Finally here it is.
There are no must-dos or should-dos. Just lots of love-to-dos.
Some people will call this my bucket list but I’m not a fan of that term. This is about living life to full while I can and not about focusing on the dying.
It was quite difficult to write as I don’t know how long I’ve got. I could get very sick soon and never properly recover. I might not be able to travel again. I wondered if I should have a short list but then I thought nah… let’s just put everything on it and see what happens.
The first five things are the most important to me. If I get to tick those off I’ll be happy. Doing all the other ones will be a bonus. After the top five, the rest of the list is in no particular order.
Deciding on what to do has been partly inspired by my original List for Living. That was the list of ten things I wanted to do after I was treated for cancer for the first time more than a decade ago. Back then I longed to live somewhere totally different. I wanted adventure, thrills and animal magic. To have a life without any regrets.
I’ve also been looking at other people’s lists. They’ve helped with ideas of what to add to my list. And what to leave off, like having a perm, trying balsamic vinegar and (this is one of my favourites) getting a pair of thigh high boots and wearing them without feeling like a hooker. I think I may have done those anyway!
Many of the things on my list are fun and quite easy. Others will be very hard to do. Some require me to live for a long time and prove the doctors wrong. A few are almost stupidly unattainable.
But I know that when I wrote my first List for Living it included dreams that I thought were practically impossible. The list led me to achieve more than I ever imagined. Now I hope that what will be my last List for Living will again give my life purpose with incredible goals to aim for.
Being told that your life will be cut short makes you realise what’s important in life. When you think about it, there’s not much that really matters apart from the people who mean the most to you. I’m going to do most of the list with family and friends. It’s a fantastic excuse for us to do amazing things and create some wonderful memories.
I may change the list or add more things to do along the way. My List for Living also has its own page on this blog so I can tick stuff off. Something I love to do and something I’ve already started. You see, I have a confession. In between compiling my list and writing this blog post, I’ve actually gone and done one of them!
Despite the speedy start, I’m sure there will be many items left that I don’t get to do. This is where my friends and family come in, again. I’ll be leaving the remainder of the list to them. I’d like them to take over my List for Living. To carry my dreams with them after I’ve gone.
My List for Living
1) Move to the countryside
2) Live in my own house
3) Get a dog
4) Play a netball game, again
5) Recover from chemo on a ridiculously perfect beach
6) See penguins in the South Pole
7) Go to Paris by Eurostar just for lunch (DONE!)
8) Visit Pompeii and drive along the Amalfi coast
9) Explore the ancient ruins in Rome
10) Snorkel on a coral reef
11) Trek in Nepal
12) Go to the 2016 Olympics in Rio
13) See the Northern Lights
14) Ride a camel across a desert
15) Drink a mojito in Cuba
16) See Stonehenge at sunrise
17) Go into space
18) Get married
19) Get my book published
20) Present a BBC Radio 4 programme
21) Hold an exhibition of my cow photographs
22) Do voluntary work
23) Run a 5K
24) Sky dive
25) Go gliding
26) Ride a horse through Hyde Park
27) Try kite surfing
28) Zoom down a zip wire
29) Surf somewhere hot
30) Go coastering somewhere cold
31) Take a speed boat down the Thames
32) Swing on a trapeze
33) Fly in a hot air balloon
34) Take a private jet over London
35) Fly in a stealth airplane
36) Be driven very fast around a race track in a sports car
37) Sleep under the stars
38) Get a tattoo
39) Have a henna crown painted on my baldy head once the hair falls out
40) Grow my hair long, again
41) Be a model and work the catwalk
42) Learn to play poker
43) Pull a pint in a proper pub
44) Hold a party in a castle
45) Go glassblowing
46) See puffins in Britain
47) Swim with sharks
48) Sail alongside a pod of dolphins at sea
49) Catch fireflies in a jar
50) Drink champagne in one of the best bars in the world just before Christmas to celebrate still being alive.