Sunday, 11 October 2015

To Do List by 50

Life is short and many of us forget to live it to the fullest. We get swamped by life, being mothers, wives, partners and forget the we are also ourselves in our own right. I adore my family, they make me belly laugh and class them as my closest friends. I love spending time with them which is one of the greatest gifts life has given me. We have many conversations and said "you must do that" to each other when talking about what we would like to do before we die.

Our family conversations and recent health issues have prompted me to revamp my bucket list and give myself a time frame to finish it by. I have decided that I want to achieve these by the time I hit 50 because who knows how long we have left on this earth and when our allotted time is up?

I have now separated my list into two parts, those already achieved and those yet to mark off as completed. As you can see the yet to complete is longer, but I have until May 2019 to get them all done.

So far these are what I have successfully achieved and marked as "ticked"...

Write a blog ~ I have done this as you can see 
No booze for a month ~ also accomplished in a past sober for October fundraising event for Invest in ME.

Get a Tattoo ~ I was late to the game on this one and had my first tattoo on my 41st birthday followed 3 more since then. They all have significance for me; the first is the St Cuthberts Cross surrounded by 5 stars, the cross signifies my mum (she wore a St Cuthberts Cross for as long as I can remember and bought me one too), the 5 stars are for the 5 baby boys I miscarried at 12 weeks each time. I have learnt that my body cannot carry boys and that is why I miscarried them. My second Tattoo was the M interwoven with a heart going into infinity symbol. This is our family tattoo (M signifies Mawer). The third was the little fox which Tasha hand poked onto my ankle, which means a lot to me and she has the identical tattoo herself. The final tattoo is the cont;nue one ~ this was inspired by project semicolon. I tried to commit suicide at the age of 18 and thankfully was unsuccessful, however throughout my life I have suffered from anxiety and depression and so this reminds me that life goes on.
My tattoos
Have a facial piercing ~ I completed this along with the tattoo on my 41st birthday and had my nose pierced at the same time.

Donate blood ~ I have been a blood donor since my late teens, gave up during my childbearing years and then returned to it after that. Sadly I can no longer give blood since my M.E. diagnosis.


Go Vegetarian for a month ~ I did this September this year ~ check out my photos here
Make my own wine ~ I managed to achieve this at the beginning of 2105 and love making our different fruit wines. The girls love to sample them too and so they never last long.
                                          
                                                Brewing a variety of fruit wines






Visit the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg. ~ We ticked this off the list in 2008 when we visited Nashville and the surrounding area for Dave's 40th birthday. It was brilliant and I would highly recommend it.
"Jack Daniel statue" by ZachJBeavers - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jack_Daniel_statue.JPG#/media/File:Jack_Daniel_statue.JPG
Learn how to hula hoop ~ I have managed to learn how to hoop in one direction although I would very much like to master it in the other direction too!
Hooping with my purple weighted hoop
Walk inside a glacier ~ I have been very fortunate to be able to do this as my lovely sister used         to live in Chamonix and so managed to go inside it every year we visited and it was wonderful.
Inside the Chamonix Glacier with dad looking at ice sculptures in 2010
 See a show on Broadway ~ Several years ago The Dave won a competition to New York and            we were lucky to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

AND now to these, they are what I have left to accomplish ~ and only just under 4 years to do it in!

Complete a photography course ~ I had to give up my Reflexology ambitions due to health issues and have always loved taking photos (much to the families frustration) and have decided I would really like to know how to take decent pictures instead of my quick snaps. I have successfully enrolled in a course with the Open University starting in March 2016.
Drink a pint of Murphy’s Stout in a pub in Ireland ~ I have never been to Ireland but mum went many times with a friend of hers who had family over there and raved about it. I have always wanted to go, but never somehow fitted it in. I drank many a can of Murphy's when I was breast feeding (midwife's orders) and loved it so what perfect match than a weekend break (or mid-week, I'm not fussy) to Ireland and sample the unctuous brown liquid in a pub whilst there?
Put £5 in a book in the library with a note ~ I love this idea, I am a huge reader and hate to think that there is a decline in library users, so thought this money and note would make a like minded person happy. I like the idea of putting it in this book ~ rather apt I feel.
Visit Pompeii with The Dave ~ I would very much like to share this experience with my life partner, I went when I was 10 years old and remember it so vividly still, it had such a huge impact on me and hope that it has a similar impact on The Dave. Perhaps we could factor it in as a mini-honeymoon after our vow renewal.
Have a (tasteful) nude photo shoot ~ I want to embrace and accept the body I have after years (well almost a life-time) of being dissatisfied and wanting to be thinner, have bigger boobs etc. I am finally learning that this body has carried me well and seen me through tough times, it needs celebrating, stretch marks, rolls of fat, grey hairs and droopy boobs 'n' all! No idea when I will do it ~ but hope one day before I reach my 50th birthday.
Say yes for an entire day ~ I have a tendency to say "no" immediately and then think about it before then deciding if I want to change it to a "yes". I think waking up one day and deciding to only say "yes" would be a good exercise for me ~ but obviously I won't tell anyone when I plan on doing this as I feel they may well take advantage!
Renew wedding vows ~ This is very important for us because we have changed our  religious views and beliefs since our married days, been through an awful lot and come out stronger, wiser and more unified. First time round we allowed family to organise our wedding and decide on how the day would run. This time round we want to do it our way and involve the girls and celebrate what we have survived and look towards a brighter future together on our own terms. We have already booked this in for June 2016 and are very excited about it.
Send a message in a bottle ~ This really appeals to me although I don't know why. Those who know us know that we spend so much of our leisure time down in our happy place on the coast. I thought this would be a fun thing to do, not sure what message I will send yet, but thinking next summer will be a good time to do it.
Try new foods I’ve  been too chicken to have before ~ when I first met The Dave I didn't like so many foods, currys, pizza's etc but now eat them all. However, I am a real baby when I am faced with something new and a coward about trying them ~ so my mission between now and 2019 is to add a list of new foods to my menu.

