A bucket list for my 28th year

Over the last couple of years, I’ve spent the majority of my time sat under a cloud of depression. Sometimes for reasons which are probably more suited to a different blog post (or five), and sometimes for no reason other than because it’s what I’d become used to as ‘depressed’ became my default.

Yesterday, I turned 28 years old. As I’m a sentimental sod who generally breaks achievements and happiness ratings into both calendar and age years, I decided to write a bucket list of everything I want to accomplish this year. Some of which are small, and some which will take a lot of work for potentially life changing results, but I came to the conclusion that I am fucking sick of being miserable all of the time. So, I need a guide to keep me on track and to make my life a bit more impressive than ‘merely existing’ which is what I have shamefully allowed myself to become.

Rather than my usual reaction to a birthday where I spend the day in a pit of “this age and nothing to show for it”, and rather than panicking about being only two years away from 30, I’m using this opportunity as something to be hopeful about. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all, isn’t it?

1. Stop letting the depression demons rule my life

Starting with a big one here. There’s no cure for depression, but over the years I have learnt what helps to ease the grip of mine and to recognise what brings on a bad patch. Unfortunately, I’ve become a bit too used to veering away from the coping mechanisms and being sucked in to wallow in it instead. I am putting it in writing here that I’m going to make a conscious effort to try and make the negativity stop, to avoid letting everything get on top of me, and to take better care of myself so that I see the bottom of the emotional ditch a lot less than I have recently.

2. Get out more

My life outside of work has become 95% sitting about and doing nothing, which doesn’t really help point one. I need to spend more quality time with people, experience more, and to not be afraid of doing things on my own should there be an event which no one else wants to attend. Some of the bravest people I know travel and explore on their own regularly, so I need to take a leaf out of their book and stop missing out on things because anxiety tells me it’s better to stay in and hide at home. Failing that, if anyone wants to be my friend and come to obscure theatre shows in small venues with me, hit me up.

3. Visit six new places

A change of scenery can work wonders, and exploring a new place has become my favourite kind of break. I am no longer a person who can spend every night of a holiday drunk and every day hanging by a pool (even if Ibiza was the best place on earth for a few years), nor am I much of a beach girl as sand gets on my damn nerves. These six places can also include staycations, as there are plenty of great places in the UK I’m yet to see. Better get booking sharpish.

4. Write

Writing has been the biggest and best outlet for me for many years, but it’s the one thing I love which I’m really sad to say I lost motivation for over the past couple of years. I became too stuck in my head rather than pouring it out like this, which is where this new blog has stemmed from. Expect to see a lot of posts coming through here in the next year, as writing is the best form of therapy for me and is one which I have happily rediscovered my mojo for.

5. Read at least 12 books

Reading is another passion which has fallen to the wayside because I haven’t been able to escape my own thoughts, and is something which can magically transport me to another land and turn my thoughts off while I live in the world of the author. I’ve set the bar at 12 as I think one a month is manageable, and I’m welcoming book recommendations despite my Goodreads to-read list being 197 already.

6. Publish another book

I’ve had a great book idea in my head for a year (if I do say so myself), but I’m yet to bring it to life. I’m already familiar with self-publishing as I put a book out two years ago, so a big goal for this year is to make some serious progress on this. There is no greater feeling for a writer than being able to hold a physical copy of a book you’ve produced, and I want that feeling again.

7. Go fully freelance

Probably the biggest challenge for my 28th year and the one which will be the hardest to achieve, but anyone who knows me will tell you I’m built for being self-employed so I feel like it’s important for my career to go down this route. I’m in the process of setting up my own company which will offer social media, blogging, copywriting, and PR services to small businesses, so here’s to hoping I can stay focused and put in some hard work which will pay off!

 

There we have it, my seven point bucket list of achievements I’m setting my sights on for the year ahead. To anyone reading who’s managed to pull off any of these points, please share some pearls of wisdom with me! Your encouragement will be much appreciated. I’ll be writing regularly to let you know how I’m getting along with my goals, so expect panic, chaos, and (hopefully) the occasional bit of good news.

