It was my birthday the other week. It’s been such a strange year for us all, but I had hoped, some might say naively, that come November I might end up with quite a normal birthday, (especially for me since a normal birthday is just going out for the day with my husband and eating lots of food!). Our initial plan was to take our camper van to East Anglia, what actually happened was a last minute lockdown announcement. My birthday turned into a much quieter affair.
Faced with 3 weeks off work and no where to go, I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself, so aside from some arts and crafts, reading, walking the dog and watching Netflix, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.
In three years, I’ll hit the big 4-0. 40 seems a strange age. Before I turned 30, it felt like my whole life was ahead of me, I’d just got my dream job, I had moved to a new county, a relationship had ended but I was loving the dating life – everything had so much promise. In my teens and twenties I never thought that much further than obtaining my dream job, getting married and starting a family. It’s the Hollywood dream of the happily ever after, but seriously, what happens after that? When you’ve met your career goals, when you’ve married your soul mate, when you’re doing your best to start that family? (thats a whole other blog post!).
Age is often said to be just a number, but ages also exist to mark milestones and let you take stock of your life and where you’re at. The past couple of years have been very stressful for me, with my anxiety and depression causing a huge impact on my life, but now I have strategies and coping mechanisms that seem to be working to keep the black dog at bay, I feel determined to try and achieve something with the last few years of my thirties.
It may seem premature, but I decided to write a 40 things before 40 bucket list. We all know how much I love a list, and actually I find them extremely helpful. When I was signed off with anxiety in 2018, a list I made was a key contributor to me getting better, and even now for little things like getting the housework done, I am always more successful with a list to cross off as I go along.
I want a list that not only enables me to have fun and achieve some general life goals, but also a list that sets me up for that stage in your life after the Disney ending. A list thats puts me in a position to enjoy my middle years and find my niche for the future.
40 b4 40
- Go to Norway
- Finish My Cornish Camino
- Empty all the stuff I have left at my parents
- Organise all said stuff
- Finish The Quilt
- Hold a murder mystery night
- Complete a weekly random act of kindness
- Raise £400 for charity
- Go on a writing retreat
- Earn some money from writing
- Carry on writing my novel
- Wild camp
- Buy our own house
- Have a garden suitable for relaxing, and growing our own vegetables
- Mount and hang all of our pictures
- Take the camper van to east anglia and explore
- Put all pictures in albums/ scrap books
- Have a wardrobe that’s 90% sustainable
- Carry on living as plastic free as possible
- Belong to/ start a successful book group
- Read 100 books
- Complete my RCN ED framework
- Have a holiday with my mum every year
- Finish the date night box with Matt
- Continue volunteering for mental health and environmental causes
- Have a ‘yes’ day
- Donate blood
- Help Matt with his business a day a week
- Meet the Queen and/ or David Attenborough
- Complete the Dartmoor scratch map
- Wild swim 12 times
- Get to my ideal weight
- Finish a C25K
- Travel to a different continent
- Send birthday cards to friends and family, on time!
- Empty all email inboxes
- Close old email subscriptions and update passwords
- Walk 1000 miles
- Meat free Mondays
- Finish all my craft projects before I buy anything new
Forty things before 40, and I’ve got 3 years, how hard will it be? Keep checking back to see my progress!