40 reasons I failed my 40 before 40

A 40 sign with a diagonal red line across the number

There may be two months to go but I’ve decided to admit defeat in my 40 before 40 challenge. I set out with high hopes but have somehow only managed to achieve one item on my list. Yes, just one.

The reasons for this monumental failure can be broadly summarised by a distinct lack of time and money, with a bit of depression thrown in. But I love giving more interesting excuses, so let’s address each one in turn.

Go on at least five date nights
We managed one daytime trip to the cinema while the kids were at school. If you count school assemblies, though, we overachieved.

Research my family tree
My Mum had already done this so there were too many spoilers.

Visit somewhere significant to my family history
We went to Camber Sands and I’ve since learned that both my parents went there when they were young. Clutching at straws, I know.

Three children at Camber Sands.

Watch 100 classic films with my wife/kids
The 100 in question were on a scratch-off poster. We’ve managed 60, which isn’t bad. But, yes, I still haven’t seen all the Star Wars films.

Learn to play the guitar with my sons
There were creative differences.

Visit a new country with my family
We got youngest a passport. Only to discover that the boys’ ones had expired.

Go monster/ghost/legend hunting
The three-year-old told me they don’t exist. So…

Visit a local attraction I’ve never been to
Does a brand new cinema count? Probably not. But it was very nice.

A tower at Windsor Castle.

Visit five castles in a year
I stood outside Windsor Castle while waiting for a bus to LEGOLAND. But that’s it.

Learn to swim with my daughter
She’s a splasher. And nobody likes a splasher.

Confront a fear
Fail. And I really need to go to the dentist too…

Have a driving lesson
Have you seen how many people ride bikes without helmets?

Be less of a Grinch
I actually managed this one! Never again though.

Learn a new language
Does pig Latin count? I’ve become fluent thanks to the kids’ favourite episode of Teen Titans Go!

Two children playing swingball.

Try a new sport
I played swingball with the kids and they were all so aggressive, it put me off trying anything else new.

Make a will
Oops. I don’t have much to leave anyone but that’s still no excuse.

Write a book
I started writing two stories for kids but lost my mojo.

Complete a DIY project from scratch
The closest I got was putting up a mirror. Fail!

Cook something notoriously difficult
Cooking two pizzas at once can be tricky. I’ve aced that though. Good enough?

Learn how to use my camera properly
I think my photography has improved – but I’m still using the auto setting.

Take part in a zombie survival game
As I’ve been sleep-deprived for over nine years, I’ve technically completed this from the zombie’s point of view.

A video game image edited to include the title "Tired Dad Redemption" and a cowboy holding a mug of coffee.

Achieve 100% completion on Red Dead Redemption 2
I’m on about 97% at the moment. Those pesky cigarette cards and rock carvings…

Win the Premier League with someone other than Spurs on FM2019
What I should have said is “Win absolutely everything with Spurs on FM2019.” I aced that.

Have something custom made
My kids made me Father’s Day cards. I don’t need anything else bespoke to me.

Learn some tricky football skills
I scored a Ricky Villa-esque goal entirely by accident at five-a-side last week. Any good?

Make some palatable homebrew
I’m still scarred by making several people ill when I attempted this in the sixth form.

Get my blog professionally redesigned
I amateurishly redesigned it myself in the end.

Do a Facebook or Instagram live post
You can’t make me!

Try paddleboarding
See “Learn to swim with my daughter” above.

Go to one more gig before I’m 40
Every time the bands we like are on nearby, our babysitters are on holiday.

A man wearing a Mad in 1979 T-shirt by Shirtbox.

Make a world record attempt
What’s the world record for sleep deprivation?

Have a pint in England’s oldest pub
I had a pint in my town’s oldest pub…

Learn to juggle
Three kids, a job and a blog. Nuff said.

Give blood
Didn’t get around to this, but it’s something I intend to rectify soon.

Raise £1k for charity
I actually partnered with a local charity for a big fundraising event and drafted a post about it. Then it was postponed. Hopefully, I’ll do this next year.

Random act of kindness
Constantly taking in our neighbours’ parcels is pretty kind…

Climb a mountain
I climb steep hills every day in my new job – do these add up to a mountain?

Take at least 2.5 million steps during the year
I broke my Fitbit just before the start of my 40 before 40. Sad but true.

Take on the Crystal Maze
I was in talks about this but my contact moved jobs.

Attend the premiere of a film
Does a preview of a straight-to-DVD release count? Probably not, but I enjoyed this one.

Oh well. I tried some of them and that’s the main thing. Maybe I’ll do a 50 before 50…


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