Because the first 40 years of childhood are the hardest!
I am not getting any younger.
The years just seem to be flying by faster and faster.
Why is this?
I recently read an article, “Why does time fly as we get older?” in the online magazine Scientific American. This paragraph stood out:
Psychologist William James, in his 1890 text Principles of Psychology, wrote that as we age, time seems to speed up because adulthood is accompanied by fewer and fewer memorable events. When the passage of time is measured by “firsts” (first kiss, first day of school, first family vacation), the lack of new experiences in adulthood, James morosely argues, causes “the days and weeks [to] smooth themselves out…and the years grow hollow and collapse.”
Well that just will not do.
40 Before 40
The big 4-0 is looming on my not-so-distant horizon. I’m in good health, I’ve got a loving family, a stable home, a BSc (Hons) I worked really hard for and employment which I enjoy. I’ve done the studying, the child-bearing (including several years of breast-feeding!), the home making and I volunteer, a lot. It might be the beginning of a mid-life crisis, who knows, call it what you want, but it’s time for me to have some fun!
There are still a lot of firsts I have yet to experience, and things I loved during my childhood that I would like to experience again; things I would like to do to break up the monotony of adulthood, and if I can bring my family along on these adventures all the better.
I was going to save this list and start it when I turn 39 (at the end of this year) but I realized 40 things in one year (including all the travel I want to do!) is a lot, and I reckon I should just start now. No excuses. I’ve got 19.5 months.
Plans are in full swing for this one. My mother-in-law lives in Norway, so we’ve started saving for a family trip to visit her in the summer of 2016. There are direct flights from Shetland to Bergen, so that will make things a bit easier I hope.
April 18 2016 update: Return ticket to Bergen booked for July 2016!
Update #2: Read all about my Bergen on a Budget trip!
Take a flying lesson
This entire list was inspired by a chance encounter with a pilot not too long ago. I don’t want to go through the whole getting a pilot’s license thing so taking a single flying lesson will do. I believe these adventures can be obtained on the mainland of Scotland in Perth or Inverness!
18 April 2016 update: flying lesson voucher received for a 40-minute lesson in a 4 seater aircraft in Perth! To be completed in June 2016.
9 May 2017 update: flying lesson last year missed due to ScotRail strike. Rebooked for August 2017!
4. Go coasteering
Jumping off the wild rugged Shetland cliffs into the sea wearing a wetsuit! Yes please! I need to speak with Pete…
5. Go vegan for one month
Just to see what it’s like. My friend Krista will approve.
18 April 2016 update: August 2016 earmarked as my Turriefield veg box will be bursting then.
9 May 2017: I lasted 36 hours and then hunger got the best of me. Life’s too short. SKIPPING!
Climb a mountain
It’s been a very long time since I climbed a mountain (in 1996 I climbed two of the Rockies!). My best friend and I are currently organizing our own Three Peaks Challenge – Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike – and we will be raising money for charity. Watch this space!
18 April 2016 update: fitness training underway! This has turned into an epic 250 mile mountain bike cycle to said mountain to raise funds for the RNLI.
9 May 2017 update: Read all about it! An Epic Adventure to the Summit of Ben Nevis: The Climb
Go on a press trip
My fellow food bloggers get to go on these all the time! I’d love to do this too! A proper one too. A caravan park on the outskirts of Glasgow doesn’t count.
9 May 2017 update: Read all about our Belgian Chocolate Experience, thanks to P&O Ferries! Since I wrote this list I’ve also been on a press trip to the Aberdeen Jazz Festival, I’ve just returned from a trip to Paris (yet to be blogged) and I’m heading to Italy this summer!
8. Drive a car on the mainland
I’ve only had my driving license for 3.5 years. I learned to drive here in Shetland on single track roads where all I really had to worry about were sheep and cyclists. The thought of driving on the mainland with all those other cars terrifies me!
Finish the p90x3 – at least three times
After finishing Tony Horton’s P90X extreme home fitness program I’ve caught the fitness bug. I’m currently 1/3 the way through my first go at the P90X3 where each exercise routine is only 30 minutes. It’s only a half an hour of my day – no excuses!
