Three years have gone by. Yes, the sun has come up over 1,000 times. Summers and winters have cracked the mountains a little bit more, and the rains have brought down some of the dirt.
Some babies that weren’t even born before have begun talking regular sentences already, and a number of people who thought they were young and spry have noticed that they can’t bound up a flight of stairs like they used to without their heart fluttering a little.
All that can happen in a thousand days.
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Yesterday marked my 28th year on the planet, and it has me feeling a bit out of sorts. Age is just a number. And, honestly, age does not bother me in the least. Getting closer to the decade of the “30’s” has not caused me to toss and turn at night or grow a gray hair. And I definitely do not have what some of my friends would call a “scary age” which I find usually hovers between 45-55. But I still feel that I have been in a bit of a rut lately. I’m looking for something new. A challenge. An adventure. I’m feeling……restless. Not “pick up everything and move to another state” restless, but a large urge to “shake things up” restless.
This restlessness smacked me straight across the face recently at a family gathering, where the topic of skydiving was discussed. A few of us even verbally committed to giving it a go together. Now, I have been meaning to skydive since I was 16, so much so that I was determined to spend my 18th birthday cheating death. Instead, I got my tongue pierced and painfully sucked on ice and drool all fucking weekend. Point is, even with the best intention of being completely serious, and the additionally motivating factor of completely horrifying my parents, here we are. One DECADE later. How did I get so sidetracked?!?!
And time only goes faster the older we get. Even though we learn that this is true, we still wonder how it happens. How we can be at a job for five years when we only meant to stay a few. How we can be signing another lease when we thought by now we would have bought. How people who have always been there for us can be old enough to suddenly be gone. How can we change so much and yet never really notice it?
So many things happened this last decade, and while I have always said that I would go back to college in an instant, I wonder if I really would. I like who I am now, with who I spend my time with, with the course my weeks seem to take. There was a sense of aimlessness to my twenties, and that is how it should have been. I think that exploring new places and letting new ways of thinking marinate are exactly how your first decade of really “living” should be spent. It was because I wandered, and wondered, and took paths that I wouldn’t have predicted for myself that I am able to say that I am happy with where I find myself today.
But a new decade calls for a new plan. And, if my twenties taught me anything, it is that I am obviously the type of girl who needs a deadline. A twist on the infamous “bucket list.” The Day Zero Project, introduced to me by an inspired coworker, challenges you to accomplish 101 things in 1,001 days. The thought is to move both quickly and yet with intention, always keeping your goals fresh in your mind and avoiding the trap of completing them “some day.”
While I am not yet entering a new decade, I am starting this list now for two reasons. First, I need to feed this restlessness. I am scared that if I don’t I may lose it forever and find myself living a life with no particular meaning. Second, the 1,001 days ends 2/3 of the way into my 30th year. What a brilliant way to kick off this new decade. Because of the limited time, the goals are more realistic and simplified (ie cheaper) than trying to backpack across the world in two years, as much as I wish I could. However, this does not reduce the importance of these smaller goals. Every goal on this list was well thought out and serves a specific purpose.
Once this list is done, I’m guessing I will have a brand new list of 101 things that I want to accomplish. And as a result, even though decades will continue to pass, and my rising age will continue to amaze me, and I will still wonder where the days have gone, at least I will know how I have spent them.