My 30 before 30.

Happy Tuesday fellow Adventurers!

Surprising to no one, it turns out that 25 year old Courtney had a different focus than current Courtney (28, also known as baller-ass Courtney) (ok, maybe that isn’t an official nickname, or like, a nickname at all, but still, I’m pretty proud of the Courtney I am today, so baller-ass it is!)

Sorry.  Tangent.

My point is, as I look at my 30 before 30 list, I see many that I just don’t care about.  I feel like as each year adds on to my earthly experience, I grow more comfortable with my mercurial way of life.  I used to berate myself for changing interests and focus so often.  “Why aren’t I like SO GOOD at running?” OR “Why don’t I buckle down and obsess over crocheting until I am THE BEST EVER!?”

The fact is, I am a very curious person and I like that about myself.  That means that I have many interests.  I love trying new things and as time goes by, I am less and less intimidated to do so.  So yes, sometimes I walk away from certain activities that I have started (ahem, crossfit, crocheting, clubs), BUT I know that the things I continue to do and continue to participate in, I LOVE (yoga, writing, acupuncture, cashew butter….)

And in the mean time, I get to explore this beautiful, diverse world and dip my toes into the waters of new experiences.

So yeah, I have a lot in my hobby graveyard, but I also am confident that I am open-minded.  I am getting more comfortable saying yes and trying stuff out.  Someone’s got to put the adventure in CourtneyLand, right?

Getting back to my 30 before 30.  Well, I’m going to edit that sucker! Yep, and I’m not going to feel bad about it.

If you have any ideas of stuff to tack on there, I am open to suggestions!

Big hugs,

Courtney ❤

25. be in a flash mob

25.  be in a flash mob.

For this task, I couldn’t just wait around and expect someone to put something together, so I took matters into my own hands!

The truth is, I had been thinking about this one for a long time.  I would drive to my nursing courses and a song would come onto the radio…and off my mind would wander.  I dreamt about our pinning ceremony (nursing graduation) and a speech that turns into something more, something unexpected.

I kept this to myself for a while, then jokingly brought it up to some of my friends in class.  “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we suddenly broke into dance during pinning???”

And to my surprise, they locked eyes with me, and said, “Oh my gosh, we have to do that.”

And so it began.

It became the pet project of my friend Danielle and I.  We slowly took it to various classmates and pitched it to them.  We wanted to make our pinning FUN, a true celebration of all of our hard work.

We were amazed at how many people were into it.  We were amazed at how well our classmates could dance.  We were amazed at how much flippin’ fun we had.

Danielle and I pitched song ideas to a group of enthused classmates and settled on “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats.  Yeah.  Awesome.

We dedicated three days to choreographing it.  We sought out moves from YouTube, Danielle’s zumba class, and our own freestylin’ ways.

For MONTHS, we secretly met at a park and practiced.  We set standing practice times for people to show up, and you know what? They did.

Our classmates rocked!  They worked so hard to get it down.  We collaborated with the engineering and sound department of the school to arrange the music and we were ready.

The main challenge became figuring out when to do it during the ceremony.  The nursing faculty had a tight grip on things.  We ended up signing me up to give a speech, wrote a brief intro to it, and added in a cue for everyone to take their place.

We titled it: Doing the Safety Dance: Improving Outcomes and Finding your Rhythm

Bahaha.  We thought it was hilarious.

When the time came, we did awesome.  No one had a clue what was going on.  The staff, our families, and the audience was surprised.  We had so much fun.

And to top it off, our classmate Mary got us all yellow “high falls risk” socks to wear during the dance.  If you’ve ever been in or worked in a hospital, you know patients wearing yellow socks are considered a high falls risk.  It is a little sign for staff to keep an extra eye out to ensure their safety.  So it was only appropriate that we all wore them during our safety dance.

So here it is!  In case the video doesn’t load here, HERE is the link to the YouTube video my friend Greg posted.

I am still amazed we did it all and pulled it off. What a celebration.  I am so grateful to have been in such an incredible nursing class.   Rockstars, all of them.

23. learn to change a tire

Yeah I did!  I learned big time!

