A Hobag Looks at 30*

 * bonus points to any weirdos who get this reference!

Two weeks ago another grain of sand dropped through the hour glass of the days of my life and I hurtled into a new decade:

I welcome my 30's at the stroke of midnight on September 14, 2014 from the creaky bed of an old motel in rural New Hampshire, where I was celebrating a friend's wedding. My brand new husband was in bed beside me. At midnight he gave me a beautiful jewelry box and some pirate themed temporary tattoos. I took a selfie (fully clothed, despite how scando this looks) and we promptly fell asleep.

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I was a little drunk. And a lot happy. It was perfect.

I'm now two weeks into the other side still just as happy, though thankfully slightly less drunk. For the present moment, anyway. I may be old but I still know how to get down. In fact, from all I've heard, the 30's are quite the cause celebre.  Allegedly, women in their 30's are generally more financially secure, gain more respect in their careers, have more self confidence and have better sex. And I've learned that the older you get, the easier it is to avoid fads and fashions, a lesson that helped me skate through all of Summer 2K14 without even being tempted to wear a crop top. Victory! So if this means I'm looking at a decade of self-confidence, great sex and fully covered midriffs, well I am ALL IN. 

If you'll recall, in prep for the big 3-0 I made a big 'ol to-do list, as I am wont to do, with 30 goals or items to achieve between September 14, 2013 and September 14, 2014. How'd I do? Let's check the list!

1. Run half marathon HAYLLL YES! COMPLETED 4/26/14

2. Pay off one credit card…put a dent in the other. YES! COMPLETED 10/4/13

3. Get a bikini wax NOPE.

4. Take photoshop or other online design course NOPE.

5. Submit something for publication. YAAAAASSSS. COMPLETED 5/30/14

6. Visit each of the 5 boroughs of NYC (I’m coming for you, Staten Island!) NOPE.

7. Do a pull-up (yes, just one. Aim high.) NOPE.

8. Find a regular volunteer program NOPE.

9. See a play on Broadway NOPE.

10. Watch The Sopranos 1.5 SEASONS. (Unpopular Opinion Alert: That show is a snooze.) 

11. Learn to shuffle cards NOPE.

12. Stop biting my nails UGH NOPE.

13. Take a trip with my mom NOPE.

14. Read outside of my comfort zone (i.e. biography, poetry, graphic novel) NOPE. WHOOPS. 

15. Visit Storm King OBVZZZZ. COMPLETED 10/6/13

16. Get Acupuncture NOPE.

17. Roast a chicken NOPE.

18. Grow a vegetable to a point where it is edible i.e. don’t kill it NOPE.

19. Zumba NOPE.

20. Host a classy, adult dinner party NOPE.

21. Add at least one more state to my list YES! Unblerghed but B&I took a trip to Maine 9/12/14. Trust me, it happened. 

22. Solve my stomach issues GROSS BUT NOPE.

23. Trapeze class NOPE. (What even was this one?!) 

24. Reconnect with an old friend (I already have one picked out! Lucky person!) HALFSIES? I've been emailing with my very first childhood friend Becky but we've yet to reconnect in person. I'm giving myself a .5 for this one. 

25. Decorate our apartment NOPE.

26. See the cherry blossoms in DC NOPE.

27. Take out my navel ring (GREAT ONE, Liz!) NOPE.

28. Make an IRL blogger connection COMPLETED sometime in December, blogged about 3/17/14

29. Hike 5 new peaks NOPE.

30. Skinnydip. ANDDDD NOPE.

 Officially, without loopholes or fudging the rules, I completed 6.5 out of 30. That's slightly over 20 %, if my math is correct...which it usually isn't...but I used a calculator so I'm feeling pretty confident. By the standards of the Common Core and most other methods of grading and judgement, 6.5 out of 30 is an epic failure.

But eff that noise. I'm chalking 29 up as a roaring success.

29 was the year I got engaged and married. The year I ran a (fast!) half marathon. The year I ate a lot of hard boiled eggs, attempted to wear red lipstick and went to a nude beach. The year I first shacked up with my boyfriend (then fiance, then husband!) and moved to Park Slope. 29 was the year I got paid to write an article - for Vogue (...ok, dot com, but whatever)! 29 was the year I saw friends get married, change jobs, move cities and get unscandalously knocked up. At 29 I drank too much wine and spent too much money on organic food and always kept my fingernails painted bright colors and totally pulled off ankle booties and almost always wore the same chambray button-down and learned - and then forgot - the difference between brie and Camembert cheeses and got 2nd place in Fantasy Football and finally found a pair of sunglasses that fit my lanky face and tried Pilates and instagrammed my food and spent time with my best girlfriends, laughing til our stomachs hurt.

29 was great. It was SPECTACULAR! I may have technically failed at most things I set out to attempt, but I'm still giving myself an A+.

So what is on my list for the next year? I have but One Before Thirty-One: Stop Making Lists.

