Life in Technicolor
I’ve had quite a few people prodding me to find out just how I did on my 40 for 40 list as the deadline of 19th November, has come and gone. Did I do all 40 things? What was my favourite? What was the big secret of Item 40? Was I going to do 41 things next year? The answers are no, definitely not Item 4, nothing naughty, and absolutely not!
Let’s start with the things that I did in November. As I only had the first 18 days of the month to get the last few bits and pieces completed ,mainly as I’d set my birthday as the deadline, but also as I was heading off to the States for Thanksgiving with my family, I needed to get it all done before I headed off.
At the start of the month I completed Item 15: Do something ‘cultural’ every month – with November’s item being a trip to see Ghost The Musical. I can’t say I really enjoyed it unfortunately, mainly because the couple sat next to me were trying their hardest to suck each others faces off throughout the whole performance, complete with full slurpy sound effects! Seriously, who pays over £60 per ticket to then not watch the show they’ve come to see? The show is a very good transplant of the film onto stage, and don’t get me wrong, the lighting, effects, staging and performers are incredible, but I just didn’t think there was a stand-out song that will be remembered in years to come and the show as a whole sadly didn’t ‘grab’ me. Although I had a pleasant evening, it’s not a show I’d go to again. Still, Item 15, Complete.
Another monthly thing on my list was Item 8: Have a professional beauty treatment once a month. This has been really enjoyable over the year (apart from the Colonic!) and ended with me having a wonderful back massage and facial (and glass of Champagne) at the InterContinental Hotel on Park Lane at their wonderful new Spa. Two hours on a Saturday afternoon very much enjoyed. Of all the Items I’ve done over this past year, this is one of the things that I’m going to try to carry on in the future – the occasional little treat here and there…
Then there was Item 5: Own a pair of brand new Designer Shoes. I love shoes. I’ve got lots of them. But I’ve never had a pair of really expensive, so-called ‘designer’ shoes. But now I do. I finally took myself off to look for the shoes that I’ve always wanted. After spending several hours trying on different pairs by different designers, I decided on some lovely Louboutins. They’re Simple Black Pumps which might surprise a few people, but I decided to get a pair of shoes that a girl can wear any time, anywhere with anything! I can’t wait to wear them out!
One of the last big things on the list was Item 33 – Say hello to 100 strangers on a bridge in one day. I know this seems a little odd, but it’s so rare to speak to people in London that you don’t already know, so armed with my camera I spent a chilly Sunday afternoon on Millennium Bridge, saying “Hello” to 100 people. Nearly all very graciously said “Hello” back. Some of them even let me take their photo. It was a bit daunting at the start, jumping out on strangers with a quick “Hello, please can I take your photo?”, but it was so amazing when people said yes and asked me what it was for and had a little conversation with me. Turns out there are some very lovely smiley people around… thanks to each and every person who said Hello right back.
Now for the things I didn’t quite do over the year. It may not come as too much of a surprise to regular readers that Item 2: Run for 30 mins without stopping didn’t get completed. This is purely down to my own laziness. It’s fairly obviously to most that I’m not a “runner” and never will be. I can manage a gentle plod around the park, but quite frankly I just don’t get that ‘runners high’ that some people do. I don’t run for a bus, so running for fun seems like a very strange thing to me. I did manage 27 mins without stopping one day, but then missed a couple of plodding sessions so lost the impetus. I will keep at it though… even if it takes me another year!
Item 16: Stay in a top London hotel for a night, just because… was booked for my Birthday where I was going to spend the night enjoying the luxury of Browns Hotel, and was very much looking forward to the champagne breakfast in bed the following morning, but sadly due to circumstances beyond my control this Item had to be postponed at the last minute. I don’t consider this a fail as such, as it was all planned and would have been a brilliant way to end the list, instead I’m just delaying it, and will rebook for the New Year.
I guess it’s probably about time I tell you about Item 40: The so called ‘Secret’. Actually from the outside this is probably the most boring Item of the list, and wasn’t anything saucy or outrageous as some people thought – and there have been some very funny and surprising guesses made over the year! That said, this was actually one of the biggest personal challenges for me. When this list was put together just over a year ago, I hadn’t been in the best place personally, and what I wanted most from life was just to get happier and healthier throughout the year, and if possible, to lose some weight. I haven’t quite managed the weight loss total I had in mind (not yet anyway…), but the happier and healthier parts I certainly have managed. In spades! And there are 37 items on this list with ticks next to them to prove it. It also merges with Item 9: Fall in love. And yes I know it sounds a bit cheesy (OK, a lot cheesy) but this has come from all the things I’ve done this year, I’ve fallen in love with my life.
Finally, especially for DW and SS, as I know you are both desperate to find out about Item 35: Go Commando. I’m happy to report this was actually completed some time ago. And no, I’m not going into any detail in telling you where or when but will say that I certainly had a smile on my face!
To top this amazing year off, straight after my birthday I went out to the States to see, and stay with family for Thanksgiving. Jetting into LAX for a couple of days at my brother’s house, the whole family then made the eight and a half hour drive to Tucson, Arizona for Thanksgiving Day with ‘in-laws’, before heading back to sunny California for a week. And to see a Thanksgiving a sunset like this, why not!?
It’s been a truly remarkable year. I didn’t really think through the amount of planning this would all take, nor the fact that 62 things (if you include the two items that were to do things once a month) would work out at more than one per week on average, but then I didn’t know if I’d even cross 10 things off, let alone attempt all 40. But I’m so very glad I did. To the friends that started this year with me, and the new ones I’ve made along the way, thank you. “Gravity,release me, And don’t ever hold me down, Now my feet won’t touch the ground”
Oh, and before you think I’m going to put my feet up and not do anything during my 41st year, you’re so wrong. I’ve already signed up to do a Marathon in May – yes really! On 12th May 2012 I’m going to be Moonwalking around London… No, not Michael Jackson style, instead I’ll be joining 16,999 other wonderful people, all of us just in decorated bras (yes, blokes too), walking a marathon in the moonlight all as part of the 15th Walk the Walk Moonwalk whilst raising funds for vital Breast Cancer causes. And yes of course I’ll tell you all more about that as my training starts…
‘Till the next time