It's my birthday! I am 26 years old.
My twenties (so far) have been more wonderful than not. I am healthy, educated, fiscally fit, and happy. It is more than many people get in a lifetime. But there has also been an abundance of self-doubt, and harmful comparison of my life with other "more successful" people that I know. I am gradually realising that it is far more useful to focus on the things you have accomplished, than to always look to the things you hoped to have already achieved.
Have you heard of the Nectar List?
It's the opposite of a bucket list. It's fun, and if you do it right, it breeds a feeling of satisfaction and, even more rare, contentment.
So for my 26th birthday, I sat down and wrote 26 entries on my very own nectar list.
1. I've photographed the rooftops of Paris from the Eiffel Tower
2. I've had a brilliant view of New York's Central Park from a plane window
3. I've had a bonfire in my garden
4. I've watched the new year fireworks beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge
5. I've had jewellery bought for me at Tiffany, 5th Avenue
6. I've lived in a multi-generational household
7. I've climbed to the top of St Paul's Cathedral, London
8. I've swum in a muddy dam
9. I've swum in an infinity pool
10. I've fed the monkeys at the top of Murugan temple, Kuala Lumpur
11. I've dined at Rockpool
12. I've dined at the Auckland sky tower revolving restaurant
13. I've lived abroad
14. I've seen the Olympic torch being skied down a mountain
15. I've rode on the back of a camel on the beach
16. I've walked The Mall, Washington DC
17. I've felt euphoric with the realisation that there are empty seats next to me on a long-haul flight
18. I've perused Degas' famous works at The Met
19. I've been brought to tears by music
20. I've been brought to tears at a wedding
21. I've chopped my hair off with reckless abandon
22. I've seen Girl Reading by Renoir (one of my favourite paintings) in the Musée d'Orsay
23. I've held the soft-cover, published work of my brother in my hands
24. I've bathed by starlight in a hot mineral spa on the edge of Lake Rotorua
25. I've watched the sun set over the Indian ocean
26. I've planted a herb garden
Of course, there is far more to my life (and everyone's life) than those 26 simple things. I could probably write a list of 260 things and still not be done.
I'm hopeful that my 26th year will bring more nectar to my existence.
Let's eat cake!
Flowers, Styling and Photographs by Moss & Vine