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Thursday, January 7, 2010

45 / 45 Challenge!

So, my birthday is coming up in about a month. Birthdays aren’t really a big deal in our family beyond age 10 or so and I’ve never done much to celebrate it. When I was married, my ex always lumped it together with Valentine’s Day (if he remembered it at all). Now Ryan always makes a big deal of it (bless her heart) but she’s been too little to bake and up until recently, I had to give her money to buy my present, so… you know (I know you single moms know). I did, however, celebrate my 40th. That was the year my ex told me he wanted a divorce (so he could move in with a 29-year-old), so I went to England for two weeks and got drunk. Well, I wasn’t drunk for the whole two weeks. Oh… wait… ummm… yeah… never mind…

Anyway… it’s not that this particular birthday is one of those big milestones, but it is one that ends in ‘5' and they always seem like mini-milestones. Don’t they? And this one – 45 – seems like an even bigger mini-milestone than the normal ‘5’ birthdays seem to me. See, for the first time in a long time, I feel like Diane again. In fact, I feel a lot like the Diane I was at 25, when I was still invincible – before life kicked me in the ass; before I had any idea that a human being could actually shatter. It’s not that I think I’m invincible again. Lord, no. I know better. But I feel stronger and more at peace with myself than I’ve felt in two decades. That strength and peace were hard-won and came, thankfully, with a little bit of wisdom about life – about love and pain and loss and betrayal and breaking and healing... like I said, about life.

So, given how I’m feeling, it only seems fitting that this year, I celebrate!

But how?

Well, the other day, I was having a mooch around Facebook and I found this page, which led me to this blog, where I got this great idea. Actually, it was the blog writer, Dean’s, idea… I just stole it. But I told him I was stealing it, so that makes it OK. Doesn’t it? I think it does.

Anyway, he decided that to celebrate turning (and being) 40, he’s going to do a 40/40 Challenge. What’s a 40/40 Challenge, you ask? Good question, my bloggy buds! He’s going to do 40 things over the course of the year… 40 challenging things (hence the word ‘challenge’ in the title), the success of each providing for mini-celebrations all year long! I thought it was an amazing idea! So, as I said, I stole it!

I did adapt it to suit my own needs (it’s my birthday, I can do what I want to). So it’s (obviously) a 45/45 Challenge for me. And instead of working it from New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve, as Dean is doing, I’m going to work mine from February 15, 2010 (my birthday) to February 14, 2011.

I’ve been pondering my list of challenges for a couple of days and after reviewing my 2010 goals and my ever-growing ‘bucket list’, I’ve got about 40 so far (a few of which regular readers will recognize). I asked for ideas from some other friends and got some good stuff back, too, so I’m going to list what I’ve got today and ask you all for suggestions to finish it up. I need for them to be challenging but do-able (all at once or over the course of a full year), keeping in mind my woeful lack of funds and physical coordination. Actually, a lot of the challenges I have so far are physical, so things other than running/hiking/swimming/etc would be good. Have a look-see at what I’ve got, think of what you’d put on your own challenge list, and if anything else comes to mind, I’d love if you’d let me know via comments or email. Thanks!

