10 before 26

I reached the 7-month mark for my 25th year yesterday. This is the same day I read a blog post by my good friend, Julie, about 26 things she wants to do before she turns 27. Julie is an incredible artist and has the ability to be both bohemian and a pragmatist at the same time. She got married this year and bought a house with her new husband and has started to get quizzed about when she and her new hubby are going to have kids.
Her reaction to these new questionings was about the same as mine, which is to say, a bit of horror and queasiness at the same time. In all honesty I cannot wait to be a mom. I love the idea of kids and I love the idea of a family with Andy. But my chest tightens every time I think about these non-existent little ones and the impact they’ll have on my life.
My mom didn’t have me until she was 36 and in my mind I was always going to wait until my late 30s to have kids. Then I met Andy and my whole plan got radically shifted owing to the big age difference between us. Now we’re looking at about 6 years earlier than my mom, which means I could be poppin’ out a baby in 5 years.
For me, life feels like it will be split into two eras BK and AK (Before Kids and After Kids). AK feels like there are a lot great experiences that involve removing training wheels, school pageants, watching eyes widen at natural wonders, and teaching. It also feels like there will be a lot of tears by myself and the Ks, dirty hands, dirty cups, lots of clutter, screaming, and more unpleasantness. It when I think of stuff like that that I just want to put a steel-reinforced door on my uterus and keep it from ever happening.
But then I hold sweet babies and point out colors and think about Andy holding a baby and the giant wrecking ball comes in and takes out that steel-reinforced door. Good thing I have good insurance on it.
The BK era seems to be getting shorter, faster than it was just a few months ago and I’m starting to get anxious that my dreams of fabulous world travel and long, leisurely days of reading and cooking are fast disappearing. Though they already were because of the turn life has taken.
So in an effort to take back some control and feel like my goals are prevalent, I’m constructing my own X Before Y list, except since I’m more than halfway through my year, I’m making it less than half as long so I don’t lose my mind.
Here it is!
1. Organize my studio
2. Finish the painting I started for my mom’s 60th  birthday
3. Teach a basic personal finance class
4. Make homemade froyo once a month
5. Read 4 personal finance books
6. Run another 5K
7. Create a quarterly newsletter for Artistic Financial Planning
8. Plan a vacation outside of Washington
9. Go through my closet
10. Meditate for a minute a day
Some of these will be easy to do (4, 5, 6, 9), while others will be a real doozy (10!!!!).
Do you have any X Before Y lists? Share something you’d like to accomplish before a major milestone.
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2 Responses to 10 before 26

  1. I think many of my goals must happen BK, if kids happen at all. 🙂 Here's what I have so far: http://www.thepumpkinwife.com/p/longer-than-life.htmlI find it terrifying that life seems to stop for so many people — and finding examples of where that hasn't happened is difficult. I love your description of how you "just want to put a steel-reinforced door on [your] uterus and keep it from ever happening." Man, do I ever understand! Yet at the same time, I get the other side. The best work in my life has involved children–the most challenging and the most rewarding. In working with them, I have come to love the open minds, the curiousity, the laughter, and the tears. They need the work–need so much love and support and direction–that I am terrified by even the thought of needing to provide that for another. I am, however, heartened by people who enter AK willingly and openly, with awareness and supports in place to help them. A long rant, but you have my x before y list…and after y list, too. 🙂

  2. Verhanika says:

    I love that your list is so all encompassing and involves so much travel. I had a great talk with my mom where she said her best experiences happened not in spite of children but because of her children. Wanting to take great travel adventures, go to museums and cultural events more often and share great food were all because she wanted to share those experiences with her kids while she still could. She said her BK, while rich and beautiful, pales in comparison to her AK. Hearing that made me feel great.

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