40 Things to Do Before I Am 40
In my efforts to be a happier, more complete and more experienced human being, I have written 40(ish) things that I would like to achieve by my 40th Birthday on 8th July 2017, which is approximately 2.5 years time. Most of these things I thought about and some were suggested by you lot on Facebook, Twitter etc.
I would like to cross all of these things off, so these things have to be achievable and attainable and should not really be things I have already done. It is up here for all to see because I really need to be accountable and held to it. Also, I think it helps gives “SOME” kind of focus or direction to my wandering. I will update this page as and when things are done and I’m sure I will document them if and when they are achieved.
These are not listed in order, but I grouped some of the achievements into categories.
- Meet Sam Childers: I read his autobiography and I cried. I watched the movie Machine Gun Preacher and I cried. The chances are I’ll probably cry when I meet him. This man is a huge inspiration and terrific example for people becoming empowered and turning your life around.
- Meet Brian ‘Head’ Welch: I read his autobiography and I cried again. Not that I want to get into the habit of reading men’s biographies and crying, but I could really relate to what he had written in his book and I found it incredibly inspiring. I was the biggest fan of Korn, but I am of him.
Meet Richie Sowa: Now this guy is another inspiration of mine. I first read about a man who built his own island that floated on plastic bottles that he had collected off the roadsides of Mexican highways when I was 22 and I have been beating my gums about him since.[COMPLETED. Read about it here.]
- Meet Michael Reynolds: Earthships. I love them. I go on about them all the time. I love this guy for creating them, his ethos behind them, what they represent for people and him spreading his word. Love, love love.
- Meet Scott Harrison: What a dude. Former New York barman and club promoter creates one of the world’s greatest charities, providing drinking water for nations in Africa. Just awe inspiring.
- Meet Ian Usher: Stories like this just stop me in my track. A man who auctioned off his entire life on eBay after he was left broken hearted has found new love and bought his own Caribbean island.
- Volunteer at a sustainable commune or kibbutz. I am really into people being empowered to live without the intervention of governments. There is something wonderful about people working together, as a community.
- Volunteer at an animal sanctuary. The chances are, I am going to to lean more towards dogs or monkeys with this one. I have had dogs my whole life and I am their biggest fan. If not a dog sanctuary, perhaps something with orangutans…..because Orangutans, that’s why.
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter. I know how ridiculously lucky I am. This one is partly inspired by my friend who is always helping and talking to the homeless and making my efforts to reach out quite pathetic in comparison. It’s a start.
- Volunteer/Get involved with an Arts Program. I have always been quite creative. I think this would be a cool thing to do. I have no idea how. I’m actually open to how this can manifest itself and I am open to suggestions.
- Teach Guitar to a student to a level where they can play or write 8 songs. I am a self-taught musician. The joy I have got from playing guitar over the years has been unmeasurable. It would be nice to pass that on.
- Teach English as a foreign language to a minimum of 5 people. This could be one on one lessons, it could be a class. Being a native English speaker is something I take for granted and learning Spanish has taught me that.
- Teach Scuba Diving to at least 1 person. The catch is I have to do 100 dives before I am able to do this. I know ….such a chore. At the time of writing this, I have only done 11 dives.
- Learn to speak Spanish fluently. The goal is to be competent enough so that I can discuss a complex subject like Earthships. It isn’t enough to be fluent, but to be able to discuss things that I am interested in gauges a level of competency.
- Learn another instrument besides the guitar. I’m self-taught with guitar, which is probably why I leveled out with my learning. I would like to learn something else. I’m leaning towards the drums, but I’m open to something different.
- Learn to surf. It looks cool and I think I could do it. I like being by the water. I like being in the water. Seems like a perfect fit.
- Learn to Dance. Though some friends might say I do not need to do this because I’m clearly awesome at dancing, the truth is I can’t dance. I learned all my skills from copying boy bands on MTV when I was a kid. Nothing wrong with that mind, but it would be cool to learn a proper dance. I am open to suggestions.
- Learn to build an Earthship. I go on about these things enough. Maybe I should backup my knowledge of them with some practical experience. There are internships and classes available as well volunteer opportunities all over the world. Want information on Earthships? Look here.
Visit the Earthships in New Mexico. This is the birthplace of the Earthships. There are 100’s of them here. Even though they are now spread all across the world, it would be nice to see them in their origins[ Completed: Read about it here ]
- Visit the Treehouses in Kerala in India. I saw a program of these being advertised on a TV show MANY years ago and I fell in love with them. Rope bridges and organic cages utilising rope pulleys. It’s like an Ewok Village dream come true.
