I turned fifty last year. It wasn’t nearly as traumatic as I thought it might be, despite having most of my celebrations cancelled due to lockdown. About six months before I turned the big 5-0 I started writing a list of fifty things to do before I was fifty. I think it’s safe to say that I’d probably left writing this list a little bit late. For me I think that long term goals are what I like to aim for when it comes to lists like this. I ended up putting things on there that I didn’t really care about, just so I had things that I felt I’d be able to do quickly and fairly easily. I think if I’d got to almost 50 without feeling the need to go and get my nails done, then it’s fair to say that it wasn’t something that I was all that bothered about. That turned out to be a pretty rubbish list and I barely got anything ticked off on it. At the same time though I started writing a 60 things to do by the time I was 60 list. I found I actually had more things on this list than the one for when I turned 50, although nowhere near 60 things.
Recently I’ve picked up both of these lists and had a good look through them. A lot of the things on the 50 for 50 list quickly got discarded, but there was plenty on the 60 list that I really wanted to do. Just under ten years gives me a good bit of time to actually make some progress on these things that are important to me. Quite a few of these things are going to take a bit of planning and will need a bit of money spending on them, so it’s good that I’ve got plenty of time. There’s some really big FIRE milestones in there too, which is really exciting to see.
The challenge I guess is balancing spending money on experiences that I want to have with achieving my FIRE goals. The two things seem to be somewhat incompatible, but I suppose as long as I spread them out and try and do some of the travel aspirations in a budget manner then I should be ok. There are quite a few completely free things on there, along with plenty of pretty frugal ones. Some of them require a big time commitment, and others are just plain indulgent. There are some things on there that terrify me, which I think is probably a good sign that I should definitely go for it.
I’ve committed my list to the back of my bullet journal. No doubt the list will change over time. I’ve not worried about how I’m going to do all of these things, I’ve just put down that I want to do them. There are already some things that I wish I’d put on there, but which at the time didn’t quite make the cut. No doubt I’ll make some adjustments as time goes by. And if this running injury doesn’t heal then I’m going to have to think of a lot more things to go on the list, as a fair chunk is devoted to running activities!
So here’s my list.
- Vogrie parkrun
- South Shields parkrun
- Gibside parkrun
- Run a marathon (Again, but made a better job of it than I did last time)
- Do an ultra
- Do a triathlon
- Become a parkrun tourist
- Do parkrun A-Z
- Do the Granada half marathon
- Do 100 parkruns
- Do 250 parkruns
- Volunteer 25 times at parkrun
- Run the Road to the Isles half marathon
- Do the Kielder Dark Skies run
- Do the Chariots of Fire race
- Do a parkrun abroad
- Walk up Arthur’s Seat
- Walk the West Highland Way
- Cycle around Loch Leven
- Run the Loch Leven half marathon
- Learn a ballroom dance
- Finish the Duolingo Spanish tree
- Write a book
- Do some volunteering
- Become mortgage neutral
- Get my AVC fund to £50k
- Get my Equities fund to £125k
- Pay off my mortgage
- Go part time at work
- Learn to do the 3×3 cube without notes (again, and don’t forget how to do it this time)
- Do the cube in under 1 minute 30 seconds
- Climb Ben Nevis
- Climb Scafell
- Climb Snowden
- Get the en suite done
- Ge the kitchen done
- Get the bathroom done
- Get new carpets
- Go to Italy
- Visit Copenhagen
- Go to Russia
- Go back to Cuba
- Do a tour of the Scottish Islands
- Go camping in Europe
- Go to the Alhambra in Granada (again, but I love it there)
- Go to the German Christmas markets in Germany rather than Edinburgh
- Do a trip in a campervan
- Go to San Sebastián
- Go to Cyprus
- Go to Canada
- See the Northern Lights
- Have a trip on the Jacobite Express
- Stay in a wigwam
- Go white water rafting
- Watch the Graham Norton show being filmed
- Go out for a really good breakfast
- Go to a TEDx event
- Visit London
- Go to Gairloch and my favourite ever campsite
Reading that list makes me so excited to get started. The only one I’ve actually done already is that I became a parkrun tourist just before lockdown. Every good list always has at least one thing on it that you’ve already done. The parkruns are free to do, but time constraints are going to be against me. Unless I change my job and no longer work every second Saturday then getting 250 parkruns in by the time I’m 60 will be tight. I need to factor in injuries, volunteering and of course the fact that it’s not on just now due to lockdown. We’ll not even talk about the ultra and triathlon that I’ve recklessly added to the list. I’ll worry about those another time, as they terrify the hell out of me. As does the marathon, as I remember how much that took over my life when I did one once before. I’m not entirely convinced my body is up to all these physical challenges, but I guess I don’t have to do any of them fast, I just have to do them.
There’s a reasonable amount of travel in there, but hopefully not so much that it will be unachievable on my budget. I’m really excited to go to Italy. Considering how much I love Italian men and food it’s a travesty that I’ve never been there before. The really good thing about the different destinations I’ve listed is that I have a fair idea who I’ll go to each place with. These are all places that I’ve talked about going with different people over the years, we’ve just never quite got around to it.
The white water rafting is something my sister and I have been supposed to do for years. We postponed it when she got pregnant with my nephew, but as he’s twelve now we’re long overdue that adventure! And the climbing of Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowden is something that myself, my sister and my brother have been talking about during lockdown.
It’s really great to see that by the time I’m 60 I should have reached FIRE, with some important milestones reached during the next decade. I should be mortgage neutral really soon and then my next targets will be my AVC and Equities fund. I’m hoping I should hit those in the next five years or so. At that point I can consider the possibility of negotiating a shorter working week. I’ve very optimistically put pay the mortgage off in the list. That’s probably going to take me longer, but it’s a good target to aim for. At the very least it should be at a much more manageable level. Once I turn sixty my work pension kicks in, so full retirement should be mine for the taking. That’s pretty exciting to think about. Only a decade to go. The key is going to be to fill that decade with lots of meaningful experiences so that I can enjoy this last part of my working life.
Does anyone else have a list like mine? Any suggestions of any really great things that I’ve missed off?