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Dirty Thirty: The List

July 22, 2012

There are 1,128 hours until my next birthday. Normally I wouldn’t care, wouldn’t even be thinking about my birthday until the day before. But lately, I’ve been practically driven to distraction by the fact that I’m approaching the other side of my third decade.

By this next birthday, according to all basic mathematics, you can round my age up to thirty. That’s right. When people try to guess my age and I’m not around, they’re going to be saying, “She’s thirty-ish.” (The truth is most people believe that twenty-five rounds up to thirty, but I’ve chosen not to calculate things this way for the past year.)

It’s not that I think thirty is old. I don’t. I’ve known a lot of people who’ve survived the transition from twenty-nine to thirty. My sister is forty and smokin’ hot. I’m also well aware that there are people reading this who find it laughable that a twenty-six year old person is having aging anxiety. I understand that twenty-six year olds are still babies in the grand scheme. But, the thing that scares me about turning thirty is the difference between what I thought I would have accomplished by then and what I will probably actually have accomplished.

In an attempt to remedy the panic, I decided to create a list. Inspired by the Bucket List, a movie and now a movement for those wanting to accomplish their dreams before the end of their lives, my list has been modified. It’s not things to do before I die, but things to do before I turn thirty. The Dirty Thirty List. I thought it was an original idea, but after Googling it I’ve discovered that it isn’t. There are lots of people doing this. Which just proves my theory that there isn’t an original idea in the world. Whatever it is, Google already knows about it.


Yes, some of the ideas on my list are the most painful things I could think of. I’m going to try to get in the most wicked shape of my life. I have four years to train. I can do this. Maybe even by Autumn. That’s how motivated I am.


 I was working on this one before, but I need to stick to it. Got my audio CDs on hold at the library.


I’ve never really stopped being a horse-girl and I’ve managed to keep my horse, but he’s been on summer break at my parents and I realize now that I need to use him or lose him. If he’s going to be in my life I want to ride a lot more and do horse shows. If I’m not going to do those things, he needs to be with a family who will.


I have the least faith in myself about this one. It’s just so painful, like psychological torture, to stick with a story idea and write and write about the same character. I really want to do this though. This is happening.


I like the job that I do now, but I would love to create my own work schedule and maybe open a business. I would love to work outside or have the flexibility to be outdoors during the day. Or, possibly make #4 into a career. This will continue to be a work in progress over the next several years, but I’d like to have a good start by the time I’m thirty.


This is so important. My plan is to visit at least four or more countries in the next four years. And stay at each for at least one week.


I got this idea from Life 2.Oh and thought it was neat. My parents are go-getters though. I don’t think they’re going to be waiting around for me to save enough money to help them get bucket list stuff accomplished. Also, there aren’t near old enough to have a bucket list. So, maybe this one can be slightly modified to: Make family and friends an absolute priority. This makes it on to all my to-do lists.


Through a series of DIY projects. I don’t want to hire someone and have them come in and make my house into a grown-up escape. I want to slowly create pieces and moods with love and toil so that they’re special. (Actually, I want Brandon to create pieces and moods – with my direction.)

My plan is to take small steps (or a small step) each day to achieving at least one of these Dirty Thirty goals. I only have 36,192 hours and counting.

199 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2012 9:26 am

    Picture sources: 3 Plus International, Colorado River Adventures, Urban Chic Travelers, Twenties Hacker, Lorin Beller Blake, Greta’s Day 🙂

  2. July 23, 2012 3:17 pm

    Love the list! I have a longer one going on my blog…101 things to accomplish in 1001 days. It’s been fun so far!

    • July 23, 2012 5:30 pm

      That’s a great idea… I’ve never thought of that! I’ll have to check out your blog!

      • July 23, 2012 5:36 pm

        I stole it from many other bloggers and it was hard to come up with 101 things, but it’s been fun checking things off my list! PS Congrats on FP, and do stop by when you find the time!

      • July 23, 2012 5:38 pm

        Definitely will – thanks!

      • August 29, 2012 8:59 pm

        Sara, this post is really inspiring! I hope you get to do all these things!

        the usual bliss, the 101 things in 1001 days reminds me of something I joined when I was in college. I was so busy that I never even got to finish the list of 101 things! It seems the site is still up, check it out here if you like:

  3. July 23, 2012 3:23 pm

    I like this list! Ambitious, yet achievable. Most bucket lists grown unexpectedly and become our doom on too-little-time-to-do-this journey. Good luck with your lucky 8!

    • July 23, 2012 5:31 pm

      Thank you! Some things I feel will be harder than others…but I do have four years! Hopefully it will be enough time!

  4. July 23, 2012 3:24 pm

    I’m into my Dirty Thirties (and recently blogging about it). I had several of the same goals you have that I didn’t quite accomplish by 30 but the list continues on! Good luck accomplishing your goals but know that all these same things can be done on other side of 30 so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Stay fab!

    • July 23, 2012 5:32 pm

      That’s true, I have to keep that in mind. I guess I was kind of thinking in my thirties I hope to be ready to settle down and possibly have a family. But I could totally do those things with a family I’m sure! Thanks for reading. I’ll have to check out your blog!

  5. July 23, 2012 3:29 pm

    Loveeee this blog post! Congrats on making it to Freshly Pressed too =]

  6. July 23, 2012 3:45 pm

    That’s a great list.

  7. July 23, 2012 4:04 pm

    Definitivamente, aprende uno o varios idomas más. It opens new worlds to you!

    • July 23, 2012 5:34 pm

      I absolutely agree! And the fact that I had to enter your comment into a language translator proves I have a long way to go! I’ll get there…

  8. July 23, 2012 4:23 pm

    You are well on your way to success, but it’s true people aren’t always where they think they would have been by a certain age.

  9. July 23, 2012 4:39 pm

    U can do it!!!!

  10. suzielabels permalink
    July 23, 2012 4:42 pm

    you just gave me a real awakening into the fact that i have much more work to do than i could possibly have imagined and believe me when i say. there are some restrictions to this dream but am not even going to consider the downside. but need i ask you why you did not consider marriage or having your first child as hopefully one of these achievements, or are my to assume that is not as important or its already been dealt with!