65 thoughts on “A bucket list for my 28th year

    1. Reading is one of those things where it always seems like there’s something more important to do! Great idea, let me know what’s on yours!

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  1. I definitely know how you feel about going freelance! I took the plunge this year and it was definitely something I was ready to do. It’s great to set yourself a bucket list! I may have to do the same!

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  2. Being someone who has battled depression for around 25 years now, I am impressed with your insight. Most people don’t realize what a great benefit it is to them and what a great game plan it is for them to make a list of goals for them to accomplish. Having something to hope for every day and too having something that you have accomplished to look back on brings a sense of pride and happiness. That sense of pride and happiness was self fulfilled so it’s even better than if something great happened to you – because you made it happen. I know this is going to be a good year for you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I always stayed away from setting goals because I didn’t want to be disappointed when I didn’t hit them, but it’s better to set them and have a focus than to have no focus at all. I certainly hope it is a good year, I’m feeling positive πŸ™‚

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  3. I completely agree with Christian’s comment above – I think setting yourself goals is a great way to help give yourself that sense of purpose that can sometimes be lost when someone is suffering with depression. If you’ve got goals and something to work towards, you’ve got something to focus on and a purpose πŸ™‚

    Going freelance is going to be a tough one – but I’ve got everything crossed for you! And can’t wait to read your second book! Xxx

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  4. First off Happy birthday. Secondly may I suggest another goal which maybe easy and not very demanding? Pick up a craft. I’d say crochet but really it can be any craft. I am not suffering from depression so I will not pretend to know anything about it, but crafting lifts up my spirit everytime.

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    1. That’s a good idea! I’ve just started yoga and my first session made me feel fantastic. I’ll add ‘keeping it up’ onto the list!

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    1. Money is the clincher when it comes to travel. I’ve learnt if you’re open minded with destination, on SkyScanner you can search everywhere so you can just see what’s available for the lowest price!

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  5. Good luck on fulfilling all of your goals. I know from personal experience how difficult depression can be. And getting out can be so important. Good luck with the publishing on the book for sure. That sounds like a great creative outlet.

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    1. Thank you! I’ve been wallowing in it for so long now, I feel like I’m just sick of it and recognise that only I can make the necessary changes to fix it! Fingers crossed for the year ahead.

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  6. I think this is a very positive and doable bucket list, full of things that are achievable and will let to self improvement and times for self care. Really hope you managed to tick them all off

    Laura x

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  7. Happy, Happy Birthday Samantha! At 28 years young, you need to get out there and live your life to the fullest. Party, hang out, travel, exercise, get the attention you deserve and btw, give a plug to that other book you wrote.

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    1. Thank you! I certainly do! The other book I wrote is no longer on sale, unfortunately. It was about dating when I was single, and my now boyfriend’s mum kept saying she was going to read it haha. Can’t have that!

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  8. I think that having a bucket list really helps you when you are fighting with depression. This is a real illness, even if invisible and it has symptoms which are outside out control. But by doing things and not letting us to be defeated, we can get better.

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    1. Absolutely! By setting goals I feel like I’ve stopped coasting and started actually thinking about my life in a more positive and hopeful way!

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  9. This is a fantastic bucket list. I understand depression very well. In fact, I attempted suicide on my 28th birthday. I think you’ve celebrated yours in a much healthier way than I did and I wish the very best.

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  10. Aw sorry to hear about your depression, I have depression myself so I understand how hard it can be. I would definitely recommend going freelance, I am handing in my notice on Friday so I can’t wait! Good luck hun x

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  11. I loved the way you arranged your goals for this year. I wanted to know if you are able to check mark those goals by now. If yes, what made you keep going on the set of goals you have created for your own. I would appreciate your reply for guiding me on this matter πŸ™‚

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