Saturday, March 08, 2008

More lists

I've examined, a little, what I accomplished by age 30. I'm more than halfway through my 30s now, so it's reasonable to look at what's happened and what I'd like to see happen before the big 4-0.

My 29th birthday went down in my memory as the worst birthday ever. My head was in a bad place. I had two toddlers, was working part-time as a bank teller, was trying (and failing) to run a small business at home, and money was scarce. I'd had a list in mind of things I'd do and a standard of living I'd attain by my 30th birthday, and it was looking like I'd fall way short of my goal. I recall many tears that day.

By my next birthday, however, I'd reached a better place. I had a better job, finances were getting back to where they needed to be, and I had a wonderful little group of friends who helped me celebrate the end of my 20's in full Logan's Run regalia.

I don't remember making any lists at that point of things I wanted to do before I turned 40, but there is always a bit of a mental list.

At 30, I hoped by 40, life would look like this:

Full-time job with a salary higher than I'd earned at my best-paying job
Renovate our house
Buy a new car
Kids doing well in school
Maintain close friendships
Become more active at church

And, halfway there, I'm pleased to report that I've accomplished all but one of those goals (well, we didn't exactly renovate the old house; we bought a new one, but I think that's close enough). We still haven't bought a new car. We've purchased (and sold) several used cars. I know our beloved minivan is nearing the end of its usefulness (151,000 miles and climbing), but I'm still reluctant to take on a car payment. But I have a feeling that we'll accomplish that goal before I turn 40. Even if I don't want to. I drive very little - just on weekends, really - but Craig spends a lot of time driving. And the aging minivan may not be able to keep up much more.

There are a few more things to add to the list. See, those close friendships? While they are still very healthy and happy relationships, there is a geographic issue that didn't exist in 2001. I'd love to be able to say, by age 40, that I have close friends who are local. I have several "good" local friends, but those relationships haven't deepened to the BFF point like the New York and Montana contingent. Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. Many people never meet their soul sisters. And I have. I just wish I could have one more that lived nearby. And if she had kids that were compatible with my kids, even better.

A more recent goal that's come up is church-related. When I wanted to get more involved, I didn't necessarily mean that I wanted to take on a leadership role. At 30, I was still a bit gun-shy about high-profile church positions. After all, I'd worked at another church and was still licking my wounds from how things had turned out. But now, nine years after that part of my life, I feel a new passion about my own lay ministry. And I've taken on several roles of increasing responsibility at our church, from chairing the Religious Education committee to chairing the Search committee for our new Director of Religious Education, to serving on the Board. Most recently (and currently) I'm chairing our congregation's annual pledge drive, and a few weeks ago I was asked to step into the Vice Presidency, as the current vice president has opted to bow out since she's about to have a baby.

While the Vice President isn't necessarily a shoe-in to become President, that's the typical pattern. Since I'll be serving the remainder of the current Vice President's term, that means I likely will become our congregation's President next summer. This will be historic for our congregation: I'd be the youngest person to serve in that position in our history.

Oh, and just because I am shallow, I'd like to end my 30's at the same weight I started. That means I have a little work to do, but not too much. I think it's attainable.

And if it's not, I'm guessing that I'll have a good sense of humor about it by then. What with the perspective of age, right?


Anonymous said...

Hey U. Great blog. Miss you much.
I think I'm going to make a list - hopefully it won't be too depressing.


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