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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


If you'd have asked me a few years ago, I would have said that my greatest fear was never actually achieving anything with my life.  I was stuck in a rut of being a "stay at home mum", little confidence, few resources, living on benefits... you know what I mean... and then my mum died after a life-long battle with asthma, bronchiectasis and other lung-related illnesses (I've still never plucked up the courage or found the right words to write about that yet... one day I will) at the age of 55.

My life and my goals changed immediately.  I knew there and then that I needed to live... to do something with my life and to get out of the rut that was slowly getting deeper and deeper.  Without going into details, we found ourselves more financially secure that we ever had been so we moved away from the town we were living in and started afresh where no-one knew us; where we were equals.  Changes were made within our family unit too.  I became the breadwinner and my husband became a "stay at home dad" and with our new-found freedom we could move mountains.  I got myself a temporary contract in the local town and the children settled into new schools.  Still we had a fear that everything would collapse around our ears, and we'd have to swallow our pride and go back to where we had come from.  

Steadily, we built a new existence.  My temporary contract finished and I walked straight into another (permanent) job; in fact, I'm still with the same company now and my job role has evolved.  We made friends, our children made friends and settled into new schools and then we finally took the plunge - something that we'd been wanting for fifteen years but we'd never had the opportunity - we bought our own house.  And with buying that house came even more responsibility; paying "proper bills" rather than having meters fitted, having home insurance - i.e. contents and buildings insurance from a comparison site (like Compare The Market) and even more budgeting than we had before thanks to monthly income rather than weekly or fortnightly.

For some reason, this life change was the making of us as a family.  I now have the confidence to do what I should have done years ago - or maybe I just wasn't ready... maybe my life experiences will ensure that I succeed now.  Sure, we have our up's and down's and we've battled our way through a life that would even seem extreme on the Jeremy Kyle show but if we can get through the last twenty-odd years then we can definitely deal with the next twenty.

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