The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Forty Challenges For My 40th Year, Part One

on March 28, 2013

My friend Fiona decided that in her 40th year she would do 40 things to give back, like volunteering, paying it forward, donating her time, sending thoughtful gifts to people who are important to her, etc.  I have to say I didn’t quite understand it because she already does a lot of volunteering and good things, but it did get me thinking about 40 things I could accomplish this year.

I will call them the 40 challenges and they will be things that challenge me.  By challenge I mean pushing my boundaries, in a good way.  For example there are some projects that I have not completed perhaps because of a fear of failure, there are experiences I’ve forgone because they frighten me or make me nervous and there are things I haven’t done because they would push the limits of my physical fitness.  The challenges may help others for instance I think one will be volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and some will be very personal and some may seem downright silly as fear can be irrational, but each will push me to stretch and adapt and accomplish something positive.  They also have to be cost effective.  I’m a frugal gal on a budget so as much as flying around the world would challenge my fear of being embarrassed on a plane because I would need to buy two seats, it’s just not going to happen this year.  The list also needs to be made up of finite tasks.  I know some may not agree and I had a lot of people ask why my bucket list didn’t include things like “drink eight glasses of water every day”, but that’s not something I can cross off the list cuz tomorrow I might not accomplish it and then I’d have to add it back on the list.

I haven’t decided what all 40 should be yet, but here are the first 10 in no particular order:

1. Take Swimming Lessons at the YMCA – I have a membership, the lessons are free and I am not afraid of the water, but they are first come first serve and I’m not one to elbow my way to the front of the line to get a spot.  I tend to try new things or go to new places with a friend in tow and once I figure out the routine then I’m comfortable to go it alone.  This time I’m going to go it alone the first time and learn to swim.

2. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity – Apparently there are “Women Only Wednesdays” to help with a build.  I’m not particularly afraid of men, but I do think this would be slightly less intimidating.  This also challenges by physicality since I’m pretty sure not every task will be easy and at my eye level, no doubt there will be some bending and flexing and sore muscles involved.

3. Finish My Screenplay – Yes, just like everyone else, I fancy myself a budding film writer.  Only problem is I haven’t been able to get past the index card stage.  I have it all mapped out, but I haven’t sat down to write it out.  This year I finish it.

4. Learn to Roller Skate – You may remember that last summer my budding roller derby career was cut short by two things – one I suck on roller skates and two I nearly cut off my toe with a pair of garden shears which kept me out of shoes and skates for months.  I am now ready to go back and I may even buy my own skates with outdoor wheels so I can try out some of the trails.

5. Finish Going Through My Dad’s Stuff – My father died suddenly and unexpectedly three and a half years ago and I still have boxes of his stuff in my basement.  I want to sell my house soon and I don’t want to take all of this stuff with me, but I dread going through it.  Now is the time.

6. Sailing Lessons – I would like to learn to sail.  I have no dreams of going around the world, but renting a boat and toodling around the Toronto Island sounds like fun and it’s a skill.  I’ve just avoided it because the training boats look little and I don’t think I could get back in the boat if I capsized.  I guess I will soon find out.

7.Visit Sky Zone – This is an indoor trampoline centre in Mississauga.  ( I’m not sure how much bouncing around I can tolerate, but it’s 8 dollars for 30 minutes and that I can certainly do.  And if it’s fun I may plan next year’s birthday there!

8. Finish My Fitness App – A month or so ago I started writing an app.  I have no technical ability and I was all gung ho until someone told me that there are a million fitness apps so and I shouldn’t bother, but I think this one will be fun and if nothing else I think I will test it on here.  At least if I finish designing it I can decide to move forward with it or not.  If I don’t, I will always wonder.

9. Read 40 Books This Year – On my Bucket List I added a line about finishing all the books on my bookcase as of May 27, 2012.  I am going to catalogue everything there that is readable ie. not cookbooks or dictionaries, etc. and I will aim to read at least 40 books from that list this year.

10. Learn To Golf – Years ago my dad took me to the driving range, but that’s as far as we got.  I’m not bad at Mini Golf, but come to think of it the last time I went my friend was pregnant and her daughter will be 10 in July so it’s been a while.  My friend Don is a golfer, perhaps if I make him dinner  a few times he will acquiesce and take me out on the links.

So these are 10 of the 40 things I plan on accomplishing this year.  I’ll update you on my progress every so often and I will also fill you in on the other 30 challenges.  Some of the stuff comes directly from my bucket list, some are just things I’ve been thinking of for a while, but all will be a challenge for me.  Reading may not seem like much of a challenge, but making the time to sit and read will be, as well it will help with one of my overall goals which is to live with far less clutter and fewer possessions.  Sometimes owning stuff is drain and I want to enjoy life and spend less time worrying about stuff, where to put it, how to clean it and what to do with it.

– the Goddess



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