Life Goals: 50 Before 50

I’m a couple of years off yet, but I feel like I need a plan

Matt Mason
3 min readNov 3, 2022


Does anyone want to tell me where my 40s went? I’ve looked in the sofa and behind the microwave, but I don’t seem to have lost them there. Look, I’m not ready to give up this decade and I’m not as close to 50 as I might be making it sound. To date, it’s a few days under 29 months.

Photo by Kendall Scott on Unsplash

In all seriousness, I entered my 40s not so much with a crisis but a rebirth. I’d been with my new partner about a year (16 months officially but about a year since we declared ourselves official) and having got through that first precarious year as a self-employed writer, a whole new decade opened before me.

The latter part of the decade saw its fair share of struggles. There was the pandemic, I went through another dose of therapy, and experienced multiple mental health breakdowns.

Nevertheless, I am now looking for fifty challenges to achieve by then. I started penning this piece in early October 2022. Not all of them will be big challenges because at this rate, I’d have to achieve one every three weeks. This is a work in progress document which I will add to over time.

Anyway, here is what I came up with to get me started:

  1. After initially saying I wanted to go to Santorini for my 50th, we’re now going there in 2023. So I’ve decided, money permitting, to take a cold weather holiday — either domestic, or abroad
  2. Go abroad to a warm place somewhere new
  3. Visit Lundy Island. I have been meaning to go here for many years and despite many trips to West Somerset, never managed to quite get there
  4. Release — or finally junk — a writing project I completed 20 years ago and has never been read by anyone except a partner I am no longer with. It needs an overhaul and I keep promising myself that one day I’ll give it a substantial rewrite. But that “one day” never comes
  5. ✅ Start a Medium publication
  6. See whales or basking sharks in the wild (1 or 3 may enable this)
  7. ✅ Make a new food item every year. 2022: gingerbread, jam, sticky toffee pudding. 2023: Kolokithokeftedes. 2024: 2025:
  8. Visit the Scilly Isles
  9. Get a short story published in an anthology
  10. Learn a new language. I’m going for Greek. German would be too easy as I did that at school and I have a good ear for it. Greek might seem like a hard one, but I can already read Greek lettering. Not to become fluent, but to hold a basic conversation would be enough
  11. Visit Skara Brae
  12. Meet a Twitter or Instagram friend. Invitations have been extended on multiple accounts, so this is likely
  13. Have a stall at a convention or market

I will add more as I come up with them.



Matt Mason

Archaeologist by training, freelance writer by choice. General creativity nerd. EIC of "The Ace Space" - a publication for ace and aro voices.