    • July 23, 2012 5:35 pm

      Well, I haven’t done those things yet, but plan to do them in my thirties most likely. That’s why I hope to achieve the things on this list, so that I can feel like I’ve sowed my wild oats 🙂 Good luck in achieving your dreams! Thanks for reading my blog!

  11. July 23, 2012 5:02 pm

    OK, I have written a book, one down from your list. As for the rest, I have more faith in you then I do me! Congrats on Freshly Pressed I hope it encourages you to start that book number 4 on your list.

    • July 23, 2012 5:36 pm

      You’ve written a book? Totally impressed! That’s a tough one!! I hope to be there someday.

  12. July 23, 2012 5:22 pm

    I’m “like”-er number 30, so I guess I’ll comment too. I love this post, best of luck on your list 🙂

  13. July 23, 2012 5:23 pm

    Good luck in achieving your goals

  14. July 23, 2012 5:44 pm

    This is a great post. I’m in my mid 20’s and am beginning to feel that my “next birthday will be the last good one” You know, the one that comes before you are officially “old”? Which is completely and totally ridiculous but I think it is how most people feel before they hit the age mark- and realise that it isn’t so bad.
    Just keep in mind that we’re all in this together.
    Great list, thanks for sharing!

    • July 23, 2012 6:38 pm

      I feel the same way. I think once I actually hit 30 I’ll be much less anxious about it… just another day. There are just so many things I’m still wanting to get done, and getting close to thirty makes you realize how quickly time passes. It reminds you that one day you actually will be too old to accomplish a lot of the things on your to do list!

      • August 7, 2012 8:24 pm

        I probably need to get started. I just become a new blogger. But I will be looking to see your next bir

  15. July 23, 2012 5:52 pm

    That’s an awful lot of goals. Prioritise them. Maybe the book should be last but not least. 🙂 I’m sure you already know that writing is like dieting (zip your lip and close the larder door) The only one way to go about it is to pick up a pen (or turn on your computer) and get started.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    • July 23, 2012 6:39 pm

      Thank you for the wise advice! I keep starting these books, but never really commit to them. The hardest part is buckling down and sticking with it. I’ll make it happen…sooner or later. Thanks for reading!

  16. July 23, 2012 5:53 pm

    PS. Oh, to be thirty again!

  17. July 23, 2012 6:07 pm

    Great list. ,you are in your prim. Happiness ,music,exercise .,you will achieve all your list. Happy birthday in advance., regards..Jalal

  18. July 23, 2012 6:14 pm

    Awesome post. I can relate to this because I also want to write a book, but like you, I agree it can be somewhat intimidating to get started and the just write and write and write… lol. Oh and right there with you on traveling! Best of luck to you on accomplishing your goals!

    • July 23, 2012 6:41 pm

      Thank you Ahmed! I’ve found it takes a lot of discipline to stick with a story… I’m maybe not quite there yet. I just need to find one that interests me enough that I follow through to the end! Thanks again.

  19. stephaniedubyna permalink
    July 23, 2012 6:38 pm

    Thirty isn’t so bad. It’s better than twenty-six every was. And that’s no line.

    • July 23, 2012 6:43 pm

      That’s what I’m hoping! I hear a lot of women come into their own in their thirties and I’m really counting on that!

  20. July 23, 2012 7:04 pm

    From someone who is looking at the far end of forty I have to tell you I started with a negative reaction to this when I realized how old you are, them I remembered how I felt when I turned twenty and graduated college with no idea where I was going and the pressure. Live your life to follow your dreams. Any day, hour, minute or second you are not doing what you can to make your dreams a reality is not worth the time you are sacrificing.

    • July 23, 2012 7:35 pm

      I thought some people would have that reaction to this. After all, even I know that 26 isn’t old! It’s more about the realization that time is speeding up, and my accomplishments are not accruing like I’d hoped. I am starting to get that life is so short, and you must make the most of every moment, like you said. Thank you for your thoughts!

  21. July 23, 2012 7:06 pm

    haha i love the list sara june. I’m 26 and my boyfriend is 25(only 8 months younger than me). I get so much grief from him for being nearly 30!! but i dont feel old. I’m a recent homeowner, I have a full time job and i live 500km away from my parents and for all intents and purposes I’m an adult but I’m not ready to be a 30 year old yet!!
    You just have to remember to make your present the adventure that you would normally leave for the future, do something that surprises you and it keeps you young!! I sometimes don’t feel like the life i live is real because i do just that!

    • July 23, 2012 7:29 pm

      I love your strategy of surprising yourself! I’m going to keep that in mind. I really have to work on “staying in the moment” and enjoying the journey.

      You sound like you’ve accomplished a’s inspiring! I’m five years younger than my significant other and I won’t let him live it down. Thanks for sharing!

  22. July 23, 2012 7:16 pm

    I’m 28 and I’m sooo freaked about 30! Stupid 30. I am looking forward to the magical confidence boost everyone says they get then.

    • July 23, 2012 7:31 pm

      I am looking forward to that too… I think you really find peace with yourself in your thirties… or so I hear. I hope it’s true!

  23. July 23, 2012 7:21 pm

    This is an awesome idea! I’m 24 so I’ve got two extra years – but all the sudden I feel the need to have a list! ❤ Thanks for sharing!!

  24. July 23, 2012 7:22 pm

    I’m decades ahead of you and stopped panicking about age – well, ages ago. Love your blog and your grand bucket list. Some of those things are on my list now too – imagine?

    • July 23, 2012 7:32 pm

      Thank you for reading. You inspire me. I’m so happy you enjoyed my post! Good luck with the things on your list!

  25. July 23, 2012 8:18 pm

    I like the items you have here. (One caution though: working on all these things all at once is going to make the time between you and thirty seem to fly even faster!)

  26. July 23, 2012 8:45 pm

    Happy early birthday — only 36,185 hours (give or take)! It’s great that you can create a focus and purpose in your life. I think making a list makes you accountable to what you’d like to achieve. Things change and life changes us, but it’s nice to know we can seek out better things for ourselves and strive to make ourselves happy.
    Best of luck!

  27. July 23, 2012 8:49 pm

    Believe me, if twenty-six-year olds are babies then what am I? Haha.

    “The difference between what I thought I would have accomplished by then and what I will probably actually have accomplished.”