A couple of weeks ago, I went camping in Yosemite and while driving home, I got to talking to my Dad about this very list!  I told him a handful of items I could remember (30 things is a lot to think up on the fly, particularly when you are already distracted by the excessive number of itchy mosquito bites you have ALL OVER).

He thought it sounded interesting and offered to teach me how to change a tire.  So yesterday, I headed over to his house, got my hands dirty, and changed a tire!!!

People, it was wonderful.

Seriously, it was so nice, I could get teary-eyed about it.  Yes.  I know.  How do you know you are a cryer?  When thinking about changing a tire makes you sentimental….

I got to spend time with just me and my Dad.  I could tell he was excited to teach me something and I realized that I was really excited to learn.  Crouching down next to his car, listening to all of his tips about navigating car maintenance, I felt good.  I felt like the loving, kind daughter I want to be.  And this may seem out of place in a post about changing a tire, but it is what happened.  I got to listen to my Dad and respect his knowledge.

We worked on the car together and after successfully jacking it up (literally, not in the way that I ruined anything) and removing the tire: we cleaned the brakes, checked the rotors, compressed the brake cylinder, changed the two brake pads, and put the tire back on!!!

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HOO-RAHH!!!

You know when cars make that horrendous screeching sound while braking?  My Dad taught me about the little metal tab that sticks out  on the brake pads that does that!  He said that if that sound starts up, it is like a warning sound that your pads are getting low.  On the ones we changed, the pads still had about a quarter of an inch of pad left soooo, it does NOT mean that the pads are totally worn and the metal on the pad is gouging your rotor with each press of the brake pedal!  Mind bomb.

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Now of course, if your car is screeching, check your own pads and rotors to make sure that is what is going on.  I don’t want anyone to be like ‘its cool, I read in a blog once that my brakes are totes fine…’ then something awful happens.  So get acquainted with your car, work with someone who knows what they are doing, and get it checked out by someone experienced / trained.

Today, I feel better knowing how to change my tires, should the need occur.  I will save on Triple A and feel better when I am driving through areas with no cell reception / a dead phone.  Because Murphy’s Law knows that if my tire is going to blow, it would totally be in Po-Dunk, Nevada right next to a scary meth den.  And no one wants to knock on that door for help.

I am loving doing things on this list.  I have a few more posts to add – it has been a busy Summer!!!  Had I not set out to learn how to change a tire, I would have never spent that time with my Dad and gained from his experience like I did.

Oh, and Zo came too!

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Look at her sweet face in her little car seat!  I can’t handle it!!!!

Have a great day!  Fix your car!  Cuddle your pup!

Courtney

24. write a gratitude journal, update frequently

Good morning! Or afternoon! Or night! Whenever you happen to be reading this.

I mention gratitude pretty frequently here, mainly because it has become critical part of my day to day life.

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Gratitude is a powerful force, it is able to pull me out of pity and reveal to me that I do, in fact, love my life.  We are all human, (unless you are a primate, participating – probably unwillingly – in some internet training experiment, in which case, welcome friend.  And thank you for your contribution to science).  Anyways, we are all (most likely) human, and sometimes life gets stressful.

Personally, when I am in a period of stress and strife, my perspective is tunnel-visioned on the negative.  I see what is wrong, what I need to do, what other people are doing wrong (oy – I’m eye rolling myself on this)…all in all, it is a very skewed vision of my life and of reality.

Taking a moment to take inventory of some things I am grateful for, helps open my eyes to my actual reality.  And nearly 100% of the time, I feel revived and my time spent in the pity pot is cut short.

So, when I made my 30 before 30 list, I knew gratitude had a place on it.

I wanted a gratitude journal.  I had heard of this before by some very wise friends of mine.  It is a small journal, where I can randomly jot down things I am grateful for.  During a difficult day, I can look back and read some of my entries.  It sounded like a pretty wonderful thing to have.

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Awhile back, I won a prize package from one of my favorite artists, Leigh Standley of Curly Girl Design.  She creates her pieces by hand, then works with production and distribution companies to have them translated into products like cards, journals, wall hangings, etc.

One of the journals included in my happy little prize was just the ticket!

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I have mainly kept it on my nightstand.  I usually update it a few times during the week, writing in a couple of entries at a time before hitting the sack.

They are mainly simple things like, “The smell of summer coming,” and, “Clean water.”

