I am 40 this year.

I don’t think I am a particularly hysterical or emotional person, but this still feels like a significant milestone. Like I should know myself and what to do with my life for example. All the normal stuff, you know, am I making a difference, am I spending my influence wisely, are my priorities straight, is my time being well spent, am I developing in the right direction (the waistline certainly is not)?

As usual I wrote a list (I know, it’s an addiction – especially since discovering Wunderlist) of all the things I hope to achieve this year, and the projects I am involved in, the goals I need to achieve for the house, for church, my work projects, and I saw that I have a busy, interesting and, as usual, massively underpaid year ahead!

I also wrote my 6X6 (thankyou Bill Hybels) – which are my six priorities for the next six weeks (or half term more realistically).

All good.

But I don’t want this year to pass in a whirlwind of work, volunteering, teenage diaries and chaos without feeling I had done something special. However, I don’t have the funds for a trip to New York or Prague, and I really am not interested in climbing a mountain or cycling across the country.

So I decided to make the year more interesting, by including 40 different things. Some easy, some a bit more challenging, some free, some which might be a bit more financially dependent, some which will seem ridiculous to others who can easily do these things, but are significant to me.

And here they are. I want you to know, so you can check up on me to make sure I am making time in my life for them! And I will be writing each month to let you know how it’s going – that’s one of the #40things anyway!

1.       Eat at Wagamamas (no, I never have)
2.       Eat at Nandos (no, I never have)
3.       Have tea at the Savoy or somewhere equally lush
4.       Write a book
5.       Write a song
6.       Go Sailing
7.       Have a family picnic in the middle of nowhere
8.       Paint a picture
9.       Go to a London show
10.   Take Naomi and Izzy away overnight for a girly trip
11.   Celebrate 20th Wedding Anniversary by doing something special
12.   Go to the Cinema during the day on my own armed with chocolate
13.   Write a poem with 40 public speaking tips in it
14.   Play the accordion in front of people (even if people laugh!)
15.   Start a family tree
16.   Put all the photos into albums
17.   Take up Photography
18.   Kayak along the Hamble
19.   See a live orchestra/band
20.   Fly in a hot air balloon (well, we will see….)
21.   Watch a series box set
22.   Lose at least ½ stone (OK, not a fun goal, but I will like the result)
23.   Go to an auction and bid
24.   Spend at least a day on retreat
25.   Bake a posh cake (seriously, I have never even tried)
26.   Cook a curry from scratch (ie – not from a jar!)
27.   Speak at a youth event
28.   Have a 40th birthday celebration
29.   Host/Present 2 training events
30.   Host a minimum of 4 pudding parties to get to know people better
31.   Visit Wales at least 3 times
32.   Do something new for work/business/public speaking
33.   Visit Brownsea Island
34.   Eat Mussels and Crepes in France (we’re going anyway to speak there)
35.   Read 2 classic books, 2 Autobiographies, 2 faith-focused books, 2 self development books and 2 fiction books.
36.   Volunteer at something new
37.   Write 12 blog posts
38.   Build something amazing out of lego
39.   Visit a museum
40.   Go on a long walk
I must thank all the people on facebook and twitter who helped with suggestions and encouragement. I have, at almost 40 got the most incredible bunch of friends. I am very grateful for them all.
So here is to a fun-filled, fruitful and fulfilling fortieth year!