    I think most of us, regardless of what age, go through this. We all want to achieve something and there’s always a fine line between what we thought we’d achieve and what we actually get to achieve. I guess it’s all a matter of determination.

    Good luck on your list. I hope you get to achieve those things because those are pretty amazing goals. 🙂

    More power!

    • July 24, 2012 6:11 pm

      Thank you msj! I think everyone does go through it. At certain times more than others. Everyone strives to sort of “make their mark” on the world. We all want to do something great. Thanks for your good wishes.

  28. July 23, 2012 9:23 pm

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, I am a 56 year old grandmother who took turning 26 worse that I did 30 or even 40….hmmm maybe even 50!! There was something about being on the other side of 25 that made me think I couldn’t be that “cute kid” anymore, that I had to be the grownup I had been pushing for since I turned 13. You’re still young….enjoy life and being you, enjoy your bucket list adventures!!

    • July 24, 2012 6:13 pm

      It really does seem like the cut-off for being a kid. You are officially a grown up when you’re past 25, even if you don’t want to be! But I am looking forward to the adventure of getting older. Just taking it a little at a time.

  29. July 23, 2012 10:08 pm

    Good luck with your list. I just ran a half marathon last weekend. It was fabulous. I’m sure you will enjoy it (well maybe not if it’s your first one…)

    • July 24, 2012 6:13 pm

      That’s awesome, congrats! It will be my first so I am sure it will be painful. But I’ll be happy I did it.

      • July 24, 2012 10:20 pm

        If you run a few marathons, the halfs seem a lot easier… I’m just sayn’.

  30. July 23, 2012 10:12 pm

    Great list.. Good luck.

  31. July 23, 2012 10:55 pm

    Do it while you can, one never knows what obstacles one may confront later. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

    • July 24, 2012 6:14 pm

      That’s what I keep telling myself, “start today!” Thanks for reading, Richard.

  32. July 23, 2012 11:31 pm

    Very cute 🙂

  33. July 24, 2012 12:35 am

    I am a decade ahead of you and uncannily i am making my ‘bucket list’ of the things to do before i turn 40 now!! I admire you for taking stock of your life at this juncture…in my twenties, i was quite a mess 😦 but then, that’s what made my 30s all the more wonderful…i was more collected, focused and a whole lot more confident! so, good luck…and wish you a rocking 30s!!!

    • July 24, 2012 6:15 pm

      Thank you mothergoose! It’s great to take a moment and really think about what you want to do over the course of the coming years. Good luck in achieving all your goals before 40!

  34. teresafranklin permalink
    July 24, 2012 1:20 am

    This is a brilliant idea. I think I’m gonna do one for my 40’s. I only have three years left. :/

  35. July 24, 2012 2:26 am

    greaaaaat post…
    thankyou for writing this post Sara..
    I have idea now..

  36. July 24, 2012 3:07 am

    Un mensaje precioso.

  37. Daniel R permalink
    July 24, 2012 3:31 am

    Nice blog I was impressed about helping your parents achieve their bucket list That you can put others into your achievement is among other thing complementry in itself
    Who says they aren’t old enough for a bucket list I’m sure alot of people have ambitions and most get spoilt because a new path opens a door for them (career kids illness etc)
    I can speak from experiance to say the 30’s go really fast and 40’s arn’t exactly hanging around but I have also forfilled alot of ambitions that I wanted to do traveling around Europe and bungee jumping so I’ll leave this with a big good luck and hope you get everything you hoped for and more

    • July 24, 2012 6:17 pm

      I would love to travel Europe, one of my dreams! I think it’s important to have your goals include what you can do to help others. I should actually have a lot more of those on this list. My twenties have stormed by and I expect the 30’s will go by even more quickly. Thanks for your perspective.

  38. July 24, 2012 3:33 am

    Love the list! I too am doing a before thirty bucket-esque list (a list of 30 things in the 30 weeks leading up to my 30th birthday section on my blog) and also thought it was original… I suppose it should make us feel better about the fear of aging to be in such numerous company? And in truth, looking down the barrel from 27 was much scarier than it is now at 29 (and almost a half). Good luck — and I may borrow a little inspiration as I come up with my list of 30!

    • July 24, 2012 6:19 pm

      Yes, I think many people get closer to thirty and get a little freaked out. I figure that the closer it gets though, the more accepting I will be of it, like you said. I just hope it doesn’t get here TOO soon. I love your list idea, I’ll have to check out your blog!

  39. July 24, 2012 3:44 am

    Great list! 🙂 I enjoyed reading it. You have a lot of time to fulfill all these! 🙂 Good Luck!

  40. July 24, 2012 4:03 am

    Im going to be 27 in 2 weeks time and my mind can’t fathom it. I’m getting OLD! *weep*

  41. July 24, 2012 4:32 am

    Brilliant and inspiring! As someone who entered my 30s, decided to give up my career and start a business with my best friend, I am all for ‘Lists’. Good luck!

    • July 24, 2012 6:20 pm

      You are an inspiration to a lot of people I bet! Including me. That takes guts.

  42. July 24, 2012 4:44 am

    happy birthday and a very nice post i been trying to do some of the things on your list but so far have done none 😦 good luck and congrats

  43. Anonymous permalink
    July 24, 2012 5:04 am

    i am thirty and do have a list 🙂 which i fondly enjoy the strike things off when done 🙂

  44. July 24, 2012 5:05 am

    I too was not excited at all about turning 30. Like you, I didn’t feel I had reached all the milestones I should have. Also like you, I made a list. So I was able to buy a house and adopt a child before my 31st birthday. At 39, I’m even less excited about turning 40, but maybe it’s time to make another list!

    • July 24, 2012 6:22 pm

      Wow, you did a lot of important things by 31, that’s awesome! You should do another list before you’re 40, that would be fun! Good luck!

  45. July 24, 2012 5:07 am

    i am thirty and have my list too 🙂 i am with you on this one 🙂

  46. La Oreja D VanGogh permalink
    July 24, 2012 5:26 am

    I enjoy your post. Being so much closer to 40 and realizing that am yet to accomplish many of the things I tought would have done by now makes me want to speed it uo and make my list. Congratulations on being Fresh Press!

