The Big Three Oh

Tonight, I am 29, and tomorrow morning, December 1st, I will turn 30. Hot damn! That decade just flew by! The whole decade thing is not that big of a deal to me because I feel like we count things by tens only for neurological convenience… not to mention that no other animal gives a damn about the number ten.

But still…

When you reach a decade mark in your life, you can’t help but reflect on previous decades and measure expectations for the coming one. Rather than write a sappy, rambling essay about life and what my place in it is, I just wanted to sum up my three decades so far with one (run-on) sentence each and then spell out some goals on the record with the hopes that I might actually follow through on them:

Age 0-9: I was a standout wiseass in school, got in trouble quite a bit, and eventually learned to treat formalized education like a beneficial experience.

Age 10-19: My family moved from Pacific Palisades, CA to Seattle, WA, I grew to love the Northwest, and I drank my way through high school and into the University of Washington School of Business.

Age 20-29: My career focus landed decisively in advertising, design, and the creative arts, at one point I was one signature away from a nice early retirement, and now I have a great job that I love.

And that’s that.

I don’t really have any spectacular promises to make for the next ten years, but I have a few things I want to do:

  • Buy a house in the South of France. Nice would be nice. A buddy and I decided in college that we’d go in on a summer home there. My target age was 34. Time to make good.
  • Get married. (Note to self: requires girlfriend)
  • Start thinking in seven figures. We’re on the verge of another, slightly more sane, tech boom, and I plan on doing a good amount of the booming.
  • Make various unspecified health improvements. I treat my body like a temple, but only the sort of temple you’re allowed to throw concerts in occasionally.
  • Drink a lot more water. That’s an easy one. Anyone know if this is really worth it? I’ve always thought the whole “8 tall glasses of water per day” campaign was a bit of a scam.
  • Dive the top ten dives in the world. I’ve already done one in Kona, Hawaii and it was the most surreal thing I’ve ever seen — television, movies, and all other things included. I’ll take nine more of those please.

And finally, I hope that the next time one of these decade marks passes, my country will be a bit more popular around the world again. Or else, I’ll be writing you from Cascadia. :)

46 comments on “The Big Three Oh”. Leave your own?
  1. Well, since it’s already December teh 1st here, best wishes I guess!

  2. Many happy returns, Mike. I turned 30 a couple of weeks ago without a great deal of fanfare, and like you the mind turns to things that really should be accomplished before 40 comes around. Although “be the next James Bond” is off the list now.

    How many of these now apply? ;o)

  3. Rob Mientjes says:

    Congrats man. 30 is quite a number indeed. But that’s it, a number.

    Good luck with the next ten, looks like you need it ;)

  4. Sunil Shenoy says:

    Hope you do a lot more that what you have mentioned here.


  5. Aaron Jones says:

    Happy Birthday Mike! Congrats on making so many phenominal achievements at such a young age!

  6. Joshua says:

    Happy Birthday, Mike!

    Good call on Nice, it’s a beautiful part of the world :)

  7. Tudorminator says:

    Happy Birthday Mike!

    Congrats on your achievements. And very nice ‘to do’ list. I wouldn’t worry about the marriage stuff though, but the girlfriend part is definitely worth it :).

    How about learning to play a musical instrument? I’m three months away from the ‘big three oh’ and I hope I’ll be able to get myself the saxophone I’ve wanted for the past few years already. And who knows?, maybe the next decade will see us all jamming with Andrei in Bucharest’s (or Nice’s) night clubs! I for one would love it :)!

    All the best!

  8. J.D. Myers says:

    Happy 30th! On the water thing, 8 tall glasses might be a bit much, but I recently dropped all soda and replaced it with water and with just doing that I lost about 10 lbs.

  9. juque says:

    Thirty turns to the sun. Wow, I wish all the best for you.

    And for the following ten years, what do you say of traveling for South America?

    Greetings from Temuco, Chile and Feliz Cumpleaños ;)

  10. Ste Grainer says:

    Happy birthday and congratulations on attaining your third decade!

    On the topic of drinking more water, I started doing this about a year ago. (I don’t think I hit the 8 *tall* glasses mark on most days, but I drink quite a bit more than I used to.) It does help control my appetite, particularly those cravings between meals where I know I really shouldn’t be hungry. Most of the time, a bottle of water will stanch my hunger. (I’ve read in a few places that we often mistake thirst for hunger, so drinking more water is actually taking care of the real problem.)

