40 Before 40: What happened to my list?

Two years ago on my 38th birthday, I wanted to challenge myself so I wrote 40 things I wanted to do before I turn 40. I was very optimistic at that time that I would be able to do at least half of the things on my list. However, it's only a week before my 40th birthday and I only managed to cross off 12 things. Ha.

I must admit that when I was doing my list, I was just beginning to regain my self-confidence. I was knocked down really hard you see, and when I finally picked myself up and knew that I was strong enough, I thought I could do just about anything. Duh. I think my confidence went overboard that I didn't even realise the financial implication of this list. So, it's not really a surprise that I wasn't able to do even half of the things I believed were easy to achieve. 

Coming from a heartbreak at that time, I wanted to take revenge and the best revenge I could think of was to do things for myself once and for all, and partly  to impress other people, mainly men. Yes, I know. How stupid, right? I wanted to prepare myself for when the next Mr. Right comes along. I thought that doing those things would give me more confidence and would make me a better girlfriend in the future. What I didn't realise was that despite the failure of my marriage, I was and still will be the best girlfriend (or wife) any man could ever have (believe me). So there was really no need for me to impress. Naks.

And then of course, J came along and my priorities changed once more. Yes, our relationship became my priority but this doesn't mean that I have forgotten about myself. In fact, I love myself more than enough that I am able to love the person this much. After all, I can't really give what I don't have, right? So I don't regret that I was unable to do more than half of the things on my 40 before 40 list because now I have J. This is because I am happy to be where I am now. I have a well-balanced life and a partner who doesn't even realise  how amazing he is. Life is really good, and I can't complain. 

So what happened to my list?

1. Learn how to swim - My fear of water prevented me from learning how to swim, but I will still do this once I find a cheaper deal. :)
2. Learn how to drive
5. Run in UP Diliman- I am hoping to do this next time I go home.
6. Learn to Ski - I'm sure I'll be able to do this in the near future.
7. See the Northern Lights in Iceland - I still want to this but not necessarily.
8. Run a Marathon abroad - I considered running the Wellington marathon but it was in the winter (last week) and the weather has been really unreliable so I couldn't train.
9. Write a book - I am half way through.
10. Have my own Art Exhibition- This almost happened, but New Zealand came along. I am no longer expecting this as it's far too ambitious,  but perhaps there is a possibility that I might be able to hang one or two at some exhibition in the future. So watch this space. 
11. Learn Martial Arts- I've always wanted to learn Martial Arts but I guess it's too late now, so I might give this a pass. 
12. Visit Cambodia and/or Vietnam- This is still on the cards and I'm sure I'll visit either or both countries soon. 
13. Learn another language- I actually learned basic Italian before I made this list, but I need a refresher. 
14. Go camping- I'm sure one day this will happen.
16. Watch Kris TV live- Unfortunately, the show has now stopped airing. But I still want to meet Kris Aquino in person one day. Ha.Ha.Ha.
17. Learn how to pole dance- Hmmm...perhaps I would reconsider.
18. Learn how to play the violin- I may still learn in the future but I think for now, it's enough for me to be able to tell other people that my son Keith played the violin. Also, I met a professional violinist a few months ago and I am happy that I was able to share Keith's story with her.
19. Be a motivational speaker- Apparently, I already am to some people so I don't need to be on TED talks. :)
20. Be a Humanitarian Volunteer- Not exactly humanitarian, but I have devoted some of my time to volunteerism. 
23. Watch Tour de France in Mont St Michel- Not probably to watch Tour de France anymore, but I would still love to see Mont St Michel. One day.
24. Read at least 24 books
26. Watch Sarah Geronimo and The Killers in concert- Unfortunately, neither of them had a concert in London in the last two years.
29. Mud Run- I knew I wasn't ready for this challenge.
30. Sailing- I added this randomly as I thought I was going to do it with a friend.
31. Climb a mountain
32. Visit Pooh corner- Oh my love for Winnie the Pooh. I should really do this when I go back to England.
33. Find the best cheese roll in London or learn how to make it
34. Medical Mission- Too ambitious I suppose. But one day, it will happen.
35. Watch an Opera- I actually don't really want to do this. It's just here to impress.
36. Cycle around London- Somehow perhaps I have done this. J and I went cycling around London one day but I had the Bike Ride in mind when I wrote this.
37. Stay in a Monastery-  At some point in my younger years, I thought of becoming a nun. This is on my list because I wanted to experience life in a monastery even for a short period of time.
38. Run in 5 major parks in London- I have only done 4 so far. Will make up for it when I go back to London.
39. Ask 5 "guys in light blue shirt" to give me 3 challenges each- Will not do this anymore as I no longer need to impress men and my search for that guy in light blue shirt ended when I met the guy in light grey t-shirt. :)
40. Continue to inspire people and make my dreams come true- Will do this for the rest of my life. 


This is another proof  that I can't really plan my life. I wanted to go to some places and do some other things, but the universe had a better plan for me. Instead, I took the leap of faith and made one of the easiest decisions I've ever made in my life - to come and live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world with the man I love. And this my friends, made up for the things I was not able to do on my list. 

So from now on, no more lists. I'll just go wherever life takes me and enjoy the journey no matter how challenging it could be. After all, life is a trial and error. If I fail the first time, all I can do is try again. It's always better to try and fail than not to try at all. Besides, every failure is a lesson learned. And in my case, every lesson I learned became my weapon to become a better person. 

And so, let the journey begin.

tintin x


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