A couple of weeks ago I read an article in the paper called ‘Thirty things to do before your thirty’ which got me thinking. The article itself wasn’t that great as it was populated by mainstream expectations such as buy a house, settle down, earn x amount of money etc but it did get me thinking about my own list. Annoyingly I’m 34 already, so my list goes up to forty. Time flies when you are having fun.
1. Give a speech in front of thousands of people
2. Complete the Three Peaks Challenge
3. Set up and run my own business
4. Visit every continent in the world
5. Learn to play guitar
6. Perform stand-up comedy
7. Learn to windsurf
8. Bungee jump off a bridge
9. Fly a plane
10. Complete a triathlon
11. Go scuba diving
12. Write a novel
13. Become fluent in Spanish
14. Go to the opera
15. Play a part in a play
16. Learn how to meditate
17. Learn to ride a motorbike
18. Ride a jet ski
19. Take singing lessons
20. Learn to salsa
21. Learn how to use an SLR camera
22. Paint and sell a painting
23. Volunteer for a development project abroad
24. Make a short film
25. Win an award
26. Live in a foreign country for six months or more
27. Go on a silent retreat
28. Get a tattoo
29. Become a coach
30. Go go-karting
31. Climb Kilimanjaro
32. Write a non-fiction book
33. Run a retreat
34. Fall in love
35. Create and sell an e-course
36. Write a song
37. Detox for a week
38. Cycle the Camino de Santiago
39. Ride in a hot air balloon
Writing this list really did get me thinking. Firstly it made me realise how many things I’ve been talking about doing for years and haven’t yet done. Once I’d put those down I then had to spend some time thinking about what else I’d really like to have done or achieved by the time I hit my 40th birthday.
Time waits for no man
Writing this list has also scared me on a number of levels. Firstly It’s made me realise that I am six years away from being 40, which is just crazy and it’s also made me realise that if I want to achieve everything on this list, I’m going to have to complete between 6 and 7 things a year, every year, for the next six years, that feels like an awful lot.
But I’m not so scared that it would put me off – I like a challenge and I think this is one I can handle.
What dreams are made of
The biggest thing that writing this list has brought home to me is that if I don’t take steps towards doing these things, then this list isn’t a to do list, it’s a wish list. I don’t wish for these things to happen, I know that to achieve many of them will take bloody-minded determination and hard slog.
I hear people all the time talking about their dreams and their wishes in a wistful way as if they are already resigned to the fact that they will never happen. The definition of wistful is ‘having or showing a feeling of vague or regretful longing.’ Not a feeling I’m comfortable with.
I’m not sure how common or how strange this is, but I think about my deathbed a lot and I’m 100% committed to not lying in it with a heap of regrets. We only get one shot at life and it is fleeting, 80-90 years if we’re lucky and I don’t want to waste a second of it feeling wistful.
Over to you
“There are only 39 things on your list!” I hear you cry. I know, I know, there is a good reason for this. After I put all of the things I’ve already talked about doing on the list and then thought about what else I’d like to do, I was left with one slot. I sat and thought hard about what that 40th thing should be but I started to feel like whatever I came up with was just something to fill a space rather than something I would really love to do and then I had an idea.
I’d like to throw it over to you, my readers and ask for suggestions for the 40th item on my list. I’m sure there are some amazing things that I just haven’t considered and so I’d love to hear what people think. Maybe it’s something that you’ve done yourself or maybe it’s something you’d love to do. It could even be something that you don’t think you would dare to do and maybe, just maybe, I’m crazy enough to do it.
Do you have a list? Have you actually written it down or is it in your head? Do you have a deadline? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you and if you’ve enjoyed the post please do share using the buttons below.