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41 things to do before i turn 42

June 12, 2016

Last year I turned 40, an event that was partially eclipsed by Wren’s impending birth, which meant that I missed out (opted out) on the whole turning-forty-birthday-bash thing. To be fair, I’m not a shindig kind of girl, but because I didn’t mark the event with some kind of massive celebration, I sometimes forget that I actually am… 40. That is, was 40. Yesterday I turned 41, so now I’m technically, properly, unequivocally, in my forties.

I thought I would mark this birthday with a list, because a girl’s gotta have something to strive for, right? Last time I did one of these I was 38 and only managed to check a handful of things off the list. Many of these unchecked items have been transferred to this new list; others have simply lost their luster.

So here we go. A fresh year. In the next 365 days, I hope to accomplish the following:

  1. Swim in the Mediterranean sea
  2. Switch back to an 80 percent vegetarian diet
  3. Start each day with fresh turmeric tea
  4. Read 25 books by the end of 2016
  5. Start baking again, without refined sugar
  6. Apply for my Canadian passport
  7. Make Sundays digital detox days (excluding blog posts)
  8. Start a happiness project
  9. Run a marathon
  10. De-clutter my phone: compile footage into monthly videos and organise/delete photos
  11. Find a fulfilling job
  12. Take Wren to a music festival
  13. Write more letters
  14. Create a personal coffee table book of our travels
  15. Go camping and hiking at least once
  16. Start a daily meditation practice
  17. Develop a roll of film every month
  18. Buy a fire extinguisher
  19. Start a private blog for Wren
  20. Go to a car boot sale in search of old mismatched picture frames, make a photo wall
  21. Take a driving lesson in London
  22. Make elderflower cordial
  23. Write a book (Ok. Let’s be realistic. Write the outline of a book and the first chapter)
  24. Buy a new bike or fix my old bike, get a seat for Wren and start cycling again
  25. Read a Jane Austen novel (I know, shocking that I haven’t already)
  26. Grow a garden
  27. Get an article published on Huffington Post
  28. See the northern lights
  29. Watch Casablanca
  30. Go strawberry picking
  31. Finish the baby blanket I started knitting before Wren was born
  32. Go away for a weekend with my husband sans kid
  33. Learn to speak basic Italian for our Tuscany trip this September
  34. Go to a taping of the Graham Norton show
  35. Cook an Italian meal with fresh market produce in Italy
  36. Keep blogging once a week and write a post that gets 5,000 hits (hey, why not?)
  37. Write a letter to my 50-year-old self to open on 11 June 2025
  38. Donate blood
  39. Take a Guardian masterclass
  40. Learn to Salsa dance with Joe
  41. Go to bed earlier, get more sleep
  42. Bonus. Try to get through this Hygge list this winter.

I recognise that this is a SUPER ambitious list, especially with an infant, but this past year has been completely focused on motherhood and although I suspect the next two decades of my life will also be centred around my kid, it’s important that I keep growing as a person and that I do things for myself so that I can be the best mom possible. Hell, I’ll be chuffed if I even manage to knock ten things off this list. As Norman Vincent Peale said: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Alison permalink
    June 12, 2016 2:04 pm

    I love when you make lists like this. You always were and are a master list maker and I envy that ability. Some of us (me) just wander through life turning left and right without any clear idea of where to go and what to do. I can see you checking a lot more off of this list than you think you will. I know I definitely want video of you and Joe doing the Salsa. 🙂 Of course the very first thing you have to do is buy the fire extinguisher. Molto importante. And I’m surprised you still have the urge to strawberry pick after all that work you did in the fields. 🙂 I do truly hope you find a “fulfilling” job. Not just one that pays the bills but one that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and head to ??? Something that allows you to use your incredible creative skills. I hope. I hope. And as for number 1 I aspire to do that with you beautiful daughter. Even if for two minutes. Ahhhh Bliss. And so what will you do today?
    xxxooo

  2. June 12, 2016 2:39 pm

    1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY
    2. This list is epic.
    3. Totally up for the Masterclass 🙂

  3. June 12, 2016 2:49 pm

    I will buy your coffee table book because I love your photographs!

  4. Heidi Hooten permalink
    June 12, 2016 3:36 pm

    You could definitely write and/or create a book of your travels or photos or whatever tripped your trigger. You are wonderful at both.

  5. Karin permalink
    June 12, 2016 6:30 pm

    I am impressed that you could even conceive of some of these things. I started to feel anxious at about #10. Ha. Which is, I guess, why it’s important to keep pushing oneself, or you end up like me 😉
    Happy birthday!!! And like Alison said, I bet you’ll knock a lot of these off your list. I won’t be at all surprised. You go girl!!!

  6. June 12, 2016 8:45 pm

    well, first of all– I think you know how much I love this. (currently in the middle of 70 things in 2,669 days myself). and secondly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! xo

  7. June 13, 2016 10:14 am

    I love this list. Number one is everything. Do let me know if you make it to Croatia, which I would (naturally) recommend as the number one place for a swim in the Mediterranean. And everything else that is Mediterranean. My hope is also to meet you for coffee one day by seaside. Here’s to the upcoming twelve months; may they exceed your expectations. Happy birthday!

  8. June 16, 2016 4:44 pm

    Happy, happy belated birthday! Welcome to your forties as well. I love your list! I am rooting for you, you have a lot of cool things to do! I hope you have had your tea and done your meditations already today. xoxoxo

  9. June 30, 2016 11:26 pm

    hugh! supper dupper late: happy birthday! from another gemini (13th june here!) all the best in your new year! that list is amazing and any item crossed will be great!

  10. July 12, 2016 11:20 pm

    Amazing list. I want to go and write one of my own now!! And so many of the things you listed called out to me! Also – your writing is bees knees – your blog is my favourite, favourite, favourite. You must write that book! x

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