Monday, March 10, 2014

40 before 40

I must apologise for my tardiness, I haven't blogged in so long. But I missed you and so I'm back.
In November I experienced a strange phenomenon. I turned 40. I don't know how it happened, one day I was 25 and singing along to the Boo Radleys in my £400 Citroen ZX, the next thing I'm 40, pushing two small kids in a double pram and indulging in a tendency to wear comfy clothes.
I'm not particularly upset about turning forty, growing older is a lot better than the alternative after all and I'm still looking fairly crease-free if I do say so myself. But it is WEIRD. Like maybe now I actually have to act my age and be properly responsible and plan for my retirement and stuff.
While rifling through drawers looking for the above mentioned pension info, I came across a notebook which I had obviously intended to use as a journal. True to form it has four pages of thoughts and the rest is blank. I never could keep a diary. But what thrilled me is that two of these pages are taken up by a "40 by 40" list. Dated January 2009, I specify in my journal that it is meant to inspire me to achieve the things I want in life, and not be a to-do list which I must slavishly follow (the five years ago me was pretty chilled out). I reproduce it here, in all its embarrassing, unedited glory for your amusement.
In no particular order:
  1. Have at least two children (you've got to admire my ambition with the "at least") - Check
  2. Get back to a size 12 and stay there - Har dee har har
  3. Get a job I love - Check
  4. Pay off all debt - Semi check, we're on our way
  5. Learn not to take things personally - Checkish, I care MUCH less about others' opinion of me as I age
  6. Travel through Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos - Nope, though I did make it to England, Italy and Bali
  7. Get a PhD - Moving swiftly on...
  8. Learn to sew - Semi check
  9. Make a will - Fail
  10. Take Spanish lessons - Lamentablemente, no
  11. Learn to play guitar - Fail
  12. Visit Uluru - No
  13. Start/grow a business - Check
  14. Learn to jive - WTF?
  15. Start work on a novel - I started
  16. Go to a Paul Weller gig - Check
  17. Compile and read 100 must-read novels - Does doing it in my head count?
  18. Compile and watch 100 must-see movies - See above
  19. Become a stronger swimmer - Negative
  20. Have a gorgeous bedroom - Check
  21. Learn to love exercise - I accept that it's never going to happen
  22. Have a vegetable and herb garden - Check
  23. Sort out our wedding album - Yeah, no
  24. Drive the Great Ocean Road - Doing this in April!
  25. Visit Tasmania - Check 
  26. Join a yoga/pilates class - No
  27. Eat at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen - Fail
  28. Visit Melbourne - Check
  29. Complete Bridge to Brisbane Run - Nope
  30. Learn to say "no" and "Yes" appropriately - Semi Check
  31. Go camping - Fail
The list ends there, at number 31. I like that I didn't finish it.
My new "to-do" list is not so item specific and instead focuses more on how I want to live, it even has an appendix which details the changes I will instigate to make it happen (I'll share those at a later date).
I want to live:
  • Financially free
  • With less stuff
  • With more time to spend as a family
  • Growing my own food
  • Baking, cooking and preserving
  • Enjoying time with friends
  • Writing and researching
  • In a cosy, welcoming home
  • In a nurturing environment
  • With generosity of spirit
  • In happiness
  • With opportunities for travel and growth
  • Deliberately
  • With time to read and just "be."
Told you I'd grown up ;-)

What would make your "to do" list?

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