12 months ago my 40 before 40 list was conceived. It came about because well, 40 is 40 and it felt like a big number and life just didn’t look like I thought it would. With a month left before I turn the big 40 it seems like the ideal time to review and reflect. It has been an interesting year, not least because in October last year I came home from holiday with Glandular fever which knocked the stuffing out of me until the spring. It is only in the last few weeks that I have started to feel like my normal self again. I was very conscious that my list should not become a list of successes or failures, but an opportunity to enjoy life and that is just what I have been doing.
The first challenge I set myself was to achieve and maintain my target weight. 6 stone lighter and 4 dress sizes smaller this was achieved in October last year. Admittedly the GF helped me shift the last bit…my relationship with food has always been a challenge. I don’t have a stop valve and so one of the decisions I made was to be a person who doesn’t eat chocolate. I have other treats in life, but chocolate was an Achilles heel for me and so I decided it was easier for me to do without rather than have a little bit. Once I decided that I wanted to lose the wright, doing so was actually not that difficult. The biggest challenge was learning to recognise that the person looking back at me the mirror was in fact me.
One of the focuses of my 40 before 40 list was slowing down and taking time for me. I spend a lot of time in my life doing for others, so in this vein I knitted a jumper for me, I have spent more time reading, spend time walking and I listened to an audio version of the bible from beginning to end. Now I realise this last challenge may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for me it was an interesting spiritual journey.
Another focus of my 40 before 40 list was to challenge myself to do things I didn’t think I could do. So I have been paddle boarding and sea kayaking. I have learnt to hula-hoop and started doing Pilates. Seizing the day was another focus of my list and I have taken every opportunity I can to swim in the sea.
Traveling was also included on my list and although the GF meant that I didn’t make it to New York, I did travel to Stockholm with my sisters and we had a lovely pre 40th birthday weekend away together.
Recognising when I need help, learning to ask for the help and accept offers of help was on my list, together with choosing Joy also featured. Dating came in at number 27 on the list and now I have Rob in my life. A truly wonderful human who I love very much.
Some of the early entries on the 40 before 40 list were removed. For instance, I decided that my loom was a source of guilt and so I sold it. I recognised that I am just not a runner so why run 5km.
I have learnt this year to rejoice in the person that I am, to step outside my comfort zone from time to time, that it’s okay to say no sometimes but to also embrace saying yes. So whilst I have not done all the things on my list, indeed there are still some slots to fill, I have refocused and am enjoying living.