If I've learned one thing about myself in the last 29 years, it is that I need to be a little kinder to myself. No more creating arbitrary to-do lists and then beating myself up when I don't check off every box. No more panicking over things left unfinished, milestones yet reached. No more worrying about where I should be, more focusing on where I am.

No mas!

At 29, I did only 6.5 items on my list...but then 6.5 bajillion more, without even trying. Imagine what great things I can do at 30 without all that time wasted worrying over things not done?

There are things I'd like to achieve, sure. I won't just be sitting about waiting for the world to present me with adventures. I'd still like to hike more, to move up in my job, to quit biting my nails, to run more races. I'd also like to keep writing - perhaps not more but better. Which may mean a little less of the usual business here. Blogging is fun and exciting and I love the attention, sure, but at the end of the day it's really just a hobby. And one that's maybe not as fun as it used to be. I can't tell you the number of Thursday nights into Friday morning's I've sat stressing and scrambling for "funny" content for fear of letting someone, anyone (probably just myself) down. As much as the world loves and SURELY NEEDS yet another weekly roundup of me covered in random food stains, I'd like to think I can do a little better than that. I'm not abandoning the awkwardness of it all, but just going to see what I might be able to do if I spent just half of the time I put into photographing avocado blobs into writing or reading smart content.

I hope you'll still come along with me.

But, BUT! If none of these things happen, if I don't write a word or hike a peak, if I never ever roast a chicken as long as I live- that's OK. I can trust that my time will be spent elsewhere, doing other meaningful things I haven't even though up yet.

I do think we can all agree, though, that though no one ever sees it, what with the no-crop-tops rule and all, it's really, really, REALLY time to get rid of that belly button ring.

So here's to being 30. And chill (ish). And THRIVING. 

xoxo Liz Ho

 

 

 

Another Awkward New Year: 2014!

Hey y'al! Remember me? No? Understandable! It's been about 1 million years since I last blogged (minus a few millennia which I added on for dramatic emphasis.) I barely remember how to type! Mmdfdyumme meep merp. So Happy New Year, guys! How late is too late to wish someone a HNY? A friend of mine says Martin Luther King Day, so I'm still in the game. Related: when did it become OK to use HNY as an abbreviation? I'm going to go with never and yet, here we are.  I'm having a little trouble gearing up for the New Year. I took some much needed time off from, well, life over the holidays - no wedding planning, no writing, no house cleaning, no work, no pantswearing, basically nothing productive, at all, whatsoever and it was good. Goo-ooo-OOD. But now I'm realizing I may have decompressed a scoonch too much because I'm having some difficulty um, recompressing. Is that a real word? Sure!

Exhibit A: Our Christmas Tree

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Photo taken yesterday, January 14. Maybe time to get rid of the old gal? Related...

Exhibit B: This Poinsettia

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Photo also taken yesterday, January 14. Don't worry, I pitched this. Lasted surprisingly long considering it hadn't been watered since like, Benedict was still pope.

Exhibit C: Our Kitchen Floor

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(Un)fortunately it doesn't come out suuuper clear in this photo but this floor is just COVERED in grime. It's disgusting. There is enough spilled food caked onto those tiles to end world hunger.

That was symbolism by the way, I wouldn't actually feed floor food to starving people, ok. I'm not a monster!

I am also not a mopper, apparently. GROSS.

Exhibit D: Our Wedding Website

Created over a month ago and never touched again. Zero helpful information and for some strange reason, listing that our wedding day was December 6, 2013. Congratulations, us! I hope it was fun.

Not pictured: PILES of work to do at the office, PILES of dirty laundry, PILES of money not in my bank account with nothing to show for it, PILES of wine and carbs in my mouth, PILES of tissues from the cold I can't seem to shake, PILES of me running this piles-of-stuff joke riiiiight on into the ground.

That said, I have been achieving some things. I tested out our new slow cooker. Veggie chili, in case anyone is interested, which you surely are not. I've been running a ton! For real this is one thing I'm proud of. And we're through one whole season of The Sopranos which is on my 30 Before 30 List so it counts as productive and don't you even dare try to convince me otherwise.

And that is what's going on over here. January's always kind of a rough month for me. I get sort of mopey and weird and blue.  I usually find a way to dig myself out come February and these past few weeks, I don't know. I just felt like I needed to sit back and wait and let the year start on without me. I'll catch up, I'm sure.

I chose not to make any set Resolutions for 2014 - what with the whole wedding scene (which my wedding day twin Sandra Di points out is just over 200 days away... SILENT SCREAM!) and a cool 27 items left on my 30 Before 30 List, I really don't need to take on any more goals or responsibilities.

I mean, see Exhibits A-D up there. I think I have plenty of things to deal with on the day to day.