1. Complete the 60-mile breast cancer walk in Chicago in August
2. Complete the 60-mile breast cancer walk in DC in October
3. Raise $5,500 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Fund
4. Run the Sherry Anderson 5K in April
5. Find and run a local 10K
6. Find and run a local 10-miler
7. Run the Patrick Henry Half Marathon in August
8. Submit 3 pieces of writing for publication (they need not actually be published to consider this a success)
9. Learn to salsa dance (stop laughing!)
10. Finish Pillars of the Earth (finally!)
11. Read World Without End (also finally!)
12. Take a cardio-kickboxing class
13. Take a yoga class
14. Skydive in October (yup, I’m really gonna do it!)
15. Swim 10 miles (640 pool lengths) over the summer
16. Wash my car once a month (as opposed to once a year)
17. Get a tattoo (on my left wrist)
18. Hike 25 miles of the Appalachian Trail
19. Do a mother/daughter camping weekend with ‘the girls’
20. Meet 5 bloggy friends (if you don’t want me to visit, say so now!)
21. Bake a loaf of bread from scratch (and eat it!)
22. Walk 1,200 miles
23. Get through levels 1 and 2 of the Rosetta Stone Spanish tutorial
24. Knit a scarf (which will require me to learn to knit)
25. Be a vegetarian for one full month
26. Go whitewater rafting (with class III – IV rapids)
27. Go up in the Washington Monument
28. Go up in the Statue of Liberty
29. See Phantom of the Opera on Broadway
30. Visit Well of Mercy retreat and be still/quiet for 2 days (shut it!)
31. Hike the Old Rag Mountain circuit in the SNP
32. Go ice skating in the sculpture garden at the Smithsonian
33. Give away/donate/get rid of one thing per day for 365 days
34. Reach the weight I was at 21
35. Do 45,000 crunches (it’s only about 125/day… every day)
36. Go completely diet soda-free for one full month
37. Volunteer twice/month at Our Community Place soup kitchen
38. Attend a comedy club
39. Attend a concert
45. Throw a party for my 46th birthday! (It'll be the first in 30 years!)

I can't wait to hear back from you guys. And I'm actually looking forward to my birthday so I can get started! Who'd a thunk it?


Rachel Cotterill said...

Yay! This is a fantastic list - and you're going to be sooo much more busy than me, this makes my list sound supremely laid back.

Come and visit me for #20! You can do being veggie (#25) at the same time, and you can even give me stuff (#33) if you must :p

Now, as for filling up your remaining slots... how about "talk to the lady from your previous post"? Buy her a cup of tea and just listen to her story. Brave, yeah. But doable :)

I'm going to be cheerleading you on all year, whatever you put in the gaps. Go Diane! *waves imaginary pompoms* *wonders, not for the first time, whether to make myself some real pompoms*

lakeviewer said...

I'm duly impressed. Amazed. Awed. You have big ones here; just one would be enough for me. (like the getting down to the weight you were at 21!)

I can only suggest that you simplify your list, with things that would require your attention, but not your money.

Diane said...

Thanks Rachel! You know I'd be on my way to England to visit tomorrow... but that woeful lack of funds comes into play there :). I put the soup kitchen on my list because I really think I'll get to meet the lady from my previous post there. I'm hoping. But yes, if I see her, I WILL stop next time.

Lakeviewer... thank you, too! There are actually only a few things on my list that require funds, really... I tried hard to focus on things that wouldn't cost me much more than time and energy :)

Dean said...

Hi Diane,

No problem with "stealing" the idea, in fact enjoy it, make it yours and pass it on. The fact that my list as inspired someone else to make thier own makes me feel happy, wish I'd thought of that as a challenge :-(

Enjoy the year and remember "You only live once" I will be keeping on eye on you!!

Shanna said...

I love these (especially the tattoo idea!)
A friend of mine recently tried to get me to read Pillars of the Earth. I didn't make it past the Prologue. But it was GREAT prologue!
I'll think on this but I doubt I'll be much help. I can't wait to see you accomplish each and every one of these things!

Anonymous said...

Oh can we go get tats together? I'm so doing that this year for my birthday! I'm just chicken to go alone!

Diane said...

Dean, I'm watching you, too :)

Shanna... if I get through it, you can, too. I don't know why I've been balking... everyone I know says it's great!

Anonymous... dunno who you are but if you live in or near Pigsknuckle, we can go together!

Anonymous said...

Well being as you love England I suggest you learn to make the national dish - Curry!
You have to dry fry the spices then grind them, marinate the meat/fish, chop the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, cheating with tinned/packet stuff.....add fresh'll love it!!!

If you need a recipe gimme a shout, I have loads!

Take care,


P.S. You could even make Naan Bread to go with it!

Diane said...

Well, my long-lost friend, curry's a possibility. I was thinking of adding 'making lasagna from scratch' to the list... maybe I'll do both!

Ronda's Rants said...

I love your list! Well, all but the "jumping out of a plane...I hope my parachute opens" one :(
I would love for you to come to Florida or...since I have relatives in pigsnuckle...I could visit you! A public place and I swear I won't act Christian weird :)!
I especially like # are a good soul!

justsomethoughts... said...

i dont see "get drunk for two weeks straight" anywhere on that list
oh wait
you did that already
i dont see "get drunk for three weeks straght" anywhere on that list

Diane said...

