It’s no secret that I love making lists. I mean, most of the posts here on my blog are list posts, aren’t they!? So, when I recently realised that I was super close to leaving my mid-30’s without having accomplished even half of what I thought I would have by now, I just knew it was time to sit and write another one. And (as if you hadn’t already guessed from the title) this one is a list of 40 things I’d like to do before I hit the big four-o! I know it’s a little different to the posts I usually write here on my blog, but I hope you enjoy having a read through it anyway and that it helps you guys feel like you know me just a little bit better.
01. Gain a new qualification – Something I’ve really wanted to do for a while now is gain a new qualification. And I’d most like to do this in something like media studies or creative writing. I think it’s pretty obvious that I love writing since I publish a new blog post pretty much every day. But I still feel like I have a lot more to offer. A creative writing course could really help me to learn more about different styles of writing and hopefully put me on the right path to furthering my career in such an amazing industry!
02. Write a book – I’d also like to write a book before I turn 40. A self-help book on dating and relationships, perhaps? Or even a fictional novel around the same sort of subject. I used to write stories all the time when I was younger. But I haven’t put pen to paper in a long time. I doubt I’ll ever be a good enough writer to get my work published, but I’d love to give it a shot anyway. What’s the worst that could happen!? Publishers might politely decline my work. And even though it will be disappointing, I know I’ll have given it my best shot. Either way, I’m sure my kids would love to read something their mum had written because they’re amazing and always take a keen interest in whatever I’m doing.
03. Take driving lessons – One thing I really regret from my past is not sticking at my driving lessons. And this is mostly because I think life would be so much easier if I could actually drive. I’d love to have another go at learning before I turn 40. And (hopefully) pass my driving test as well. I’d probably give automatic lessons a try if I did decide to give them another go though as I really struggled to grasp clutch control before. Did anyone else have that problem??
04. See a West End Musical – I’d love to go and see a show in the West End. I’m a massive theatre geek but I’ve never been lucky enough to go down to London to see a show, despite having an ever-growing list of ones I’d like to see. I was planning on booking a couple of days in the capital over the summer so that the kids and I could finally see a show down there. But thanks to Covid-19 I can’t see that happening now. Oh, well. There’s always next year!
05. Buy a designer handbag – I’d also love to treat myself to a designer handbag before I turn 40. And although I have quite an impressive collection of handbags, I don’t yet own any designer ones. I’d probably go for a nice Jimmy Choo or Valentino one if I were ever lucky enough to buy one. And I’d most definitely choose a nice, classic design that wouldn’t go out of style within a few months of me buying it!
06. Go skydiving – One thing I’ve always wanted to have a go at is skydiving, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be allowed to do it because I have Scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine. I just think it looks like so much fun, and I bet the feeling you get when you’re free-falling through the sky is absolutely exhilarating.
07. Go snorkelling – And another thing I’d like to do before I hit the big four-o is go snorkelling. I love being in the water, so I think it would be the perfect thing for me to try my hand at. I’ve heard that you can snorkel through the Silfra Fissure in Iceland, and what makes this place exceptionally cool is that it’s the only place in the world where you can swim through two tectonic plates – the North American and Eurasian continental plates. I’d love to one day be able to tell my grandkids about the time I swam between two continents. How amazing would that be!?
08. Have a spa day – Now that my daughter Stacey is 16 I’d like to take her to a luxurious spa and have a relaxing day together doing absolutely nothing. We could maybe get a couple of treatments, eat some good food, and just enjoy taking the time to have a good old catch up. After all, she leads a very busy life these days and I feel like we don’t get to spend as much quality time together as we used to. She’s also had a lot of exam-stress recently so I think it would be a nice way to help her unwind once everything has settled down.
09. Go on a quiz show – This next one will probably never happen but it’s something I’d really like to have a go at. And that’s trying my luck on a quiz show. I really enjoy watching shows like The Chase, Pointless, Tenable and Who Dares Wins. But if I’m honest I’d be happy enough to give any quiz show a try. I’m pretty sure I must have been storing all this useless information in my brain for the past 30-odd years for a reason!
10. Improve my credit score – Over the last 18 months, I’ve been working super hard to improve my credit score. And so far it’s really paid off! I’d really like to build on this and increase my score to 650 or higher. I’d be more than happy to share my top tips to improve your credit score with you guys here on my blog if it’s something you’d like to find out more about too.
11. Visit 5 new countries – I’d also like to visit 5 new countries before my next big birthday, which works out at roughly one per year. Places I’ve always fancied going to include America, Portugal, Montenegro, Iceland and Greece. I think it’s highly unlikely I’ll get to travel to any of them before I turn 40 as I haven’t left the country in over a decade. But I’m sure it will be fun trying.
