40 Things

The ‘Fucket List’ you never knew you needed until now

Leah Kertesz
7 min readFeb 19, 2022


Photo by Levi Guzman on Unsplash

Have you ever seen the 2009 rom-com movie ‘The Ugly Truth’, starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler? The premise goes, that she’s a single, highly strung TV producer, and perfectionist over-organiser, who goes head-to-head with an opinionated, chauvinistic relationship guru (played by Butler). The two banter about how to date and what men want when he’s cast as a relationship guru to host a segment on her TV show. There’s a scene, where the protagonist Heigl, goes on a date with a Doctor, whilst being coached al-la, Cyrano De Bergerac, she finds herself dressing up to impress her date. After spending many dates with this man pretending to be someone she isn’t, she finally gives us up proclaiming “this isn’t me”. She rips out her hair extensions, takes out her chicken-fillet inserts, stands up and says to her love interest “If you knew me, you’d know I hate being fed like a dog! And this champagne should be cold!”

I am many things, but I’m not a go-with-the-flow kind of girl. I am always organising something, somewhere. I’m an Aquarian, so whist I appear to be cool and nonchalant, what I really am is incredibly independent, always on-the-go, detail-oriented, generally optimistic, enthusiastic and adventurous. I am chameleon-like in the sense that I can easily adapt to anyone, anywhere and I hate classification of any kind. I am a ride or die kind of girl. Whilst I may appear to cruise right into my 40s, it’s time I stand up and proclaim that I hate luke-warm champagne! Luke-warm anything is just not who I am. Welcome to 40. It’s the standing up of who you really are.

Society has changed a lot in the past 10 years, gosh, the last 5 years has seen seismic cultural shifts with the rise of the #metoo movement, BLM and gender politics. In my 20s I was told that I was too much. “Tone it down Leah”, “Don’t say too much Leah”. I’ve come to the realisation that too much of everything is exactly who I am. That’s why I have a depth of experience to write about things now. I am proud of everything I’ve done in the last 10 years. I’ve travelled the world on my own. I’ve learnt languages, I’ve met the most incredible people and grown into my skin. I’ve done all the big things I wanted to do, (if you read my last blog you will know about my bungled sky diving experience). I’ve lived out my wildest Sex and the City dreams in New York. I lived under the Tuscan sun in Siena. I’ve meditated with Buddhist monks in Thailand. I’ve quite literally done ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. I had my mid-life crisis early.

Waking up on my 40th Birthday, I reflect about what I truly want this year to be about. What do I want? It’s actually taken me a really long time to say that. It’s true. I want it all and now I’m not afraid to be judged by saying that. And why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t any of us feel we are not deserving of all the things we want our lives to be. #SorrynotSorry. The last time I checked, no one gets a chance to come back and do this again. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

The Mindset Coach for Ash Barty (World №1 Tennis Champion), Ben Crowe has been credited with asking Ash Barty 3 simple questions to help her become a champion. This is “Who am I?”, “What do I want”, and “How do I get there”. He also empowers her to change her mindset, which ultimately determines her course of action by repeating the mantra “I decide”.

So, on my Birthday, I decided to stand up and say ‘fuck it’. Why am I wasting my time and money thinking about one day. One day. One. When in fact, I have 365 days ahead of me. But here is the kicker that led to 40 things, and indeed, I implore you to ask this question irrespective of any milestone. What do you want to do with the time you have?” You have 365 days. 52 weeks, and 12 months. Only you have the power to decide. So for the next 12 months I am setting myself the goal of undertaking 40 things in my 40th year. This gives me back the power to decide how I want to spend my year, and who I want to spend it with. It puts me back in the drivers seat again (after two years, where quite frankly, none of us were in control) and I’m able to bring fun, friends, joy, community and connection back into my life.

When I told a friend about the concept for 40 things, he said “Oh, it’s like a Bucket List but for 40! You should call it the Fucket List”. And so the Fucket List was born! When I started to compile the list, I realised was that it was easy to write down big extravagant things (and there are still some of those things). But what’s harder is the small things. Like a sunrise swim at a favourite beach I’ve never been to. Or hiking in the mountains in New South Wales which I’ve never done. I thought about my last two years alone in lockdown, and how moving to a new city and the stress of starting a new job meant my “start” was delayed. So now, I start. My mantra this year is “memorable moments with memorable people”. But indeed, if you were to replicate this concept you could include any mantra that feels right and true to you. My intention this year is to put myself first, and then the people that I love at the centre of that.

Time is the greatest currency we have. Over the last two years we’ve lost time, and being “busy” is not an excuse. The richness of this year will lay in where I spend my time. Ever the organiser, I made this list into something tangible. The beauty of the Fucket list is that whilst it’s aspirational in theory, it’s also achievable in practice. But there are rules. So, here are the rules of the Fucket List:

· This list is not about goals (that’s a separate list)

· This list is bound to 12 months only

· This list, in essence, is not about wild pie-in-the-sky ideas. Some ideas are covid safe for example. Some ideas are cheap or inexpensive. Some ideas are bigger, more expensive and will require planning or saving. It’s about balance.

· This list has to be achievable (nothing that you can’t achieve or reasonable undertake).

· This list is only about experiences.

· This list is not about listing material things (e.g.: it’s not a shopping list).

· This list is inclusive and can be done with anyone

· This list is your life only

· This list is about having fun and indulging

· This list may change and is not fixed

· This list starts now

*Optional extra — I’ve also decided to include a mantra to remind me of my “Why”

The Fucket List 2022

This Year’s Mantra — “Honour Thyself” and — “ Memorable Moments with Memorable People”

1. Surf lesson at Bondi

2. Dance in Rio Carnival in Brazil in Feb 2023

3. More dancing this year

4. Take a Northern Beaches Road Trip

5. Cooking Class

6. Stay at Six Senses Yao Noi

7. Weekend Yoga retreat

8. Take a live drawing class

9. Stand up Paddle Boarding

10. Helicopter ride or Seaplane ride

11. Swim at Icebergs Pool

12. Complete Synopsis and outline of book

13. Sunrise Balloon Ride

14. Visit Chiang Mai

15. Italy Girls Trip

16. Dinner at Icebergs

17. Fall in love

18. Indulge in a LeLabo Candle

19. Buy a piece of Artwork I love

20. Do something for charity

21. Say no to things that don’t matter and yes to things that do

22. Have a special dinner with friends

23. Go to Drag and Dine Drag show

24. Hike in Blue Mountains

25. Kayak under the Sydney Harbour Bridge

26. Day trip to Palm Beach

27. Cousins Sydney Weekend Away

28. Dine at one of the World’s 50 best restaurants

29. Swim at a Waterfall

30. Go to a Break Room and smash shit

31. Go to Sythony Orchestra

32. Splurge on a Spa Day

33. Pottery Class

34. Dinner at Firedoor

35. Drive the Great Ocean Road

36. Do an Improv Class

37. Pole dancing class

38. Private Boat Ride with friends around the Harbour

39. Swim with Dolphins

40. Hunter Valley weekend with friends

So now you know. But in return I have one ask. If you choose to undertake a Fucket List this year, let me know about it. I don’t need to be a part of it, but I’d love to hear if you decide to undertake one. Let’s start at Fucket revolution. The time is now, and mine starts today.



Leah Kertesz

Loudmouth, entrepreneur, traveller, writer, reader. Flexing my writer’s brain one story at a time. #liveloud E: leah@leahkertesz.com