After saying goodbye to my 20's, learning I now recover slowly from one too many glasses of wine and hearing myself say "when I was their age..." I started to wonder if this old dog could still learn new tricks.
We're about to find out.
Follow me as I strive to learn something new each week. In between laughing with - and at - me, I hope you are inspired to try something new and share your own stories.
Twenty-nine was a year of significant transformation with many unexpected but important results. More than one path was chosen that forced me to step out of my comfort zone; nonetheless, I reached my undefined goal of happiness.
Significant changes occurred mere days before my 30th birthday. My career was redirected in unexpected ways that took me farther and farther away from my personal definition of life. The “L” word became a regular part of my vocabulary. And perhaps the most significant change was me learning to better embracing change.
So where am I now? Perhaps the easiest way to explain is to go through the #30b430 checklist:
#01. Check Sundance Film Festival off my bucket list: COMPLETE! – If you love films, can stand the cold and can accept that celebrity sightings won’t happen at every turn – DO IT!
#02. Dora the Explorer: visit a new country: COMPLETE! – Italy, Ireland, France… I can’t wait to return. From the food to the cultures, it was an experience to remember.
#03. Sing to me, Tom Petty: skydive: COMPLETE! – Exhilarating! May even do it again…
#04. Being Bertinelli: fit into my homecoming gown from 1999 – NOPE, didn’t happen, but instead of focusing on my size, I am honing in on a healthier lifestyle. Fingers crossed, the dress will fit one day!
#05. Complete nonprofit certification from the Kellogg School of Management – My schedule didn’t allow for it, but I’m determined to finish my last class before 2012 is over.
#06. Take three proactive steps to achieve work/life balance: COMPLETE! This goal was like a roller coaster! The second biggest change in the past year – I resigned from my job. Reaching vice president before age 30 and the six digit salary resulted in me living to work vs. working to live. While the opportunity would be great for someone, it wasn’t the right fit for me. I am now consulting, which allows me to be near my family and significant other. It was a scary step, but I know it will someday allow me to have two other titles: wife and mother.
#07. Sealed w/ a kiss: write 12 thank you notes – COMPLETE! This goal is never-ending. I’m determined to continue to show my appreciation for those who have impacted me.
#08. Begin learning a new language – It is in progress. I am slowly learning Italian, while I bought Rosetta Stone’s French lessons for my better half. He and I may stumble through it, but hopefully we’re on the path to being bi/trilingual.
#09. The Death of Molly: Human Doormat: remove negative influences: COMPLETE! This was another ongoing goal. Surprisingly, I learned that some of my “negative” influences were actually positive and vice versa. It wasn’t the influence that was negative, but the path of life I was traveling. Simply said: LIFE IS GOOD!
#10. Have a solid 6 months of salary in savings – COMPLETE… sorta. My change in lifestyle (like the Chicagoan buying a car for the first time in 12 years!!!) has decreased my savings, but I proudly reached the goal of my original salary and paid off nearly $20K in student loans! Now I must rebuild!
#11. Coming to America: visit a new state: COMPLETE! This is another goal I hope to continue until all states are crossed off my list.
#12. Do things out of my comfort zone: COMPLETE! The blind date certainly helped this one! Funny enough, it is also part of what led me back to my childhood crush J
#13. Saint Molly: do 12 good deeds: COMPLETE and counting!
#14: Why not?: Do something spontaneous: COMPLETE! Dancing on stage at a Broadway performance of Hairspray! Check it off, folks!
#15: Worrywart-Be-Gone: stop biting nails: An ongoing battle… I know, I know.
#16. FINALLY file my own taxes: COMPLETE! I did it once and then went back to my tax lady this year. Filing myself wasn’t a bad experience, but there are some things I prefer to leave to the professionals!
#17. Hee Juang Kwak: try to find my biological parents: I’m torn on this one. It is in the works, but the actual meeting may or may not happen. We’ll see.
#18. Call me Cole Trickle: learn to drive a manual: It is happening this summer. Stay off the roads!
#19. Begin writing a screenplay or book - COMPLETE! Look for it in a bookstore near you… someday!
#20 Do something positive for my hometown: Supporting my local community, starting to volunteer with the local hospice organization and providing counsel to the fundraisers for the proposed aquatic center – it’s a start and certainly not the end!
#21 Make 4th donation of hair to Locks of Love – In progress. My hair is still growing!
#22 Plant a garden, even if in containers on my balcony: COMPLETE! Holy jalapenos! Great first-time experience; about to get bigger in 2012!
#23 Re-establish a solid relationship with my dad - COMPLETE! Some things take time and this is certainly one of them; however, the foundation is set.
#24 Learn how to change a tire: I learned how to air a motorcycle tire and change a bike tire. Can we say complete?!?!?
#25 Take swimming lessons: It will happen before I have children…
#27 Reach 10,000 page views on Extra+Ordinary – More than 7,000 views! Too often I let this become the back burner priority. As the blog evolves, expect more posts!
#28 Stomp grapes at a vineyard: Still on the list!
#29 Take a self-defense class: I decided a good knee to the right spot always works. J
#30 Actually make something pinned on Pinterest - COMPLETE! In fact, we made a baby shower gift and I’ve created body scrubs and multiple recipes using Pinterest ideas. Follow me!!!!
This experiment taught me that if it is meant to happen, it will. If it wasn’t, don’t stop, just start walking in the right direction. While I didn’t cross off every item on my 30b430 list, I did make it to the right road. Next, return to extraplusordinary.com as I share how this old dog can learn new tricks. On a regular basis, I’ll share how you can continue to add some extra to your ordinary.