12. Go to Disney World – Speaking of travel, I’d love to take the kids to Orlando, Florida, for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney World. We’re all massive Disney fans at our house, so it would be the perfect family holiday. I just wish it wasn’t so damn expensive!!
13. Drop 2 dress sizes – I’ve been really unhappy with my body for the last few years so I’d like to try and drop a couple of dress sizes and get myself back down to a size 8 before I turn 40. I think for my limited height this would be the perfect sort of size for me. I just need to learn to not sit and eat half a packet of chocolate biscuits in one sitting now!
14. Go to the opera – Believe it or not, I’d love to go to the opera one night. I’ve been desperate to see Madame Butterfly for as long as I can remember as it’s said to have a similar storyline to Miss Saigon, which is one of my all-time favourite musicals. I imagine going to the opera to be utterly breathtaking. And I think it should be quite an easy one to cross off my list as well!
15. Swim with dolphins – I’d also love to swim with dolphins. I know this is a bit of a controversial one so I don’t really want to go into too much detail about it, but it’s something I’ve fancied doing since I was in my teens and I’ve never had the chance to do it. A lot of my friends have though, and they all say it was one of the best experiences of their lives.
16. See Niall Horan live – Last year I discovered an album called ‘Flicker’ by former One Direction star, Niall Horan. And it fast became one of my favourite albums of all-time. I must have listened to it over a thousand times in the last 18 months, and I’d love the chance to see him live in concert. I think it would be fantastic.
17. Start a Podcast – As you guys know, I’ve always got a lot to say. So with this in mind, I’d like to start a Podcast to run alongside Better Date Than Never. I love the idea of getting some of my friends on to talk about all things dating and relationships, and I could even get you guys involved by doing a Q&A segment at the end of each one. I think it would be so much fun!
18. Start a YouTube Channel – I’d also like to start a YouTube channel. Although I’m very self-conscious about the way I look, so I’m not sure filming myself is really an ideal scenario! If I did go ahead and start one though it would probably feature the fashion and beauty side of dating more than anything else. I’m just not sure there’s a market for it right now. We shall see though.
19. Get 50,000 blog visits a month – I know that Better Date Than Never is a fairly new blog, but I’m really passionate about it and would love to make it as successful as I possibly can. With this in mind, I’d love to see it getting around 50,000 unique visitors per month by the time I reach 40. I know that sounds like a big number but I genuinely think it’s achievable. After all, almost everyone dates at some point, don’t they!?
20. Earn a decent wage – Talking of my blog – I’d like to start earning a decent wage from blogging. If I could earn around £2,500 a month by doing something I love, then I’d be one happy bunny. I know it’s going to be a tricky one to succeed at but I like a challenge. Keep everything crossed for me, guys!
21. Visit a pumpkin patch – Over the last few years, it’s seemed like every Tom, Dick, and Harriet has visited a pumpkin patch during October. But it’s still something I haven’t done! I’d love to take my kids along to a local patch, pick some pumpkins and take some lovely photographs that I can share on Instagram. I think we’d have a fantastic day.
22. Visit Nottingham’s Goose Fair – Despite having lived in Nottinghamshire my entire life, I’ve never visited the famous Goose Fair that lands at the Forest Recreation Ground every autumn. This year I was determined to visit, but I have a bad feeling it may get cancelled due to Covid-19. Hopefully, I’ll get to go next year instead.
23. Raise £1,000 for charity – I’d really love to help a charity out by raising £1,000 for them if I can. There’s quite a lot of things on my list that I could get sponsored to do, so it should be quite achievable. I feel like choosing which charity to support could be the hardest part about this as there are so many fantastic ones out there!
24. See the Northern Lights – I think this one is probably on everyone’s 40 before 40 bucket list, but the Northern Lights are said to be spectacular, so it doesn’t surprise me. I’d love to see them for myself.
25. Learn a ballroom dance – I’m not gonna lie – I’m a big fan of Strictly Come Dancing! And because of this, I’ve always wanted to learn some of the dances that they do on the show. I think I’d be much better at Ballroom than I would Latin. And my dance I’d most like to learn would have to be the Viennese Waltz. It’s just stunning.
26. Have afternoon tea at The Ritz – I’m a big fan of afternoon tea, and as everyone always raves about how amazing it is at The Ritz, I’d love to try it out for myself. It would be a real treat and might be something I could enjoy with a loved one for my 40th rather than in the run-up to it. Either way, I’m sure it would be incredible.
27. Go on a cruise – Ever since my mum and dad went on a cruise back in 2018 I’ve wanted to try one out for myself. I love that everything you could possibly want is on board, from swimming pools and restaurants to casinos and theatres. And that you can see multiple countries on just one trip. I’m sure a cruise would be right up my street and I’d love to go on one before I turn 40!
