30 Dec 10 Things I’m Grateful I Did Before I Settled Down
Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. Mine was, as it always is, chaotic.
I had, as expected, zero time to do anything moms of the 1980s seemed to have time to do (ahem, shopping!). So I purchased most all of my presents online. I made it to Crate & Barrel just once to get a few little do dads, but that was about it.
A lot of good things happened, though: 1.) I got to spend a ton of time with my mom, dad, brother, and his baby girl. 2.) My husband and son were super sweet. 3.) I was reminded how lucky I am to have such cool inlaws.
Yet, as time is of the essence, I can’t help but think about all of the things I would never have time to do now — from traveling to other countries to playing weekly shows with a band. And to anyone in their 20s and early 30s who wants to marry and breed, these are things that have contributed, ultimately, to my satisfaction. I don’t feel like I didn’t missed out on much.
And now, the top ten things I am grateful I did before I “settled down”:
- Traveled to London in 2001, on a whim, to see my friend Jason. And I hit up Amsterdam on the same trip (what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam).
- Enjoyed a trip to Paris with my whole family, and to Scotland, with my parents.
- Toured the East Coast (twice!) for two weeks — once solo and once with my band. Speaking of bands, I had about six of them. Grandma’s Mini, which I formed in 1999 with Ann Brandstadter, was my first one!
- Dated a lot of interesting, and not so interesting, dudes. Made for good writing inspiration (“Eggs” and “S&G” are two of my best tunes).
- Lived in four culturally rich, interesting, and diverse cities — Washington, D.C., New Orleans, La., Chicago, Ill., and Brooklyn, N.Y. Perhaps that’s why, on some days, Fairfield, Conn., seems so suburban.
- Enjoyed dozens of media/magazine/rockstar parties as a super-connected, music-arts writer living in New York. I can’t believe I actually felt “old” at 29!
- Wrote for dozens of major media outlets while living the freelance lifestyle in Brooklyn. As in Brooklyn, N.Y., where everyone cool lives or aspires to live.
- Attended graduate school at Northwestern University and was only one of 20 students accepted to the magazine journalism program. Ah, magazines …
- Accidentally discovered a second career I am passionate about — guitar teaching — through chance encounters and volunteer work.
- In 2006, after a soccer match on the west side, swung by Dorothea’s super-fun birthday party. There, I happened to meet the man who would ultimately become my husband. It took two years for me to see he had all the qualities I ever really needed in a man, but I’m so glad I saw the light eventually.
Ok, so, I never got to study abroad or backpack across Europe. I’ve yet to record and produce an amazing, full-length album, though I do have a sub-par album and a smattering of perfectly recorded singles. I am only 60 percent through my novel, and I cannot imagine when there will be enough time to finish it (see previous entry). There’s still some stuff left to do. But today I have a dream for a son, incredible guitar students, and an amazing writing career (though I’m less than perfectly prolific when it comes to my personal stuff, or so it seems). I also own an adorable little house with said husband.
Life is, ultimately, about experiencing amazing things. What have you done? And what are you holding back from doing?