I’ve done it! 10 challenges complete (well 9 3/4 actually, more of which below in relation to challenge 5) and the year that began with a celebratory experience on 13 June watching ‘Who’s line is it anyway’ live off the back of a great birthday party weekend now just has one more experience to go and it will all be complete.
Across these 10 challenges I have sort to have fun, move out of my comfort zone, experience some new things and also fundraise for 2 great charities – Tearfund and Refugee Support Network, which has gone well and in total, including the gig I helped create/organise for RSN, with gift aid I have raised £2000! Thanks so much for all the support, generosity and encouragement. It means a lot.
Here’s the full list of 10 and linked to each one is a question of how can I take this idea forward into life in the future in a sustainable, life giving and good way?
Challenge 1: 40 Mile Cycle – It may not have proved to be the most strenuous of challenges, but it was a lovely way to kick off the series of 10. It lead to the question ‘How do I build the Rhythm of cycling and exercise into life more consistently?
Challenge 2: A screen free week – I was on holiday and it was after the Olympics last summer, but knowing how much I love my phone, screens and gadgets, this was a good challenge, and as well as being more fully present I also slept way better leading to the question How do I create more regular rhythms of being phone/tech free?
Challenge 3: Playing an open mic gig – At the fantastic Crabtree pub in Fulham as part of London Unplugged. I played a 4 song set with 2 of my own songs and REM and Radiohead covers. It was good to be daring leading to the question – How do I keep creating moments that take me out of my comfort zone and take some risks?
Challenge 4: Dressing up in 40 crazy items – Why wouldn’t you want to dress up as a Banana at work? Or even more daringly, causing a lot of laughter and some disturbance as Mr Tumnus! How do I create moments or opportunities to fundraise for charities or causes I believe in?
Challenge 5: Read all 7 Harry Potter books – OK – So this is where the (platform) 9 3/4 thing comes in! I’m only as far as ‘The order of the phoenix’ which is book 5 in the 7 book series, however having taken a simply ridiculous level of time to actually breakthrough and read the books, stalling and having to keep restarting the Philosophers Stone, and never getting beyond about chapter 10 of it, I’m counting this still as a massive win! How do I read more narrative and story on a consistent basis?
Challenge 6: Write an album in February: FAWM – I wrote and recorded 14 songs in the month of February. It was fun and a good challenge/discipline to undertake. I’m less sure about many of them now, but there are a few good one’s/keepers, I think?! How can I create space to be creative and to write music, words, lyrics, poetry etc?
Challenge 7: The Minimalism Game – 28 days, starting with giving away 1 item on day 1, 2 on day 2 and so on, right up to day 28! I did it, a total of 406 items! Check out The Minimalists site, watch their documentary and give it a go – Less is More! How can I create a rhythm of contentment? How do I consume less and consume well?
Challenge 8: The Mean Bean Challenge – This was tough, but thanks for all the support, generosity and encouragement during this 5 day challenge in March. How do I eat well, with gratitude, healthily and not indulgently or wastefully?
Challenge 9: 40 parks in a day – A slightly random/hair brained idea if I’m honest, but nice fit with the 40 theme and great to visit some parks that I would never otherwise think to visit or even know they existed. How do I create more opportunities to get out and into green spaces?
Challenge 10: 40 hours of Silence – It was so good to slow down and take this time out and so great to discover and experience a new place in St Cuthmans. How do I regularly create a rhythm of prayer, reflection, retreats and silence?
It feels great to have completed the series and also good that I have raised a question in relation to each one as I move away from this 40 ways year into something more sustainable for the future.