2018 is the year I turn 40. When I was younger I had an image of what my life might look like at 40…. married, children (probably 2), a dog, a good job (this often changed….vet, teacher, newsreader, writer…), a house with a big garden (in the country), a car (a nice new shiny one)…..things that I’d experienced or things that society painted Technicolor images of and told us to aspire to as I was growing up.
Fast forward to aged 39 years & 353 days. My life and experiences to get here have been totally different to the image I’d created. I’m divorced but have an amazing other half, there are no children (and this isn’t through choice), we have two cats, I have a good job (but there have been several changes along the way and it’s not what I would have anticipated my adult self doing), we have a house with a small, “manageable” garden, and I have a reliable, old car, that I haven’t changed for 10 years!
What my younger self didn’t imagine was the adversity and struggles that life can throw at us. Like many, I’ve encountered and fought health problems, loss, misfortune, heartbreak…..the hardest fight of all being against fertility problems, a fight that I was destined not to win. However, it is these experiences that have taught me who I am, tested me to show me what I’m capable of, and presented me with opportunities that I never would have had. After all, as Steve Jobs said, “success is a lousy teacher”, something that a perfectionist like me is still trying to make sense of!
They say that life begins outside of our comfort zone. Life is also said to begin at 40. I’m going to have a go at combining the two (it’s the all or nothing trait within me!) and do 40 Challenges in the year I turn 40! Now I don’t mean huge, almost impossible feats (I won’t be climbing Everest just yet), I mean things that will push me out of my comfort zone on a mental and physical level – big and small, one offs and things I can continue throughout my life, things I can do with others and solo challenges. There are endless possibilities and I’ll document them as I go. I’ve started getting a bit of practice and I’m now a regular motorway driver, I ran (and completed) the Worcester 10k, I’ve told people what I think and I’ve written this Blog.
I’d love people to join me, to take up their own challenges, and push themselves beyond the C Zone – you definitely don’t need to be turning 40! Let’s be brave and try something new to see where it takes us. Or, if that’s not your cup of tea, sit back and watch me take on my 40 challenges….give me some ideas, words of encouragement or have a giggle at any madness I end up getting myself into!