We can change our experience of life depending on how we choose to look at it.
I only discovered this fairly recently, and it’s taken a lot of work for me to unlearn a lifetime of socially and culturally conditioned cynicism and start to try to live my life according to this knowledge.
Yet even before I figured it out, for a long time I’ve liked to think of and describe everyday (and not so everyday) activities, days out and weekends away as Adventures.
I mean, you could tell people you’re walking a woodland trail in the local country park on Saturday, but doesn’t it feel more exciting to loudly declare that you’re having an off-road hiking Adventure this weekend?!
Every time I try something I haven’t done before, especially an outdoor activity, or go to a new place, I call it an Adventure and it immediately becomes something to look forward to.
“Hey, I’ve got this really amazing client presentation Adventure coming up at work next week!”
OK, maybe it doesn’t work for everything…
I first heard about the mid-life bucket list in a conversation I had over brunch with my friend Jo several months ago.
Collins dictionary defines the term ‘Bucket List’ as a list of experiences a person wants have before they die. My definition of the mid-life bucket list is a list of things to achieve before a certain significant milestone, hopefully long before my eventual demise many decades from now.
The friend of a friend whose list inspired my latest Adventure wanted to have 30 new experiences in the 30 days before her 30th birthday. That’s quite a feat, but my list will take longer than thirty days.
I’m giving myself a whole year.
It’s my birthday today. I’ve completed 39 revolutions of the sun, and today I’m setting off on my fortieth.
In the last 39 years, I’ve been to lots of places, I’ve seen a lot of things and I’ve had experiences I could never have imagined until I was right there in the moment. I’ll save those stories for another day.
Back to now, 366 days away from my 40th birthday, and it feels like there’s still so much to do. In fact, I’m not even sure if a year will be long enough for my list of 40 things to achieve before turning 40, but I promise I won’t let that stop me from trying – that’s part of the Adventure!
I also promise to do my best to document every item on the list, starting with number 27.
Of course, there’s nothing stopping me from completing my list on the down low and keeping the tales to myself, but I don’t want to forget anything.
Years ago, when we used to take our holiday snaps to be developed and printed at Supasnaps, I’d bring them home and diligently write the names of each person on the back of every picture. Even though it may have been unnecessary at the time, it’s certainly proved useful years later now the memories of those fun times aren’t so fresh in my mind!
Looking back on digital pictures years later, without the benefit of a physical copy to write on the back of, it’s not always easy to remember the stories behind some of those snaps; what party it was, who else was there, what music was playing… and although Facebook and Instagram have the benefit of being able to tag people and locations, we don’t tend to write in the captions about what we were feeling at the time.
I often take a notebook on holiday with me so I can journal about what I did, who I met, where I went and what I saw and importantly, how I felt about what was going on and what I was thinking.
I don’t necessarily want to share all of those thoughts, or expect that you’d want to know them. Even so, I’ll use this place as a journal to record my stories as I go so I’ll have it to return to relive those moments, to share with the friends who’ve asked to join me on some of the list Adventures; and with you, if you care to read about it.
I did some research on how best to document my Adventures over the next 12 months, and discovered that I’m far from the first person to write a blog with the same title, Forty by 40 (or a variation on the same). You can Google it.
But this is my story, these are my Adventures and if you’re up for it, I’d love to invite you to join me.
Get in touch to tell me something big or small, near or far, wild or just an everyday Adventure you haven’t had the chance to complete yet.