It’s true that there are a thousand posts like this in the blogosphere. Here is mine.
I wrote this list acutely aware of the fact that, as I turn 38 next month, I have a ever-decreasing time frame in which to achieve all these things. With that in mind, many of the items are ‘smaller’ and more achievable; I’ll save the novel writing for the Before I’m 50 list.
When I asked friends and Mr Google for ideas, the same obvious ones came up. These include: running a marathon, climbing a mountain, swimming with dolphins, bungee-jumping/sky diving etc. Whilst I’m not totally risk averse and actually quite enjoy heights, there are many things ‘extreme’ that just don’t appeal. The List needed to be things I WANTED to do, rather than felt I had to. Plus, I avoid running on principle. It’s too trendy and bad for my knees. Besides, if nature wanted me to run it wouldn’t have built me so jiggly. Built for comfort, not for speed. There are some physical activities, I’m not totally lazy, but quite a lot can be ticked off whilst enjoying a sit down and a nice cup of tea.
Not all of the things on the list are firsts. But if I have done them before, its not been lately. There are experiences from my youth I’d like to relive before I’m scared of breaking a hip.
I have randomised the order from my original notebook so I didn’t get caught up on priorities. I go into this with a view to completing ALL items.
Without further ado….
1. Reduce to part time working: This is a serious one, and its been part of my life plan for a couple of years. I resent leaving my children as much as I do. I love them and I miss them. At the moment we can’t afford to drop a penny to meet our modest budget so I’m working all the hours, but I’ll get there.
2. Go glamping: Like, in a yurt or something. Somewhere I can sing round the campfire but still get a dry towel and charge my phone.
3. Dance until dawn: I’ve done this before, but not within the last 15 years or so. I love still being awake when the sun comes up, it makes me feel naughty.
4. Learn how to ride a bike: I can get on one, and peddle it forwards, but I’m screwed when I get to a corner. I’m not after a star turn in the Velodrome, but maybe a rental weekend and a ride in the country would be nice. Don’t judge me, I was a bookish child.
5. Host a swishing event: I’ve been looking for one to go to for YEARS in Birmingham but it appears no-one hosts them. I’m worried there’s a very good reason for that, but I’m willing to give it a go. There’s a couple of local charities I can support so I am thinking or organising it as a clothes swapping based fundraiser, maybe Autumn time as people’s wardrobes are in transition.
6. Watch all of The West Wing: I’m two seasons in, but as its not currently on Netflix its at the back of my viewing queue. Definite cold weather viewing, I’ll get on this towards the end of the year.
7. Host a radio show: No idea how to go about this one. I just want to inflict my *cough* eclectic music taste onto someone.
8. Have an overseas family holiday: I was 23 before I flew on a plane, I want my children to experience this earlier. Will be looking at Europe breaks for next summer.
9. Go on a Murder Mystery weekend: Not a night, a proper full on weekend. These ones look brilliant!
10. Publish a knitting pattern: The only knitty thing to make the list, and admittedly a little reluctantly. I felt like I had to have one in there. I suck at designing, but I should nurture my creative spirit.
11. Decorate every room in the house: This isn’t as lofty an ambition as it sounds. We only have a small house, and I’m not including the kitchen and bathroom as they were done last year. So it’s only five rooms in all, and that includes the hallway.
12. Mow a lawn: Just because I’ve never done it. We have a lawn, but it’s normally Big G’s job.
13. Learn how to play chess: Really keen to do this, cause its like, intelligent innit?
14. Read the Lord Of The Rings trilogy: I couldn’t get into the films, but I have enjoyed the Game of Thrones books, so willing to give fantasy genre another chance. I live with a LOTR geek, so I have access to all the literature.
15. Sleep under the stars: Maybe I can slip out of that yurt one night.
16. Have a boudoir photo shoot: OBVIOUSLY, I need to lose two stones first.
17. Win a TV quiz show: I now have one appearance under my belt, so the next step is to actually win one!
18. See a ballet: Since I’m not sporty, I should be cultured. Opera is a step too far, but ballet I can do.
19. Learn how to make a signature cocktail: Because a sophisticated, ballet-going lady such as I should have her own drink.
20. Restore and revive a piece of furniture: I’m thinking sanding and painting rather than replacing dovetail joints, but I’m openminded.
21. Perform on stage again: I’ve done quite a bit of amateur theatre in the past, but the time-guilt combo of career and parenting but a stop to it. I used to love it though, and hope to again.
22. Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant: Spoilt for choice in Birmingham, since we have more Michelin restaurants than any other UK city outside London. Maybe one for a special lunchtime.
23. Go bellydancing: Although generally exercise shy, I do love to dance. And I do have a belly.
24. Learn how to read Tarot: I think of myself as a healthy sceptic when it comes to all things mystical, but I do think card reading can be a useful way to self-reflect, providing you use them to clarify your own thinking and not see them as messages from the beyond.
25. Swim five lengths: As embarrassing as my cycling this one. I’m not a strong swimmer, and generally expend all my energy staying afloat. I’d love to learn a proper strong swimming technique. My daughter is a fish; I want her to see mummies can swim too.
26. Start a pension plan: So I said this list was all about WANT, but this is a NEED. Well, I have to be sensible sometimes, I am nearly 40.
27. Get a colonic: Out of nothing more than gruesome curiosity.
28. Practice basic yoga: This is something I should already be doing, I need to work harder at finding a local class.
29. Cook every recipe from a cookbook: I’ve just bought Nigel Slater’s iconic Real Fast Food, and the recipes look accessible and delicious. Unfortunately there are also over 360 of them. That’s a meal every other day. I don’t even make toast every other day. I MAY revise this down to 100 recipes. Or something.
30. Go vegetarian for one month: I did this in a half-arsed manner for Lent one year. I do worry about eating so much intensively farmed meat, and can see a veggie could be healthier for me, and almost certainly better for the earth.
31. Have my nails ‘done’ properly: My idea of a manicure is to trim my hangnails with the kitchen scissors. I see girls with glossy, glittery talons. I want a bit of that.
32. Play poker: I suck at cards, which I’m willing to accept as throughout life I have been blessed with wonderful luck in love. Poker rules feel like something I should know, though.
33. Drive on a motorway: I have a THING about driving. I need to get over myself.
34. Go to a high tea in a classy hotel: Like I said, a list of WANTS. I always want cake.
35. Read the 32 Books That Will Change Your Life: From this list here. I have a head start having read 5 or 6 of them already.
36. Plant a wildflower garden: Just because it would be so pretty! And it would mean less lawn to mow.
37. Visit Scandinavia: I hesitated to put grand travel plans, since I didn’t want budget restrictions to hamper my success. But the truth is I am woefully poorly travelled, and this is one part of the world I have long wanted to visit. It may well be a trip for my 40th as things stand.
38. Sew myself a dress: Sewing is something I feel like I should be good at given my knitting prowess, but its a skill I’ve never really nailed. I blame it on a sewing machine which has never worked properly. What do you mean, a poor workman blames his tools? (grumble, grumble).
39. Play with some kittens: I just love them, and I haven’t cuddled any for ages!! I’ve had my babies, my life is devoid of cute. I need kitten cuddles and I need them now.
40. See a West End show: I saw Les Miserables about twenty years ago. I’m due a revisit.