If my last year as  20-something were an episode of Countdown, the ‘duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh-deduh… dow!’ tune would be starting round about now.

With just 22 days to go until my 30th birthday, I’m rapidly running out of time to finish my original list of things I wanted to achieve before February 9th.

Not that I’m going to put too much pressure on myself – this is, after all, a fun and more importantly voluuntary exercise I’ve been doing, not a legal requirement. Nevertheless, I’d like to get as many ticks in as many boxes as I can by the time the deadline arrives.

Of my original list of 15 goals, I have accomplished 10, including watching the sunrise lift off at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, getting published in a national newspaper and completing a teaching course.

Of the five remaining goals, one simply isn’t going to happen now – Chessington, Alton Towers and all other theme parks of that nature are closed for the winter, though I could start gathering support for an early spring visit.

However there are still four left that I have a reasonable chance of getting through, if I make a concerted effort to schedule them in over the coming few days.

The jumper shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve already knitted the majority of it, I just need to sew the pieces together, pick up the edging stitches and knit the remainder of the rib. Simple, but I’ve been putting it off for about a month, for fear of doing it wrong.

Then there’s eating something I grew myself. A little more difficult seeing as how circumstances have changed and I no longer have a garden. But I’m not one to let obstacles get the better of me, so later today I will pop to the shops in my lunch break to buy cottonwool and a packet of cress seeds. I’ve always loved egg mayo and cress sandwiches!

Next there’s the autobiography. I’ve struggled to find one I genuinely want to read, even at the central library where they inconveniently group all biographies by subject matter rather than under a separate ‘biography’ section. However, I did finally stumble across an unlikely volume that caught my fancy – David Hasselhoff’s Making Waves! Well, I did grow up on Knightrider and Baywatch. I’ll go educational on the next one.

And finally my great grandfather’s letters, which are crying out to be translated from their original German. I have to say that after an enthusiastic start to this exercise, I kind of lost momentum, though I do have an exceptionally kind offer from a long lost school friend who is living in Germany to at least make a start on some of them. So what I need to do is set aside a morning to go to the library and use the scanner to make electronic copies to send her.

Of course, I’ve also got a new job to do, a house to keep, friends to see and a birthday weekend to organise. But then, there’s always something to do, isn’t there?

The trick is to carve out those bits of time where you can achieve the goals that mean something, that are just for you, otherwise you can end up just surviving rather than really living.

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