Visit Richie Sowa’s floating Island in Mexico (See 3). Just wow. I read about this years ago and I am fed up of saying I am going to see him and then not.[COMPLETED. Read about it here.]
- Visit Seaside, Florida. The Truman Show my favourite movie. I really connected with the fact that despite having ‘everything’ he was still restless and yearning for more. I loved the feel of the movie and it would be nice to place myself there. It’s not a set. The town actually looks like that.
- Visit the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. I remember being told me about a community of people that lived on islands that floated on a lake. It was part of a trek from Bolivia to Peru and involved Machu Pichu also.
- Dive the Blue Hole in Belize. A top place to do some incredible diving. One of the best dive sites in the world.
- Give a talk or speech at an event to a minimum of 300 people and not fuck it up. Despite singing in a rock band for 6 years and busking on stage, for some reason, I’m completely inept at when I have to give a presentation. I have no idea why. I fumble my lines a lot, read quickly, skip words. Really rather annoying.
Get a Tattoo. I always seem to love other peoples and I wanted to get one for ages. But kept chickening out or changing my mind.[COMPLETED. Read about it here.]
Design & Create a Prosthetic Creature or Makeup to be used in a professional photo shoot or a film. I often think I have missed my calling in life. I have done my own makeup for years as my friends can testify. It would be beyond all levels of cool to do something bigger and better beyond my own face and my head. Monsters, demons, zombies, war victims, casualty bodies, anything… [COMPLETED. Read about it here.]
- Write and/or illustrate a children’s book. I have had a few ideas about doing something like this for a while, but I have yet to do anything about them.
- Write a book. Whether it be fiction, a true story, I do not know. But ever since the online diary of my long distance relationship with the ex, I have found writing very cathartic. I have been doing a lot more in recent years.
- Start my online shop. The feedback has always been good from strangers and friends alike about my products. If nothing ever becomes of it, I would like to say I have given it my all, rather than a half-hearted effort.
- Star, act or be an extra in a movie, preferably a thriller or a horror film. This would just be a cool thing to say have taken part in. I went to theatre school when I was a kid and acting was one of my better study channels at school.
- Spend a week in a meditation retreat in the desert. There is a retreat run by a guy called Tom Thumb who runs retreats and workshops in Europe. I nearly went to one, but my plans changed. I think it would be cool and therapeutic to get my inner hippy on in the ass-end of nowhere. Anywhere in the world would suit me.
- Spend a week on an uninhabited island. I’m good with my own company and it would be nice to ‘off-road’ it on an island on my own for a week. A bit like Bear Grylls ‘The Island’, but with less drama and idiots.
- Kayak down the Amazon River. I do not really think this needs explaining. I’m open to kayaking all of it, or some of it in part. I do not even know if it is safe or even possible. I’ll have fun finding out.
- Attended Frightfest (or something similar). I love Horror Films. Every year in London, they have a 3 day cinema pass that allows you to watch all types, styles and genres of Horror films. I keep saying I am going to go and I never do (there was always another festival or friends birthdays). Failing that, I would be content to go to something similar to this on another continent perhaps.
- Start My Own Business: Though I am self-employed, but I still feel like everything is either part-time or full-time work for part-time pay. What would be nice is to have a steady income stream the whole time, something that I enjoy and has meaning and value in my life and that allows me a lot of time to fuel my interests.
- Quit Processed Sugars and Alcohol for 6 months. Alcohol is not a problem for me and I think this would be fairly easy, but my main crutch is Sugar. Despite giving up most forms of processed sugars, I lapse like everyone and I am not as hard on myself like I should be. The evidence against processed sugars is to be adhered to.
- Try Vegetarianism for 1 month. I would be doing this more to be more experimental with my vegetable choices in my diet than completely removing meat from my diet.
- Practice Meditation and Tai Chi for 100 days straight. These are things I occasionally practice or have tried. I know the benefits of doing them on a daily basis. It would nice to stick them out for at least 100 days.
- Get Married/Commit to someone. One of trickier ones for me, hence leaving it till last. I have spent most of my life single for numerous reasons: Fear of commitment or enmeshment, huge need and desire for independence and freedom, contentment in solitude, not finding the right woman…I could go on. Despite numerous crushes and attractions, I have only been in love once and she took me a long time to get. I am not saying I’ll turn into a homebody or cliche husband material overnight, but I do think life is better shared. This does not have to be accomplished by 40, but I should probably work on the reasons behind the above and also aim to be a better person anyway. There is no downside to that.