Sunday, 7 July 2013

Life lists

This post is a departure from my usual content, but I thought it was a really interesting topic. I read a great article recently on Jezebel about how the traditional list of life achievements is changing. The suggested list on Jezebel is not perfect, but the discussion is a great one.

For some reason, I always had fixed (if vague) ideas about what I would achieve by the age of 30. I expected that somehow I would be earning over $100k, be married, have children, and own a house. I'm now about 7 weeks away from 30... and have just squeaked in to achieve exactly one of my four ideals.

I am in no way sad about this. I have other achievements instead! They may not have been intended, or apparent at the time I achieved them, but they make me happy regardless.

In no particular order, I'm proud of:
  • Graduating with an Honours degree in Engineering. I don't know why this wasn't on my original list, because I was studying for it at the time!

See the look of glee? No more studying! Also, we got to wear capes.

  • Living alone for a year. My last year living in Melbourne was in a little one bedroom flat on the corner of Dandenong Road and Burke Road. It was loud, poorly insulated, and desperately in need of renovation. But I paid the rent each week, had visitors whenever I pleased, and could live in exactly the manner that I preferred.

It's a stupid photo, but when you live on your own you can invite mates around to dance, sing, and drink wine from the bottle in your lounge room! Good times.
  • Being able to look after myself. Look, many people can do these things. But I'm glad that I can cook, type, clean, sew, change the oil, drive a manual car, etc. These are very useful skills!

    Sometimes my cooking is just chocolate crackles though.
  • Moving overseas on my own. Most people go on their OE with a mate or a partner. I didn't. Not to prove any point, just because my life didn't work that way. It was a momentous act (for me) and I am still grateful to my colleagues here for their support and friendship.

    My company employs great ladies to have a beer with.

  • Maintaining friendships through many decades and thousands of kilometres. The internet can take a lot of credit for this one.
I was Kate's bridesmaid in 2011. The physics experiment in this photo was in 1995.
  • Sewing my own wedding dress. A lot of my blog readers can do this, but not too many members of the public. We're special, I guess?

SEE THAT LUSCIOUS SILK. You're welcome (for the gratuitous dress photo)
Do you have an unexpected achievement? Or any advice for a person who is turning 30 soon??


  1. Forget your age - it's more awesome that way. Seriously, whenever someone asks how old I am, I literally have to work it out.

    My unexpected achievement was finding the Chef. I never saw myself as married but then he came along and here I am.

    1. Oh, I'm not "concerned" about turning 30 at all. It just seems like an interesting milestone, especially when you look back at 20 and 10!

      I like your achievement :-)

  2. I can see you've done lots already. And enjoyed the ride. That's what I hope to keep doing.

    1. That's great advice - maybe I should plan/worry less, and just enjoy the journey!

  3. I have trouble making goals for myself that go beyond a year, I find that I change and so do my circumstances so what might seem like a great goal at the beginning turns out to be not really what I wanted in the end, but it is a great stepping stone.

    1. I like your method. I've definitely evolved from 'making firm goals' to 'trying to make the best decisions for now and tomorrow'. Greater sense of achievement as small things happen, too!

  4. Isn't it funny that income is always at or near the start of the list, and probably the least important thing! My list coming up to 30 now revolves around sleep, feeds and my long term goal (next 3 months) in going back to work.

    1. Yeah, I don't even know how or why I came up with that number! I guess it's just a really tangible goal, which is why so many of us aim for it. Whereas "being happy", for example, is really hard to quantify.

      Hahahaha, I like your goals! I'm sure they are achievable :-)

  5. Thinking about it, I guess I've mostly achieved the goals I had without realising it, but they were rather vague, like, as you say: "being happy". One that I didn't: I think I subconsciously wanted to be a Someone. Now I realise that I would hate to be Someone. I don't like people looking at me.

    As for what to do next, they say that you should set quantifiable goals and write them down, and this helps you achieve them. I do agree with having goals - otherwise you can look back and wonder what you achieved over the last five years, and time seems to go faster and faster as you get older (even though I agree with Katie that I'm losing track of what number I'm at).


    1. Interesting - I hadn't thought about how our goals shift over time.

      Maybe I'll write a little letter to myself with all my goals for the next 10 years... when I get to 40 I could see what I've achieved!

  6. Absolutely love this post. My life hasn't turned out exactly the way I planned it either but awesome all the same. Turning 30 really makes you reflect huh?


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