In February I will be turning 40, my thoughts turned to what to achieve in the next decade, so here are my 50 by 50.
Ten years ago, as I was about to turn 30 I moved from the UK to the Middle East, a huge challenge for someone who lacks in self confidence! The sense of regret at missing out on making such a change outweighed the fear.
Well, I am still here, settled, with a great circle of friends, have met and married a terrific husband and achieved more than I thought possible in my teaching career.
This next decade is about quietening the voice that tells me .. ‘you can’t do that’, ‘ you have nothing to offer’, ‘so-and-so is so much better’ and replacing it with ‘I can, I will, I have’.
Some of the things on the list are places I have been to or things that I have done, then let go of because of that dumb voice, so I am going back to reclaim them.
It’s not so much about me ‘… But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph (as trophies of Christ’s victory) and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere’ 2 Corinthians 2.14.
Just three months before I made the move to the ME I met a young girl who was in a difficult place in her life. She saw me overcome the doubt and fear in making the much needed change in my life. After I left she too decided to make a change in her life, she told me that she thought ‘if A can do it then so can I’ and she did. Last week I received a beautiful picture of her with her little family, so happy.
By making a change in the way I think about myself and about how I lead my life I can make a difference to others, that’s what I want to do, give to others, pass it on, encourage them, build them up, celebrate life.
The first few items on the list are what I would like to have place in the next two months from then on there is no particular order…
My 50 by 50 …
1. Implement and embed the Paleo diet into my daily eating habits, improve my health and well being
2. Reduce my weight and importantly BMI … and maintain!
3. To take up Yoga, following DDP
4. Learn to meditate
5. Cook meals from scratch, get rid of packet mixes
6. Spend more time reading the Bible and in prayer, each day
7. Have time without technology each week…. watch a movie, visit a restaurant without reaching for the iPad or phone!
8. Think positive thoughts about myself, stop giving thought-time to the negative and irrelevant… may take a while
9. Learn to paint landscapes and trees
10. To relearn sign language, as a young child and into my teenage years I had a deaf friend so was fluent, I enjoyed the expression of signing
11.Take a road trip, would love to take a VW camper van around Scotland
12. Spend more time exploring my home country, something like working our way Lands End to John O Groats, probably not all at once
13. To visit Iceland, see the Northern Lights
14. To tour Scandinavia, enjoy the fresh air, paint and photograph the stunning scenery
15. To go on Safari, photograph the big five in their environment
16. To visit different States in the USA, maybe another road trip, either North or South coasts or East to West coast just to observe and value the history, geography, significant characteristics and differences of each state
17. To follow in the footsteps of Anne of Green Gables and Jane of Lantern Hill by visiting Canada and especially Prince Edward Island
18. To complete a Fitness challenge, not sure quite what yet, not sure I can run anymore so maybe not a marathon but possibly a walk or cycle or aerobic event
19. Complete dive training and dive in at least three different countries, to see and photograph pretty fish
20. Knit a jumper that can be worn in public
21. Crochet at least one item
22. Attend ‘Betty’s’ cookery school, cover the basics and bakery
23. Visit Singapore and attend cookery magic with Ruqxana
24. Buy a holiday home, caravan/cabin/ apartment – we use the same holiday cottage each year when we visit my parents, we love going back to the homeliness and familiarity so would like to have a holiday home we can relax in and share with friends and the family
25. Own a house, we sold my house last year, we need to set up our own family roots
26. Adopt a kitten and bring it up, we have always had grown rescue cats and always will. I would like to have a rescue kitten though to see him or her grow up. I often wonder what our cats would have looked like, how they would have behaved as kittens and what shaped their characters
27. Adopt a dog and enjoy regular walks, I love the idea of sharing the companionship of a dog on a long walk, the fresh air, the sunshine, rain and chill of winter tramping across fields or down on the beach
28. Sponsor a child
29. Look for ways to give other than financially on a daily basis
30. To support a cause – to find a charity to believe in and trust that what is given in effort, finance and support is not eroded by politics
31. Helicopter ride across an amazing geographical wonder
32. To learn photography and enjoy taking pictures of flowers, trees, landscapes
33. Become a fan, enjoy following a sport or musician wholeheartedly
34. Attend a concert … No less than once a year
35. Leave a huge tip for a waiter or waitress
36. Attend a festival, try out a few but then make one an annual trip
37. Start a family tradition
38. Do something significant for our parents that will make a difference to their lives
39. Meet up with extended family more frequently
40. Find a newspaper worth reading, watch the local and international news regularly
41. Relearn to play the guitar
42. To make eye contact with, smile and/or speak to somebody new each day, regardless of how I feel
43. Complete a course in something other than education
44. Get the tattoo have been talking about for years
45. Watch a cricket match, it has to be more interesting than initially meets the eye!
46. To spend a weekend at the GP
47. Read more books, broaden range of my reading, include poetry and non fiction
48. Find a church or group of like minded where we can share
49. Shoot a target, dead centre … with a gun and with an arrow
50. Give fencing a try… I like the way they move their feet
And there is one more,
51. to go fishing with with my husband on a regular basis