30 Things For Before 30


I’m 29 today. 29 feels younger and more fun than I would have thought a decade ago. 29 kind of feels like the beginning of the big time, whatever that means. (Honestly, I think I thought 10 and 16 and 21 and were the beginning of the big time, too...so maybe it’s a perspective thing.)

Either way, I’m excited to be 29. I told some friends this week that I’m starting to get a picture of the kind of grown up I want to be and am turning out to be. And ya know? I really like her. She’s not perfect, but she feels right. She’s very Rachel.

This list isn’t about any specific thing or theme in particular...it’s just a list of things I want to be true about grown up me. Specifically, 30 year old me (which will be 365 days from now). So here it is: 30 things for before 30.

Cheers to the last year of my roaring twenties. Roared, they have.

  1. Have a tried-and-true skincare routine. No one cared about their skin at sixteen, but by now you should. Take your make-up off, tone, and moisturize. At least.

  2. Be able to do your every day makeup routine in 5 minutes or less. 

  3. And know which products you’re willing to splurge on (there should only be a couple). Save money on the rest.

  4. Be a member of a church and be invested in it.

  5. Solidify your personal style. Not that this won’t change over the years--it certainly will. And you, a fashionable and updated woman, will move with the trends. But don’t move with all of them. Know what styles you look best in and what makes you feel like a million bucks, and fill your closet with mostly those things. Let 80% of the fads come and go.

  6. Go to the symphony or the theatre or the opera a couple of times a year, at minimum. Cultivate an appreciation for the fine arts.

  7. Start to get an idea of who are your forever people. 

  8. Have a week’s worth of quick dinner recipes that you know mostly by heart and can whip up in 30 minutes or less. 

  9. Appreciate the body you exist in. Right now is the best it’s going to look because, let’s face it, age isn’t quite just a number.

  10. Have a go-to cocktail. You know, so that you don’t look like an idiot when you get up to a crowded bar and stumble over your words when trying to order from a harried bartender. Be able to say, swiftly and with a coy smile, “Gin and tonic, please.”

  11. Know your favorite wine (pinot noir).

  12. Related to the above: know your booze limits and adhere to them. Hangovers should be a thing of your past by now. 

  13. Know what fills you up. Whether it’s watercolors or writing or a good book or a pedicures or cleaning your house. Know how to refresh your soul (and make time for it).

  14. Memorize some scriptures for rainy days. 

  15. And sunny days.

  16. Be confident enough to leave the house in basically-pajamas and no make-up...but don’t do it all the time. There’s no reason to look like a slob. But also, remember when you were fifteen and got up a whole ~lewk~ just to go to the movies? It’s nice that those days are over.

  17. Save money. This is not a thing I did in my early twenties. I wish I had, because it would have set me up better for now...when Josh and I are thinking about a house and a family and traveling and all the sudden I’m thinking “I spent too much money on Chick-fil-A when I could have been saving”.  But c'est la vie…no time like the present!

  18. Try to keep at least one houseplant alive without your husband’s help.

  19. Have a subscription to a news source. Read it at least once a week.

  20. Own a bathing suit you feel sexy in. There is nothing better than lounging by the water and feeling like a total fox. 

  21. Always use sunscreen. You don’t need tan now more than you need no wrinkles later.

  22. None of your underwear should have holes or stains. If they do, get new ones. Have 3-4 pairs of black undies to wear during your *time*.

  23. Travel. Go to Europe or go across a single state line. But make time and spend money to get out of your routine and see the world from a different angle. It will make you feel small in the best way.

  24. Be a person who prays for people. Not a “thoughts and prayers” person...a person who gets on her knees and earnestly petitions on behalf of those she loves. 

  25. And be the kind of person who trusts God to answer.

  26. Be confident about what you like. Interior decorating, food, style, movies, or how you want to spend a Friday night. Have an unapologetic opinion.

  27. Find a new thing to love about your husband once a week.

  28. Have 5 favorite books that you can recommend to a friend (or a brand new acquaintance). It’s good to be well read. (Little Women, The Horse and His Boy, Persuasion, Bread and Wine, Johnny Tremain)

  29. Make a practice of inviting people into your home. 

  30. Know Jesus better at the beginning of each year than you did at the beginning of the last.