I’m a day late, but I just turned 29. This will be the last year of my 20s and the last of my third decade here on Earth. I don’t really fear or regret getting older. I’m mostly just excited to see what this new year brings!
Looking back at being 28, I’d say it was one of the best years of my life, while still presenting its unique challenges. I feel more confident and sure of myself than ever before, and I feel like I have a direction. I have things I want to achieve set in my sights.
Thinking back through the things that defined being 28, there’s an obvious big one: my wife and I moved to a dream town here in Saranac Lake. We didn’t know it when we picked the spot, but we’d very quickly grow to love living in such a small town. It’s friendly. Everything is very walkable. All my favorite activities are nearby. This could be our forever hometown.
I got a new job, and despite a rocky start, I’m loving finally being a Guide for folks exploring new activities in the wilderness. Being a destination location, I get to talk with people from all over the world and from all walks of life.
I’ve made many great new friends, mostly thanks to #11 below. On the other hand, staying in touch with friends from previous homes is harder. I’ve spent almost all of my free time off of work getting outside and exploring new places and outdoor pursuits. It’s left less time than I expected for just hanging out or day-to-day life stuff.
Last year, I listed out 28 things I hoped to achieve in my “golden year”. Let’s see how I did.
Year 28’s list:
- Read more books than I did last year. ✅ (12 versus 8!)
- Spend at least four weekends in a tent. ✅ (All great. All memorable.)
- Design more t-shirts than I did last year. ✅
- Summit at least five peaks. ✅ (Knocked out 13 of the 46 ADK High Peaks.)
- Write more consistently than I did last year. ❌ (Had three months where I hardly published anything.)
- Spend more time journaling than I did last year. ❌ (If you count blogging and journaling, maybe. Which I tend to count both more these days.)
- Get in the habit of reaching for healthy snacks rather than junk food. ❌
- Make more regular phone calls to family. ❌
- Learn how to fix things in my home. ✅ (Am I now a “handyman”? No. But I’m learning and less embarrassed about asking for help.)
- Own up to mistakes more than I have in the past. ✅
- Join a local club. ✅ (ADK Run Club is the best.)
- Lend my talents to a local volunteer organization. ✅ (I helped, briefly, with the FISU World University Games. Not the local organization that I imagined, but it did help out local friends.)
- Strike up conversations with strangers. ✅
- Get good at cooking something with fresh ingredients. ❌
- Finish at least one story-based video game. ❌
- Make Date Night with my wife a priority. ❌
- Close all my rings at least 50% of the days this year. ✅
- Get out ice climbing. ✅ (Been out a bunch, and loving it.)
- Climb at least three multi-pitch routes. ✅ (Did at least double that.)
- Tick off at least 15 crag days. ✅ (Maybe doubled that one, too.)
- Find a local climbing partner. (Maybe this should have been #18) ✅ (Shout out to Dakota!)
- Take a non-local friend out climbing. ✅
- Take my wife up a trad route. ❌
- Learn a programming language / finish a programming course. ❌
- Take a writing course. ❌
- Take my wife on a surprise weekend trip. ❌
- Play my trumpet. (Hooray for living in a house, not an apartment!) ❌
- Work my way up to running a half-marathon. ✅ (One of my proudest achievements of last year. I decided I’d put it off long enough, and got out and ran it on New Year’s Eve.)
Results: ✅: 16 and ❌: 12
Honestly, I feel pretty good about the things I got done. Would it have been cool to cross off all 28 goals? Sure. But I think I knew even then that this was pretty deep into New Year’s Resolution territory; notoriously dicey for not working out. And I make the rules here, so I say not finishing everything is okay!
There are items that I wish I would have put more effort towards date nights, cooking and eating more healthily, for example. So instead of listing out now 29 new things that I’d like to do this year, I think I’m going to try to keep the good times rolling by extending the 12 that I didn’t get done last year into this year, and maybe adding just a couple more. I’m choosing to think of it as 30 things before 30. 😉
Year 29’s list (or 30 Before 30):
- Write more consistently than I did last year.
- Spend more time journaling than I did last year.
- Get in the habit of reaching for healthy snacks rather than junk food.
- Make more regular phone calls to family.
- Get good at cooking something with fresh ingredients.
- Finish at least one story-based video game.
- Make Date Night with my wife a priority.
- Take my wife up a trad route.
- Learn a programming language / finish a programming course.
- Take a writing course.
- Take my wife on a surprise weekend trip.
- Play my trumpet. (Hooray for living in a house, not an apartment!)
- Finish requirements for the New York State Level 1 Rock Guide License.
- Host (or be part of making happen) at least 10 friend or family get-togethers. Like game nights. Probably game nights.
(Bonus-but-somewhat-out-of-my-control: Make significant progress toward owning our own home.)
I’ve got 364 days. Wish me luck!