I have a Big Birthday coming up this year – one which ends in a 0 – but to be honest I am sort of ignoring it. Partly because I don’t really want to think about getting older, but also because the last year has been so chaotic, with the move back to the UK, single parenting for five months, getting the girls settled into new schools etc, that the thought of organising ANYTHING more than a trip to the supermarket seems just too overwhelming right now.
But today I saw one of those “40 things to do before I am 40” lists which looked…kind of fun. The blogger originally wrote the list in 2013 but was updating it to see how many she had left to do (a few, but she had completed most of them). It led me to think what I would have written on my list 5 years ago, and how many I would have completed.
Five years ago, we still had no idea a move to South Africa was on the cards. So, it’s hard to know whether some of things I might put on this list in retrospect (eg seeing wild dogs and cheetahs in the wild, going up Table Mountain, climbing a huge sand dune, visiting the highest pub in the world etc etc etc) would ever have even occurred to me. I know I would have added “write/publish a book” and “swim with whale sharks”, which have been the two things on my wish list for as long as I can remember (I have managed the first but still not the second). But what other things do I think I would have tried to do before I got to this age had I thought to write them down?
Quite frankly I have no idea! Mostly because life has a habit of changing to the extent that I have stopped trying to guess where I will be or what I will be doing be in a year’s time, let alone five years. Which makes it hard to set myself a list of tasks to do when I don’t know if I will be in a place (physically or mentally) to do them.
Not only that, but I have also been extremely lucky and already done many of the things that might make it on to this sort of a list. Learned to dive? Tick. Whale watching? Tick. Swim with dolphins (tick – and in the wild in New Zealand, rather than in an enclosed artificial environment). I’ve given birth, bought a house, been up in a hot air balloon. Star watched in the desert, visited Petra, swum at the base of the Angel Falls, slept in a hammock in a rain forest, walked on a glacier. Owned a dog, learned to make bread, started a blog.
Okay of course there are many, many more things I could put on a list that I have yet to do. But somehow I feel like I have been spoiled and perhaps I should just wait and see what life will throw at me rather than making a list which may, or may not, be achievable depending on circumstances. And which may just make me feel even more stressed when I can’t get through it (it’s bad enough just trying to get through my normal day-to-day To Do list). Additionally, there’s something slightly depressing about making a list of things you want to have done in a decade’s time: who wants to think that far ahead? When you get to this stage in life, it’s easier not to think how old you will be in ten years time.
So for now I am holding off making any kind of a list but I will continue to mull it over and see if I can come up with anything more than “re-visit Jamaica” which I decided I wanted to do after seeing a programme about the island the other evening. I’d love to hear if anyone else has such a list and, if so, what’s on it. If I do start a list I need some inspiration. Just don’t suggest anything safari related (although come to think of it, returning sans kids to Kruger really IS something I want to do at some point….then there’s all the children-free wine tours….not to mention adult-only liveaboard dive trips….hmmm, there seems to be a theme developing here….).
Hit me up – what’s on your wish list?
Photo credit: _Bunn_