I always write a birthday post every year to mark the occasion, despite the fact I have a bit of a weird relationship with my birthday. Despite how you feel about your birthday, I think it’s important to mark getting through another year, even in a small way. You’re still here! You’re getting older! That’s a privilege a lot of people don’t get.
I’m absolutely over these long bucket list style posts, which inevitably have me highlighting all the things I know deep down I’m probably not going to do and ultimately making me feel worse about myself.
I actually just found this post I wrote when I was turning 28 about 17 things I wanted to do before I turned 30 and I managed to tick off… 5 of them.
I’ve felt a huge shift in the online space lately of more “real” influencers (like Melanie Murphy, Hannah Witton and Fabulous Hannah to name a few) who aren’t always jetting off somewhere exotic, buying expensive things and living extraordinary lives and who are instead showing REAL life.
And watching these sort of creators has had a hugely positive impact on me.
I used to be very critical of myself and how little I’ve travelled for example. There’s lots of travel I wish I would have done in my early twenties but wasn’t able to because of my anxiety disorder which left me unable to leave my bedroom, let alone the country.
I feel like that time has probably passed, based on my currently circumstances and plans and I’m learning – slowly – to be okay with that. So you certainly won’t see any extreme travel plans on this list.
In fact, I recently watched this incredible video from Leena Norms all about travel habits and it’s a MUST watch if you feel like me!
Anyway to the point, I’m thirty bloody one today. 31.
I feel like when I turned 30 I made a big deal of it in my head and whilst turning 30 was a difficult thing for me, ultimately, I didn’t feel like 30 was “old” (which it’s not).
But 31 feels different. I hate the thought of being 31.
My back hurts, my knees crunch and I have to be in bed by 10 o’clock at the absolute latest. I’m 31 going on 81, apparently.
I’m having more and more thoughts and feelings about my life lately, where I am, where I want to be, where I wish I was, where I hoped to be. I think that’s natural, especially as you get older.
But it’s not making me feel very good.
It’s all very well people saying, “but you’re on your own path!”, “trust the timing of your life!” God, I hate that saying. Because I’m NOT where I wanted to be at 31. I’m not on the trajectory I wanted my life to take.
Because my anxiety disorder took that away from me. I’ll always be bitter about that.
Which is something I’m trying to learn to be okay with.
Which brings me on to this little list that I’ve established for this coming year of birth. I’ve switched it up and instead of just random things that I shove on a list in the hope I tick them off, I’m honing in on the intentional things I want to do this next year.
Things that come from the heart. Things that feel right. Things that aren’t on a list for the sake of being able to tick them off or get an photo for Instagram.
Here are 6 intentional things I want to do at 31:
Have moved into our house
You know when you write a to-do list for the day and you write something on it that you’ve already done, just so you’ve got something to tick off? Yeah, that’s sort of the case with this point!
At the time of writing this (early August), it’s likely that we’re going to be moving into our house sometime this month (although exact dates are up in the air). We should already be in for my birthday, so that’s something I can already tick off!
I’ve done none of the things I wanted to have done by the age but I always wanted to move into my own house by the time I was 30. With just one month left on the clock, I managed to do that.
Get a dog
Carl and I can’t wait to get our own dog when we’re settled in and ready. We’ve both had dogs (I lost my Rory last year) and we’re both utterly obsessed with dogs, going out of our way to say hello to dogs on the street or in the park.
Dogs make us both SO happy, so we know that a doggy addition to our home is the perfect step for us. We have our hearts set on a girl cocker spaniel, it’s just about waiting for the right one to come along!
Get involved in our local community
Where I lived before (built up area in Essex), there wasn’t much – if any – sense of community. People didn’t get together to do things, there wasn’t really many classes that I knew of, book clubs you could forget about. Everyone kept to themselves.
Whereas we’re moving to a village, with a very heavy community aspect, which will be a lovely change and I really want to make the effort to get involved how I can. I know there’s a weekly Yoga class and a book club, both of which I’ll be signing up for!
Get a part-time job
I don’t necessarily need a part-time job although when you’ve bought your first home and are paying a mortgage and all your bills for the first time, every little helps. Carl and I both have a good income each so together, we won’t struggle with the bills.
However, I’ll be moving to a new county and will likely be in the house on my own for a lot of the time, as Carl works elsewhere. I’d love to get a suitable part-time job, preferably fairly close, to help me meet people, get out the house and get into a new routine in my new place.
I’ve always wanted to volunteer somewhere I felt like I could do some good but the right place has never really come up. However, I have found somewhere I’d love to volunteer near-ish to us, when we move to Lincolnshire.
I’m really set on getting in touch with them to see if I can volunteer, perhaps a couple of mornings a week. This is something I’ll have to ensure fits in with everything else (jobs, house stuff, blogging work) to make it work for me.
But I know that volunteering in this particular place will give me such a boost and a much higher sense of purpose.
Support more local businesses
The good thing about Lincolnshire, with it being so rural is that there’s a lot of small businesses around. Unless you go into Lincoln or the bigger towns, with high-street stores, you’re likely going to find more small locals, which is really nice.
I want to try and move away from using places like Waterstones and instead go to independent bookstores, use farm shops for fruit and veggies instead of the Co-Op or Tesco and support local Lincolnshire businesses.
As you can see, all of the intentional things I want to do at 31 are centered around our move, our house and life in Lincolnshire. 31 will be my first year living in a new place with a new way of life, so I think it’s only normal for that to be the main focus of my next year on Earth.
I want to settle in to this new place, turn my house in to a home, explore more of Lincolnshire and get involved in my new community. And I’m actually really excited about it!
No big travel plans (although a holiday wouldn’t go amiss) but for the first time in my life, I’m actually not craving all the travel and all the experiences. I just want to find my place.
Happy birthday to me! What intentional things do you want to do before your next birthday?
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