Last year, the wonderful Hillary sent over a beautiful card with a list of 26 things that she challenged me to complete before my 27th birthday. The list is below, along with whether I managed to achieve it or not (or to which extent).
- Plant or grow something
This was a roaring success, because I suddenly have a little herb garden which I reared from packets of seeds! They’re still too small to try, but they’re getting bigger every day.
- Pay 26 strangers a compliment
I haven’t been able to keep count on this, but I have put an extra effort in doing this with as many people as possible.
- Wear something you made yourself
I once made a dress (which mostly involved buying the material, cutting it, doing a bit of the sewing, and then giving up and letting my Mum finish it – but most of the work WAS done by me, somehow), and I have worn it on several occasions.
- Travel by boat
With the good old Gozo Ferry, several times. I love it.
- Read Le Petit Prince in French
Done! It was a beautiful read. I had previously read it in English (but years ago), so reading it in French was wonderful.
- Eat dessert before dinner
Too often to note.
- Write a letter to a friend you haven’t spoken to in ages
I have written several messages and emails to people who I hadn’t spoken to in ages, but I’m meaning to do this properly with a proper handwritten letter to my old best friend.
- Keep an elderly person company
I don’t think I’ve done this in the past year properly (although I might have just forgotten – and you’d need to define “elderly”), but it’s definitely on my to-do list.
- Watch the movie God Help the Girl
Watched it! It was a sweet movie, but the singing threw me off sometimes.
- On your next trip, take a disposable camera then develop the photos
Done! At Rock Werchter last summer (one of the photos is above!).
- Go out and spend all day walking, no public transport
I walk a lot in Luxembourg – although I haven’t kept track of whether I’ve spent a whole day of walking without any public transport, so I still need to technically complete this properly.
- Run at least 5km
Didn’t complete. I have run 5km before, but that was a couple of years ago, and I’ve barely done any running at all since. I really need to get back on that saddle.
- Cook a 3-course meal of new recipes
My lovely friend Valentina kindly helped me with this, including lasagna with white sauce, and tiramisù.
- Go on a spur-of-the-moment adventure – don’t stop to overthink!
Once, on a sunny afternoon in Luxembourg, my boyfriend and I caught a bus, a train, and another bus to the Upper-Sûre Lake in the north of Luxembourg – we had a glorious swim in the lake there and a walk, before heading back home. Such a treasured memory.
- Challenge: spend a week sans make-up, natural beauty only
I did this in January, and it was very nice to have more free time (it takes me about 10 minutes to do my make-up, and then a couple of minutes to take it off) and less “stuff” on my face. However, it was also very nice to start wearing it again. I don’t wear it every day, so this was not too much of a challenge, but it was cool to experience it for several days at a stretch.
- Send your mum surprise flowers, just because – show your parents you appreciate them without a special occasion ^^
I did this! It was lovely to see their happy faces on Skype with the flowers I sent.
- Write a poem (limerick, ode to Dave, epic about your cat – your call!)
I don’t think I’ve written any poetry this year, but I have written a few short pieces of prose, so I’m pleased about that.
- Dance in the kitchen
- Do something for charity
I sent a monetary donation for refugees arriving in Greece, and I took part in a production of The Vagina Monologues which was put up completely by volunteers, and all the money went to a women’s refuge in Luxembourg. I’m also a part of the Charity Subcommittee during my traineeship at the European Commission.
- Make a birthday card instead of buying one
I actually didn’t manage to do this this year, but I have done it before.
- Fly a kite, relive childhood!
I haven’t flown a kite in several years, and I love it! Really need to fish out an old one when I’m back in Malta and head to an open space.
- Make a mixtape for someone else
I haven’t done this properly, but I do share specific songs with people I love very often.
- Challenge: unplug from social media for a week
I did this last year for about five days over Easter – we went on a trip to Sardegna and I completely unplugged myself from social media, email, and everything on the internet! It was not the most pleasant of times.
- Try a new hairstyle
I don’t feel like I’ve done this properly, but I have experimented a tiny bit with some different hairstyles in the past. I still want to do something “drastic” someday, like a blunt fringe or a new hair colour.
- Order at a restaurant in Luxembourgish
Restaurant servers are rarely Luxembourgish (or know Luxembourgish), so I haven’t really achieved this, BUT I have had “conversations” at the supermarket in Luxembourgish (i.e. hello, thank you, goodbye).
- Watch Amélie in French
Done! I must admit, I could barely understand any of it, but at least I had watched it with English subtitles a few years ago, so I had a general idea of what was going on.
Thanks again to the lovely Hillary for the ideas. :) Some of the tasks on this list that I’d love to achieve before I’m 28 are: write a letter to an old friend, keep an elderly person company, run, cook more, write some poetry, and try a new hairstyle. Any other suggestions?