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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at

Are you "high maintenance" or "dragged through a hedge backwards"?

I looked at the reflected image in the first full length mirror I came across today and recoiled slightly at what I saw.  I am wearing a black fitted jumper, a black long cardigan (which is a different shade of black to my jumper), a pair of grey "comfortable" trousers and black and yellow *Dunlops and I'm at work (but in my defence I'm in an office, on my own)!.  My hair has recently been cut but will never, ever look the same as when I first stepped out of the hairdressers and my make-up is minimal; just enough to stop me looking like an extra from a zombie movie.  I wear my glasses all the time because I haven't been for a contact lens appointment for over a year and have run out of disposables.

I had my nails professionally manicured once but I broke one the next day, so I never bothered again (honestly, I can chip 5-day-wear nail varnish within the hour without trying).  And you know when you see some people who can walk in heeled shoes?  God, I wish I could do that! I walk very slowly in heels.  No matter what I wear, I always look like my clothes have either been thrown at me and landed in approximately the right place or a bit Mutton Dressed As Lamb.  It's all OK but not perfect - sort of not on the right body.

I saw a couple in the supermarket the other day.  They were both perfectly groomed in that expensive-but-looks-like-we're-not-trying-very-hard way.  She had perfectly straight hair (ironed and extended), four-inch stilettos and her clothes were perfectly co-ordinated with her partner who had the just-the-right-amount-of-stubble look.  All to go and buy a chicken.

Day to day, all I want is to look relatively normal - to give myself a quick shake and appear pleasantly wind-swept - that sort of look... not sticky-up hair and puddle water splashed up the back of my tights.  So, I'm a bit off-centre, veering towards the 'hedge' look and I think I'm going to have to become comfortable with that, aren't I?

Which side of the fence do you fall?

*my beautiful black and yellow Dunlops