40 Before 40: Part I

8 Sep

I was slightly surprised by the attention that my #40Before40 list generated, both on and offline.

I feel a lot more encouraged from the beginning and I am feeling optimistic about the whole challenge. But then I have a deadline of 5 years, so it feels like time is limitless. I know that time will quickly come around and before I know it I will be panicking about finishing certain items. I am aiming to avoid this, if at all possible.

I thought it would be a good idea to run through quickly the items on the list to understate the reasons why they are on the list. As I mentioned in my earlier post, some of these may not seem so difficult but I have my own reasons for having them on the list.

So here is a quick explanation of the first 20 challenges:

  1. Pass C2 Goethe German exam – this one is relatively straight forward. I live in a German speaking country and I don’t currently speak/write German fluently. C2 is the highest level of the European Framework of Reference for Languages. This means you are on par with a native speaker: almost no errors in writing or speaking. Could be tricky. I start C1 level lessons in two weeks which is one level below the highest level.
  2. Visit 40 countries in Europe – I didn’t even know that there were this many countries in Europe but there are actually 51. So far, I have visited 25 of them. The rule is that I don’t have to revisit the countries that I have been to before. I would love to do this but my employer would not be so happy.
  3. Go paragliding – this is one of the easier ones on the list. I just have to book in and go, right? I have been meaning to do this for literally years. It’s on the list so I have to do it now.
  4. Enter a photography competition – I am a keen photographer, which doesn’t necessarily mean that I am any good. I would like to improve a few of my photography skills and then enter a competition. There are lots of competitions. I am sure that one of my photos will be worthy of an entry.
  5. Write my will and plan my funeral – by far the most morbid item on the list but something that I have been meaning to do for a while. Hopefully planning my own funeral will take the stress out of arranging it for those who are left behind.
  6. (Re)Learn the flute – at school I was a decent flautist. I gave up my hobby of music to play hockey. I recently bought a flute and some music. I thought it would be easy to return to playing. It turns out that the sheet music now looks like Japanese to me. This will take some dedication.
  7. Go alcohol free for a year – I have, at times, voluntarily gone alcohol free. In the past I have gone without alcohol for 3 months before a half marathon and felt great about it and not really missed drinking. Let’s see if I can last a whole year without it…
  8. Watch every movie on iMDB Top 250 Films list – as with Number 2, I don’t have to re-watch any of the films that I have already seen. From the list of films, I have noticed that there are some films on there that I haven’t even heard of before. It should be interesting!
  9. Write a novel (at least 50,000 words) – this could have been on my list to do before 21 and 30. One of the reason why I have been blogging is to get into the habit of writing. I have at least one book desperately waiting to get out of me. It needs to get written.
  10. Beat at least one of my running PBs for 10k, 10 miles, half marathon or marathon – since writing the original list I have added 10 miles because I realised that I have an official race time for 10 miles when I ran in Liverpool in 2016. My times are not great and they are beatable. I feel that if I don’t do this challenge in the next few years that I will never beat my times. I decided to not limit myself to one race distance because recently I have had some knee problems and I don’t want to put too much stress on myself to beat the time and make my injury worse in the process.
  11. Read the Bible from cover to cover – as a theology graduate, I probably should have done this already. I haven’t. In the beginning, there will be a lot of “begatting”. I will need to power through to the end.
  12. Go to the Opera – another of the more easy ones. Book the tickets and go! Yes, I have been saying that for years. I think I will need to read up about the opera before I go so that I know what is going on. I don’t know any Italian. When I was at the Mozart concert at the Opera House in Vienna, I enjoyed the opera singers more than I thought I would.
  13. See the Northern Lights – this has also been on my list of things to do for years. I really can’t wait to see them but I will need some luck with the weather as they are not always visible.
  14. Go vegan for 3 months –  Why, oh why, did I put this on the list? I’m already regretting and dreading it. What on earth do vegans eat? The aim of this is to focus my attention on what I eat. I am a bad eater, in that I just eat whatever and don’t think about the nutrional value of food. I hope that this will help to correct this bad behaviour of mine.
  15. Have something that I have written published – related to Number 9, although I am almost positive that it will not be the outcome of Number 9 that is published.
  16. Save money for a rainy day – I am getting on a bit so it is time to think a bit about the future and money. The main motivation behind this is the thought of retiring early but maybe I am too late for that.
  17. Write a diary for a year – I did write a diary on and off as a teenager, which was mainly along the lines of “Oh my god, I hate her!” I’m hoping this will be slightly more mature and will be a lovely keepsake of a year of my life.
  18. Hot Air Balloon ride – again, I have wanted to do this for ages and ages. Let’s get it done!
  19. Take part in an Ultra race – an Ultra race in layman’s terms is a race that is longer than a marathon, normally 50km or more. At the moment, I am thinking about a walk, like London to Brighton, or something similar. But I am yet to decide which exact race and when.
  20. Throw a birthday party for myself – I’m not a huge fan of Christmas, New Year, Easter and definitely not of birthday party. It’s not that I am scared about getting old; it just that it takes a lot of organising and people don’t come when they have said that they will etc.. I don’t think I have had a birthday party with invitations and music for the whole of my adult life. I didn’t have anything for my 21st or 30th. This is my (possibly) vain attempt to be more socialable and more optimistic about people turning up. And, if people don’t turn up, I will listen to music and eat the whole of the birthday cake by myself.

I will post in a few days the rest of the challenges and my reasons for having them on the list!

#40Before40

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7 Responses to “40 Before 40: Part I”

  1. Confuzzled Bev September 8, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    “What on earth do vegans eat?” made me laugh 😀 I’m clearly not vegan (see photo of delicious venison sausage on my blog for evidence) but occasionally my meals turn out to be vegan. Coop has interesting vegan stuff to help you get started – I like their black bean burgers. And for an easy vegan meal I make sweet potato and chickpea curry. Onion, garlic, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, curry spices, salt and pepper. That’s literally it – and it’s very tasty. Sometimes I do sweet potatoes and normal potatoes for variety. And now pumpkin season is here I will be swapping the sweet potatoes for pumpkin sometimes, or using both. I am preparing to eat ALL THE PUMPKINS for the next few months.

    • ourgirlinzurich September 8, 2017 at 5:02 pm #

      Thanks for the tips! I will need to do a lot of research so that I am not starving and lacking in vitamins the whole time. I will have to do this in the summer because there is no way that I can go without fondue and raclette during autumn/winter. I will definitely be trying your sweet potato and chickpea curry though! Sounds delicious!

      • Confuzzled Bev September 9, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

        I was going to say summer might be easier but then I remembered how many times we barbecued in the summer!

      • ourgirlinzurich September 9, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

        I know but I can grill veggies on the grill 😋

  2. Stephanie Booth September 8, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    11: I dare you to get through Numbers without skipping anything!
    14: veganism isn’t actually a healthy diet (it requires a large amount of planning and calculating and supplementing if you don’t want to end up with deficiencies)

    I think I’ll do a 50 before 50, I’m too late for 40! Particularly for #5. Or maybe “5 before 45”? Two years to go…

  3. ourgirlinzurich September 8, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    There was actually a discussion about the unhealthiness of a vegan diet in the office today. I kept rather quiet as I realised exactly what I was getting myself into. I know that I will need to plan what I am eating. It could be the longest 3 months of my life. At the end of it will know whether life is worth living without dairy and honey. I think I already know the answer 😦

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 40 Before 40: Part II | Our Girl in Zurich - September 9, 2017

    […] To read the items 1 to 20, click here. […]

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