That said, I do have two little goals I'm trying towards this year, which I guess technically means I did make resolutions after all but whatever. Semantics. I'd like to write more (LUCKY YOU!) and take some much needed care of my self in the mental health department. Anxiety, be gone! Both of these are equally noble goals - but then I had a near Tony Soprano level panic attack (it's not a spoiler if it's from the pilot...and it aired like 14 years ago) the other weekend because I felt guilty and anxious that I hadn't written in days, so I decided maybe the Write More business needed to take a little back seat (just for now!) until it came naturally.

And the lucky for everyone what came naturally was this word vomit. Go back in your cave and keep hibernating, Liz!

BASICALLY I just wanted to pop in and say hi. I'll be back with my reguarly scheduled programming this Friday but I felt like after I'd been gone for so long I needed some kind of intro? In case everyone forgot who I was? Allow me to reintroduce myself my name is Ho (bag). H to the izzo O to the baggo, I pledge allegiance to the American flaggo.

The end shut it down FOREVER.

So happy 2014, a quadrillion years late, my sweet friends. How are you all? What's new? How was your holiday? Any resolutions? Goals? Hopes? Dreams? DISASTERS?! Do tell. I may be in a (super) weird mood today but I'm so SO excited for this new year  - 2014 has so much in store for me. I'm getting married! And turning 30! And finishing The Sopranos! And, of course, dealing with that whole anxiety thing.

2014: The Year of Marriage, Milestones and Mental Health. Let's do this thing!

Step One: throw out the Christmas tree.

xoxo Liz Ho

One (Specific) Awkward Year: 30 Before 30!

Friends! Thanks to all for the sweet birthday wishes, you are some nice people. I'm already feeling older and wiser and maybe just a scoonch wrinklier, too. In the spirit of making the most of my fleeting 20's, I've decided to become a lifestyle blogging cliche and create a 30 Before 30 List - 30 things to try or accomplish before I hit the big, you guessed it 3-0. Corny, indeed, but I do love a good list and am always up for a challenge or thirty. Plus: think of all the writing material!

Also, I know what you're thinking: Liz, why don't you focus on your day-to-day lists and do things like clean your house or mail that wedding gift to your cousin who got married back in July or I don't know your job, and I hear you loud and clear on that one, and I'll definitely consider getting to those things eventually, but eh: boring. I need to reach for the stars, here before my AARP membership kicks in. (KIDDING).

I looked to a lot of other blogs for 30 Before 30 inspiration and stole a few good ones, but tried to focus on things that are actually possibly possible in the next 360 days (already losing time! OH GOD!) Much as I'd like to ride nude on the back of a great white shark off the coast of Bali, I just don't know that it is quite doable on my dwindling time frame.

Some are silly, like getting a bikini wax (why is this even a thing that people do?), some are more intangible like solving my stomach issues and some miiiight be impossible, see "run half marathon" and "pay off credit card debt." But ALL of them are happening. They are! Before September 14, 2014 the list below will be donezo and the whole world will know my name! Or I'll still be entirely unfamous but with less debt and a smoother bikini line. Nowhere to go but up, friends!

Now quickly for the wild card: Number 30. I was realllly stretching for material as we got into the high 20's here and decided it might be fun to take a little audience poll. What do YOU think I should do in this next year? I'm taking suggestions for something that is legal, not weird or perverted, not expensive (unless you're paying, in which case, I'm all ears) and maybe a bit ridiculous to add to my list. Let's hear your suggestions - the best one wins!!

And we're off. I'll do my best to document what is sure to be a THRILLING year, I sure hope you'll follow along.

30 before 30

30 Before 30

1. Run half marathon

2. Pay off one credit card...put a dent in the other. (yes I have 2 credit cards. Proud American.)

3. Get a bikini wax

4. Take photoshop or other online design course

5. Submit something for publication

6. Visit each of the 5 boroughs of NYC (I'm coming for you, Staten Island!)

7. Do a pull-up (yes, just one. Aim high.)

8. Find a regular volunteer program

9. See a play on Broadway

10. Watch The Sopranos

11. Learn to shuffle cards

12. Stop biting my nails

13. Take a trip with my mom

14. Read outside of my comfort zone (looking for suggestions, literary pals!)

15. Visit Storm King

16. Get Acupuncture

17. Roast a chicken

18. Grow a vegetable to a point where it is edible i.e. don’t kill it

19. Zumba

20. Host a classy, adult dinner party

21. Add at least one more state to my list

22. Solve my stomach issues

23. Trapeze class

24. Reconnect with an old friend (I already have one picked out! Lucky person!)

25. Decorate our apartment

26. See the cherry blossoms in DC

27. Take out my navel ring (GREAT ONE, Liz!)

28. Make an IRL blogger connection

29. Hike 5 new peaks

30. Blog Challenge!

Boom. Let's do this thing. Thanks for following along and now if you'll quickly excuse me, I have a LOT to accomplish. First stop: Trapezing! Or maybe I should just get back to work.

xoxo Liz Ho