On Tuesday next week it’s my birthday and at exactly 11.25am I turn the grand old age of 32.
Age isn’t something that bothers me, I remember being upset about turning 13 and 16 as I felt they were both keys ages at which I was waving goodbye to my childhood, but since then I see each birthday as a milestone at which point to take a glance over my shoulder and appreciate all that has gone by, before focussing my eyes firmly ahead at what is to come.
It’s no secret that that 2017 has been a bit of a rubbish one for me but it has also seen some majorly good things happening – weddings, babies etc. However, more than anything, it’s been a reminder of just how precious life is and a reminder of my own mortality.
I was going to – as I do most years – let my birthday slip by with little mention. I’ve never been a big one for celebrating my own things, however, having been to see my consultant last week and been told that he thinks there is a chance I might have more Cancer, it has given me a bit of a kick up the butt and made me realise I need to start making the most of life and not let this dark cloud 2017 brought me keep me in the shadows. I’m fully of the belief that the results will come back giving me the all-clear, and my consultant is just being super cautious because of my history, but it has still acted as a boot up the backside and a “GET OUT THERE AND START LIVING, WOMAN!” for me.
A few days ago, while I was killing some time online, I came across a viral video from The Stay At Home Chef. In it she’s talking about a rude comment she received from a viewer and how, having had health issues in the past, she came to a realisation – I’ll share her words below rather than try and explain it myself:
“If you read my About Page, you’d know that I have a rare auto-immune disease that means I will most likely never live to be 70 years old. Every sign of ageing that I have is a sign that I’m still alive. A lot of people don’t get the privilege to ever live to be old and I probably won’t either which means that I don’t have time to waste criticising myself and I don’t have time to waste criticising other people. I care a lot more about what my life is like RIGHT NOW.”
Watching that video just made me think, “She’s right!” tomorrow really isn’t promised for anyone and regardless of whether you are unwell now, have been unwell in the past, or are in full health, bloody hell we need to make the most of our time trotting around on this little planet of ours!
So here I am, planning 33 things I want to achieve by my 33rd birthday – a year away.
Obviously, not being flush with cash, I can’t do anything majorly exciting like travelling the world, but I’ve put together a little list of (realistic) things I want to do – little victories, experiences, ambitions and goals.
1. Ride a horse along a beach
2. Visit 12 new places in the UK (even if just for a day trip)
3. Hold a chick
4. Go On A Jack The Ripper Tour In London
5. Go Alpaca Trekking
6. Read 30 new books
1. Spirits of the Cage: True Accounts of Living in a Haunted Medieval Prison – stories from one of the most haunted houses in the UK.
2. Talking with Psychopaths: A Journey into the Evil Mind – interviews with some of the world’s worst serial killers.
3. Perfect Victim – the story of a girl captured and held hostage for several years in a box under a bed.
7. Get another piercing or tattoo
8. Stay in a log cabin (or something equally as cute) in the New Forest
9. Watch a film at an outdoor cinema
10. Visit Longleat Safari Park
11. Climb the O2 in London
12. Go camping for a weekend
13. Do a vineyard or brewery tour
14. Blog at least 4 times a month, every month
15. Visit The Shard (food and drink too maybe…)
16. Visit a London museum I haven’t been to before
17. Go for a picnic
18. Visit Highgate Cemetery
19. Watch a trial at The Old Bailey
20. Ride the Emirate Cable Cars
21. Create a gallery wall in my living room
22. Learn how to use my camera
23. Start a savings account and save £1,500.00
24. Go gin or whisky tasting
25. Cook one new recipe a month
26. Start to learn a new language
27. Go on holiday with Ben, my brother and his wife
28. Visit Buckingham Palace
29. Work with cows for the day
30. Do at least one Future Learn course
31. Video our life more so we can capture our memories forever
32. Spend a day with my childhood best friend
(Done! We went to see Boyzone in concert on Hastings Pier – read all about it here)
33. Make a piece of artwork to hang on the wall at home
I deliberately haven’t put anything outrageous on this list like going to Las Vegas or sky-diving because I know they aren’t achievable and the whole point of this list is to have a year of fun, not to fall at the first hurdle!
I’m excited for the year ahead and determined to make it count – is there anything you think I should have added to this list?