    I find it also helps to eat several smaller, snack-like meals instead of two or three large meals. So long as your meals aren’t all simple sugars, that is. Include nuts, meat, cheese and whole grains – these things keep you full longer because they take more time for your body to process.

    And, of course, diet is only a part of the solution. Regular exercise is very important (and something that I still have a lot to work on).

    You don’t happen to have a link for the top ten dives, do you? My uncle has been getting into diving lately, and I think he’d be very interested.

  11. Mark Wubben says:

    Congrats mate! I wonder where I’ll be twelve years from now…

  12. Jay Small says:

    Is Cascadia where they invented Cascading Style Sheets?

    Oh, and I like your “instant” comment preview feature here, but FYI, I can outtype it, and I’m not the fastest typist. ;-)

  13. David Robarts says:

    I like the comment preview thing too. I can’t outtype it when I can type at about 45 WPM, my guess is that the system it is running on has a lot to do with how much it can keep up. I did just notice that it doesn’t fill in the auto-complete charaters of my name.

    I’m a firm believer in drinking plenty of water. I made a point to start drinking more water and noticed an improvement in my general feeling of well being. I even know someone whose goal was to drink two gallons a day (to keep his kidneys healthy because he was taking powerful medications). What has been most helpful to me for drinking more water is simply to always have a water bottle with me; when it’s convienient you drink it up. The only drawback is that you need to visit the restroom a little more frequently.

    I’m not a diver (though it might be nice to try sometime) and don’t really want to have a house in France, but your other goals are all goals that wouldn’t hurt me (my water drinking habbit is down a bit from what it was a few years ago). I’ve just got a few more years before I hit 30; perhaps I’ll accomplish some of those goals before 30.

    Happy Birthday!

  14. Josh says:

    Happy b-day Mike. Do you mind specifying what you meant when you said I was one signature away from a nice early retirement…? Just curious. Thanks!

  15. Mike P. says:

    Hey Commish, Happy Birthday!!

  16. Chandra says:

    Happy birthday!

    May the next decade bring you all you hope for and more!

  17. Conánn says:

    Thirty is a fun one! Within a month of 30 I desided to toss the whole career thing and learn how to paint, I got the first one figured, still working on the latter. Happy Birthday! make a mill

  18. Lance A says:

    Happy Birthday Mike!

    Get the seven figures … and the rest will fall into place. :-)

  19. J. King says:

    Happy birthday to both you and I, Mike. :)

  20. Ali Owen says:

    Many Happy Returns Mike (wow the grammar) I hope you enjoy all the fun of being that much different from yesterday ;)

    By coincidence you share your birthday with my father, who’s 46 — what are the chances eh?

  21. I turn 30 on april 7th, 2005. Man I’m getting old. Plus my wife and I have a baby on the way and it’s due May 7th. Man life is changing.

  22. Jon Hicks says:

    Happy Birthday Mike! I found turning 30 was OK, 31 was fine, but when I turned 32 a few weeks ago, it was a bit more of an issue! Doesn’t help when you have all these “12 years from now’ comments!

  23. Don says:

    Funny, you all make me feel old. Am I the only one reading this who isn’t 30 something or hoping to be someday? Every year now you will degrade twice as fast as the year before, so you better get hopping on some of those goals there Mike. Seriously, life stays fun for the next decade … I’ve been there. Happy Birthday.

  24. Well, happy birthday, Mike! I’ve just hit the third of a century mark (33 1/3) and I’ll have to say the last 3 1/3 years have been the best of my life so far, and it keeps on looking better – something I hope happens to everyone. I’ll have a drink in your honour tonight… ;)

  25. Mr Mughin says:

    brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr i wisheds u was 40

  26. Tony B says:

    Congrats. I recently turned 40. I’m a bit of a latecomer to this web design malarkey. Looks like I have some catching up to do.

    Nice site.



  27. Congrats Mike. 30 is nothing I’m already a few years ahead of you (the fun is just starting). Only a few left before the mid-life crisis starts kicking in :-p

  28. Brian Rose says:

    Happy belated birthday!