  47. July 24, 2012 5:26 am

    “Those whom the Gods love grow young…”

  48. July 24, 2012 5:28 am

    I recently decided that in 3 years I will have a baby n made a similar list if things I want t have done hy then. In fact travel to 3 countries and write a book r on mine too. But mins akso boring stuff like save two grand and find own place and see dr abt my rubbish immune system lol

  49. Ann permalink
    July 24, 2012 7:03 am

    Awesome post! Love the list! I want to do some of them too. Great idea! Hope all the things in your list come true. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  50. July 24, 2012 7:16 am

    I’m 19, and I really think you’re overreacting! Aging doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams, and it doesn’t mean you have to do a ton of amazing stuff in the next four years. If you ask me, I think you should just pick one of those goals and stick with it. Don’t cram your life full of stuff; after all, life a path and an adventure, so enjoy every minute of it, and stop dreading what happens after some of it!

    • July 24, 2012 7:03 pm

      You are so right! I need to keep that in mind as well… just to enjoy the ride and stop worrying so much about the outcome. You have an excellent attitude. And I probably am overreacting! Thanks for your thoughts.

  51. July 24, 2012 7:19 am

    I made a list like this when I was turning 20 – it was a lot less ambitious, as it was mostly teenage-type things that I felt I should have done. But I completely understand the sentiment! I have another 6.5 years to go but maybe I should start thinking about my own Dirty Thirty list…

  52. The Smile Scavenger permalink
    July 24, 2012 7:26 am

    “[…]the thing that scares me about turning thirty is the difference between what I thought I would have accomplished by then and what I will probably actually have accomplished.” I couldn’t agree more. Except I’m 24 so my panic was about “turning a quarter of a century” soon without having accomplished many life goals. That is exactly why I recently made a “Future Life Adventures” list to span the rest of my life.

    It’s MASSIVE, so I threw in there that it will become a family tradition and the scrapbooks that I make will become heirlooms (like it or not hypothetical future grandkids! It’s hard to say no to granny, so I hope you guys still have bookshelves in your time!).

    ANYWAY the point is: I love this. I’m glad you did it. I wish you so much luck on your adventures! Please keep us updated as you accomplish them. 🙂

    • July 24, 2012 7:01 pm

      Thank you so much! I love your idea of showing your adventures through scrapbooking. That’s awesome. Then you can look back at all the goals you’ve achieved. I also love that you call it life adventures… that’s why life should be about!

      Thanks for commenting and I’ll try to keep you updated!

  53. July 24, 2012 7:30 am

    This is a wonderful post and a great idea. I turned 27 this year and this particular line of yours struck such a chord with me: “the thing that scares me about turning thirty is the difference between what I thought I would have accomplished by then and what I will probably actually have accomplished”. I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. I’m not afraid at all of turning 30, but sometimes I think about where I am and where I thought I would be, and that’s the scary part, for sure! Great idea to make a Dirty Thirty List – definitely makes me think about writing a list too! 🙂 Good luck fulfilling each and every one, and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • July 24, 2012 6:54 pm

      Thanks Dounia! It’s definitely scary not being as far as you thought you would be. That’s why it’s good to start mini evaluations of your life, I think, when you’re still pretty young, so that you can get back on course to the life you want. Easier said than done, though. Let me know if you do a list, I’d love to see it!

  54. wildriverchild permalink
    July 24, 2012 7:53 am

    An encouraging post, Sara June. Thank you for it and this is great they made it Freshly Pressed. I’m a bit closer to the day X, cos I’m 28 already. And sometimes I feel the same anxiety, even fear, and can’t get rid of a thought – “I’m getting older, what have I done already to make my life full and interesting? Yes, I have a husband, a small flat, a job just to earn money… But where is me among all this fuss? Days are running, nothing changes, emptiness is coming…” I know it’s a kind of paranoia to think like this when you’re too young to judge the living. And I know also that if you’re sitting, complaining and doing nothing – life won’t change. Под лежачий камень вода не течет! (Under the fixed stone no water flows, as we say it in Russia )
    Your post reminded me my dreams, that I’m young and ambitious, inspired to move, to believe that I’m able to get whatever I want!
    So thank you!
    May I add you to my “reader” please?
    And have a good luck with all your plans!!

    • July 24, 2012 1:27 pm

      Yes, please add me! And I love the quote!

      It’s very easy to lose yourself in the day to day things. I’m trying to remember to make my dreams a priority and keep them in plain view. This list is one of the ways I’m doing that.

      It sounds like you’ve accomplished a lot! I’m sure you could achieve the other dreams in your life. Good luck with your plans, as well!

  55. kristennemarie permalink
    July 24, 2012 8:28 am

    Happy birthday! 🙂

  56. July 24, 2012 8:39 am

    30 is prime. Especially for a woman. You are just reaching your sexual prime, you are smart enough having gained experience through your twenties that you know what you want in life and you’re young enough to go out and get it. Remember the only one slowing you down at this stage is you. Smile at life and take it on head-on. For something that hopefully will enlighten you and make you smile at the same time check out and Go-get-um- girl.

    • July 24, 2012 6:56 pm

      I’ll check that out, thanks. I am looking forward to my thirties in that I will have that extra confidence, and be more grounded in who I am, I think. I will still be trying to accomplish a lot at that point, too, I’m sure.

      And you’re right, I’m the only one that stands in my way 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  57. July 24, 2012 9:07 am

    Excellent list! I have a list of goals I would like to accomplish as well. I love that you wrote yours down. You’re more apt to complete these items when you have a visual reminder. Good luck to you and happy birthday!

  58. July 24, 2012 9:25 am

    Good luck on becoming a horsewoman again! I’m turning 21 soon and it’s getting difficult to keep horsemanship a part of my life 😦 Someday when I have money I hope it will be like it was!
    I’m working on two novels right now, if you want some advice I’d be glad to help 😉

    • July 24, 2012 1:22 pm

      I can relate that it’s very hard as a young adult to keep the horse thing going. So expensive and time-consuming. I’m sure you will get back to it though. It’s in our souls to be horse-ladies. I don’t think we can escape it!

      • September 5, 2012 4:35 pm

        I completely agree! For book-writing: Are you going for fiction or non-fiction? and if it’s fiction, what’s the genre?

