posted in: Outdoors, Personal | 22

Birthdays are funny things, don’t you think? I regularly switch between wanting to celebrate because it’s nice to observe another year on this planet and consider all the happy memories from the previous year, and wanting to hide away because I don’t particularly enjoy being centre of attention and, well, 38 is a pretty big number that fills me with feelings of being old and running out of time. 

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Overlooking my home.

You’ll be pleased to know that this year I decided to celebrate. On the day this post goes live I’m enjoying a short break in London to see a play, visit some museums and eat some good food. There was also cake, there has to be cake, accompanied with a cup of tea or two.

I have also decided to mark the occasion by taking part in a bit of a birthday fad. A list writing exercise. A couple of my friends (looking at you Chelsea and Katie) have done this recently, and as a prolific list maker, I couldn’t resist joining in. I have therefore written a list of 38 things I’d like to accomplish between my 38th and my 39th birthday. Some of them are from my existing bucket list, others are new, some will be pretty easy, others might be more difficult because they rely on external circumstance and a decent cash flow.

So here we are, a bit of a muddly list, shared in no particular order… I’ll try and keep you updated throughout the year.

A Birthday To Do List

  1. Get One Hour Outside every day. You know, put my actions where my mouth is.
  2. Walk another National Trail.
  3. Catch up with blogging and then agree to less so I can concentrate on the good stuff and don’t ever feel like I’m “behind”.
  4. Write more postcards. I love receiving them, I should send more to spread the joy.
  5. Spend more time in/on the water. This will most likely take the form of visiting my local pool more regularly, but I’m hoping there will be some salt water in there too.
  6. Finish decorating the house so it is most definitely “ours”. It’s just painting and some soft furnishings, it can’t take that long! I think we’re down to the dining room, study, the bathroom and the bedrooms.
  7. Print out photos of our adventures for the wall as reminders of where we have been and what we’ve seen.
  8. Walk 1,000 miles. I managed it comfortably in 10 months this year, but I’ll stick with the 1,000 target because it’s a nice round number.
  9. Pitch my book idea to some publishers. I’m not saying it’ll get picked up or actually written this year, but I will never know if I don’t get on and pitch it!
  10. Refresh my blog design and layout so it’s a bit more me.
  11. Spend a day at a spa and have a massage.
  12. Read 12 books… (well, listen to). This doesn’t sound like many, but I’ve never been a reader and have only recently got into fiction.
  13. Do the Via Ferrata Xtreme at Honister. Weather stopped play last time, and I promised myself I’d go back and do it properly.
  14. Have another two-day/one-night solo hiking adventure.
  15. Sort out the garden so I have lots of herbs and bee/bug friendly flowers – and then spend time enjoying it.
  16. Feel comfortable in skinny jeans. This means losing a couple of kilos and toning up a bit. Being short in height and always hungry means maintaining a healthy weight is tough!
  17. Spend the night in a really fancy hotel after eating a really fancy meal.
  18. Learn more about the weather by taking an online course and reading up on the topic. One of my schooling regrets is not taking geography, but I was reminded recently that it’s not too late, I can put that right now.
  19. Go on a motorcycle road trip abroad. I’m hoping for Spain and/or Iceland. Everest Base Camp would pretty cool, too, but there is a time and money resource limit.
  20. Visit Budleigh Salterton to check the sea is still there (read my A to Z of Me post).
  21. Secure a regular guest writing gig to help fund my outdoors adventures.
  22. Attempt to break a world record. Any ideas?!
  23. Paint something and hang it up at home. I hardly ever paint anymore. I keep promising myself I should.
  24. Reduce my personal plastic consumption even more.
  25. Climb a mountain.
  26. Spend the night in a campervan.
  27. Ride a rollercoaster. It’s been too long!
  28. Have a ruthless clear out of my shoes. Nothing half-hearted. Really. Hmmmm.
  29. Cut down on processed sugar. I might attempt a month without again. Could I give up sweets and chocolate for Lent?! I’m not sure I could manage that.
  30. Work out what makes me bloat so much and cut it out. I think I already know, but I need to prove it, sort it out, and move on.
  31. Learn to love green/peppermint/fruit tea and drink less black tea. Any recommendations? I’ve tried lots!
  32. Go wild swimming.
  33. Service my mountain bike and get out on some trails.
  34. Donate blood.
  35. Go surfing. As with the rollercoaster, it’s been too long.
  36. Get my skincare routine sorted and rid my face of acne spots once and for all. Okay, so the latter might never happen, but that’s what I’m aiming for.
  37. Spend more time without my phone in my hand.
  38. Use my pre-breakfast time more wisely. I haven’t decided what form that should take yet, but I’m very good at wasting that hour before I need to get ready for work.

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Wow 38 things is a lot, isn’t it? I know these aren’t smart goals, more this and less that aren’t very easy to quantify, and a lot of them are just an opportunity to do things I know I enjoy that I haven’t done recently, but that’s not the point here – this is a “for me” list.

If you have any tips or suggestions to help me achieve the above this year, I’m ready to hear them.