    Hmm.. I wonder where I’ll be in 11 years… One can only hope in a similar place as you are now. :)

  29. Carlos Porto says:

    I just landed on that decade last week. So as a fellow Sag, Happy belated birthday! And welcome to the 30’s.

  30. Mike D. says:

    Thanks for your good wishes everybody.

    Ste: Regarding the top ten dives, everyone seems to have a different list, but here’s the one I’ve been going off of:

    • Yongala, Australia
    • Blue Corner Wall, Palau, Micronesia
    • Thistlegorm, Egyptian Red Sea
    • Big Brother, Egyptian Red Sea
    • Navy Pier, Australia
    • Elphinstone Reef, Egyptian Red Sea
    • Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island
    • Manta Ray Night Dive, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
    • Shark and Yolanda Reef, Egyptian Red Sea
    • Great Blue Hole, Belize

    Josh: The “one signature away from retiring” line refers to when I worked at before ESPN. We were a startup company and I was employee number three. We got our first round of financing from Starbucks’ Howard Schultz at about $5 million and we were hitting on all cylinders in the summer of 2000. Disney/ESPN then entered into negotiations to purchase us for a huge amount of money that I cannot specify and it would have been very, very good for me. Instead, Howard ended up refusing the offer and asking for a ridiculously higher amount instead… at which point negotiations ended and several months later, the company folded with the rest of the dot coms. Oh the greed of the dot-com boom…

  31. Josh says:

    Thanks for answering my question Mike. Sorry you missed out on the early retirement :)

    So was that whole deal what got you associated with Disney/ESPN/ABC? (If I’m being too nosy just ignore me.)

  32. Rene says:

    Drinking not just 8 cups, but a minimum of 12 cups a day, is the single most important change anyone can do to improve their health. I know this only from my own experience, but also from my clients. The ones that drink lots of water and keep their diets very alkaline heal way, way faster, regardless of the health issue involved.

    Happy 30th!

  33. Not too shabby for an old Husky.

    Go Cougs How ’bout dem apples?

    Seriously now, happy birthday.

  34. Ran Aroussi says:

    Mazal Tov!
    I just turn 30 myself two months ago and I have to tell you, there’s nothing to it. Birthdays are celebration of the fact that we’ve somehow managed to stay alive for another year :-)


  35. Jeff says:

    You’ll be happy to know that you’re more than twice my age! In fact, you already were…

    Happy birthday, I know I’m late, sorry. :(

  36. Narain says:

    Happy Birthday Mike,

    Hope you do more than what you have listed as a wishlist.

  37. Joshua(L) says:

    Hope you enjoyed your birthday. Having been 30 for nearly a year, I’ve found the age change itself wasn’t quite as exciting as I had hoped. A lot happened this year though, a lot for the better. Hope the same for you!

  38. Bob says:

    Hey Mike. Sorry I’m a few days late, but I wish you the best.

  39. Carla says:

    Happy belated birthday! And hey, you’re a good looking guy, why don’t you have a girlfriend?

  40. Azeem Azeez says:

    Happy belated birthday man! Hope you have another decade of fun!

  41. leeland mason says:

    i am age 10 soon be 11 and it is not about age forget age it matters about your health

  42. On birthdays.

    While I was either away or lost in The Seas of Busy, Mike Davidson turned 30, I turned 27 and my friend and Inkblots alum Emily Anne Leachman also turned… Um… Something. Personally, I feel like 27 is going to…

  43. On birthdays.

    While I was either away or lost in The Seas of Busy, Mike Davidson turned 30, I turned 27 and my friend and Inkblots alum Emily Anne Leachman also turned… Um… Something. Personally, I feel like 27 is going to…

  44. […] Luulen että myynnin takana ei ole täysin rahastaminen kun menee hyvin, enkä ihan usko virallisen ilmoituksen mukainen kasvun ja hyvän levittäminen kaikkialle maailmalle, vaan näiden lisäksi Newsvinen perustajan Mike Davidsonin halusta viimeinkin perustaa se taidekoulu ranskaa. […]

  45. mike says:

    i turned 30 today. it’s 2009. there wasnt another tech boom. i eat ramen to make college payments meet. suck/

  46. Mike D. says:

    mike: Of course there was another tech boom. Slightly smaller and slightly saner, as expected.

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