HAPPY NEW YEAR! Sing it with me now...
"Should old something something be forgot,
and something something time,
For old forsaken be forgot, for old lang syng.
For old lang syng my dear, for old lang syng.
For years between us something something forgot,
for old lang syng..."
It's a new year and as I begin to reflect on 2010, I realize I have no freaking clue what that song means or what the words are. I decided to type them out the way I sing the song and now I realize the song is stupid or I am a complete idiot. Or both. Anyway...
It's hard to imagine exactly one year ago I sat at this same desk, typed on this same keyboard and stared at this same monitor and decided to challenge myself "to do something new, exciting, scary, funny, all in an effort to get a little kick out of life and maybe just maybe meet the man of my dreams". While I didn't meet the man of my dreams, I definitely got a little kick out of life. Oh, and a tattoo. And a little sis. And a love for golf, horseback riding and fried green tomatoes.
In the beginning, I thought my weekly challenge would be a breeze. I mean, how hard could it be to come up with an activity every week that I've never done before and then blog about it on Sunday nights? Oh wait... If you were to have asked me halfway into the year how I was feeling about my little weekly challenges, you might have received a slightly less enthusiastic response. Because by the time April and May rolled around, I was struggling to come up with ideas. I mean, I had done some really cool things, like fire a gun at a shooting range, talk to a psychic and meet with a financial planner. But I was still coming up short on things to do. That was, until, I started to think outside the box. And after that, the weekly "challenges" became less challenging and more about fun - like mini-adventures. That's when I signed up for continuing education classes for singles, I took the city bus to work, I donated blood, rode my bike to Target and did my grocery shopping on a motorized cart. These were all unplanned activities - each of them presenting themselves at different times in their own funny ways. I signed up for the classes because I received a course catalog in the mail. I took the city bus because the day before I was sitting at a stoplight thinking about what my next adventure would be and the bus drove through the intersection. The grocery trip on a motorized cart started out innocently enough, I was just looking for a basket, and instead found the cart...
With each experience I learned that sometimes you have to live life with your guard down and your eyes open. There's a lot to be said when you ask yourself, "why not?" or knowing that taking a chance could result in complete failure (or embarrassment, or public humiliation). Like when I took a boxing class, or bid on a bachelor at a bachelor auction or tried speed dating. But with each failure I continued to learn about myself, but more importantly, I stopped taking myself so seriously and was reminded that laughing (particularly at yourself) is really the best medicine. Bowling on a first date wearing a mini skirt and tube socks comes to mind. Or when I babysat toddlers and learned about the relationship between a peanut allergy and an EpiPen. Or the time my dog peed on my foot...
But sometimes, there's no way around it. Life can be the shits. Or life shits on you. In my case, I've been shat on by a cow (that's what I get for attending the State Fair), and in my pre-blogging life, I've been shat on by an ape (note to self: volunteer at a thrift store, NOT at the zoo) and a bird - twice in one lunch! (That's the last time I'll sit on a patio under a tree). And just when you've dealt with all the shit you can handle, you see a bumper sticker that reads, "Do something that scares you every day." Well, I don't know what genius came up with that, but I bet he didn't get a bikini wax, ride a Harley, get a tattoo or perform in an improv class. One's heart can only handle so many shocking, exciting, thrilling and nerve-racking activities at a time.
With that said, this year was hilarious, embarrassing, painful, scary, exciting and unforgettable and I would be remiss if I didn't highlight some of the top adventures.
- Most embarrassing - Attending the singles continuing ed class (the Minister tried to play matchmaker!)
- Most inspirational - Going to a movie by myself, rescuing a cat out of a tree
- Required the most courage - Talking to a psychic, getting a tattoo, taking the improv class
- Required the most alcohol - Speed dating, grocery shopping in the motorized cart
- Wish I'd had a video camera - The boxing class, shopping in the motorized cart, jumping over bales of hay during harvest
- Will never do again - Walk behind a cow (State Fair), speed dating, the damn boxing class
- Required physical recuperation - The f-ing boxing class, playing a round of golf, riding the mechanical bull, riding the horse and riding my bike to Target. I see a pattern here.
- Most frustrating - Chopping down, oh wait, picking up my Christmas tree off the side of the road
- Most painful - Bikini wax, the mother f@!*$% boxing class, donating blood
- Most scary - Shooting a gun, going belly first down a fake mountain made of manufactured snow
- Most humiliating - Bachelor auction, and the epiphany I had while hanging out at a local bookstore. Two words: underwear line.
- Most exciting - Riding the Harley, getting a tattoo. I'm a bad ass.
- Most proud - Salvation Army Bell Ringer. Ring ching.
- Most disappointing - Church singles volunteer activity and the singles continuing ed class. Single sucks.
- Most amazing - Watching a baby bull take its first steps at the State Fair
- Most memorable - All of them.
May your 2011 be filled with joy, laughter and your own unforgettable adventures!