Home / The 30 Things List / 06. Touch a Penguin / Happy 34th Birthday To Me!

Another year has gone by! I’m not doing anything particularly exciting for my birthday this year since we just got back from New Zealand and Australia, but Tim and I have promised each other a delayed birthday trip sometime in March. Looking forward to that! In fact, I’m looking forward to a lot of things this year. THE WEDDING! I mean, that’s the biggest thing, and second on the list is THE HONEYMOON! These two things are so big that they occupy a huge portion of my brain. I’m half thinking about this post and half thinking about buying a dress right this minute. But I’m also looking forward to another year of personal and professional growth. Work and school are both going great and I anticipate another year of hard work with positive results. I think I might say this (or at least think it) on every birthday: My life is so good and I am so deeply lucky to be living it. Bring on another year! I’m happy and excited and I can’t wait to see what 34 brings!

But in the meantime, here’s what I accomplished at 33:

#6 – Tough A Penguin: I already crossed off Touch A Penguin in Seattle last year, but I did want to mention two notable penguin-related experiences I had this year. First, in Auckland, I got to see King penguins for the first time ever. They were so big! They look like little people in elaborate costumes. So great! And second, in Akaroa, we visited a penguin conservation area and rescue called Pohatu Penguin Plunge. They have the largest colony of Little Blue penguins in NZ and they do great conservation work in the area. Our tour guide was the daughter of the couple that started the conservation and she was amazing. Flea Bay (yes, unfortunate name) was beautiful, the tour was fantastic, and we got to see them release one of the rehabilitated penguins back into the wild. It was wonderful! One of the best things we did on that trip. This is definitely a MUST DO if you ever find yourself in New Zealand.

#13 – Fix My Credit: I’m ready to say “mission accomplished” here! I’ve done really well with my credit cards and I’ve paid down more than half my car loan, so I feel really good about the progress I’ve made in just a few years.

#14 – Throw A Big Party: I can’t cross this off yet but I’ve made a lot of progress! We’ve booked the venue and the photographer, decided on the caterer, and made all kinds of cool decisions about the decor. Now I just have to do the 374,389,275 other things that have to be done to get ready. So excited though!

#22 – Visit All Hawaiian Islands: Making progress!  We went to Kauai in March with Tim’s family. It’s a beautiful island and we did some really cool stuff. Standout moments include the Koloa rum tasting before the luau (we were all pretty buzzed) and kayaking up a river then hiking to a waterfall. So fun!

#23 – Get My Degree: Progress, progress. I got through 25 credit hours and maintained my 4.0 GPA. I’m going to take a half-semester break in 2017 but if all goes well, I should graduate in Spring of 2018!

#28 – Read 300 Books: I hit the 100 mark! I’m at 102 as of today. That means I’m a little bit behind but I feel like I’ll be able to make it up.

#29 – Visit 10 Countries On 3 Continents: Oh so close! With Canada, New Zealand, and Australia this year, I’m at 9 countries and 2 continents. Much more travel to do!

Changes to the list:

As you may remember, I revise the list once a year to allow myself the freedom to re-think and re-prioritize. In the case of Thing #12: Take my Mom to Costa Rica, it’s actually my dear mother who had a change of heart. She no longer wants to go to Costa Rica, she wants to go to the Greek islands. For now. Since that might change again, I’m rephrasing this one to “Take my Mom on the vacation of her choice.”

I do want to change one, though.  I’ve never really been happy with Thing #16: Win a contest. That’s not something that I have any control over so I don’t think it really belongs on the list. I’m going to change it to reflect a new goal, something I got interested in doing this past year: Be able to do a yoga headstand. I feel like this summarizes all my fitness goals. I want to be toned, streamlines, and to have a core so tight that I can balance it on my head! So contests are out and feats of strength and agility are in!

That’s it!  Bring it on, 34!!