Many of them are about the people in my life, about the little things they do that I love and appreciate.  Great hugs, play with Zo, give encouragement, singing to Wilson Phillips.  It is filled with love.

I am sure that many of this little blips of memories would be washed out of my mind had I not written them down.  It is nice to read back and remember the small moments that bring me so much joy.

14. donate blood

Check check, checkity check.

I am checking off my first item on my 30 before 30 list!  It is numero 14.  Donate Blood.

Now, I have always wanted to donate blood (well, not always.  I mean, I wasn’t like a 4 year old dreaming of blood donation, but still the desire to do it has been around a while).  I have also always been pretty skittish when thinking about it.  I knew it was a good thing to do, that it would be easy and that it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought.  Buuut, I also knew that each time I really thought about it I would get shaky, my hands would become uncomfortably moist (uncomfortable for me and anyone around me sharing pens/doorknobs/gloves/etc.) and all of the blood in my arms would shunt into my torso out of sheer terror.

Pretty ridiculous, right?  I thought about it and I have been under general anesthesia five times!  Then, three of those were also multiple night hospital stays.  So I have had IVs before.  I’ve had tons of blood drawn! (Not literally, that would be horrifying if a TON of blood was taken…..and impossible…i think?)  Anyways, my point is, needle sticks aren’t new, but still, I was nervous.

I kept hearing about this large, annual blood drive the local radio stations put on with United Blood Services.  It sounded pretty awesome.  There would be food, prizes, raffles, a photobooth…. Awesome.  And especially awesome if you are a lady on a tight budget like myself.  And of course, apart from all of the recreational reasons, I would be doing something good, something that would help not just one other person, but three.

So I did it.  I was still nervous, so I asked for help.  I put the call out to some friends and had so much support!  As silly as I felt telling people how nervous I was, it was true.  When I was honest about my feelings, friends told me about their experiences, both positive and negative.  Then two others joined me the day of to participate.  One friend has already donated over ten gallons of blood!!! Holy moly!  It was so comforting being with a pro.  My other friend was a newbie like me, but much less nervous.  She stayed by me, distracting me while I pretended that I didn’t have a left arm and didn’t want to look to my left and didn’t think that anything existed on the left side of me anyways so why would I even want to look over there?!?!?!

I may have been a little dramatic….or silly.

Anyways, the happy chat was great and in 9 minutes, my pint bag was a STUFFED with my happy, healing blood and I was free to enjoy some super kickass refreshments.  I’m not talking about just juice and cookies here.  There were sandwiches from local delis, bagels and schmear from Einstein’s and the tastiest mini buttermilk bars ever!  My friends and I snacked and then took a photo in the photobooth to commemorate the occasion.

So I have to say, not only were my friends great, but the pro’s at United Blood Services were awesome.  They were all cheerful and funny.  I ran into three friends who all work there.  They encouraged me some more and we got to joke around.  The guy that inserted my needle and tube was crazy good!  Seriously.  I barely felt the needle prick my skin and in like 12 seconds I was taped and donating away!

I will absolutely donate again.  It was such a positive experience, made better by good friends and skilled phlebotomists.

My actual reaction!!!

I am thrilled to kick off this 30 before 30 experience with this!  It was just something small, but was scary for me and it feels great to take that first step.  So that’s how I’ll do it, just one step at a time.

Courtney

My new list

I want my right now to be beautiful, adventurous, interesting and fun.  I want to give myself goals and achieve them.  Not just school goals or work goals or financial goals, but fun/silly/important/soulful goals that direct me in a way that I want to live my life.

I was inspired by a friend who made a list of 25 things to do before she turned 25.  As we sat and spoke about it, I couldn’t help thinking of what I would put on a list if I made one. I realized I had some lofty things in mind and some limited free time (nursing school dominates).  So I decided to give myself five years.  I would write a list, 30 before 30, and work over the next five years to accomplish the tasks.

I am excited.  I have already begun!  I have added a new ‘page’ to my blog to showcase my pretty little list.  Some things may sound vague just because they aren’t suitable for the entire internet to view (nothing embarrassing, just personal).

a bit-o-inspiration:

As I accomplish things, I will talk about them here!  Here’s to new challenges and adventures.

Courtney