It's been a while since I've posted about my '50 Things' list. I received my list of tasks at the end of March last year, and originally I thought I'd give myself a year to work my way through them (though there were no rules about a time frame when I signed up for the task). I'm going to extend the time , because the whole point of me signing up to it in the first place was to hopefully experience new things, maybe challenge myself a bit, and step outside my comfort zone. All of which I think I've achieved so far to some extent, and would like to continue working on.
I've obviously not dedicated a blog post to all of the tasks either, so here's a quick run down of some other things I've completed: (besides the ones I already blogged about, 10 Photos, Challenging my Creativity, Climbing a Mountain) -
~ Spend a night star gazing - I had just visited the Observatory in Paisley a couple of weeks before the list came in so I guess I cheated a bit and ticked this off straight away. I think I should go back again sometime soon
~ Have a conversation with a stranger -I've attended quite a lot of events this year both at work and socially, and have probably managed to strike up a conversation with a stranger at each one. What tends to happen to me a lot is that we discover a mutual connection somewhere along the line. Strangers also often strike up conversation with me on public transport and in supermarket queues, so it makes a task like this farily easy to achieve.
~ Plan an overseas trip - since signing up for this list I've been to New York and Barcelona and am heading off to Paris in April
~ Do something spontaneous - All of the above trips turned out to be fairly spontaneous plans. As a whole, I think over the past several months I've been a lot more spontaneous than I usually am
~ Appreciate the small things - This was something I'd already been making a conscious effort to do in general and I think this gets easier the more of life you experience and you begin to realise what's really important.
~ Show your friends and family love and support - I hope this is something I've always done anyway, but it's always nice to have a reminder and I think even small gestures are important
~ Believe in yourself -What does that really mean? I think it's about having a strong enough sense of self that you can get to where you need to be, and even if you don't, then you can recognise that everything is still going to be okay. And I think it's about not being afraid of putting yourself out there - that last part is the challenge, but I'm getting better at it
~ Go to an art exhibition and talk to the artist - Last year I went to a celebration of a new artist's 1 year gallery anniversary and bought her art work. I find it's rare you get to speak to the artist at their exhibition, unless you're lucky enough to go to an opening night. I also emailed an artist whose work I had seen at the Lighthouse to let her know how much I enjoyed her exhibition.
~ Spend a morning people watching - I often go to cafes by myself and sit by the window watching the world go by. When I was completing my small stones task I became more conscious of watching people everywhere. It's amazing what you notice when you keep your eyes and ears open. Often I've been wondering, how much of the world do we miss because we're being told to focus on the wrong things?
~ Break your worst habit - This has to be snacking. I think I broke it for a couple of weeks last summer and then again after Christmas for a couple of weeks but it didn't last! Bad habits are hard to break...
~ Ask more questions - I always ask lots of questions anyway. This is quite a vague one but I guess what I take from this is don't stop learning and reading and trying to find out about new things.
~ Write a list of 10 things you love about yourself - Not an easy task as we're so great in the West of Scotland at putting ourselves down. I'm not telling you what I wrote!!
~ Rid your life of the things you don't need - I'm gradually clearing out junk from my flat, I have no problem walking away from people who are only bringing negative things to my life, but I guess in a general sense I still hold on to far too many things I don't really need (like that bar of chocolate in the fridge...)
~ Watch the film 'The Edge of Heaven' - This relates to the task below as it was a foreign film, shot in Turkey and Germany. I just watched this film today and I liked the element of interconnecting lives. It tackled some big issues of asylum seeking and freedom, but for me it didn't explore some characters enough.
~ Watch more foreign films - Recently I've watched 'Rust and Bone' and the Spanish film 'The Secret is in Their Eyes'. I enjoyed them both, particularly the Spanish one as a powerful a scene near the end really stuck in my head. Running through the film was the sense that the past had consumed and haunted many of the characters for years. I liked a quote from it, 'You'll have a thousand pasts and no future.' A warning to one character that he needed to stop letting his memories dominate his life. I really loved watching the French tv series 'The Returned' when it was on last year. There's something about listening to a story being told in a foreign language which makes the plot seem more philosophical and deep.
~ Embark on a creative project - I always have a couple of writing projects on the go, and I think I'm going to sign myself up to take part in the sketchbook project again this year. And putting together a Memory Book for a friend was a big creative project I completed too!
~ Give a friend a spontaneous gift - Thinking back over the past few months, I have achieved this a couple of times, without really consciously thinking about it
~ Set yourself 3 significant goals for the year - 1. Dedicate more time to writing 2. Send more work out 3. Don't sweat the small stuff All on track, so far, with dips along the way
~ Go on a roadtrip - This depends on your definition of a roadtrip. Can going on a trip somewhere in a car with friends, if you have snacks and fun, count as a roadtrip even if it's just to a writing event in Stirling for the day? All of my longer trips have involved trains and planes.
~ Try something off the menu you wouldn't usually order - At the weekend I tried Cranachan for dessert, not something I would usually go for. And I soon realised why...
~ Write a Dream Journal for a week - I'm not sure I've managed this for a full consistent week but I've certainly made an effort to record more dreams. I often have very detailed and vivid dreams, that play out like a long weird film, often leaving me feeling quite exhausted when I wake up.
~ Research Natural Phenomenons - I'm going to dedicate my next blog post around this as I came across a few interesting things, and it also sparked off a bit of creativity
Not a bad attempt so far I think. The ones I'm REALLY putting off are the baking/drink making related ones (they make up another 6 or 7 on the list), so I may enlist the help of friends for those. I am also going to have to really set aside the time to spend a day completely without technology and a day in complete silence (it would make sense to do those on the same day). Wish me luck!