I will be 55 at the beginning of March. I’ve noticed I feel a bit odd about it. I’m usually good with the odd numbers, prefer them to the even, but not this one. It feels very MIDDLE. Perhaps the middle of the middle, or the beginning of the end of middle-aged, something like that.

I’m not hating the idea of being 55, I’ve had (as we all have) tricky birthdays in the past – my 20th was weirdly difficult (having only just started enjoying my teens I didn’t want to let them go!), and the morning of my 37th brought a grade 3 cancer diagnosis, with a chemo recommendation that was to make me infertile – 55 certainly doesn’t feel like either of those!, and having had two cancers it is a fine thing to be getting older, but still, it feels a bit odd. So, I have a plan …

For the year between turning 55 and turning 56 I’m going to find, experience, practice, discover, uncover, enjoy 55 joys.

Aware that there will be things I don’t know I might enjoy, I’m crowd-sourcing these joys. I’d welcome suggestions for things that might bring me joy to do, see, hear, watch, experience, practice, try, dare.

I have a few stipulations …

I’ll make a list of everything people suggest and it would be nice if that list could be as accessible as possible in case anyone else wants to have a go, so that means :
– free to do or very cheap
– ideally not much time needed (30 mins sounds about right – I doubt I would EVER find more than 2 hours spare in a week)
– things that can be done alone or without inconveniencing anyone else

I’ll come up with some suggestions of my own and I welcome yours.
I don’t promise to do them all, I’ll only choose to do things I think might bring me joy (and maybe joy for other people too), but I will give a lot of them a go.

In return, I will document that joy with a blog or picture or comment or poem or short story and share them here. I’ll share this with #55Joys and maybe you’ll join me. If it works out, by the time I turn 56, there will be 55 joys to look back on. Which feels like a good way to mark a middle.

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