28. Try out an Escape Room – I know. I know. Escape rooms are so popular it’s hard to believe that I’ve never been to one. But I haven’t. It’s something I’ve wanted to try out for a long time though, as I love a good puzzle. Do I think I’d make it out before my time ran out? That’s debatable! I’d like to think so. But in reality, I probably wouldn’t.
29. Go to Splendour Festival – Something else that comes to Nottingham every year but I’ve never been to is Splendour Fest. It takes over Nottingham’s beautiful Wollaton Hall & Deer Park each summer for a day in the company of some of rock and pop’s most popular artists. Hosting over 40 acts across five stages, Splendour is a festival of all genres. This year The Vamps are playing at the festival so Stacey is desperate for me to take her. We’ll have to wait and see what happens regarding large gatherings though!
30. See Westlife in concert (again) – If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a big Westlife fan. I’ve seen them in concert more times than I can count – but I’m always happy to go and see them again as they put on some of the most amazing shows imaginable. I’ve never been lucky enough to meet the lads, but a girl can dream. And one day, that dream might just come true!
31. Watch a movie under the stars – I really love the idea of spending a future date night watching a movie under the stars. How romantic would that be!? Projectors have increased in popularity again over the last few years, and I’d love to buy one so we can hang a white sheet from the washing line, snuggle up under a blanket on the garden and watch a classic movie such as Dirty Dancing or Back To The Future together. I think it would be just lovely.
32. Bake and decorate a Christmas Cake – Last weekend it was Oscar’s 7th birthday, and I made him a Ryan’s World Birthday Cake to celebrate. Anyway, the kids were super impressed with it and now they’re hoping I’m going to make and decorate a Christmas cake later in the year. I’m not really sure I have the patience to do it – but when the time comes I’ll hopefully feel like giving it a try.
33. Take on Europe’s longest zip line – Another thing I’d like to experience is taking on a zip line. And what better one to take on than Europe’s longest one, which is situated over Penrhyn Quarry in Wales!? You can travel at speeds of over 100 miles per hour while taking in the breathtaking views and feeling the freedom of flight. I think I’d be scared stiff of giving it a try, but I bet the adrenaline rush that comes with it is amazing!
34. Climb Mount Snowdon – When I was younger, my family and I went on holiday to Wales. And while we were there we took a train up to Mount Snowdon’s Summit, before walking back down to the bottom. It took us a good few hours, and proved to be a bit of a challenge, but ever since that day I’ve wanted to go back and walk up it. I don’t know how realistic it is with having a curved spine, but I’d still give it a shot.
35. Start a petition – Now, this next one might seem a bit silly, but I don’t care! When I was little, my favourite film was Disney’s Brave Little Toaster, but it’s not a movie that you ever come across these days. So when Disney+ landed in the UK back in March I half expected it to be available on there to watch, but it isn’t. I was so disappointed as I’d love to watch it with the kids. Anyway, I’m planning on starting a petition to try and persuade Disney to include it in one of their future updates. They probably won’t take any notice of it, but it’s got to be worth a try. It’s such a great movie!
36. Sing at an open mic night – I’ve always loved a good sing-song. But I’m not a fan of singing in public – probably because I’m rubbish at it! That being said, I seem to improve drastically when I sing alongside one of my best friends. And she loves a good old open mic night. So, before I turn 40, I’d love to go along to one with her and belt out one of my favourite musical numbers. I’ll probably clear the room in less than 10 seconds flat – but you only live once, don’t you!? I’ll just have to try not to care.
37. Have £10,000 in savings – By the time I turn 40, I would love to have at least £10,000 in savings. I currently save 20% of my earnings for a rainy day, but things always seem to break and need replacing so they don’t stay in my savings account for long. I really need to work on that so I have a nice little nest egg for when I’m older.
38. Buy a hot tub – Being a single mum of 2, it’s very rare that I treat myself. So, in the next few years, I’d love to buy myself a hot tub for the garden. It’s something we can all enjoy during the summer months, as well as hopefully ensuring that I got outside to enjoy the fresh air and relax every once in a while!
39. Learn to ski – Ever since I was a teenager I’ve wanted to learn to ski, but I never have. I recently noticed that there’s a snow dome not too far away from me that offers skiing lessons, and I’d love to book some to see how I’d get on. And if I’m any good we might be able to head off on a skiing holiday!
40. Get married – And last – but certainly not least – I’ve finally decided that I would like to get married. I’ve always said that marriage isn’t for me, but I’ve had a lot of time on my hands to think about what I’d like to do with my life since we’ve been in lockdown. And I’ve most definitely warmed to the idea of getting married. I’m already older than most first-time brides though, so I’m hoping that if things work out between me and Dave, he’ll propose within a couple of years so I can walk down the aisle before I reach 40. Eek!
And there you have it – 40 things I’d like to do before I turn 40.
What things would you guys like to do before you hit your next big milestone birthday?