Collect acorns and randomly plant them ~ I am a huge lover of trees and was listening to an interview on radio 2 about oak trees and the guy (I forget who he was) was appealing to the public to gather acorns and randomly plant them because oak trees are very slow growing yet hugely beneficial to the environment and we need more of them. So that is precisely what I am going to do whenever I can.
Go on a romantic beach picnic with The Dave and sit and watch the sunset ~ something so simple and yet something we have never done. So hoping to do this one summer evening on the Yorkshire coast.
Go wine tasting ~ Again, this is something I have always wanted to experience and somehow never got round to doing. Hopefully I can tick this off before the end of my lifetime.
Let the girls do a make-over on me and wear whatever they decide for the day ~ I have no fashion, I just wear jeans and man jumpers with Docs or trainers. I like to be comfortable. The girls would like to see me looking girly and feminine so I have said they can choose an outfit (gulp ~ even if it is a dress or skirt) and put make-up on me and I will keep the look for the day. No idea when I'll let them do this, but it's one to have for a rainy day perhaps.
Grow my hair ~ I have tried and failed many times to grow my hair. I get so far and then get thoroughly fed up with it looking such a mess that I then have it all chopped off again. This time round I have got further than previous attempts but am at the stage where can only wear hair bands and it looks and does nothing for me! However, I am looking forward to the wonders of cold weather and hat season because I am intent on persevering this time and allowing it to grow and grow....
Go to Comic Con ~ I hadn't realised there was a comic con in Birmingham and so have promised Tasha that one day when we are both well enough we will go!
Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain in Rome with The Dave ~ This appeals to the soppy side of me and would like to tour Rome (before going to Pompeii) and take in all the sights.
Have a professional family photo shoot ~ Before the girls all leave home and fly the nest for good (as one has flown already) I would like to gather us all together and have some lovely informal photographs taken of us together.
Go to a concert ~ I would love to see live bands play and yet again never get round to it, it gets put to the bottom of the list and then when the opportunity comes I decide to stay home as too tired etc. This is something I want to do and so will try and change my mindset and just do it one day.
Buy and keep alive a Bonsai Tree for at least 6 months ~ As I said previously, I adore trees, I find them soothing and beautiful. I don't have green thumbs and have heard keeping Bonsai trees is not easy but really fancy buying one and managing to keep it alive too.
Make Hash Brownies ~ I don't smoke anymore, I gave up in 1996, I have heard that hash helps soothe pain in M.E,. and so am tempted to bake a batch and try them to see if they relieve my pains and aches because normal painkillers have no effect. 
Reintroduce date night ~ Don't you find that it is all too easy to come home and just flop, to be too tired to bother? We used to have a weekly date night and then that fizzled out. I think monthly is more realistic and that we should put aside a night each month to go out on a date and remind each other what we mean to each other.
Have a full on food fight ~ this appeals to the kid in me, however, due to the OCD side of me it would have to be outside as I couldn't cope with the mess if it was indoors ~ it makes me twitch just thinking about it, but outside is a different matter.
Have a water balloon fight ~ again feeding the inner child, it would be great fun and perhaps something to do when we have friends over.
Sort out finalising my will - With recent health events it's hit home that you can never be too prepared and we have half done our wills but they really need finishing and so I need to get my arse into gear and do this.
Do a ghost tour/walk ~ I used to always watch Most Haunted and love the idea of going on a spooky tour or walk, although couldn't be too long as it would make me too tired.
Visit a strip club ~ I am curious about what goes on in one of these and whether or not the "strippers" enjoy it or not. I would love to watch a show and chat to the strippers to get a feel of what it's all about and whether it feels seedy or not.
Hold a Tarantula in my hand  ~ I have had a huge fear of spiders for as long as I can remember and someone once told me holding a tarantula is less scary then holding normal house spiders as they are less likely to run up your arm etc. I am terrified at the thought of doing this but wonder if it would help me address my fear (or make it worse). I think someone would have to support me and hold my hand underneath to stop me flinging the spider off though!  I am dreading this one SO much!.
Hold a joint 50th shindig with The Dave ~ as we are both 50 within 11 months of each other what better way to celebrate half way between our birthdays. I wonder about using the fancy dress theme of Film Characters as we spend much of our time together watching movies.

As you can see, I have a few to accomplish  but should be a lot of fun in the process, so watch this space and see how I get on.

x~X~x