    • July 24, 2012 1:23 pm

      Ps. I would love your help with book-writing!

  59. July 24, 2012 9:28 am

    Which language have you picked?
    Here are my options: (I still haven’t decided yet.)

  60. July 24, 2012 9:51 am

    I love lists (I have one on my blog too 🙂 They help me keep focused and motivated. Best of luck to you!

  61. July 24, 2012 10:38 am

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    I like your list…it’s small but quite ambitious!

    In about 3 months, I’ll be 40 years old. Last year, I created my 40-by-40 list and gave myself approximately 15 months to accomplish several really difficult items. I’m not sure why I thought this was possible. These types of lists can create an obsessiveness that leaves a person feeling guilty for not having completed some of the items.

    My point is to remember to be kind to yourself as you embark on this journey toward thirty. I would greatly appreciate if you could take a quick look at my list and tell me what you think. It can be found at



    • July 24, 2012 1:25 pm

      Thank you for your thoughts! I definitely have to keep in mind that even if I don’t accomplish all these things along the way, I’m definitely working towards them and that’s enough. It’s easy to be too hard on yourself. It’s the journey that’s important. That is what I keep telling myself, anyway.

      I will most definitely check out your list! Maybe even steal a few things from it. Thanks for reading!

  62. July 24, 2012 10:42 am

    Congrats on getting freshly pressed it is well deserved! I really loved this post and I think I might also adopt the dirty thirty list. Keep us updated as you cross things off! Best of luck.

    • July 24, 2012 1:20 pm

      Thanks Sarah! Now that I’ve posted this and people have seen it, I feel more pressured to complete my goals. Which is a good thing, I think. Let me know what you put on your list.

  63. July 24, 2012 10:50 am

    I’m turning 50 on my next birthday! I m 50ish wit emphasis on the ish part. But I am determined to make50 my best year yet!

  64. Sugar Details permalink
    July 24, 2012 11:44 am

    Good luck! Your list is definitely doable!:)

  65. jonny0782 permalink
    July 24, 2012 11:53 am

    I just hit 30 and wish I had done one of these lists years ago! My blog is about me trying to catch up on more organised folk like you.

  66. July 24, 2012 12:11 pm

    I think the fact you are blogging about a fabulous life means you will have no trouble achieving the items on your list. From a much older perspective, I am happy to report that being a horsewoman can come and go, but never truly leave. At time it may be set aside, but you may find yourself many years later riding again with those that you did in your teens. It is so cool.

    • July 24, 2012 1:19 pm

      That is cool! I always seem to keep a horse around, no matter how difficult. I’m sure there will be times when they are out of my life completely, but I think I will always find my way back to it, like you said. Thanks for reading.

  67. July 24, 2012 12:17 pm

    Great post and good luck 😀

  68. July 24, 2012 12:28 pm

    Wow your list is similar to mine, and I’m only 19! #1, run the half marathon… I’m doing mine in a week. To be honest, I haven’t really trained much at all. I’m going to do it, even though I kind of feel like cheating because I haven’t trained much. I too have a horse and plan to compete more throughout my life, since its extremely rewarding (though lots of work & time!).
    Good luck on your list, I loved reading it. You’ve inspired me to create a list of things I must do before I hit a certain age.

    • July 24, 2012 1:18 pm

      Wow! Good luck in your half marathon! Do you think you’ll be ok without training? I know some people seem to be able to just run and are fine. I myself would take months to prepare, I’m sure! Horses are definitely a lot of time and work! And money!

  69. July 24, 2012 1:24 pm

    it is your life! as a fellow runner I am cheering you on in you half marathon! live it!

  70. July 24, 2012 1:37 pm

    I, too, just turned 26 (eek!) and ran a half marathon this year. It’s actually easier than you think if you set your mind to it. There are great online sites like couch to 5k and couch to half marathon that you can check out!

  71. July 24, 2012 1:50 pm

    As a 28-year-old, I’m loving this post! I’m trying to find my career niche (and trying to run my first 10k-not quite in shape enough to do a half marathon yet 😉 ) also, and I thought I could give you a book recommendation that’s really helping me. It’s called “What Color Is Your Parachute?” It’s been updated every year since 1972, and it’s really fantastic for helping you figure out what you have to offer the world and what you really want to do with it. I hope it inspires you at least a little!

    • July 24, 2012 6:59 pm

      I’ve heard about that book so many times but have never checked it out. I will do so now, thanks for the recommendation. Everyone can use a little career inspiration now and then.

  72. July 24, 2012 2:17 pm

    Reblogged this on ladytiger.

  73. July 24, 2012 2:26 pm

    I’m a fellow 26 year old and recently come up with my own Dirty Thirty List (albeit not so wittily entitled!) – my list is on my blog!

    Good luck with achieving your goals 🙂

  74. Anonymous permalink
    July 24, 2012 2:31 pm

    Sara, I turned 30 a few months ago, with all the same feelings. And ironically, once I let go of this idea of a “time limit” that made me anxious, I started to progress in all my goals. I’m not going to tell you to feel that way, cause that’s for you to experience and live out. I guess I’m just sayin, don’t freak out too much…as long as you’re a good person, you’ll be fine 🙂

  75. July 24, 2012 2:44 pm

    An advance Happy 30th Birthday is in order then 🙂 Guess what, the best times of your life will in your 30s (after college, that is). There’s a bit of money to spend, more bucket list go thru, etc. Have fun!

  76. July 24, 2012 4:01 pm

    I recently turned 29 and have a similar desire to get out there and make things happen! I wrote a post yesterday about “Rocking 29.” I agree with you–I don’t see 30 as old, but it is a milestone. Too many 29-year-olds that I’ve known have acted old or dreaded the big 3-0. Instead, I’d rather slide into 30 saying, “Wow! My 20’s were an awesome ride!” Plus, I like to think of 29 as the seniors of the 20’s class. Good luck with all your goals! I’m sure you’ll have an awesome time checking them off your list!

    • July 24, 2012 6:57 pm

      I totally think of your twenties as a time when you should be trying to experience everything. The wild ride describes it well. I realized that I may not be doing all I should to make the most of these years while I can. Trying to change that. Going to read your Rocking 29 post soon!

