Driving home from work a couple of weeks ago I was listening to a radio programme called "All in the Mind" and they were discussing bucket lists... you know... those things you want to do before you kick the bucket, like swimming with dolphins, sky diving, that sort of thing. They had an expert giving her opinion and she seemed to think that they were not a good thing, taking away spontaneity and keeping us focused on a rigid path in life. She claimed that it became harder to live in the moment if we go through our life ticking things off a list. She also seemed to think by creating a bucket list we were fooling ourselves into thinking we could control our own deaths but I was already shouting no, no, no at the radio by this point! When I embarked upon my 60 x 60 project I guess you could have called it a bucket list but it was never like that for me. It was about trying sixty new things I had never done before, visiting some of those places I had never got around to visiting, one or two were long time ambitions but mostly it was a case of instead of saying "I'll do that one day..." , I actually did it! Most of the things I did weren't actually on a list as such but the result of spontaneous decisions. For example we had driven past The Angel of the North dozens of times and every time we said we should stop there one day. As soon as I decided to embark on 60 x 60, the next time we headed north we actually stopped instead of just thinking about it.
I got to sixty new things but not until my 62nd year, but that didn't matter because it was never a race and I had plenty of fun on the way. Like I said, some were a long time ambition, like starting a baking business. As it happens I decided it wasn't really for me but I would never have known that if I hadn't tried. Many of the things I ended up doing were quite ordinary, several involved food, and one or two things were very exciting like the indoor sky diving and tree top zip wires. As well as recording everything here on my blog I also made a scrapbook and it's fun to flick through and remember everything. It certainly never felt like following a rigid path but just like having lots of fun.
So although when I got to the end of sixty things it was a bit tongue in cheek when I said I was going to start a 100 x 100 project I have been slowly notching up some new experiences. There are things I would still like to do such as see the northern lights one day... and yes, I quite fancy swimming with dolphins, but mostly it will be about trying new things. And making myself a new scrapbook to look back on when I get to be 100... maybe!
The first thing in my 100 x 100 was visiting The Ann Frank house in Amsterdam which we did back in September, something I had wanted to do for quite some time.
I can't say it ever occurred to me that I wanted to go on a 'feral retreat' and learn to spin in the wild but when the opportunity arose it sounded like fun so I decided why not!
I might also have embarked in some wild swimming if I'd had a decent size towel with me but decided that air drying in The Lake District October probably wasn't sensible!
I've often said I would like to learn to carve a spoon and so when I saw a course advertised locally I took the chance and signed up.
I really did enjoy it and whilst I would like to do more, realistically I know I don't have the time for another hobby. Something else would have to give.
At Christmas I got to wind the village church clock for a week.
I don't think it would have been something I would have added to my list if there was an actual list, but it was certainly interesting, wonderful to be part of village history and of course a brand new experience.
The next thing I would like to do is complete a Park Run. That might not seem like much of an ambition for someone who has run two marathons but I thought I would never run again, so getting back to a fitness level where I can run 5k will feel like quite an achievement. And I've never actually done a Park Run so it will be a first.
And all this is a rather long winded post to say I had another new experience on Saturday. We went to the local pub for a Burn's Supper and one of the choices for dessert was a deep fried Mars Bar. It has always sounded so wrong and actually not something I've ever really fancied but it was there on the menu so egged on my my Scottish born husband (who also had never had one before) we both opted for the Mars Bar rather than the more sensible Scottish shortbread. It wasn't the prettiest dessert, looking more like a battered sausage than anything else, but I have to admit it was surprisingly good. Not something I would eat every week, and possibly never again if I care about my arteries but it's another experience clocked up!
So that's it... five things achieved towards 100 x 100 so only another ninety five to go! Maybe the Park Run next, maybe something else... watch this space!