Ronda, I don't know if FL will be in the budget (money or time-wise) this year, but if you're up Pigsknuckle way, I'm wherever you are! Just say the word!

JST, the 2 week thing nearly killed me. I don't think I can manage 3... unless you never want to hear from me again...

Brian Miller said...

nice list...sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun...must take pictures along hte way so you can do a nice pictoral recap.

Diane said...

Brian, maybe I should make that one of my challenges, as I am terrible at remembering to take pictures and even worse at putting them all together in one place!

blognut said...

Brian is right, you have GOT to take pictures of these things.

I'm still thinking of what to add to your list. Maybe something like giving up your annoying addiction to your cell phone. Oh, wait! That's me. Never mind.

I'll think some more... ILY.

Sam_I_am said...

Congratulations on your "rebirthday"! There is great whitewater rafting in my area, so if you want to kill two birds with one stone... ;-) Good luck!

Heather, aka Jake's Mommy said...

I would say introduce yourself to some new person or start up a conversation with a stranger at least once a week. Maybe, make a daily diary entry about your progress on your 45/45 challenge and see how it has changed you as a person to set your goals and reach them.

Diane said...

Blognut, get cracking! ;)

Sam, I was thinking of rafting in WVA, but I'll have a look at the PA options! That could work!

Heather, I do that conversation thing nearly every day :). My dad used to say I could start a conversation in an empty elevator! And I've already started looking for a cool journal to chronicle the year! Great minds think alike. Or, well... yeah... never mind ;)

Debbie said...

you could put me down as one of your BLOGGY friends! would love that!:) love this idea!! really..and loved how you described where you are versus where we are! LOVED when you wrote about discovering ' a human being can shatter'..chills!! we have so many common goal...I am a vegetarian:) does that count! and I can knit...but not actually anything OTHER then scarves!! LOL! can't wait to hear how its going!!

hebba said...

What a fantastic list!!

Marla said...

Great list, Diane! I may steal a few of these for myself one of these days. Here is the list I am working through right now. Take a look and help yourself to anything that catches your fancy.

namaste said...

Hello friend.

So much to catch up on! Love your list by the way and hello!!! Congrats on the weight loss, I'm sooooooo proud of you sister!
Love the tattoo idea. What will you get? Any ideas? I'm planning one now, on my neck.... it will be my first and I'm excited.
I think that we should do lists like this every year!
How about take a photo of yourself or something in your life everyday for 45 days?
I'm thinking of more, promise.
You are coming into your own my dear! Welcome to your life!

namaste said...

Oh, and I agree with the first post.... met the lady from the "I wonder" post!

Pauline said...

write a small poem every morning


write Morning Pages (you'd have to read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron)


volunteer to read to kids (at your local library or shelter)


take a photo a day to chronicle your journey


plant a small kitchen garden (in pots if need be) and give away the produce

teach Ryan to make a cake BEFORE the big event ;)

Protege said...

Great list Diane to celebrate an important milestone in your life!;))
I am wishing you all the best of luck to complete it all and I will return with my suggestions.;)

Kati said...

Love the list. I don't have much to add, maybe ge a girl's night together for pigsnuckle friends? I'd like that one : )

f1trey said...

cant wait to hear about skydiving! what a great list!

Heather said...

Very cool idea! And you have some terrific goals on that list! (Can I come skydiving with you?? I've always wanted to go!)

SparkleFarkle said...

Glad to meet you, Diane! I come by way of justsomethoughts. Remember that old Paul Revere-y (I loved it when he sang "Hungry"!) line: "One, if by land, two if by sea"? Well it really went "One if by land and two, if by justsomethoughts." Hmm. for some reason, I thought that made sense a few minutes ago. LOL! Nevertheless, I'm glad she steered me in your direction: great blog!

P.S. Best Birthday Wishes and many returns of the day (and of your wonderful list!)

Diane said...

Debbie, thanks and you know if I make it to FL, you're on my list to visit!

