.”

Of course he wouldn’t.

I tried to explain my favorite family from childhood was coming back to TV, this time with another story I can relate to.

From teaching me about dealing with siblings, boys and even alcohol and gambling in the 90s – to teaching me how to deal as a stressed-out boy mom, figuring out how to hold them accountable for their actions and how to protect the. All of that while holding my own identity.

Oh my gosh. I’m D.J.

I’m actually D.J.


I’m going to cry again.

Deep breath.

As this all unrolled, I realized I need to have a  30 year bucket list. My birthday is just a day away, so I’m not going to be able to complete 30 things in a day – so instead,

30 Things To Do in Your 30th Year (without money, a passport or sky diving equipment)

1. Binge watch Fuller House Your life will come full circle with love, hugging and tears. You got it, dude.

2. List 30 things I learned from FRIENDS Admit it FRIENDS taught you about dysfunctional love, friendships and basically everything.

3. Get a skin cancer screening If you’re of the FRIENDS and Full House-watching generation, you grew up in tanning beds and in the sun nonstop. All of the dire FDA warnings were a few years after you’d paid for that membership to sport the Jersey Shore tan.

4. Document a ‘Day in the Life’ on social media I’m most excited about this one. Sometimes I wonder how I survive 20 hour-days. This will be my chance to document the 1:45 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. days. I’m hoping I’ll look back in 10 years and talk about how young I was – ha.

5. Photoshoot Forget the Christmas card deadline and take some pictures in a comfortable place with the reality of how your family really exists

6. Write letters to loved ones Take a moment to acknowledge the people in your life who’ve been alongside you for the last 30 years. Send a card and maybe you’ll finally be able to stop fighting with your sibling (or you could work on that for the next 30 years)

7. Will Do you have a will? Ugh, I’m a mother of two without one. No excuses – get it done this year

8. List 30 accomplishments This is a great one of my co-workers came up with. She said, “You owe it to yourself to see what you’ve been able to accomplish in your first 30 years.”

9. Eat a box of chocolate  I’m running a few days ahead on this one. I plan to do this a few – eh hem, dozens – more times in my 30th year

10. Watch The One Where They All Turn Thirty, from the 7th season of FRIENDS It’s only appropriate that you watch the episode that taught you 30 would be okay with your closest friends by your side (again see point 2)

11. Celebrate your parents AKA Parentversary Especially if you’re the oldest, like I am – this is a great time to celebrate your parents. After all, it was 30 years ago your birth made them parents

30 things to do in your 30th year1

12. Make good on a promise Is there anything you’ve left undone in your first 30 years? Uhh, yes. Pick something and get it done

13. Relive college I’m promising a cheap list of 30 things to do – so ditch the road trip and go for something else you did in college. Right now I’m deciding between re-reading Harry Potter or pulling an all nighter on Skype with my cousins

14. Decade Photos Pick your favorite photos from years past and recreate them. Can you say mullet? I will be. Okay, it wasn’t that bad

15. Sew something Pinterest-worthy And I am talking about more than just threading the bobbin. And no using super glue as a substitute (although it works nearly as well… for the most part.)

16. Resurrect an inside joke What did you do in the last twenty years, that was hilarious – that needs a second chance?

17. List 30 experiences that shaped you I love everything history and that includes personal history. This will be a fun list to come up with – everything from playground bullying to the moment I first believed in myself

18. Take in Earth’s beauty I happen to have the coast, mountains, lakes, deserts all within driving distance. This year, I’ll take a moment to sit back and enjoy this beautiful world

19. Do YOU You’re thirty for crying out loud – no more need to impress other people with their expectations. You make your own expectations, live up to them – and you do you 

20. Reunite with an old friend For me the wheels are already in motion. It’s time for a vacation with one of my best friends from high school.

21. Make a 5-10-20 Plan Take a look at your life and make some goals for the next 5, 10 and 20 years

22. Finish unfinished business A project you’ve promised to finish, but are only half started? It’s time to get that done. Your child’s baby book – how’s that looking?

23. Accept yourself To Barbara Walters, Oprah said she still wanted to make peace with the “whole weight thing.” I think about that a lot. The one thing one of the most powerful, and inspiring woman still thinks about is how she views herself.

If it’s not weight, I know we are all overly-critical of ourselves. Maybe it’s our weight, our parenting, our smile – whatever it is – 30 is a good time to make peace with ourselves.

We’re all different and our unique qualities are part of what makes each of us so special

24. One-second a day project This is so fun (but a lot of work!). All you do is take some video each day for the next 365 days. At the end of the year you have 365 seconds – your 30th year wrapped up in one video (Did I just write “all you have to do?”)

26. Recreate a childhood home video Okay, okay – I got the idea from Fuller House. I just pulled an overnighter to watch it, after all. Choose a video you and your siblings took part in decades ago. Recruit those siblings again and recreate the special moment. I plan to do this with the help of FaceTime and Skype.

27. Listen to your favorite CD from the 90s You don’t need a Sam Goody for this one (although my town does have one!). Dig out that old CD – Team Backstreet? Team N’SYNC? The Titanic Soundtrack? Sit down and let it take you back

28. 30 good deeds Grab a journal/paper/notebook/planner and start listing the good things you do for others this year. Serving others is good for the soul – excited for this one

29. Start over with love Okay, if you’re married or in a relationship, don’t start over – but go back to the beginning. One of the best things for me and my hubby was to go back through time, talking about some of our best moments together. This year, I want to take a moment to recreate some of our early memories – whether by talking about them, going to the special restaurants or just texting more like we used to

30. Enjoy the moment Life is flying by. It is flying by. Since I became a parent – the years are just passing so fast, I can’t keep up.

This year, I’m going to take more time to be calm, look around, breathe it in and love every minute of the crazy chaos I’m in the middle of.

Now to get back to that chaos – and my binge watching of Fuller House. 

What would you add to a 30th Year Bucket List?


One thought on “30 Things To Do in Your 30th Year

  1. well you’re way ahead of me. at 30, i was just thinking about getting married, just bought my first house… still years away from kids. consider yourself lucky. really! it just gets better!


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