I guess I’d better get started…

22 Responses

  1. Allysse Riordan

    Happy Birthday!
    I hope you’re having a fantastic time and enjoying a lot of cake and you time 🙂

    I like your list of goals. I don’t think they necessarily need to be smart goals. They are a reminder of where you want to head towards and that’s always good. Maybe you could organise them per month so it’s a little less daunting.

    I’ve seen habit calendars going around of late. Maybe it’ll be a good idea for things that you want to do more regularly. You tick a box for each day you’ve done it and you can actually physically see your progress even if it doesn’t feel like progress.

    Do you know what National Trail you’d like to walk?

    Have you tried Pukka teas (I’m assuming you probably have)? I love them (especially revitalise, cleanse and detox for night time, three ginger, the purple packet one (I can’t remember the name right now ), and tulsi) a lot 🙂
    Maybe you could try roiboos too? It’s not green/fruity tea but it’s closer to black tea without the caffeine in it (assuming it’s what you’re trying to avoid).

    Happy Birthday again =D

    PS: yay to giving blood. It’s really easy and the people that do it are all super lovely (in my experience). Plus you get tea and biscuits or crisps afterwards 😉

    • Splodz

      Hey thanks Allysse 🙂 Yes that’s exactly it – just a few goals keep my mind focused and my body moving forward, something to check up on every now and again. I’ve not come across habit calendars, I’ll have a look at those, might help me out.

      I have tried a couple of Pukka teas a while back, but not recently, and not persistently. I think with these things we learn to enjoy them rather than it being an instantaneous thing. I’m just so used to the taste and feeling of normal black tea with milk!

      Oh and as for a National Trail… the Cotswold Way please!

      • Allysse Riordan

        You’re probably right with different teas something we have to get used to.
        I now like green tea but it took me a long time. Hopefully you’ll find new favourites this year 🙂

        Cool 🙂 Do you have a date in mind for the Cotswold Way?
        That should be a nice trail to explore.

      • Splodz

        I’m looking at around October next year – for that or a different national trail. Want to come along? You’d be very very welcome!

  2. papytee

    27 – Thorpe Park
    31 – try loose leaf of these – so much nicer than teabags
    38 – I’ve started using that time for catching up on admin and starting blog posts etc. or idea developing 🙂 Or, mainly I go for a run or to the gym, or a walk around the park, especially now it’s getting towards Summer. What kind of things do you want to do with it? Connect with nature, be more productive, free up time in your evenings etc?

    PS. Yay to giving blood – get it booked! There’s a blood donation centre in Gloucester 🙂

    • Splodz

      Ooo Thorpe Park, good call, haven’t been there for years!

      Good call on the loose leaf, I do prefer a cuppa made properly with black tea so figures with other kinds doesn’t it?

      Yea I think I want to get “stuff” done in the mornings, thus freeing up the evenings for me time. Much easier in the summer!

      I’ve walked by that centre a couple of times now… I struggled to get an appointment that suited in Lincoln, hopefully it’ll be easier here.

  3. Shybiker

    I’m glad you made the choice to celebrate your birthday. While you believe 38 is old, from my age it’s incredibly young. What I would give to be that again!

    I applaud your plan to send more postcards. I send lots of mail to friends and enjoy receiving mail. In fact, you are the only good friend I have whom I don’t know their address. If you want to share mail with me, just e-mail me a place to send it. (Can be a postal box or work address if you’re concerned about privacy.)

    • Splodz

      Can’t beat a good list! I’ve been looking at their courses, they look good, thanks for the recommendation 🙂

  4. Steph

    I gave blood for the first time last year and really really wanted to be a regular donor, but when I went back the second time I was told my iron count was too low to donate… it wasn’t a health problem, just not high enough to donate. I left it a while and went back but the same thing happened again… I am reluctant to go back again yet as if it happens a third time I will be taken off the donor list completely… disappointing!

    Which National Trail are you planning on walking?

    • Splodz

      Oh what a shame about giving blood. I have been a couple of times, but then found it difficult to get an appointment that fitted my schedule. Hopefully in my new location I can get one a bit easier.

      I’m hoping to do the Cotswold Way because it’s my local one these days, but I’d be open to suggestions – any of them really!

  5. Robert Jones

    I’m looking at 2 more than that next time around so I’ll pinch an idea or two!
    #18. A few years ago I got Hazel “The Cloudspotters Guide” for her birthday and she said it was great
    #31. Drink black coffee

    #27. Rollercoasters! Are you mad? Why would you even consider such a thing? That’s just crazy talk

    Happy Birthday 🙂

    • Splodz

      You’re more than welcome to the ideas 🙂 🙂

      Ah cool, I’ll add that book to my Christmas list!

      Oh you see I love my coffee with ALL the milk… more milk than coffee.. sorry!

      Ha ha, I LOVE rollercoasters. I take it you’re not a fan?!

    • Splodz

      Trying something new each month is a very good way to make sure you keep things interesting. What is this month’s new thing?


    […] chuffed with my efforts. Decorating our home is one of the things I promised myself I’d do in my 38 things for 38 years list, and I’m gradually getting there. We (eventually – these decisions take time) chose a lovely […]

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