18 April 2016 update – I am 1/3 the way through my third go. Feeling stronger than ever!
9 May 2017 update – I love this workout! Currently going through my second run of the Elite program and toying with the idea of buying Tony Horton’s 22-minute Hard Corps Workout.
10. Grow my own vegetables
I suck at growing things, I really do. My garden has been destroyed by builders, so it’s a blank canvas now. I would like to harvest (at least some!) of my own homegrown vegetables from a newly built vegetable plot by autumn 2016.
Fire an arrow from a bow or a crossbow
I’m a Sagittarius – I’m just supposed to do this, and those alder branch bows I used to make as a child doesn’t count (although my arrows would travel across the garden!).
12. See in the summer solstice (the Simmer Dim) from the top of Ronas Hill
Ronas Hill is Shetland’s largest hill. Camping, preferably, with friends and/or family, at the top during the longest day of the year when it doesn’t get dark this far north has been on my list of things to do for years. Hubby is keen to do it this year. Fingers crossed!
Update: Attempt #1. Better luck next year!
18 April 2016 update: this may now be taken in from the summit of Ben Nevis, weather permitting (see #6). I climbed Ronas Hill for the New Year.
13. Play golf to see really what all the fuss is about
I have never played golf. Surely there must be a reason why people do it – I’d like to find out why. Hubby again is keen on this one!
16. Visit all the permanently inhabited islands in Shetland
Only one left – Foula! I’ve visited Papa Stour, Unst, Yell, Fetlar, Whalsay, Bressay, Burra, Fair Isle, Muckle Roe, Trondra and the Out Skerries. I don’t think I’ve missed any?
18 April 2016 update – I forgot Vaila!
17. Go windsurfing
I see them doing this nearby my house, whizzing down the voe on their boards. I want a go!!
18. Go body boarding
A friend of mine told me about this years ago and it’s something I’ve always wanted to try. I know there’s a group of folk that do it – now, to find them!
Cut and raise peats
A peculiar thing, I know, but cutting and raising peats with a tushkar is a Shetland tradition. I’d like to spend an afternoon learning how. I don’t even have a fireplace, so the peats would go to heat up someone elses house.
20. Ride a horse again
I used to love horseback riding, until when I was 17 the ex racehorse I was riding got spooked by something in the Canadian wilderness, and she bolted back to her stable. The saddle slid sideways, my broken helmet (why would I put a helmet on that didn’t clasp shut?!) came off and I suffered a 3 inch fracture to my skull. I haven’t been on the back of a horse since. It’s time to get back on.
21. Ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle
When I was 12 I had a giant Harley poster on my bedroom wall and I daydreamed about riding on one. I’m nearly 40 and I haven’t done this yet! There are two Simmer Dim motorcycle rallies between now and my 40th, surely someone with a Harley will let me go for a ride with them?! Pillion is absolutely fine.
Visit Mousa Broch
The finest surviving Iron Age tower, Mousa Broch, standing at 13.3 metres, is only a short ferry ride away. Why have I never visited yet! Better yet, I’d like to go at night to see the storm petrels come in from the sea and roost in its walls.
Update: July 2018 We paddled a 42-foot Montreal style Canadian canoe over to the island at 9:30 at night to see the storm petrels come in at midnight. On the way back the Mareel glittered in the sea, like a thousand galaxies in the black water.
I’ve dyed my hair every colour under the sun, I’ve had a bowl cut, an 80s spiral perm (complete with big puffy fringe), a black mohican, a proper skater chick half-shaved grunge haircut thingy and I’ve shaved my head with a #1, not to mention the great hair massacre of 2010 when I cut 29 inches off and donated it to charity. For the last five years I’ve just let it grow long, and it’s starting to go white on top. I’ve never had dreads. I’d like dreads. My starter kit should arrive in the post today, and my husband’s up for the challenge of dreadlocking me. I reckon by the time they’ve matured I’ll have this ranging shade of white to ginger thing going on. My teenage son refuses to be seen in public with me ever again (he says now!).
Update: My baby dreads are four months old now and they’re getting there, slowly!
