September 24, 2010

Last year I put up a list of 10 things I want to achieve in the next decade.
I've only got eight and three-quarter years left now and haven't crossed anything off yet.

A couple of months ago I watched this amazing programme about a guy called Dan Witchalls. He's a base jumper. He gets up in the middle of the night, sneaks into buildings and then jumps off them. He has jumped off Wembley Stadium, Battersea Power Station, even Nelson's Column. This is a fascinating article about the programme, if you're interested.

I thought he was completely amazing and I was blown away thinking about how incredible it must be to do it. I wish I could go and watch him jump. Wouldn't it just be the most amazing fun in the world to do something like that? The base-jumping community is like a secret club. Hardly any women do it. I started thinking about how I could learn to skydive, then base jump, then start sneaking out in the dead of night to throw myself off buildings.

Then I remembered.

I wrote, "do a parachute jump" on my list in 2009, but am actually no closer to doing one. I'm so locked down by my situation - family, mortgage, dog, job - there are so many things I want to do but I'm not doing. I like extreme sports - I want to go quad biking, I want to drive a really fast car around a race-track, I want to try paramotoring and Zorbing, I want to run a marathon and learn to ride a motorbike, I want to water ski and jet ski and try whitewater rafting and learn to scubadive.

And actually it's slightly depressing that in my everyday life I don't do anything extreme or dangerous at all.

There's two main reasons why: the first is that almost all of the above are fairly expensive activities. A lot of them involve travelling, and would not be terribly suitable to take an eight-year-old along to. I don't get that many weekends off family stuff, and when I do, I tend to want to see friends. I can't justify the expense - if I'm going to spend hundreds (or thousands) of pounds on something, I want it to be something that we all get something out of, not just me.

Which brings me onto the second reason, which is that it feels a bit selfish to undertake potentially deathly hobbies just for fun. I have responsiblities, unlike Dan Witchalls (although he does have a girlfriend who must have nerves of steel), and it's not fair on my family. Am I bitter about it? Only slightly.

I don't know what the purpose of this post is.

I've been thinking a lot about my goals lately, about what exactly I want to achieve with my life. It turns out there's a whole load of stuff on my list that isn't death-defying that I'm not doing much about either. I've written a list which I'm somewhat reticent about posting on here, because I secretly think everyone will think, "Bloody hell, as if! She's a bit ambitious, I bet she'll never do half of that," and I'm also scared they might be right.

it's hard to fulfill all our dreams - and a tad depressing when we can't - but having lists focuses us and you simply must do ONE THING and then you'll feel good. Of course, if you were to ask me, I'd say sell your house, live in a yurt and put the 8-year-old on the back of the motorbike. But that's just me ;-) xx
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