Tuesday, August 24, 2010

30 Things I’ve Managed to Accomplish by 30

On this Holy Day of 2010, your one and only favorite blogger is turning 30. (No, not that one - me, damn it!) And so, for my big day, I’ve decided to make you all a list. A fabulous list of 30 Grand Life Accomplishments that I’ve succeeded in completing, all in less than 30 years.

1- Lived happily in four distinct regions of the US. A non-accomplishment but what I’m saying is I’m not one of those bitchers and whiners constantly complaining about something that’s "just not like [enter home state here]" and I’m damn proud of it.

2- Got a darn good degree from a darn good university that I’ve actually gone on to use. Ha! That’s a good one.

3- Without racking up huge student loan bills. (Despite depleting the savings I had solely because my father died so young…but hell, that IS what it was there for.)

4- While there, wrote several essays and a couple short stories in a foreign language. Even if I couldn’t begin to PRETEND to read them now, I still did it.

5- Found a career I like (most of the time), using the degree I actually got (it’s a science job and science is the degree and even if it’s not biochemistry/chemistry, you all don’t know any better), AND I’m actually good at. Most of the time.

6- Found myself somewhat accomplished in said career, including a first author paper that was featured on the cover of the kinda good journal it was published in! (Even if I am destined to never be fully respected as I do not have a PhD, STILL.)

7- Not yet really regretted not getting my PhD. Most of the time.

8- Drank beyond my limit enough times to learn my limit. Until I got pregnant and had a kid and even the idea of tolerance flew completely out the window, at which point one sip was beyond my tolerance, which doesn't seem to be enough to preclude me from accepting drinks from a cute guy at a bachelorette party, even if I did already tell him I was married, and learning all over again, ten years later, what drinking WAY beyond one’s limit really means. But that’s beside the point. I learned it when it was important.

9- Never been fired (despite #8). And while they might have been contemplating firing me at Round Table Pizza back in college, they were contemplating firing everyone all the time – and either way, I quit before they could make up their minds. Besides, that barely counts as a job at all.

10- Saved a life. Well, no, okay, probably not.  But I rode around in an ambulance in the middle of the night with reflective tape declaring “EMT” on my back and got pissy that I’d been woken up AGAIN, as a VOLUNTEER, for a darn stomachache, but I’m sure someone thinks maybe I was some help to them and that’s an accomplishment, right?

11- Managed to remain (mostly) on speaking terms with my entire family, despite me being me and them being…them.

12- Birthed one beautiful baby boy and have grown half way to completion a baby girl and despite this not actually being something I really had anything to do with and being something hundreds of morons do every day, I’m still calling it an accomplishment.

13- AND I did the whole birthing thing with NO drugs the first time around. Granted it wasn’t really my idea, well, no I had that idea BEFOREHAND, but no one knows what the hell they’re talking about beforehand...point being, if I’d had the opportunity during the whole shindig, I would have shot MYSELF up with an epidural, chance of paralysis be damned, but either way, I did it all naturally and that’s an accomplishment.

14- Maintained a few good lasting friendships and a shit ton of Facebook-worthy friends. We all know how much I love Facebook, and Facebook just wouldn’t be Facebook without the 400 friends.

15- Not created (to my knowledge) any lasting enemies. If you know otherwise, just don’t tell me till tomorrow, k?

16- Not killed or physically maimed anyone who may have become a short term or long term enemy, despite any inclination I may have had to do so. With my temper, this is definitely an accomplishment.

17- Managed to get two men to fall desperately enough in love with me to marry me, and only one regretted it. So far.

18- Got divorced before the VAST majority of my friends had even gotten married. Or engaged. Wait, is that an accomplishment? Right, I got that whole “starter marriage” crap out of the way, so you know, that was nice. And learned how the court systems work in three different states along the way! And how shitty divorce really is, in all three states. (Only got divorced in one state, geez, can’t you follow me here, people?) K, let’s just call this an accomplishment and move on.

19- Broken a heart. Or two. Or ten. And had my heart broken back once or twice. Or, more like a dozen times. I like to know the variables on these things.

20- Racked up massive credit card debt (I blame the ex) AND managed to pay it all off again so I have none today. It’s the accomplishment we’re concerned with here folks. If I hadn’t had the debt, I couldn’t have paid it off, now could I have?

21- Actually maintained a savings account that is (finally) staying above the monthly minimum, AND not only that, is increasing! By like, at least $1.27 a month!

22- Begun a retirement fund that would allow me to live somewhere other than the local underpass for my final years…so long as I keep adding to it for the next 50 years or so… and the cost of living doesn’t excessively spike…and the stock market doesn’t crash…again…

23- Started a college fund for my little boy. He’s GUARANTEED to be able to attend at LEAST one semester of college, TOTALLY covered. (Besides books, supplies, rent and probably food.) Totally covered.

24- Bought a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood with a mortgage that is actually affordable and I absolutely love. And better always love, because according to my sweet and loving and supportive husband, if I ever want to move again, he’ll kill me.

25- Maintained good (albeit not always great) credit throughout it all. Obama thinks it’s an accomplishment.

26- Gone parasailing despite my fear of heights, ridden a motorcycle despite my fear of speed, constantly tried new things despite my fear of failure AND, most importantly of all, ridden my bike to work daily (in the warm-ish months) despite my ENORMOUS fear of an untimely death by a big rig while biking to work one sunny summer morning.

27- Realized my massive personality flaws (at least a couple of them) and vaguely attempted to do something about them, which never really worked because my biggest flaw is being so damned stubborn even I can’t get through to myself.

28- Ran two marathons and one half-marathon and didn’t do too terribly at them, even if I never will win my age bracket. Or the 65 plus age bracket who always has some hippy-type crazy runners thrown in just to piss people like me off, usually running barefoot as an added insult.

29- Wrote a novel. I haven’t done anything with it, but hey, I wrote it. There’s gotta be something left for the next 30 years, you know.

30- Created a STELLAR blog with even MORE stellar followers. ‘Cause I’m awesome.


  1. (Imagine me singing this.) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR PENNY. I can't finish due to copy right laws. :) Wishing you many more. Yay!!!!

    Don't knock the accomplishments. You've got some pretty good ones there.

  2. When I clicked on your blog there was an adult content warning. I'm not sure why. I'm just sayin' it happened.

  3. Yeah, about that adult content warning...I can't seem to view your blog on my BlackBerry since it has a warning. Which means I can't read your blog during staff meetings, which means by the time I do look on a real computer it is too late to wish you a happy birthday. Maybe you can change it before next August.

  4. adult content warning removed. If you cannot read my blog to procrastinate/avoid work, it becomes entirely pointless.

    However, next August, I expect real birthday wishes from all of you.

  5. Whoa..Happy Birthday Dude!

    I turn 30 in a couple months and I guess I better get on with some accomplishing. I mean I felt ok about my accomplishments... until now.