July 2018: I have awesome hair. The dreads have become so thick and heavy so I’ve shaved half them off in an undershave my 1990s grunge self would approve of.
I started lessons with the Shetland Canoe Club two years ago, then I stood in the path of a rope under strain while out on an RNLI exercise, severely crushed my foot and had to stop kayak lessons, exercising, and oh, everything, while it healed. The orthopedic specialist said it would take 2.5 years for the nerves to die and regrow. I think it’s as healed as it’s going to get. Lessons start up again tonight.
25. Go skinny dipping
It’s rather cold in Shetland for that sort of thing, but I’ve never done it. Must do it.
26. Learn how to read sheet music
Pretty self explanatory this.
27. Stop wearing mascara – be ginger and proud!
I am a natural ginger. I have invisible eyelashes and eyebrows. I’ve pared down my cosmetics to mascara only – but why?! I’ve done the attracting a mate thing, he doesn’t care if I wear mascara. I want to ditch it entirely and leave my house a confident and proud ginger! Down with the makeup!
After attending BritMums Live 2014 I’ve caught the conference bug, but I want to attend a conference aimed specifically at food bloggers and catch up with my fellow foodies. FBC it is!
29. Go skiing
I used to love skiing when I was a child! Our school trips were always skiing trips. I haven’t skied since I was 16! I need to remedy this.
30. Go camping for the weekend at a music festival
Again, I’ve never done this! Hubby is keen on this one too.
31. Sail on the Statsraad Lehmkuhl
I fell in love with the Statsraad 15 years ago when I first saw her berthed in Lerwick harbour. This three-masted Norwegian sail training vessel calls into Shetland several times during the summer months. It makes my heart go flippity-flip like I’m in love. I would love to go sailing on her, or if that isn’t possible (the trips are from Bergen-Shetland; Shetland-Bergen) I’d like a proper tour and at least get the chance to climb the rigging!
9 May 2017 update: I was given a very thorough tour of the ship at the end of last summer, but still haven’t sailed her yet!
Own a bicycle
Again, I haven’t had a bicycle since I was a child. Mountain biking in the Cairngorms with the family last summer reminded me how much I used to love it. Now, if there were off-road trails on Shetland…
Update 18 October 2015: I’ve been kindly gifted a second hand 10-speed bicycle! It’s currently getting some TLC in the local bicycle repair shop, but I now own a bicycle!
33. Learn how to play the guitar
Pretty self-explanatory again.
34. Bury the hatchet. Forgive, in my heart of hearts
I’m pretty good at forgiving people, or at least understanding and moving on. I’ve held onto something for several years now that I need to learn to let go of. One can’t understand/justify the motives of nasty, jealous gossips, but it’s doing me no good still being angry at their actions.
35. Take a yoga class
The P90X has shown me how amazing yoga can be. I was always skeptical, but now I’d like to attend a few classes to see if I am doing it right.
22 February 2016 update – done! A fantastic relaxing yoga and meditation class in Islesburgh run by Hazel Thompson and Niki Thompson.
36. Learn how to play chess, properly
My grandfather used to consistently beat me in 3 moves. I know how all the pieces move, but I know nothing of theory, as I was never taught. I would like to learn.
Inspire someone else
Just because that would be awesome. (Reading the comments on this post has made me realise that I do inspire others!)
38. Become more confident in myself
You might not believe it but I have been plagued with a lifetime of low self-esteem. Things on the outside are very different than what’s going on inside.
39. Attend a murder mystery dinner party
How amazing would that be!
40. Have a masquerade birthday party for me!
Perhaps I could combine this with #39. I’ve never had a birthday party, ever. It’s nigh time I had one.
LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN
What is/was on your list?
Are you on the other side of 40? How was it for you? Any tips, advice or words of encouragement gratefully received! I know it might seem a bit early to be thinking about turning 40, after all, I am still only 38, but I’ll be entering my 40th year in only 7 months (you have that year of life before you have the birthday!). I want the months leading up to my 40th to be adventure packed. If you think you might be able to help me cross one of the items off my list please do contact me!