      • July 24, 2012 8:53 pm

        Agreed! Making some changes myself, and I’m very excited about them. When you get a chance to read the post, let me know what you think. Take care!

  77. July 24, 2012 4:25 pm

    Love the idea!!! I think that will keep you doing more things for yourself all the time. By the time you turn 50 you’ll notice you’ve done more than what you expected. Good luck!

  78. July 24, 2012 5:22 pm

    What a good idea! I’m hitting 29 next month and it scares me to think that the next step will be 30…I may have to make one of my own, except, as a married mother of a toddler, I’m sure it will look a little different.

  79. Anonymous permalink
    July 24, 2012 7:35 pm

    Congratulations on making it to freshly pressed! Looking forward to future posts.

  80. July 24, 2012 8:47 pm

    This is amazing! I turned 26 in April, but unlike you, I wasn’t prepared for such a drastic change of how people view me. At 25, everyone cheered me on for wanting to move overseas. Now that I’m back, a year older, and wanting to do it again, I don’t get the same reaction. I don’t care, I’m going anyway, but I find it funny that one year can make such a difference! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  81. July 25, 2012 1:12 am

    The last 24 hours are the worst. That’s when you discover you still have 5 things left to achieve………………..

  82. Alyssa permalink
    July 25, 2012 1:56 am

    Oh my god! I’m 33, I feel so embarrassed with my age right now; like I’m really too old compared to you and some people here. I like your list; you’re right, I think you should travel. I too travel a lot and its really a wonderful hobby to do. Good luck and happy birthday! 😀

    colorado springs divorce lawyers

  83. July 25, 2012 3:03 am

    Great post BTW.

  84. July 25, 2012 5:40 am

    Great list! Your 30s are so much better than your 20s … you do kind of find your groove and place in life, and the little things stop worrying you so much. Worst case you can always call it your 2nd 29th birthday (I celebrated my 3rd 29th birthday in January … though I have no problem admitting to being 31. It helps when you don’t look it!)

  85. asignoflife permalink
    July 25, 2012 6:45 am

    A fellow horse woman! I’m nowhere near 30 (not even 20 yet) but we share that goal. (: Best of luck on your list!

  86. July 25, 2012 7:45 am

    I made a bucket list as well…after watching the same movie…only I was 45 when I made it. I’m now fast approaching 50 and truthfully, I haven’t accomplished a single thing on my bucket list. I discovered I don’t really need to complete a bucket list to make my life seem worthwhile, I’m living a worthwhile life. My kids, my grandkids, my family….they make everyday worth living and I thank God for blessing me with another day each morning that I wake up.

  87. July 25, 2012 10:07 am

    I am 29 and I have a list too. I totally get you!

  88. July 25, 2012 11:44 am

    At a modest 22 going on 23, I too am having aging anxiety, and I really AM a baby, haha. Travel is big on my list, too, though currently I can only afford a weekend trip to Disneyland this december. Someday, I’ll be a globe-trotter though.

    I used to want to write books, but like you found the idea tedious. I now write screenplays – always 120 pages, and much easier to write than the limitless novel.

    I hope you accomplish all your goals! And of course, congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  89. July 25, 2012 5:26 pm

    Great list. Being 30 myself, it’s a real kick in the @$$. That’s actually a reason I started blogging myself, so I can hold myself accountable. It’s been a great experience so far. I will follow you to make sure you stay on top of things. Good luck, but as long as you keep making small steps, you won’t need any luck – you’ll get there.

  90. July 25, 2012 7:00 pm

    I like your list, seems within reach.

    I’m currently 30 + 6…my Outlook calendar reminds me that every January 13 is the anniversary of my 30th birthday.

  91. July 25, 2012 10:44 pm

    Come to India! It will easily fit your budget and definitely you will have a good time 🙂

  92. July 26, 2012 4:34 am

    Also 26 .And I need a list liek yours.Nice read.

  93. July 26, 2012 6:08 am

    Cool! I will be 30 in 2 years…I’m working on my designer home right now 🙂 Good luck!!

  94. July 26, 2012 8:53 am

    Right!! become a horse women again

  95. C'est La Me permalink
    July 26, 2012 9:13 am

    Great blog – I’m doing the same thing myself. 554 days to go and I’ve to come up with a list of 101 things to do….stuck at 44…so any help appreciated! Liking your goals though. Will definitely pop by frequently to keep updated on your progress 🙂

  96. July 26, 2012 2:59 pm

    Dirty Thirty List! I love it! Going to have to sit down with my bff and a bottle wine and make our own lists!

  97. July 28, 2012 10:13 am

    I can relate to your post! In a couple of month’s time, I’ll turn 29, and just as my other birthdays before this, there is a small whirlwind of panic stirring inside me. I’m not panicking because I’ m getting closer to being old per se, but more on the fact that I’m close to being 30 and I feel that I still haven’t completely figured out what I want in life. But like you I’ve got my goals, and I try to make my life fuller, one goal at a time. I hope you achieve all your goals and congrats on being FP.

    PS. I think that helping your parents achieve their own goals in the bucket list is a sweet thought.

  98. July 28, 2012 10:46 am

    I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Come check it out! 🙂

  99. Anonymous permalink
    July 28, 2012 12:06 pm

    Good luck with your list

  100. July 28, 2012 1:17 pm

    Awesome list! Best wishes. If you need help with DIY ideas for your designer home, let me know. 🙂

  101. July 29, 2012 4:28 am

    I liked the one on creating a designer home. I’ve actually got one! It makes such a difference to your life – I have quiet areas, two entertainment areas (one upstairs, one downstairs where you can watch two different TV programmes at the same time), three different dining areas (not including the back patio or roof area)….and so on.
    It’s not that difficult, I did it over ten years by deciding that IKEA type furniture wasn’t for me and by creating a will to live well, and that started with clothes and moved onto furniture.

  102. August 1, 2012 4:21 pm

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    I just turned 29 in July, and like you I’ve been thinking about turning 30 long before anyone would say it’s reasonable to do so.

    I think your list is achievable and realistic, which is important in setting goals. Just make sure to have some fun things to add on, once you start knocking these off. I created a list of 5 major goals for myself 2 years ago, and now that I’m almost done, I’m having ‘goal’block’, if you will (lol), coming up with more stuff to accomplish.

