40 - THE BIRTHDAY LIST - xanthe berkeley
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The birthday list. Oh boy the list. So much has happened with the power of the list. That I let it scare me. I let the fear creep in. The voices take over.

Sheeeeeeesh. I’ve been sitting on this post for a month!.

Hover. Over. Publish.


I’ve made a list of dreams/wishes/intentions/hopes on my birthday for the past two years – 38 & 39 – so I started to think…

“If all the goodness has happened, how can it continue to happen?.” & “Who are you to ask for such things?”

Also… who cares anyway? How does it come across to someone reading? Greedy? Arrogant? As it’s not meant to be either.

Only meant to inspire and let you know there is power in making a wish/dream/intention. That it’s ok to do that. That by writing it down, you can make space for it to happen. It might not totally work out. There are no guarantees. But the journey to it will be enough.

So I hover over publish. And the post stays in draft.

In fact, it would still be here now. If I hadn’t let the demons go. And yes, some will think its nonsense. Most won’t even care. Or ever read it.

For me, the list must be set free. It can’t stay in the notes of my to-do list on my iPhone.

If putting the list out there has helped some of the previous things in past years happen come true, I shouldn’t mess with that. Right?

And if I’m scared to press publish, that’s probably means I should. Hmmmmm?

Some of these things were written at the beginning of the year for Kim’s 14 things in 2014. But I prefer this time of year – spring and my birthday – to make plans rather than January.


My list. Drum roll.

Just some life wishes and creative dreams.

I know there to be power in writing it down and setting it free. So I’m going for it. Perhaps you’ll try too or have you written your own lists before, maybe even this year… do let me know I’m not alone in this.

My “Yes please” 40 birthday list.

  1. Be open for an abundance of opportunities to do what I love doing – photographing families, maternity and new babies. Making films for other people would be a magic bonus. Blogging and travel too… Yes please.
  2. To make my fitness a real priority.
  3. For my current courses to be full of people, all sharing this passion together and telling stories from all around the world.
  4. Go find and play in a poppy field.
  5. For a new course to be created. On my site and maybe on a different site with a new wider audience.
  6. For adventuring, exploring and travel to manifest and flourish for us all and for the world to educate us and for my cameras to capture it all.
  7. Go on a trip to nourish my creative spark, with Kim. California is calling us and we’d love to make it happen.
  8. To be paid what I think I’m worth.
  9. To give back.
  10. For our love to grow stronger. For kindness to prevail and gratitude remain strong. For good health and strong bodies to equip us all this year.
  11. Go to a summer festival & dance in a field.
  12. For turning 40 to be smooth, graceful and the next big thing to happen.
  13. For the dream job to land… the one that’s in my head with sponsorship or brand connection perhaps.
  14. To hang out with my people.
  15. For money to be there without worry and concern.
  16. For Luke stay on his path and find success, comfort and courage within it.
  17. Let the boys to grow independent with caring attitudes. To be kind to each other and mean it. To be safe out there in the world beyond our reach.
  18. To make films of our life. One of the summer. Coz last year was epic.
  19. Take my yellow bike on adventures beyond London.
  20. Let our real home to buy to present itself and to soon have a roof we love over our heads and to be able to afford it and feel safe & happy there. Can the huge deposit land in our laps?.
  21. For the fears and worries to dissolve. To believe in myself and what I can achieve. To go for it and be all in.
  22. To share my passions and inspire in person. Workshops, retreats, photo walks or talks. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time, I’m up for it.
  23. To walk hand in hand in Barcelona.
  24. Laugh till I cry.
  25. Stay at the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs or the Wythe in New York.
  26. To have watching underwear.
  27. To photograph a look book or make a promo film for a clothing label.
  28. Practice yoga again. Regularly. Each year this gets shelved. Not this one.
  29. Gather 40 portraits of me – taken by myself or other people. So I exist in photos.
  30. See live music.
  31. Take a trip to NYC.
  32. Hire a VW van for a road trip anywhere. With my boys.
  33. Redesign my blog & re-brand my business – anyone want to help me?
  34. To visit Morocco
  35. To be treated to a new wardrobe of clothes, that I’m happy to wear everyday. I never have money to buy myself things, this I’d like to change.
  36. Focus. Get a better workflow. Try to not get distracted.
  37. Grow flowers.
  38. A trip with my ladies.
  39. Work & collaborate with some fantastic people.
  40. Be kind and work hard.

I’d like to carry forward anything not achieved on previous lists.

Let’s see how I get on!


  • Milina Opsenica
    Posted at 02:01h, 01 August Reply

    Hi Xanthe, I just had to come back to this post to thank you again. The passions you have shared have resonated deeply with me, and inspired me greatly. I created my own list when I turned 37 a few weeks ago. You can definitely check 22! Yoga is on my list too. I can’t always get to a class, and I’ve found an app that works really well for me, even with the kids diving under my downward dogs. Its called Yoga Studio. It’s great to see that you have already done so many things on the list. Hoorah you! Here is my list, in case you wanted to see. http://littleredvikings.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/37-for-37.html
    Much love to you xx

  • Pingback:Anonymous
    Posted at 07:01h, 23 May Reply

    […] only have I been inspired by her images but by her words too. Her special birthday post is one of my faves. As I inch closer to celebrating  this birthday also, I’m reminded of how […]

  • Tahnee
    Posted at 12:13h, 11 May Reply

    oh Xanthe, this is THE BEST list! you’re so right when you say to put it out there, you are opening yourself to the possibilities that lie ahead. you’ve inspired me – writing a list is.. er.. on the list! xx

  • Jeri_Taira
    Posted at 01:57h, 30 April Reply

    What a brilliant list Xanthe! We too plan around April for some reason. It just seems to be our time for planning and dream storming. Prayers for Cali xo

  • Emily Beale
    Posted at 17:14h, 29 April Reply

    I LOVE this list. I love that you started creating them at 38 – that means I can join the club! Such a fabulous way of celebrating life and really living 🙂

  • Francesca Russell
    Posted at 13:19h, 29 April Reply

    A wonderful list! I hope you accomplish all and more this year! Also, if you come to New York, I really want you to photograph my family!

  • Milina Opsenica
    Posted at 13:14h, 29 April Reply

    Xanthe, you are one very inspiring lady. I wish you all the very best with your list. I absolutely love this idea, and I look forward to seeing some of these transpire into your stories. Much love and blessings for this year. xx

  • Bella Cirovic
    Posted at 00:55h, 29 April Reply

    May all your wishes come true! Happy 40th year. I’ll celebrate in October and I am slowly putting together my own list 🙂

  • Naomi
    Posted at 19:45h, 28 April Reply

    I wish you the best of luck with all of them! And I don’t see what could possibly be wrong about having dreams, however big or small. It’s what keeps us going after all, isn’t it? 🙂

    Regarding No.1, I really really wish I could afford taking you to Namibia with me this summer when I go visit my mum and dad and my younger sisters who have recently moved there from Berlin. Bu sadly, No. 15’s on my list as well…
    xo, Naomi

    (Also: I’ve just emailed you about something I didn’t want to adress on here but which may or may not be somewhat urgent… just so you know that was me!)

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