How many times have you thought about doing something, or read about someone else’s achievement, and thought “I want to do that, but I’ll do it one day”? I bet it happens a lot. I’d even bet that it’s happened once this week. With the number of things and people and skills I admire, I’d argue I experience this at least once a week. It’s otherwise known as the bucket list but I haven’t used that term because apparently that’s a millennial thing and apparently I’m not a millennial.
What’s on my list?
- Run a half marathon (or run a 10k properly instead of the walk/run I did a few years ago)
- Run a race in a foreign country
- Attend all of the tennis Grand slam tournaments (preferably in the same calendar year)
- Learn to swim / develop confidence in swimming ability
- Cycle really long distance – like from London to Edinburgh or Paris
Creativity & making
- Write a book
- Write / design an app
- Build a house / structure
- Learn to play bass guitar
- Work in a physically demanding, outdoorsy job like builder, farm hand etc
- Teach / work as a lecturer
- Open a cafe/restaurant style business
- Get a PhD
- Learn one or all of Italian, Spanish & German
- Build a website – including front and back-end coding
- Submit a paper / deliver a talk at an industry-leading conference
- Live in a different country
- Ride the Trans-Siberian express
- Go inter railing
- Go on an epic road trip like across America or through Europe
- Travel extensively through South America
Why do I have this list | Why is ‘one day’ not today?
I suppose there are three reasons why I have this list. The first is time. I need time to get go inter railing , time to learn to write code, time to build a website or get fluent in Italian. Epic journeys can only fit into a Sabbatical and I’m not eligible for one for at least 5 years. Money is inextricably linked to this too. A PhD will cost £12 000 to do and at least £24 000 in lost earnings a year. Opening a cafe requires start-up costs and the financial security to weather a loss. Finally, I need motivation.
The first two things I will need to resolve in the future – there are no shortcuts I can take. When I have £100 000 saved up in my pension and at least £20 000 in more liquid savings/investments, I’ll feel comfortable enough to craft my ideal life. I could finally try out the lecturing career that I think I could happily work in till proper retirement age. I could do a PhD in Scandinavia, Spain or Germany. I could consider that job in Amsterdam that turns up in my inbox every few months.
Maybe I should take baby steps to ‘One day’ instead
Maybe I could use the time that I have now more productively. A friend of mine is going to South America for a career break later this year. She started practising Spanish on Duolingo and learnt a sufficient amount to make it possible for her to take an intermediate course. She did 5 hours of Duolingo practice every week. I could do that with my Italian and gain the confidence to do language exchange meet ups or just be able to converse with my housemate (who is fluent in Italian).
Maybe I could spend half an hour every other evening writing a bit of code. Or writing a bit of my book. Maybe I could do a park run every other week or once a month. Maybe I could find a free or almost free adult learning course that tells me what I need to know to set up my own business. Maybe I should spend my Saturdays cycling to nearby cities or towns that I haven’t seen yet. Maybe I could find out what I need to do to write a paper or give a talk at a conference. I have at least 2-3 hours every evening after work that I could use to do these things instead of watching TV shows. Maybe I could start bringing elements of ‘one day’ into everyday and I wouldn’t feel like FIRE is the only way.