It must be that time of my life, but recently I’ve seen close friends face terrifying health problems. It has given me a major reality check and forced me to look at my own life. My dad died at 47 and I’m coming close to that. Middle-age (urgghh) felt like a lifetime away when I was growing up – doesn’t it always – but it’s not going away.
Becoming single again a couple of years ago was huge for me too. After 20 years, I had to totally restart my life. And after a tough separation, I had to learn how to spend two weekends a month without my boys. Those empty weekends felt pretty depressing at first. But you either feel sorry for yourself or you get back on your feet, don’t you? So I decided to turn that time into a positive and make some plans. Big and small, these plans propelled me into action and kept me going.
So to the Bucket List. Please don’t spend your life wishing that you’d done something. Now is the time for you to grab life by the balls and make some plans! Those of us who are lucky enough to end up living longer will probably end up working longer. So we need to make sure we build some joy into our lives. Putting things off until you retire, or until you’ve lost a stone, or once the kids have left home, is not going to make them happen. Why not start writing down and working through your list right now? It’s important to build memories for your kids and most importantly for yourself! Plans in any shape or form make you feel excited, focused and motivated. Time and money are barriers but some can be overcome, if you can prioritise.
So have a proper think about your real ambitions and how you might achieve them. If money is tight, have a look at your spending and make some simple swaps. Save up and make it your mission to hit a target in six months, for example. A night out that might set you back £50-£100? Cancel, rearrange or invite the girls round to yours instead. Fighting the greys? So dye your hair at home – that’s another £50-100 saved right there. Can’t afford a full fortnight’s holiday? So make it a city break instead and see something you’ve always dreamed of in three days at a fraction of the cost. Stop shelling out on pointless stuff if you have more nagging ambitions. Spend that money on new experiences, a flight to New York, Glasto tickets, whatever!
And when it comes to exercise, the principles still apply. Why put it off? Why delay something that could make you feel better, with a bit of work? Let’s make sure we’re healthy enough to really enjoy life with the people we love. Of course it will take some work – nothing good really falls into your lap without some hard graft. You have to commit, be positive, work at it and the rewards will follow. It could be in a six weeks, six months, six years – just promise yourself you’ll take action. Because no-one else will do it for you!
Life is for living - I can’t wait to hear what your list looks like!