This month was a special birthday for my dad. Not because my dad felt it was particularly special but instead because we as a society have made this year a special number worth celebrating. But what do you buy the man/person who has everything and when you ask what they’d like, the response is always the same. The same for as long as I can remember. A hug!
Well some might jump for joy that all the birthday boy wants is a hug, I mean it’s free!! But when it’s a special birthday a hug just doesn’t quite cut it.
In the past my sister, mum and I have bought books, wine, whiskey, because what dad doesn’t love those things, especially ours. Then we tried experiences, falconry husbandry course, rally car driving, hot air balloon flight, make your own knife with Sheffield steel, trout fishing, woodworking course. You name it, we’ve probably bought it. We’ve even made our own gifts, macaroni art work, original professional art pieces (my sister is a paid artist).
But this year, my niece inspired us. The National Trust has a book called 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4. Now my niece hasn’t even had her second birthday but it got my sister and I thinking, why didn’t we do “65 things to do at 65”. We could then make our little book for our dad.
It ticked all the boxes:
- Cheap (at least for us making it)
- Activity filled
- And my dad being a National Trust member would get a kick out of the irony of him having his own personal list like the kids do
So started the list making. I started with a good old search of the World Wide Web. I mean t’internet never fails right and Mr, Google knows all. Go type into a search bar 50 things to do at 50 and take a look at the lists that pop up.
Please, go do it!
Snooze-villa!! These lists were so depressing. Full of financial and estate planning. Pensions, preparing for death type activities. No way were these things going to be in our list. Honestly, they were items that everyone should be doing any way as part of being a grown up, yes #adultingisboring Here is one from Amazon, a bucket list before you die, even Huffpost got in on the act.
So instead we started with the National Trusts very own list and because this list is fab no matter how old you are. I mean who doesn’t want to roll down a really big hill? Or fly a kite?
In a stoke of, if we don’t think about this now we’ll run of time, moment brainstorming began and a flurry (ok 5) emails were sent back and forth between our little operation birthday present group. Our 65 things to do at 65 was made!! Here are just a few to wet your appetite:
- Cook dinner for someone else.
- Make the bed, because making the bed is one small way we wire our brain to start our day with calm and order.
- Go for a winters adventure (maybe ski) somewhere new.
- Go sailing and teach some family to sail (hint hint the BVI’s are calling).
- Take a hot air balloon over the Serengeti.
- Plan & go on a weekend away for you & Jane.
- Teach T to use her hammer and be self sufficient later in.
- Build a den with T and share with her the joy I’d creating something for herself out and turning something into something else using her imagination.
- Go bug hunting with T and show her the beauty and wonder in things that might scare us.
- Spend a day with the fishies and P.
- Walk the Pennine Trail (can be done in stages).
- https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/one-day-hikes-uk tick off as many of these day hikes.
- Walk with the giants on the Giants Causeway.
- Visit the Puffins in their natural habitat.
- Learn a new song on the guitar and then perform it at an impromptu place.
- Play pin the tail on the donkey at a kids birthday party.
- Watch the stars come out from a blanket on the ground.
- Ride a horse, giddy up.
- Take Thumbelina on a new adventure with her friend.
- Visit a new country and experience a new language, culture and everything else that goes with a new place.
- Do something you might regret later “but probably won’t”.
- Reconnect with someone from your past.
- Take part in an organized running event, “ParkRun” or other organization and see your progress from start to finish.
- Participate in a Japanese tea ceremony in the place where it first began.
- Finish the books in your “to read pile”.
- Do a big spring clean clear out and get rid of all the clutter hanging around, taking up space mentally & physically.
- Expand that big Ol’ brain and learn something new and then teach someone else what you’ve learnt.
- Spend time with those you love.
- Have fun with sticks.
- Watch the sunrise from somewhere new. It could be near or far but get up, get out and watch the start of the new day.
- Laugh outrageously, so hard that people think the laughing chair is back.
- Explore a cave.
- Climb a big sand dune & enjoy the ride down the other side.
- Speak a different languages, doesn’t have to be done well or for long. Try ordering drinks/ ice cream for the table.
- Fly a kite.
- Give someone a big hug.
- Tell stories about your family history.
- deep sea fishing
- swim with whales
- try ice hockey
- sand boarding
- go to a sumo wrestling match
Then “voila” like magic an email appeared with a PDF of a wonderful mishmash of #65at65 did I mention my sister is an artist and can make arty things? With the help of a professional printer and a huge piece of fancy paper our present was made.
A sneaky FaceTime call during my lunch break back to the UK and the family had returned from a lovely dinner out at an Argentinian steak house in Richmond, London and the cutest tiny ice cream cones for tiny humans to hold and eat themselves. My dad proudly is walking behind everyone showing off his present with a huge made up face. Dad pipes up with, “Not sure about this having to do a load of washing business”. To be fair my mum is the queen of washing (laundry) and woe-betide anyone who does it wrong but your clothes are always super clean and beautifully ironed so no complaints here. This is going to be a tough one for my dad, but we all know he can do it and we shall celebrate.