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The End of the #50for50 Journey

Back on New Year’s day I finished the last of the #50for50 adventures when Alex and I went go-karting. However in reality I had not finished.

One of the items on the list was from my friend Dasya Duckworth when she challenged me to blog about all of my adventures. Over the last week leading up to my 51st birthday I decided it was time to finish blogging those missing adventures.

I spent a big chunk of weekend, and four days in a row of near midnight bedtimes, including on my birthday. Just to get to this last entry.

You might think I did that for you, my friends who have read so many of my posts over the last year.

Of course I did it for you. I wanted to share how I felt and what I experienced.

I also did it for me. I had skipped over some of the most exciting and life changing adventures. I knew I wanted to go back and tell those stories but in some ways I wasn’t ready.

There was a lot of heartache that clung to those memories like cigarette smoke that seeps into clothing fibers and grows more sour over time. Writing about those adventures would mean feeling not only the elation of skydiving or completing a triathlon. It would also mean feeling the stab of grief again.

Plus there was a part of me that felt like the story would have to end. If I finished the blog then I would have to go back to being a normal woman with a wonderful career, amazing friends and family, and living like everyone else does.

Which is why although I promised myself I’d write them months ago I kept putting it off. I didn’t want to dig back up the pain I had buried.

I also didn’t want to go back to living a normal life.

Then 12 days ago I woke up before my alarm clock and thought, I am not going to put it off any longer. I took a day or two to ruminate how best to honor and retell the biggest of adventures. Some of the items just weren’t a story unto themselves.

Many of my #50for50 meant a lot to me but aren’t the stuff of stories. I mean I can tell you that reading through the whole Bible last year deepened my faith, spoke to me in times of need and encouraged me in my darkest hours.

There were several items beyond my Art Loeb experience that were also failed attempts. I counted the attempts anyway. I only played chess twice and that was enough times to realize I need a lot more time to learn. I completed 122 sessions of meditation when the goal was daily. I was going to try a challenging new recipe each month. Instead I made pierogies, rice pudding, took a bagel class, and a sushi class. Not every month by a long shot.

I set off to bike ride the Swamp Rabbit trail in SC only to realize 4 miles along that I needed air in my tires. It was too late in the day to turn around, go visit a bike shop and get back on the trail that day.

Some of the other adventures were huge fun like axe throwing with Carrie Galvez Reynolds. Turns out I am pretty sharp with an ax.

Riding the chair lift up to walk the Skybridge in Gatlinburg with Jennifer Estep. It’s the longest suspension pedestrian bridge in the US. Unleased my inner Lucille Ball at the grape stomp at Burntshirt Winery and learned Asheville history while on the hilarious LaZoom comedy bus tour with my friend Stan Powell. I even enjoyed my very first solo concert experience at Durham Performing Art Center for the Queen Celebration with Marc Martel.

Making an evergreen wreath for Christmas was a poor substitute for going to cut my own tree. However I had almost zero Christmas in 2019. That led to me doing a social media fast for the whole month of December. I highly recommend that. I plan to do it again soon.

The only experience I wish I had more time to blog about on its own was the indoor climbing. I will simply tell you I had a wonderful experience at Climbmax in Asheville and a private lesson is worth the cost. I will definitely go back.

As for the rest of the experiences? I am going to give you the full list of what I counted. They are in chronological order after the first couple that were meant to be year long. I have put links on each item that I blogged about. No link means no blog. Consider this like bibliblography.

  1. Read the Bible in one year
  2. Meditate every day for one year
  3. Blog about all of the #50for50 adventures
  4. Learn to play chess
  5. Make a new recipe every month
  6. Pole Dancing
  7. Learning to Swim Laps
  8. Backpack to the top of Mt. LeConte in snow
  9. Try pottery wheel
  10. Silent Retreat Weekend
  11. Sensory Deprivation Float Tank
  12. Food Fan Foot Tour
  13. Stand up paddling
  14. Mechanical bull riding
  15. Perimeter trail
  16. Spin class
  17. Aerial silks yoga
  18. Whitewater rafting
  19. First time attending a concert alone – Queen Celebration – Durham Performing Arts Center
  20. Stand up comedy performance
  21. Group Bike Ride
  22. Fly fishing 101
  23. Tandem Skydiving
  24. Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon
  25. River Tubing
  26. Murder Mystery dinner
  27. New Belgium Brewing VIP tour
  28. Tattoo
  29. Queen concert at Bridgestone Arena
  30. Tallulah Gorge hike
  31. Grape stomp
  32. LaZoom Comedy Tour
  33. John C. Campbell Folk School
  34. Learn a musical instrument (beginning mountain dulcimer).
  35. Contra-Dancing.
  36. Sky Bridge Gatlinburg.
  37. Surfing.
  38. Parasailing.
  39. Art Loeb Thru Hike.
  40. Homebrewing
  41. Russell Davis Mixology Class and Bar Crawl
  42. Kayaking
  43. First Aid Certification class
  44. Axe Throwing
  45. Served at Soup kitchen
  46. 30 day social media fast
  47. Swamp Rabbit bike ride
  48. Evergreen Christmas Wreath class
  49. Indoor Climbing
  50. Go-Karts

My fear that completing this blog would somehow force me to become a normal 51 year old woman is completely baseless. I wasn’t normal to begin with. You saw my list, who commits to doing some of that stuff and in one year?

I asked my mother what she thought about me doing 20 new things in 2020. She told me I absolutely should NOT. She felt I had too many other things to focus on going forward.

Now that I’ve seen 2020 I would agree I will be doing well to get through it safely and sanely. Which means I just have to wait and do 21 one things in 2021 I guess. We’ll just wait and see.

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