Last year, I made a birthday list of 24 fun things I wanted to try before I turned 24. A few years earlier, I made a list of things to do before I turned 22 (I skipped 23 for some reason).
Why? Well, one of my values is to always be learning. I don’t ever want to stop growing or gaining new skills and experiences, but I have also observed how easy it is for me to get used to a routine and do the same things (and eat the same foods, and go to the same places) over and over again. So the birthday list is a gentle reminder to me to do something fun every once in a while, or to make time and space in my life to learn something new.
It’s not a to-do list and I don’t beat myself up for not “finishing” the list by my next birthday – that’s not the point. In fact, the first time I was 13/22, and last year I did 15/24, and some of those only partially. And that’s fine. Sometimes I realize that this year is not the year for it, and sometimes I realize that I don’t actually want to do that thing, so I just cross them off and move on. And sometimes I carry over items to a new list for the following year. It’s all good.
One thing I can tell you is that often, the things I set out to do from my list end up as some of the best memories for me. When I think back to the year I was 22, it is so full of awesome experiences and feels so rich: I made a dress! I rolled around in coloured paint! I talked about books with my friends! And the same goes for last year: some of my favourite memories are jumping around on that trampoline, having that sunset picnic, and writing an essay to honour my mom.
So, even though it’s long past my April birthday I still want to document this year’s list. Some of the things I came up with before my birthday and others I’ve only added recently (somehow my original list got lost along the way) but again, it’s all good.
- Do a 10-day juice cleanse
- Teach a yoga class full of strangers
- Raise $250+ for Charity: Water (help me out with $5 right here!!)
- Try aerial yoga
- Give a talk
- Attend a conference
- Record a song I wrote
- Learn how to do beautiful lettering
- Start a group or event
- Take a road trip
- Do 4 DIY projects
- Bake 4 new kinds of bread
- Host a vegan potluck
- Try out a capsule wardrobe for a season
- Learn how to speak fluent Spanish
- Learn how to drive manual
- Give up refined sugar for a month
- Join a group
- Take 25 courses or workshops
- Try paragliding
- Order room service
- Live zero-waste for a month
- Learn how to surf
- Make my own jam, nut milk, peanut butter, and juice
- Write a book or course