I’m 40 this year.
I didn’t think much of it, although my husband asked me what I wanted to do for it. Last year I had a party, complete with pass the parcel and party bags. I’d thought about waiting for my 40th to have a party but decided not to wait – after all, I have a birthday every year and could always have another one.
So he said he would organise something for me. A little while later he told me to keep the weekend beforehand clear in my diary.
And that, i thought, was that.
At the start of January, he said he had a present for me. “Is it wrapped? Do I get a bow on the top?!”
There was a pause. And a hurried scurrying. And he came back with a little pink envelope containing a pink post-it note.
And there it was, the start of it all: “Present 1 of 40: 40 days off in your 40th year.”
Wow. As well as being my husband, he also runs the business where I work, so 40 days off really means something. And those 40 days do NOT include any time off company work in order to look after our son. They really are 40 days OFF.
To make sure I actually use them, I decided to write them down as I took them, with what I did – so I could present the list back to my husband at the end of the year.
That was the start of the lists.
Instead of just having time off, I wanted to do something special with my time. So created some more lists: 40 new things, 40 special times/dates with my husband, Say “Yes” to my son 40 times, 40 significant times with friends, 40 achievements.
If you are single, those look easy, simple, fairly pointless lists. If you are a busy mum? Totally different. As one mum put it, “You know you’re a mum when having a smear test counts as ‘Me Time.'”
I worked out I would have to put 3 or 4 things on each list every month. It is now the middle of February and I am already behind. But I have done new things, taken time off, and focussed on people who are important to me. And that was really the point of my lists.
I put the question out there, “What new things should I try?” and this public blog is a result of one of the suggestions. If you have any more, then let me know.