Wednesday, August 14, 2013

30 in 30 by 30: Lessons Learned

Alright, so everyone in the Free World knows by now that I undertook one new adventure for each of the 30 days leading up to my thirtieth birthday on Aug. 6, right?

Good. Whew.

Super awesome birthday decorations all up in my cube!

The overall 30 in 30 endeavor was divined not just as a way to make my birthday celebration last a month (though that was awesome) but also as a means of exploring who I am at the three decade mark.

So here we are, days after I officially aged, and I've been reflecting on how each piece in the weeks of shenanigans has informed my identity. I wrote a contemplative little summary of my experiences for the Community Recorder Newspapers, so keep your eyes peeled to see that in print tomorrow.

But there are a lot of thoughts that I just couldn't cram into a newspaper column. There were also a lot of expletives that couldn't be included.

Fine, not really.

I totally got a tattoo! ...Fine, not really.

I'll try not to belabor the whole soul-searching schmaltz that accompanies any life inventory but when you make adventure routine, you learn a lot of random things. So, in random order, here are the:

Five Lessons Learned from My 30 in 30 by 30 Adventure

1. Filling the ol' calendar is expensive.

I'm not an especially wealthy person and, between you and me, I'm truly a masterful cheapskate.

Making plans everyday adds up. Actually, I just added it up. Not counting gasoline, I spent around $630 for a successful month of fun days.

Beautiful sunsets on Dale Hollow Lake aren't free, man.

I don't even want to think about what it cost me in fuel. Eek.

There were some extra-expensive outliers, like the four-day trip to Dale Hollow Lake ($180), my psychic encounter ($80), the pampering spa pedicure ($50 plus tip), my dome-defying hair dying experiment ($60) and the Baseball Heritage Tour ($65).

But there were many other outings that could have been costly, if it weren't for friends and family offering their services. My awesome Aunt Sue gave me those Bunbury Festival tickets and the always-supportive Steve treated me to oyster shots. The lovely Luanne of Maysville ushered me around the Russell Theatre totally gratis and my family kindly purchased all of the desserts I enjoyed/accidentally poured on myself.

Fantastic parents, funding my feeding at Fillmore's

There's no way I could have kept up if costs had been considerable every day, but more than half of my experiences were totally free. Honestly, some of the most interesting memories are those that stole nothing from my wallet.

I loved completing the Proust Questionnaire because all it entailed was laying on the floor and conversing with Quincy. Sure, I adore talking about myself (Exhibit A: This blog) but I also enjoyed hearing his thoughts on the questions and my answers. The Proust Questionnaire was originally developed an entertaining way to spend an evening with friends, an idea that sounds far more interesting than at least 60 percent of the parties I've attended.

All burning a bra cost me was a scorched thumb.

If you wanted to, you could easily undertake everyday adventures and pay only for your transport.


2. I suck at planning.

This isn't really an epiphany so much as an acknowledgement that, while it seems some people can easily complete a detailed itinerary, it took me weeks of scheduling to put this thing together. And even so, some days just did not work out.

Last-minute attempt at seeking out the Circle Live V? Total fail. Except for this kiss, of course.

I created a detailed list, tracking reservations and escorts and then built everything into a calendar. It was great to start but somewhere around week three, I decided I didn't like anything on the agenda and made several revisions.

I think that if I were to ever do something insane like this again, I'd reach out to a greater variety of friends and acquaintances to help me plan individual days instead of feeling like I locked myself into events that didn't thrill me.

3. There are reasons why I haven't this stuff before.

Why haven't I ever dyed my hair? Because I actually like my muddy my hair color.

Why have I never paid someone to paint my toes? Because I enjoy the DIY pedis I perform while watching Tim Gunn criticize designers.

Why haven't I toured Great American Ballpark before? Because it makes for a long day.

I think Dad, left, could have wandered around the field all day. Laurie, on the right, and I would rather nap.

Not to say that these weren't fantastic experiences that I will treasure, but there is something to be said for knowing your own predilections and trusting your instincts.

4. Planning is half the battle.

Related to Lesson #2, I learned that one of the hardest parts of doing what you want is just getting your dream down on a calendar.

My parents, left, and I learned a lot from Luanne while loitering at the Russell.

I've wanted to explore the Russell Theatre for months and finally, just emailed a meek request for a tour. All I had to do was give myself a deadline and ask.


5. My friends and family rule.

As I tried to make clear in my scribblings for the Cincinnati Enquirer, none of this would have been possible without the encouragement and endorsement of my loved ones.

Mom and me, immediately after eating birthday treats from Hello Honey

I love birthday presents as much as the next rabid fifth grade princess but putting up with my momentous plans the past month has been one of the greatest gifts I could have.

Thank you so much, all.

And big-time shoutouts to:
- My mom and dad, Jo and Rick Haltermon
- My handsome man, Quincy Robinson
- My sister and good-looking brother-in-law, Laurie and Alex Morris
- Callie Clare, my awesome best friend
- My aunt, Sue Louis
- All of my fantastic coworkers, including Ashley Miller, Anne Wolking and Valerie Forsyth
- Steve Dolata, goofball buddy extraordinaire
- Mandy at Parlour Salon
- The Boone County Sheriff's Department and Deputy Theetge
- Luanne K. Mattingly with the City of Maysville
- Harmony, Lindsay and Dyla at Mi Salon

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