Hebba, thanks! You inspire me all the time with yours and several on the things on it came from things you've said and done!

Marla, thanks! I'm on my way to look at yours!

Namaste, I'm so glad you're back! I like the photo idea!

Pauline, good stuff! I do morning pages already and volunteering is definitely on my list! As for teaching Ryan to bake, I might need lessons first ;)

Zuz, thanks, darlin'! Can't wait to see your suggestions!

Kati, I think a GNO will definitely make the list! Be on the lookout for the mother/daughter camping info, too.

Trey, I can't wait either... gulp.

Heather, if you REALLY want to come, you know I'd welcome the company! I might actually need someone to give me a push. Mel wants to come, too! I'll give you the info if you're serious!

Diane said...

SparkleFarkle (love the name! :), thanks for visiting! JST is dear to my heart, certainly :)

SparkleFarkle said...

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, justsomethoughts is a guy!!! What a MAJOR blunderer I am! Forgiveme, justsomethougts? Please DO forgive the moron that is me! *nervously waits for feedback* Sweating bullets is more painful than I thought it'd be.

Diane said...

LOL... I didn't even notice the 'she' part! No worries... we've all been there. And your picture matches your blunder PERFECTLY!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Diane, this is Missy - I'm thinking of getting another tattoo, so we could all go together - wouldn't that be fun? If you want to, let me know!! :) And shouldn't you add becoming a Weight Watcher Leader to your list???? It's a great list - might do the same thing for my birthday!!!

Diane said...

Mis, I'll let you know when I'm ready to get that tattoo. I surely wouldn't mind company for that!

Mr. Knucklehead said...

Hey, when's your birthday? I'm turning 45 on February 22nd. I may just implement this 45/45 thing myself.

1. Eat an Oreo.
2. Eat another Oreo.
3. Eat another Oreo.

I think you can see the pattern.

sherri said...

Diane- my being on the internet at ALL, was due to a list I had made about a year ago- I listed some things I was going to try (that I alsways wanted to try- just never did) and then made a list of things that I thought were STUPID and did not understand, but didn't know anything about so I was willing to try a few of those things too.

Well, oddly, I hated being on the computer. And was a COMPLETE computer illiterate... I vowed to learn a bit about it, which lead me to writing a blog, joining facebook and becoming addicted to a pasttime that I thought was only for lonely, nerdy people with nothing better to do! ANd have met some amazing people (present company included) along the way.

The other surprise was riding on the back of a Harley (Now my NUMBER ONE FAVORITE PASTTIME!) and camping. Who knew? I'm an outdoorsey sort?

Anyway- it opened up a part of me that had laid dormant for many years-my adventuresome side! I'll be 46 on my birthday- and actually feel younger than I was in my thirties! My sons have inspired me to try things I would have otherwise steered clear from.

This post has inspired me to try even more. But, Since I've left a post here already, I'll write about it on my blog on Monday.

And yes, YOU WILL be meeting with me this summer. Promise- while you're here, you'll try one thing you don't want to do (could include a SHORT Harley ride with Big AL!)ANd I'll try one thing- like wearing flat shoes or something crazy and out there like that!

Great post.

Greenfingers said...

Ahhh wow Diane, what a brilliant idea! Thing is, with all that going on, surely you'll be to tired to blog...although you can write all about it!

And a big good luck to you to!

Diane said...

Chris, I did the Oreo thing (a lot) in past years... that's why I really need to do the running/swimming/crunch things this year!

Sherri, do you mean to tell me you'll actually LET me ride with Big Al on his Harley?! You know that means I have to wrap my arms around him (you know, so I don't fall off and all). Well, hot damn! It's on the list!!! ;)

GF, thanks, darlin'! The thought had crossed my mind that I might to be too busy to blog, but I expect I'll find a way ;)

sherri said...

I will put a Bible between the two of you- with spikes on your side. ;)

Diane said...

Better get the holy water out, too... just to be safe ;)

Emmy said...

I could have sworn I commented, but I told myself I'd get a tattoo this year so we can go get them together! I'm to chicken to go alone!

Diane said...

