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.

Thirty Before 30 Update: Number 25

30 Before 30 List
The Final Thirty Before 30 List

25. Purchase a secondhand outfit: So, I made a valiant effort to accomplish this goal: I purchased a pair of lime-colored cropped pants, a velveteen blazer and a Lands’ End raincoat. The pants do not fit. The blazer just isn’t right. And, I haven’t had the occasion yet to wear the raincoat. While I would love to try harder to make this goal work, I just don’t think it’s right for me.

What I do find myself purchasing secondhand is home goods. (Usually, from Goodwill.) I buy teacups for plants, bowls (I even purchased 2-3 thrift store bowls when I first got to Atlanta and then ended up donating them right back when I hit the road!) and pictures–either for the frames or for the image itself.

For example, here are two small original oil paintings I snagged a few months ago:

Signed T. Carson


Signed VIOLA

I have no idea who T. Carson or VIOLA are or if these are amateur or well-known artists. I just dig the texture of the oil paint and the “je ne sais quois” Frenchy quality. I don’t think I paid more than $20 for the pair. A way better deal than buying art firsthand that is probably in your neighbor’s house, too.

So, while I didn’t quite reach the “clothing” part of this goal, I did accomplish the “secondhand” part of it. And, it’s not a one-and-done kind of thing. I’ll continue to look for interesting stuff to add to my home.

Oh, and while we’re talking of thrift shops, I’m sure you’ve heard or seen this.



Thirty Before 30 Update: Numbers 20, 21, 22 & 23

30 Before 30 List
The Final Thirty Before 30 List

Once again, why am I lumping these four goals into one post? Well, because they’re all “in progress.” That is to say, they’re never really complete. Once again, let me explain.

20. Blog more: Ta-da! The Thirty Before 30 series has helped me greatly this past year. I can only hope that I will continue to find and write about interesting topics after my 30th birthday has come and gone.

21. Just be: I like making to-do lists. I feel accomplished when I cross items off. But, I also feel like I constantly have to be doing something productive. I’ve given myself a break by allowing myself to just be–sit and relax for a moment or 3. One of my favorite ways to just be is with a cup of coffee.

Coffee with some frothed milk.
Coffee with some frothed milk.


Coffee with waffles.


Coffee in a T cup.
Coffee in a T cup.


Iced coffee.
Iced coffee.


Fancy mocha coffee.
Fancy mocha coffee.


22. Practice patience: Okay, this one is hard. I really, really wish the universe would just consult my schedule before doing things like creating a traffic jam. But, I have practiced patience on at least one occasion. I was stuck in a traffic jam. So, I pulled into a park along the way, put on the tennis shoes I usually keep in my hatch and walked around. By the time I had walked the loop of trail, traffic had subsided. Win-win!

I still need to throw socks into my hatch. I got tiny blisters.


Sharon Woods. It was quite a lovely day to go for a stroll. I'm glad I took a break from the traffic.
Sharon Woods. It was quite a lovely day to go for a stroll. I’m glad I took a break from the traffic.


23. Give people genuine and compassionate feedback: I still find this one difficult. Well, should I say it’s more difficult to tell someone about something they’re doing wrong or in an annoying fashion. (I don’t find it difficult to give compliments.) I had success a few weeks back with a stereo that had mind-numbing bass. I made the point to go talk to the stereo operators before I got to the snapping point. I think this is key. We all know our triggers and to a certain extent we all know we can deal with little annoyances for a short period of time. But, when you don’t foresee an annoyance ending soon, it’s best to talk to the offenders while you’re still cool, calm and collected. And, trust me, I’ve been on the other side of the wall when a neighbor has pounded, the request is dealt with on a more cordial level when no one is riled up.

Thirty Before 30 Update: Numbers 17, 27 & 30

30 Before 30 List
The Final Thirty Before 30 List

Why am I lumping these three seemingly different goals together? Because I have quasi-completed them–go me! They’re goals that part of the way into my year, I thought, well, that’s kind of lame and doesn’t make sense. Let me explain.

17. Have a monthly date night: It’s just me and my husband. In reality, every night is date night: dinner together as we discuss our days or big plans for the future. Each weekend is retreat where we cook more complicated recipes. I bake desserts. We go on hikes. We have standing workout dates. Sometimes we mix things up and go to Costco on Fridays after work. Life is good. Maybe I don’t want to become a 2-pet household (see #18).

27. Join–or start my own–book club: Who was I kidding? I have yet to discover a friend who shares my passion for memoirs and marketing/creative industry books. Instead, I’ve started using Goodreads. Find me there as T-Bud Combs, especially if you just read a good book about branding.

30. Learn to swim: Again, who was I kidding? I’m like a cat. I hate water. Maybe if that “swimming instructor” hadn’t yelled at me in seventh grade to, “Relax! Relax! Relax” whilst trying to teach me how to float, I wouldn’t be so resistant to donning a skin-tight and skin-baring suit and going for a dip. But, you know what I did do before I turned 30 that I’ve been just as resistant to? Mom, Dad, I joined a gym. That’s right. I even went to yoga class. I have even gone to a couple of spinning classes. Much to my surprise, I do kind of like going to the gym. Go figure. No PE teachers to deal with or kids who are disappointed with your lack of coordination because they really, really care about the sport of flag football.

Thirty Before 30 Update: Number 9

30 Before 30 List
The Final Thirty Before 30 List

9. Take a yoga class:  Last Tuesday, I did it. I headed out at the ridiculous hour of 7:00 in the evening to my gym and attended the only yoga class that I can make due to my work schedule. (Apparently doing yoga at 9:30am during the week is a trend.)

Now, I’ve only done what I call “living room yoga”–I open my yoga how-to book, spread out my mat in an open area of my house (the living room works) and do some poses. The instructor at this class kept things moving fast. I didn’t have time to really observe what was required of the pose before I started. (Add some peer pressure to that, too. You don’t want to be the only ding dong who’s not doing what they’re supposed to.) Also, it was like a game of Twister sans the colorful mat: put your left hand here while doing this with your right foot. Full disclosure: I’m horrible at keeping my left and right straight. Same with east and west. I’m stellar at knowing what’s up and down, north and south, though. So, it was hard, but the hour was over quickly.

In the afternoon of the day after, as with most new exercises, I started to feel soreness creep up into my shoulders. And, then a horrendous kink-in-my-neck feeling, except it was deep in my back. It made breathing deeply uncomfortable. But, is this really any surprise? Here’s a New York Times article from almost a year ago that explores the harms of yoga. I just may fall into the camp of people who should stay away.

But, all was not lost. I may go again (perhaps the weird soreness was a one-off experience) or if I never return, I just may start doing my living room yoga again (that never resulted in more-uncomfortable-than-usual soreness). Or, I just may go to a different class–try Pilates or, better yet, water aerobics.