When I was 20 I got my degree and set about kicking ass and taking names. During that decade I began and ended a marriage, had two kids, earned an accounting designation, and bought a house. Following graduation I worked at a University, travelled Europe for two months, co-founded Urbantastic, worked at a major charity, worked at a bank, founded Frontier, and help start other new companies.
No family dog or cottage (though with Airbnb why would you need to now right?) but otherwise feel that most life milestones you could achieve in your 30s, and perhaps 40s I’ve somehow packed into my 20s.
And yet, during my 20s I constantly stressed, and too often put off joy. I haven’t read as much as I’d like, or pursued as many hobbies as other people in my life.
So then what of my 30s, what then? What goals? Here’s a few:
Improve my memory of experiences with anticipation and reflection
This is an idea for an upcoming blog post, but the idea is that I don’t have a great experiential memory (especially compared to my skill for remembering facts). My attempted solution is to spend more time anticipating upcoming events and lots more time after reflecting on them.
Enjoy ages 7-16 and 3-12 of my kids’ lives
Related to the above, I want to make the most of the ten years ahead with my kids. Even writings down those years, wow what a decade this will be! I want to capture it, savour it, and help them make the most of it.
Save up for an emergency fund - aka peace of mind
I’ve been constantly stressed about finances since...2008. Starting a family, buying a home too quickly, and starting a business have a habit of creating rocky finances. I would like financial fears to disappear and an emergency fund would do just that.
Work <20 hours per week
A danger every entrepreneur has, especially those who built their business by working 6 days a week, as I did in 2011-2012, is filling the open time with more work. I started to go down that path at times this year, but I feel like a hard limit around work hours is best to achieve the other goals laid out.
Give priority to my physical and spiritual health
Fitness and meditation are two elements of my life that have been largely overlooked. No more sir.
I’ve been enjoying team sports, but I’ve also done poorly at quiet meditative time, to doctor’s appointment, stretching, and healthy eating. I want to be fitter at 39 than I am at 29.
More water and winter
Higher on my regret list is not spending enough time playing in the snow and on the beach (with or without kids). I struggled to spend the time or money on outdoor rec, an area that truly has my heart. As it so happens this will be a great venue to experience my kids growing up, improve my physical health, and fill my time of reflection and anticipation.
Build my life bucket list and get started on it
Life in my 20s has been productive and practical. I haven’t really spent much time thinking outside the lines to experiences in my ‘bucket list’. Now it’s time to sit down and figure that out and get down to business. Ages 30-70 go by faster than 0-29 so it’s time to bucket down.
That’s what I have so far, and I’ll continue to reflect and refine. Tomorrow I’ll reflect some more on the days remaining until the milestone.
Maybes on my list:
Produce a Podcast. Write an e-book. Theological education. Become a financial advisor. Become an Airbnb host (and fix the property beside me).