On the 10th May 2016 I turn 40. Forty. Four ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh my God. Whilst still unsure as to how the **** this happened, it has happened. And I am determined to face it with dignity, unlike how I faced my 30th birthday (tears, tantrums and snot, in case you were wondering...).
Why not? Everybody else is doing it.
I'm giving myself the 228 days I have left until I turn 40, and the year of being 40 to complete some challenges. Some are nice challenges. Some I can't wait to do, and have wanted to do for years. Some suck. Some will challenge me mentally. Some physically. Some I really, really don't want to do, but I'm taking the fact that I really don't want to do them as a reason why I should. You can't have a light, without a dark to stick it in, right? Profound.
Ok, you'll have to bear with me on this, because I've only come up with 28 challenges and ideas so far. I'll update this as and when I think of more or complete any. This is my list, thus far. In no particular order...
1) I want to have seen, or at least have purchased tickets ready to go and see, Lawson on tour. And I will scream, like a twelve year old, at a One Direction concert. Although, to be fair, I did my fair share of screaming at the One Direction concert I went to...
2) I want to lose a predetermined amount of weight (which I am not disclosing yet, until the end!) by my 40th.
3) Take a hot air balloon ride.
4) I want to find something I want to study, and take steps towards going back to college. Maybe University eventually. Baby steps.
5) I want to climb Snowdon. Stop laughing.
6) I want to take a Yoga class, and see what all the fuss is about.
7) I want to go and watch a musical in a theatre. I quite fancy Jersey Boys or Let it Be.
8) I want to win something really wonderful. Like a dishwasher. Or hundreds of pounds of shopping vouchers.
9) I want to 'remarry' my husband and have a small, intimate party to celebrate this, and my 40th.
10) I want to conquer my needle phobia, which is beyond ridiculous.
11) I want to do a month of bizarre 'National' days, embrace the spirit of it, and blog it. I have decided on November, because some of that stuff is batshit.
12) I'm going to take part in NaNoWriMo in November. If I had a pound for every person who has told me I should write a novel, I'd have about £17. Which is more profit than I'd make if I wrote a book.
13) I want to walk Anglesey's Coastal Path. Not in one go.
14) I want to deactivate Facebook for at least a month. Preferably permanently. But at least a month. I hate it so much. Hate it.
15) I want to have an expensive and radical cut, colour and style in a hair salon.
16) I want to finally set, on paper, house rules and what is expected from each member of my family in the way of chores. I am not a slave. They will be, by the time I have finished. Just kidding. I will no longer BE a Frazzled Shell. I will be... just a Shell. Oh. Wait...
17) Eat from 40 different places I haven't eaten at before (or recently). This can be takeaway or a sit down meal.
18) Stop drinking wine. If for no other reason than I am allergic to the sodding stuff, and my enjoyment of it is being impinged on by snot and sneezes. I wouldn't trough Reese's Peanut Butter Cups if I was allergic to peanuts, would I?
19) Say 'Yes!' to everything for a week. Mr G waggled his eyebrows at me when I read this off the list. So, as a precautionary measure, I'm not telling him what week I am doing this...
20) Learn a new language. Or, I might just learn my own second language better...
21) Become vegetarian for a month. This is an absolutely galling thought for me. I mean no offence to any vegetarians, I respect you for your choice. But a) I don't like cheese and b) I will not ever, never, eat Quorn or Tofu or fake meaty shizz. That - to me - is just as offensive as meat is to a veggie. I want to see how well I can eat, how innovative I can be with only fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, couscous, rice, pasta etc. Or I may end up surviving on Greggs Vegetable pasties. Win win.
22) Have my teeth professionally whitened. I'm talking Simon Cowell. I'm talking darkened room, and you can see my teeth lighting the way as I smile. Which in part is going to be a treat for giving up red wine, and leads me on to the next one.
23) Drink nothing but water for a whole month. I may be knocking on 40, but my head, my heart and my skin think I am 17. In fact, I probably have worse skin now than I did as a teen. And in drinking nothing but water, I eradicate the other stainer-of-the-teeth - coffee. I drink far too much of it.
24) Meet a celebrity. A List, Z List, don't care.
25) Go on a Ghost Hunting tour, overnight. Mr G is refusing to do this with me, so it looks like that's going to be a girlie one!
26) Go to a Crusaders away match, on the coach. Even though, technically, every one of their home games is an away match for us, as it's a 140 mile round trip.
27) Buy nice glasses. I never have nice glasses. Those conversations tend to go like this...
Optician: Your head IS a bit like a Jack o Lantern... these glasses will make your face look a tad slimmer, more like a large swede? (Rutabaga - US/Rwdan - Wales)
Me: How much?
Optician: Those are one hundre...
Me: Cheapest please... unless the one hundred was preceeding the word 'pence'...?
28) Complete a food challenge. An unfinishable meal. Not necessarily one where my fat, sweaty head has to then be photographed after eating a 40 oz steak, and put on a wall of
29) Cook for Charity. I've always wanted to do one of these cooking for charity social evenings, but something has always cropped up. Today, Mr G alerted me to 'The Soldiers' Charity' Big Curry. Aiming to raise vital funds for all soldiers and their families when in need. I host regular curry nights for my friends anyway, so why not raise money for a good cause at the same time? I'm aiming for November or December for this, but I have to be practical and think that I've also committed to NaNoWriMo for the month of November AND it's coming up to Christmas which is financially tight for a lot of people, myself included. So I may do this later in the New Year. They accept donations any time of year, so it might be a way to brighten a dull January or February weekend?
30) Connect and reconnect. When I was younger, I was desperate to be liked. And I sought and found that approval in... questionable ways at times. Now I'm older, I'm less bothered about being fickle, acquaintances, spreading myself too thin. I have wonderful friends, and a lot of them I don't see often. Some I have never met in the flesh but I speak to online and on the phone. Some I haven't seen in years, some in one or two years, some in decades. Some are abroad. So, I am going to make a concerted effort to connect and reconnect with my friends.
And that is where we are at. Definitely enough to be getting on with, I'd say! Please feel free to leave any suggestions for my remaining twelve in the comment box below. I'm not a thrill seeker so no skydiving, abseiling, waterskiing, anything to do with water as I can't swim...