26 Before 26: a Retrospective

Last year I started a list of 26 things I wanted to complete before my 26th birthday. I thought if I had a finite list of things, I’d be motivated to cross the items off one by one. In the middle few months, life and work got crazy and I lost focus. However, I still was able to complete items I certainly wouldn’t have otherwise. With my 26th birthday come and gone, here’s a retrospective on my progress and how I plan to continue with my venture.

Things I completed:

Took a weekend trip to Sedonalink
Read and returned all borrowed bookslink
Got a record playerlink
Saw Fountains of Wayne in concertlink
Reconnected with an old friendlink
Replaced master bathroom showerlink
Watched The Godfatherlink
Organized the garagelink
Digitally organized and archived all photoslink
Lost 15 poundslink
Learned to properly cook a steaklink
Created wedding books for my parents and in-lawslink

Things in progress:

Replace guest bathtub — Materials purchased and ready to be installed in May.
Host a poker night — Poker chips and table are ready, interest has been shown, date to be set soon.
Reduce my private debt by one fourth — I’ve set up a timeline and payment plan and have already made my first payment. I should be debt-free in a couple years.
Refresh and customize an old piece of furniture — I have the piece already, but have been agonizing over what paint color to use.

Things I still plan on completing:

Paint the kitchen cabinets — Just waiting for a long weekend so I can do it all at once. I may try the bathroom cabinets first as a test run.
Have a smores party — We plan to put in some grass, a fire pit, and a nice seating area in the backyard. Then, smores for everyone.
Paint a picture for myself — I have a few commissions lined up, but will soon after begin painting more for myself.
Learn how to change a tire — Someday…
Take a city tour of Phoenix — Of all the tours I researched, the Town Lake segway tour sounds the most fun. May have to wait till fall for the best weather.

Things I don’t plan on completing:

Build a piece of furniture — Too many tools to buy and too much work. I’d much rather spend time browsing antique stores!
Try snowboarding again — Last time I was in snowy climate, I found every excuse not to go snowboarding. Too expensive, too scary, and too much prep. I’ll stick to wakeboarding and warm weather.
Take a pottery class — My dad and I are going to take a printmaking class instead. Fun!
Stay up all night and watch the sun rise — I’m just too old for this, ha!
Buy a nice set of dishes and flatware — I actually shopped around for these, priced everything, and then decided I’d rather spend my money on other things. Our IKEA plates and Target flatware are good enough for us.

While I didn’t complete most of my list, I still feel great about it. One of my resolutions this year was to complete more projects I start. I loved the process and now am considering some larger, more difficult items for my 30 before 30 list.

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