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Sunday 14 July, 6:15pm
I've got a bucket list, a list of the things I want to do and places I want to visit. The list has always been in my head. Being a rather unsettled, fidgety sort of person, I have always wanted to get more out of my life. But this is the first time I have written my bucket list down.
It must be something to do with my age (56), the fact that I have just returned from a fascinating holiday in Iceland, and the fact that a close family member had a heart scare this summer, which made me realise that I am not immortal, that time is running out to fit in all the things on my list. Also the last child is about to leave home, all offering me more reason to be determined to live my life to the full. No longer do I have to put my family first, it is now all about what I want to do, so it seemed the perfect time to write down my bucket list and reassess my priorities.
So what's on my bucket list? - to begin with, lots of travel. I have taken to cutting out interesting trips and good travel tips from the travel section of the Sunday papers. In my head I have already lined up a hiking/island hopping trip to Croatia, a slow train in Sweden and have plans to visit India, Vietnam, the Scottish islands, Shetland and walk the Pembrokeshire coast path. I'm determined to eventually get to the Womad festival and attend more local music events.
On the home front, I want to get out more, to do more exercise, to join a book club, a local orchestra and catch up with friends more regularly. I need some treats, some fun to get me through these long dark evenings. I need a change from the daily grind of work/ cook tea/ watch TV cycle that it is so easy to fall into.
I swear by a treat a day. It's a sort of well done to myself for all the hard work. A little treat - half hour with a book, a walk after work, a coffee and cake with a friend, all help to add a little enjoyment to the day.
But we need the bigger treats as well, the things that give us a real break, a real buzz, the things we always dream of. Of course, we won't do all of these things. Money, time, daily responsibilities will to some extent get in the way. But if we can put them in our little book and plan them into the next week, month, year or five years ahead, we can start to work our lives around some of these bigger treats. To save for a special holiday, to research music events in your our area, to book a week's leave when we can venture up to the Shetland Isles.
And we can decide who we want to share these adventures with. If we want to invite a friend or family member on our dream holiday or night out, we have to let them in on the plan as well. And of course, once the plan is out there, there is no going back.
So why not start your own bucket list, buy a special book where all your dreams, plans and ambitions can be written down. Here are some tips offered by Wikihow to get you started.
And if you need a companion to help you fulfil your dreams, together friends can help!