Today was a perfect Portland summer day. Almost, but not quite, 90 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky and 0% chance of rain.
I adore summer. It fills me with a sense of possibility and slight recklessness – a feeling that something great is about to happen. The feeling of hope and excitement that summer brings is a little stronger here in Oregon (after all, I’ve endured months of rain!) but even in 110-degree Arizona I felt the same way. As a kid, summer was the time to stay up really late scheming, reading book after book, worrying about the future. In college and the few years beyond, it was the time to abandon responsibility, to go a little crazy, to wear my swim suit all day.
And, always, at the end of summer comes the chance to reinvent, to calm down for the fall. I was that nerd who always planned – over planned – the first day of school from my outfit to my notebooks. My birthday falls over Labor Day weekend. The official end of summer and the perfect opportunity to plan all the ways I’ll be better next year.
Today, obviously, I don’t get completely reckless just because it’s summer, though I do, occasionally, leave work by 4 on Friday. A couple years ago a co-worker had what she deemed “epic summer.” I admire her energy, but decided to allow myself to feel ok about just having “pretty good summer.”
Whether this summer turns out epic or just pretty good (which would be fine with me), I do still have my birthday at the end. This year I turn 29. I’m excited and I also feel like I need to really do something with my 29th year. Taking a page from my friend Mindy, I’ve decided to try and come up with a “30 before 30” list. The only trouble is besides “finally go see the Grand Canyon” I have no idea what to put on it. There are some things on my lifetime bucket list (qualify for and run Western States, live in a foreign country) that are unrealistic to start on my 29th birthday and complete by my 30th.
So I’m taking suggestions. I don’t have unlimited funds, but I can afford some travel. I get 20 days of vacation time a year. I’m vegetarian (and one goal on the list might be “finally go vegan” so no weird food suggestions.) I can only think of two other things – skydiving and bungee jumping – that are absolutely 100% not ever going on a list of things to do in my lifetime.
I think those are the only rules. So – help me out here… what goes on the list?