Another year passes, the smile is still as wide as before and a few unexpected twists and turns have been taken in my stride.

It is 12 months since I turned 40 and compiled the “40 List”.

So it is high time I took stock and see what (if any) progress I’ve made on the list.

my 40 list

(by RachelCreative)

There have been some significant changes over the last 12 months, which have indirectly impacted on some of the things on the list.

I’m currently in the middle of a sabbatical from self-employment. I got offered a 12-month contract with a locally based organisation and a combination of factors (not least, I like the job and the people I work with), together with a slight improvement in Rachel’s health, convinced me to take up the opportunity.

But I’m delighted to say there has been plenty of progress on some of the list, although it was never my intention to do as many of the items as possible in the last 12 months.

Some of them can wait – flying lessons; learning to play the guitar; building my own house – for a time in the future when I’m better placed to try them.

Others I’m well aware I might never get to do – write a song; find out if I’m a secret carpenter; busk – but that is perfectly alright as I’ll keep reminding myself of No.21 (don’t have regrets).

But there have been some successes.

I took a canoe lesson (courtesy of Rachel’s 40th birthday present) and got the bug. Although I haven’t done any since, the techniques I picked up are still fresh in my mind so I remain on course to canoe the length of the River Usk one of these days (well, more like a week or so).

I’ve written a lot more over the last 12 months, for myself and currently in collaboration with my friend Nick. One of these days our efforts will see the light of day.

I’m still head over heels in love with my wife and remain determined to take her on the honeymoon (No.2 on the list). Also, as Rachel sells more of her art work, I’m on the way to becoming a kept man (No.8).

We possibly haven’t explored as much as we would have wanted (No.14), but we did have a great 10 days up in the North-East. It was a trip to break routines, see new places, enjoy being together and have fun.

20080800 hartlepool maritime experience

(Welcome to Hartlepool – pic by RachelCreative).

But the biggest progress has been with No.1 on the list – get back on my bike.

It was always going to be the easiest one to succeed with, but I have been pleasantly surprised with just how much progress I’ve made.

I’ll be taking on the C2C Challenge this summer and I’m currently getting huge enjoyment from my training regime.

All in all, therefore, a busy 12 months and plenty of progress on the 40 List.

I’m looking forward to ticking off a few more things over the next year.

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7 responses »

  1. ashysheela says:

    Happy Birthday! You are making very good progress indeed! Have a nice day :)

  2. Nick Scott Donald says:

    Published and on the shelves by 42!

  3. Rachel M says:

    Happy Birthday!
    Many happy returns and more to tick. 8-)

  4. Ursula says:

    Dearest Spring Chicken,

    Happy Birthday and may you have the puff to blow out all those few candles. Believe me, it can only get more strenuous – and not just the cycling.

    Don’t busk – unless you are really short of funds. I strongly recommend you following up your idea of carving wood. It grounds you if nothing else – though you might reconsider once you have sliced off a little of one of your fingers.

    I don’t know what your favourite celebratory tipple is – consider it on the house.

    Yes, the “list”. It’s the one big worry I have about you. Go with the flow. Once you are on your death bed it’ll be the least of your worries how many of your ambitions you were/are able to tick off.

    41 hugs (sorry, Rachel – it’ll take some time)

    U

  5. Paul Groves says:

    Rachel: Birthday wishes from my favourite Aussie are always very welcome :-)

    U: The list is not a guide for life, its just a way of remembering the stuff I want to do (my memory is getting worse).
    So these 41 hugs will take time eh? Just how long will each one last?!?

  6. Cool post and Happy Birthday. Honeymoon no 2 and flying lessons are my favs.

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