So an almost total stranger emails me in early March last year and says, Want to do 101 things you’ve never done before in a 1001 days, and do them with me?
Yes, I said. Why not? It’s not like my time is taken up with housework, caring for my family, job hunting, dog walking and backside expanding. I’m in!
Of course, I didn’t have a Kindle then, so I was optimistic about the time I could give to the challenge.
Sarsm – for it was she of the evil disease name who roped me in – got her hubby to provide us with an excellent logo:
and all I had to do then was come up with 101 challenges. One year later, I’m still thirty-three challenges down. I need thirty-three suggestions from you, dear readers (non-rude, please) in the next…hang on…let me do the maths…143 weeks take away 52 weeks equals 91 months times seven days then take away the number you first thought of add a large glass of wine maybe one of my challenges should be maths lessons?
By the way, I hope you’re impressed with the celebrating snail: drawing by Sarah’s clever daughter; animation by Sarah’s clever husband.
So Sarah – she of the disease – and I started our challenge one year ago today. I have to admit, it’s been fun, even though I had reservations at the start:
Task 1. Accept a challenge I don’t really want to do.
I did; I’m glad; it’s fun.
Sarah – she of the good idea – and I asked ourselves some questions last week (her replies are here):
What did you expect of the challenge at the start?
Not much at all, if I’m honest. I thought I’d fizzle out after a couple of months. This time last year I had not learned to say ‘no’, so I was in it out of politeness. (Sorry about that, Sarah. On the plus side, I may be weak but I have excellent manners.)
How do you think you’ve done?
Much better than I expected!
Anything you would change?
No. Because the beauty of the challenge is that it’s all on my own terms.
Has anything unexpected come out of the challenge?
A wonderful friendship and many phone chats with one of the funniest people I know (that’s Sarah – she of the exquisite funny bone – if you were wondering).
What has been your favourite task so far?
Hmm. Tough one. I have two:
Task 4. Type up and print out for folder and notebook over 150 poems I’ve written.
I was never going to get around to doing this before I started 101/1001; but I’m pleased to announce I’m halfway through.
Task 62. Learn all the words to the South African National Anthem.
I had great fun with this one, sitting at my computer every morning, singing along to You Tube. I promised you I would post a video of me singing it with my eyes closed, to prove I know it, when I had learned it; but I never got around to it…until now.
This was a challenge in itself: first, I had to find an aligned moment when I was clean and dressed and the Hub felt well enough to locate the camera. Then he had to find an SD card for the camera. Then he had to find an SD card that worked. Then he had to give up on that and record it to hard drive. Then we had several false starts, including his instruction to me to ‘Open your eyes! You look stupid!’ Then we had a brief hiatus for a furious discussion on the merits of wearing cameras where the sun don’t shine. Then we recorded it and found we couldn’t upload it to my blog, even though he’d downloaded various free software. Then he said, ‘Let’s put it on Facebook.’ Then we argued because I said my family, who I don’t particularly want to be able to see it (they already have enough reasons to laugh at me), would be able to see it but my readers, who I particularly want to be able to see it (I can never give them enough reasons to laugh at me), wouldn’t be able to see it. Then I suggested we put it on You Tube and I would include a link right here.
I have to include a link because I can’t upload You Tube videos for any reason that the WordPress techies can find.
Here it is again, in case you were skim-reading:
As embarrassed as I am by my reedy singing and pitch issues, I am also rather pleased with the whole debacle because it allowed me to add another tick to one of my challenges:
Task 11. Expose myself to twenty new experiences (5/20)
Appeared on You Tube (6/20)
So, one year on, what have we achieved? I can’t answer for Sarah – she of the excellent blog, Sarsm’s Blog (she’s great with ideas but maybe not so hot on names) – but for myself, I’ve achieved the satisfaction of committing to something and sticking with it, despite my misgivings.
And I had an excuse to re-read all the Harry Potter books. Again. And again. I accidentally did that one twice. Well, not so much ‘accidentally’ as, ‘on purpose’.
So, what’s next? I have quite a few tasks that I haven’t started – Leave my poems in 101 locations; Ride my bike twenty out of thirty days; Dance in the rain; amongst others – so I have to get cracking on those.
Now I think about it, I could combine those three tasks: I will ride my bike in the rain, delivering poems to unsuspecting Stockport locations. When I fall off my bike (did you not hear me say it was raining?), instead of crying, I will dance; and ask the Hub to collect me from the funny farm to which I will no doubt have been sent when people see me dancing around my bike in the rain, showering poems on the witnesses.
You can see how I’ve progressed with my tasks on my 101/1001 page.
If you have enjoyed this post, please head on over to Sarsm’s blog – she of the genius idea – and check out her take on our first year. And go even if you haven’t – it’s only polite, and we’re big on politeness here. You will enjoy it, I’m sure.
Sarah – my new BFF – has put up an FAQ page, if you’re interested in joining us.
I wish you would: it’s been a blast!