    I look forward to turning 30 next year! The older I get, the more confident I become in who I am. =)

  103. August 3, 2012 1:26 am

    i love the one about finding your career niche – we all end up doing something we are kinda good at, then 10 years later we ask ourselves ‘is this what i wanted to do?’ haha glad i found your blog, good luck with the list

  104. August 3, 2012 11:18 am

    Oddly turning 31 was MUCH harder for me than turning 30…. and looking back over my 4th decade has been the most depressing as I feel I have achieved the least in this decade, though my life has changed the most. The Bucket List idea is wonderful. People who have goals achieve more than people who don’t…so I am writing my ‘Be Nifty by Fifty’ list – now that’s a frightening milestone let me tell you got a couple of years to go yet!

  105. Sleeplessjade permalink
    August 3, 2012 1:54 pm

    Hey if you’re looking for help writing that novel, check out Nanowrimo It’s national novel writing month, hundred’s of thousands of people write a novel (50,000) words in a month. It’s great fun and there’s lots of support for you. I’ve written three novels so far and I’m trying to finish another at Nanocamp this month, it’s like a summer version of Nanowrimo.

  106. Huw Thomas permalink
    August 3, 2012 2:34 pm

    I remember my 30th – didn’t have time to get stressed as I’d just moved to a new town for a new job – and had to work all day.
    Luckily though my experience is that life just gets better! I’m now edging closer to 50 than 40 and not really worried about it. Just slightly creakier!
    Everyone’s experience will be different but I’ve found life just gets more interesting as it goes on. Since I was 30 I’ve got married and had three ‘gap years’ travelling around the world, renovated several houses, lived in Portugal for a while – and did a 10,000-mile tandem bike trip in aid of charity. (Travel for a cause and you’ll get even more out of it).
    I’ve also had one book published and published a few independently via Kindle. One bit of advice, if you want a good book about the writing process to inspire you, then have a look at “On Writing” by Stephen King. Even if his books aren’t to your taste I found it a fascinating read about the creative process.
    Whatever you do, good luck with achieving your list!

  107. August 3, 2012 3:17 pm

    Life is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans.
    So before those things do happen, do these.
    One thing is for certain – “you’ll never regret any of it…”
    Cheers 🙂

  108. August 3, 2012 4:11 pm

    It is been a great opportunity to read your Dirty Thirty List and I wish you to achieve all of them properly and to fulfill your desired goals and to be happy. Cheers !

  109. August 3, 2012 5:14 pm

    I am approaching 30 and it was not long ago that I thought about the same thing. There is so much I wanted to accomplish but I feel like I am so far away. Reading your blog inspires me to re-evaluate my list and make a new one. There is so much that I have done but so much that I still want to do. Thanks for the inspiration!

  110. August 3, 2012 7:11 pm

    And then when you’re done doing all of these wonderful beautiful things, do the last and bravest thing that many people find unthinkable: Give it all up!

    When you have lost everything — that’s when a new life may begin!

  111. August 3, 2012 7:12 pm

    Damn right chica! I love your list…especially the travelling part. Lots of people never do it in their lifetimes! Have a blast.

  112. August 3, 2012 7:28 pm

    Great list! Inspires me to make one as well!

  113. August 4, 2012 4:10 am


  114. August 4, 2012 4:32 am

    This is a great list! I’ve always had a thing for lists …. The feeling when you can check one thing out is simply great. And if it makes you feel better – I’m 18 and realized that ” oh my God, I’ve probably lived 1/5 of my life….”

  115. August 4, 2012 5:29 pm

    Reblogged this on redbeads.

  116. August 4, 2012 7:10 pm


    Well it was my 29th birthday yesterday, thats why your ad brabed my eye. Iv never looked on wordpress, so your my 1st, even tho i kind of hav 1, but havnt put any effort into it.

    I just kno i need to put my thoughts onto paper as i want to create my own business someday soon.

    I am an Athlete from Byron bay/ Brisbane Australia.
    I race all over the world in triathlons & Ironmans

  117. August 4, 2012 8:42 pm

    As a fellow 26-year-old who is painfully aware that in three months I’ll technically be in my “late 20s,” I applaud your list! Also, it was great to hear from someone else who finds writing to be a siren song: the creativity lures you, but the actual process is somewhat painful. Best of luck with the bucket list!

  118. August 6, 2012 3:31 am

    I love this! I have two years left before I turn 30 and the thought of it scares me. I couldn’t figure out why, until now. Time to make my own list!! Thank you!!!!

  119. Álvaro Sialer Cuevas permalink
    August 6, 2012 7:21 am

    It’s a good list, I like the horse, the book and the language ones. By the way, ¿es acaso español la lengua que deseas aprender? Ojalá. Good luck!

  120. August 6, 2012 8:14 am

    What a fab idea for a blog- write it down then people will hold you to it! Plus, your list has similarities to what I’d like to achieve in the next 5 years or so, only I’m 10 years older than you! Good luck with it all

  121. August 6, 2012 10:49 am

    i just turned 26! everyone laughed at me too when i said that i was scared about being an age on the wrong side of 25. you’re inspiring me to make a list of my own…

  122. August 6, 2012 1:59 pm

    Awesome idea…even if you found that you weren’t the first to have it 😉 It looks like you are going to be a great inspiration for others. I hope you have further posts about the lessons you are sure to learn along the way. I wish you the best on this journey!

  123. Antony Singh permalink
    August 7, 2012 5:36 am

    Great ideas try to focus on gratitude of all the smaller successes this gives us joy and a state that helps to lift us to bigger goals. check out

  124. August 7, 2012 10:00 am

    Join a theatre group or follow one on wordpress 😀
    We’re about 2 weeks old on wordpress. Wish we were nearing 30 😀

  125. pat901 permalink
    August 7, 2012 1:55 pm

    I wish you the best with your list. Don’t worry if you don’t get them done within 4 years-there’s always time to do the undone things in the future. Thanks for posting, and good luck!!

  126. August 7, 2012 8:26 pm

    Reblogged this on weight loss extravaganza.