I think you did comment... as Anonymous! I didn't know who you were :). Yes, we can totally go together. I'm gonna need a few people to hold me down, I think!

rdl said...

Great idea!! Much better than resolutions! Happy Birthday!!!

Emmy said...

Ooops my bad.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

You are expending a bit of energy in this lot. How about include a quiet afternoon under a tree somewhere?

Lee said...

I suppose 45 Sundays in bed with a nice coffee reading the paper is out of the question?

Diane said...

rdl... thank you!!

Emmy... dork! ;)

JCN... that's what the weekend at Well of Mercy is for... it's a spiritual retreat (read: no TV, no Internet, no talking, no nothin'!).

Lee... I'll get a few in (you know I'm inherently lazy, right? That's why all these things are so challenging! ;)

mom seeks life said...

Good luck with all of the makes me tired jsut readingt hat list and you should be very proud to be able to even coontemplate doing them... Maybe one of the things to add is writing a book about your year!

Diane said...

mom... thanks! That's an idea for my 46/46 Challenge (you know, if I survive the 45/45 one! :). Seriously, though, maybe I can compile my journal and blog entries for the year into some sort of manuscript... hmmmmm...

Sheila said...

I live in Northern VA and I would love to do the skydiving with you, if you are looking for company! There is a location in Louisa and one in Fishersville....

Sheila said...

And one in Orange:

Jenners said...

I love this. How ambitious! How exciting! How .... energetic!!

How about: sing karaoke with friends in public? : )

Jenners said...

Or: write a letter to the editor about an issue that really matters to you.

Diane said...

Shelia... the one in Orange is the one I'm doing! I have a friend who jumps there all the time and LOVES it! You're welcome to come along (October is the tentative date)!

Jenners... I've sung in public a few times already. And I've written several letters to the editor but the Pigsknuckle paper is hideously conservative. I suppose I could try to tone down my liberal-ness to the point that they'd consider publishing what I write! Now, THAT'D be a challenge! ;)

Sometimes Sophia said...

See the weekly Sunset Parade featuring the Drum and Bugle Corps and the Silent Drill Platoon (at the Marine Corps War (Iwo Jima)Memorial... or visit the National Botanical Garden near the Capitol - especially lovely on a cold winter day.

PS. You list is great. Excellent idea!

Diane said...

SS, Thanks! I've done the 2nd a few times but not the first (though I've been to the memorial several times).

She said...

Awesome LIST! I will be 45 in October, so I will get my list together by then! ;-)

Sheila said...

I would love to do the date grows closer, keep us informed. If it fits my calendar, I am there!

tryn2bgreen said...

WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is amazing, your list is overwhelming me and it isn't even my list!!!!

My suggestion would be something along the lines of the next time you come across something you really want but fear the how/when/what/why of it instead of talking yourself out of it just jump.......

BUT as I started writing that, I realize that is really just pretty much THE other 39 items you already have on your list ;-)

Looking forward to watching/hearing about all of these accomplishments!!!!!!

Live More Now said...

Diane - I love you!! So fun, and so inspirational. Makes me wanna do it! What a great year you have a ahead of you! Keep us posted on your progress!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

That's an incredible list, Diane - Very ambitious! And sky-diving - Yikes!

I am amazed at how active you have become and in awe at your energies, my friend - I would possibly add in some 'quiet and still' things to do that you would enjoy and haven't tried yet... Yoga counts definitely... What about the Gaelic, perhaps learning and pronouncing a poem that you love?

I wish I could be as ambitious as this - Perhaps I need to start with the weight thing, and see what follows... If I could give away one thing per day for 365 days I might get closer to being clutter-free for once! Love to you, precious! xox

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Sue Jackson said...

Wow, what a list! I'm so impressed! I can't relate to all the physical challenges because I have a chronic illness and am not able to exercise 9though I used to love it before I got sick!!), but I can relate to some of your other goals. I, too, want to read Pillars of the Earth - it's been on my shelf for a year now, but I admit I'm intimidated by the size of it! I actually baked fresh bread tonight - I recommend one of the homemade bread in 5 minutes a day books. And I'm a writer, too. What do you write? Let me know if you want help with your writing goal.