30 Around the Internet

Since turning 30, I’ve noticed a couple of articles or blog posts about the age. And then I googled and discovered another thing or two. Let’s take a look, shall we?

*Oh Joy posted about things worth splurging on in your 30s even though she’s only 33 or 34 (she states she turned 33 last year, so I don’t know if she’s had her birthday this year or not). She emphasized quality and everlasting products. Which I can get on board with, especially with her recommended pots and pans. And the boots? Done! I feel this way about regular shoes, too. I try to buy timeless, classic shoes that I can wear day in and day out. Not that I spend an amazing amount on my shoes, but let’s just say I’m not buying them from Payless. And, there’s nothing wrong with that. Been there, done that and I’m not too proud to go back.

*I stumbled upon a slideshow LearnVest put together about 10 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do by 30. Count me on board for “how to budget” and “how to write professionally” (how could I not being a writer by trade?). Nothing’s more empowering than knowing how to change a flat tire. But then, nothing’s more comforting than knowing you have family and friends and maybe even a roadside assistance service to come change that tire for you.

“How to swim,” #8 on their list, is a let down for me. No, even though it was on my Thirty Before 30 list, I didn’t do it. But, I am self-aware of my skills. I always wear my life jacket when kayaking. It’s not just “within reach” because I know if a I’m going into the drink, I’m going to need the immediate assistance of a floatation device. And, trust me, if you’re flailing about in a lake, pool, river, whatever, your best bet is for me to get the attention of a lifeguard or call 911. All bets are off for your dog. The only thing sadder than a person drowning is a second person drowning in an attempt to save the first.

“How to move on,” the next item on the list seems smart and as if it could be a resolution for newly 30 year olds. The last one, “how to strike balance between work and life,” well, that just seems wise beyond my years.

*Googling, I found this fun “What to Expect” piece on McSweeney’s. I can check off a lot of these. As for the filing of taxes, I feel like I could do it, but I’ve known myself for 30 long years. And I know that if I attempt to file my own taxes it will result in frustration, if not a hissy fit. Why put myself through that? What none of these lists have is “know what you like and don’t like to do. Do more of the former and less of the latter.”

That’s all I have for now, but I have about 10 more years to ponder this decade.

The Year In Books

Let’s take a look at 2011 by reviewing some of the books I read (or listened to on my commute) this past year. I’ve been logging them by pinning the covers to one of my Pinterest boards.

Let’s start here:

Thow Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke: This pretty much walks you through decluttering your home and thus your life. This was the perfect book to read during a transitional year (I made 2 moves within 5 months–yikes!).

There were a few good outdoorsy/environmental/sustainability books I read. These are perfect for big-picture thinking, but also small-step-taking to a greener outlook on life:

Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart: Good starter book. And, after reading this you’ll start to see and recognize the Cradle to Cradle certification on products and trust what it stands for.

Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows: This one is a little cerebral, but it’s worth working your way through. There are a lot of good ideas in this that are relevant to the environment and other aspects of life.

The Necessary Revolution by P.N. Senge et al: Reading this is like reading Thinking In Systems with an environmental spin. Again, a cerebral read, but worth it.

A couple about food that will change the way you see your dinner plate and inspire you to at least make incremental changes to your food habits:

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

For those who had life-changing moments (read:  bad things happened), these books are comforting in that they are stories of other people who had crap happen and how they either overcame or simply dealt with it:

The Bag Lady Papers by Alexandra Penney and Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon and The Late Bloomer’s Revolution by Amy Cohen

And, finally, I love memoirs. These were my favorites:

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern and Bossypants by Tina Fey and A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. (I have to say that Kimmel is an excellent reader. I listened to this book and this woman knows how to read and tell a good story.)

Well, folks, those are the highlights of my 2011 reading. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012 filled with good books!