  127. August 7, 2012 11:35 pm

    Wow! There really isn’t an original idea in the World, is there? I am blogging out my own personal “dirty 30” list and I’ve noticed we share a couple of the same goals! They say that in your 28th year (i.e. when you are 27) if you’re not doing what you should be doing in life then you will almost certainly suffer a mid-life crisis when you are older. I wish you the best of luck in achieving some of your goals and hopefully avoiding that eventuality!

  128. August 9, 2012 12:11 pm

    Hi there! I have three horses and can only ride one. I can’t seem to ‘give’ the others away. The economy is not good and many can’t afford the luxury of horses. I hope you get back to riding and showing. I just trail ride, actually now, I can only putt around the barn, I had to move to suburbia. NOT good. Best to you in all things. Susan

  129. August 10, 2012 7:53 am

    Great list! I especially love #’s 4, 6, and 7. And I have a special place in my heart for #1. I’ve had a bucket list (100 things to do before I die) since I was 24ish and running was not one of the original goals to make the list. At 28, I decided to start training for a 1/2 marathon (which is a miracle in and of itself since I HATE running!). I trained for 2 months, completed the 1/2, and then 2 months later I did a full marathon (2 days after my 29th b-day). Anywho, I said all that to say… you have more than enough time to hit that goal and many more on your list. There is such pride and joy in seeing little check marks ordain a carefully crafted list!!! All the best to you as you get to checkin’!! 😀

  130. August 12, 2012 6:28 am

    Great idea! I should go do something like that myself even though I’m a tiny bit over 30… I like your #1, I’m tyring to do the same myself at the moment. Got so annoyed that since I turned 30 I put on a few kilos (not much really but it seems to stuck and not go away and it annoys me) so by my 33rd b’day I want to be rid of those few kilos 🙂
    Good luck with your goals!

  131. August 12, 2012 3:14 pm

    Congratulations I have nominated you for the Versatile Blog Award. You can go get your award at – Melody

  132. August 14, 2012 5:29 am

    Dammit – number 2 has been on my list for AGES, shameful stuff 😛

  133. August 14, 2012 5:39 am

    I love your list, I too have a list ’30 by 30′ and I only have a year and a half to complete mine, one of which is to get a book published, eek! Wishing you well with your list and really don’t worry you are still very young!!! 😉

  134. August 14, 2012 5:51 am

    I know how you feel and wish you good luck with your goals.

  135. August 15, 2012 3:23 pm

    Awesome goals – especially helping your parents achieve one of theirs! A lot of my friends and I had mini-meltdowns when we turned 30 that were very short lived – the angst leading up to the big 3-0 is the worse! It all gets better once you reach that milestone! 🙂

  136. August 16, 2012 12:31 pm

    I just decided that we’re going to be friends!! I love this, and think you’re adorable! I’m turning 27 in like 5 days…and to me, that makes me thirty-ish…ack! And like you, getting old isn’t what bugs me. Thinking about all the things I want to do in life and how very few have actually been done, that bugs me. I will more than likely steal your original (or as you discovered, maybe not-as-original-as-you-thought) idea and will be doing a dirty thirty list of some sorts of my own!! You’re great!!!!!!

  137. August 21, 2012 9:09 am

    Solid effort! Even if I’d had a single “idea” before finding thirty this would not have occurred to me.

  138. trailofcrumbsblog permalink
    August 21, 2012 3:58 pm

    Good luck! Great blog – Nicole

  139. August 22, 2012 4:31 am

    I love your list. I experienced a bit of a personal identity crisis when I hit 30. Now, being in my mid-thirties is the inspiration for my “teatart” blog. Maybe I can give you a few hints on what to expect … 😀

  140. August 23, 2012 7:15 am

    I love this post! I love the one about helping your parents achieve one of their dreams. I really want to help my mom write again. I encouraged her to start a blog, and she did, but now she isn’t updating it anymore. Your post reminded me that I should do something to get my mom back to writing. Nothing would make me happier than to see my mom fulfill her full potential.

  141. August 28, 2012 4:24 pm

    Love this. I can so relate.

  142. August 28, 2012 10:26 pm

    You can do it! I wouldn’t call Thirty Dirty, it ain’t fun that others see it as immature and sleazy, I much prefer Flirty, haha. Plus, 40 is totally the new 20!

    I’m just like you, thought of something like this this summer where I celebrated a birthday, like you.Three items on that list really hit home for me: running, horses, and novels.

    I got one down, the novel writing, and I’ll be writing again before the end of this year too, God willing.

    You should be proud of yourself for pushing yourself to accomplish certain things before it’s forgotten. Before turning thirty, there’s another four years, and in those four years a newborn will walk and start preschool, a college freshman graduates with a degree, world athletes go to the Olympics again and potentially accomplish more for themselves and their country. Why not think of ourselves and where we want to be in four years? Who knows, maybe we can go to college, have a baby and make it to the Olympics! There’s an idea 😀

    I might post an entry about my plans regarding this in days to come, happy to find your blog to see how someone like me is finding the journey.

  143. September 7, 2012 8:55 pm

    I love horses, and also enjoy the displays on your site. Very unique!

  144. September 12, 2012 6:48 pm

    Reblogged this on A Busy Brunette and commented:
    I really never thought the day would come where I would be even THINKING about turning 30! Now, everytime I do THINK about it I cringe… I feel like there’s so many things I thought I would have already done or accomplished by then. I know that’s the case with most people, but I don’t want to be most people.

  145. September 30, 2012 12:45 pm

    great photograph selection! Good luck chasing your dreams

  146. howimetyoursister permalink
    October 19, 2012 5:51 pm

    This made me thinking of my Bucket List too. I have so many things I want to do in life! Thanks

  147. December 4, 2012 1:27 am

    Reblogged this on So now I'd say. and commented:
    I do have my own list. Its before my next birthday. Attaining some things on the list in less than one year sure seems tough but I do want to do something about it.

  148. ImThankfulBlog permalink
    December 11, 2012 2:37 am

    Great idea. The mere thought of turning 30 sends me into a downward spiral. Aspiring to achieve your list will give you something else to think about + you’ll have many things to be proud of on the big day. Good luck!

  149. December 26, 2012 10:04 am

    it’s a tough list to have but hey, nothing is impossible if you want it! 🙂 Good luck!


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