41… Where did that come from?

So about two weeks ago I celebrated my FORTY FIRST birthday.  Wow.  Where on earth did that come from??

Time has FLOWN this year.  It seems like just yesterday that I wrote this list of 40 things to do before I was 41.  And now?  I am 41.

Did I do everything on my list?  NOT. EVEN. CLOSE.

Did I refer to the list regularly, to see what I still had left?  Um.  Not really.

So was doing a 40 things list worth it?

Well… Yes and no.  I learned that when it comes to goals, I need to be realistic.  I need to set my own goals and priorities, and not follow other people’s ideas.  So in that sense, the 40 things list was not ideal for me, as I opened it up to other people’s ideas.  It became kind of a mixed bucket list, and not just my own.  But by doing an open ideas list, I thought about doing a lot of new things.  Which was totally worth it.  I mean, I had never thought about learning to deplume a chicken, or giving to Kiva, or going to the theatre in Cornwall.  But the list also opened my eyes to the fact that to achieve things it is not all about the big grand things – in fact, the process of making the list made me realise that it doesn’t take much for me to be able to have new experiences.  Sometimes it is all about deciding to refocus on things or use things that I already had, but changing my perspective to make it new.  Like making recipes from cookbooks I have never cracked open.  Or just consciously saying that a pajama day is a me day and on my list, making it seem all the more special.

Anyway, enough rambling.  Here is my run down and account of the 40 things.  Thanks to everyone for all of the ideas and inspiration.  Although I may not publicise a list like this in the future, I will certainly be carrying with me the idea and I do look forward to completing some of the undone items!

The athletic… 

1.  I did the Houston to Austin MS150 ride.
2.  I swam across the Chesapeake Bay.
3.  I pulled out of the London to Dunwich overnight ride – running through Dulles airport after the Great Chesapeake Bay swim I had a massive ankle roll.  To give myself a chance to heal and avoid any overuse irritation of the injury, especially since the London triathlon was just right after the Dunwich ride – I pulled out.
4.  Run 40 miles in a month – I am not sure if I achieved this goal or not, but I do know that I am now running more than ever before which is a very good thing.
5.  I did the Fireman Triathlon in Maine, but didn’t get a smiley face in the 40, probably because it was the same day as Hurricane Irene.  But I did it!
6.  I didn’t get to Ironman Lanzarote due to work travels, but I did get to Ironman Antwerp 70.3 – spectating a big race was amazing.

The peripatetic…

1.  I didn’t go to Dublin. I’ve been travelling so much for work this year that I simply have not felt like going away for long weekends.
2.  I met at least 40 people from my “online life” – and loved it!
3.  I did not go to Cornwall.  Maybe someday, but it just is too much travel for me at the moment. 
4.  I did see and post 40 photos from my travels.  However I did not post them in a structured way. Maybe next year I will think about using my Tumblr account for this.  And some iPhoneography. 
5.  I didn’t really visit anywhere new (as far as tourist destinations go) in London.  But I did visit three eating club events.  Which was great fun. 

The indulgent…

1.  I haven’t kept track but I am sure that I did 40 things for myself.  I didn’t keep track of them, but I have consciously said “this is for me” when I have done things like lie around in my pajamas all day.
2.  I did not cook a meal from my David Thompson.  Mostly because with so much house construction I have not had much cooking mojo.  Maybe I’ll carry this one over to 2012…
3.  I did not get a pet, although I still want one. grin
4.  I wished in a fountain. In Heathrow. 
5.  I ate something I have never tried before – fish sperm in Tokyo. It was, um, interesting!
6.  Definitely had an ice cold coca cola. And then I boycotted coke due to its support of FIFA, a corrupt organisation.
7.  I most definitely went for a beach walk.
8.  I had a thankful glass of champagne, even though I have mostly stopped drinking champagne as the bubbles do not agree with me.
9.  See number one – yes, I have had a pajama day.
10.  I went to Bea’s for cupcakes. And I tried a Hummingbird cupcake too…
11.  I did not learn to make curry – but I have a recipe in mind to try, thanks to the wonderful Comfort and Spice cookbook by Niamh Shields.

The cultural…

1.  I did not learn to play my ukulele – my ukulele went to storage in November of 2011 and only was delivered home from storage again in late October.  A 2012 rollover.
2.  I did not take a photography course – again my camera was in storage until just recently. However, I bought a Groupon! Incentive to achieve this in the future.
3.  I did not read an “impenetrable classic” but with our books out of storage I am now making an effort to read more. And I know where the classics are located now in the house – a bonus!
4.  I did reacquaint myself with Bruce Springsteen, but I did not download an album. I am not sure that I will.
5.  I totally used my Tate membership this year.  I can highly recommend it just for the members café on top of Tate Modern.
6.  I did not research on ligers, wolphins, pumpanards, or Dunbar’s number. But it doesn’t mean that I miss talking about these things with Patrick any less…
7.  I went to see War Horse this year.  A fun show worth seeing, I’m not sure how they can make it into a film.
8.  I got tickets to the Yassou N’Dour concert, but couldn’t go due to work. 
9.  I’m definitely reading more books.  Probably didn’t read 40, but am reading more which is good.

The practical…

1.  I did not get my UK driving license.  It’s a rollover for 2012.
2.  Breathe.  Oh the irony. One thing I lost in January was good lung function, with my 2 month chest infection.  I am pretty much back to normal I think, with my last follow up exam planned on January 4th.  I will never take breathing for granted again.
3.  I have my Skype up and running again, but still need to Skype my family more. 
4.  I did not learn to kill or deplume a chicken.  But I am still cooking them.
5.  I’ve been doing the occasional day or days off social media and email.  It has been refreshing.

The altruistic…

1.  I have not yet planted a tree, but I do have the phone number for the tree guy, plus my neighbour and I have decided to do the replanting as a donation to our community.
2.  I hope I have done 40 good deeds for strangers, I stopped keeping track at about 15.
3.  I have not yet donated to Kiva.  Shame on me.
4.  But I have donated to small charities.  Donating a small amount monthly has been a great chance to learn about new small community based organisations.

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