Wednesday, 18 March 2015

My 40th Birthday approaches!

My 40th year on earth is coming to an end. As I approach the 40th birthday marker point my usual inclination towards event coordination, daring to be daring, humouring my ability to lavish extravagant efforts on others in the name of bloody good fun returns and I thought I had decided do have the party of a lifetime.

After all... one does not imagine having the party of a lifetime beyond 40. Or maybe some people do? Maybe I should? Anyway...

Since I turned 39 numerous people have asked me what the plans are for my 40th celebration.  And so my planning and creating began. A3 pages filled with dreams. Sketches and scenes. It’s all so big, so vast. All in the name of everyone together having a rather dramatic hardcore blast.

My 30th was pretty epic. A true collaboration and gift back to my tribe at a time in my life when I deserved some grandeur, to feel special and to have some bloody good fun. Lady Blue Lou’s Masquerade Ball was truly something. Not least because of the commissioned art, the handmade, hand aged, wax stamped scroll invites, the lady’s limo experience, the incredible costumes, the sweet transvestite shadow dancer or the outstanding band. But for the effort of the 8 women that made it all come together and some more on top.

I was surprised to make 30 years old. My upbringing tough. My teens rebellious and my twenties full of dangerous decisions and devilish behaviour. By the time I got to 30 I felt lucky to be alive, in the mess I found myself in but lucky, with a group of friends who made everything less messy.

My life is completely different now, my self-awareness truly formed and my sense of worth grounded. I am more humbled and honoured to have made it to 40 years old, with no health defects, no criminal record and no harm done.

I never felt my 40th had to be bigger or better. Just something that demonstrates the here and now.

But as I reflected more on what I actually wanted out of the party and how it would engage my time in a year when  I already have some incredible opportunities ahead and responsibilities to uphold, I realised a big party was just going to be too much. I decided to cancel.

Surprisingly the very few number of people I shared this information with deeply objected. And this made me consider the point of it all even more. 

I decided that underneath all my love for costumes, event planning and themed partying was the desire to generate memorable moments. I want to remember my 40th as something special. 

And remember it I will. Special it will be. For the whole year. Because I am going to do something I have never done before. In fact I am going to do a whole load of somethings I have never done before.

I am going to do 40 new things over the course of reaching my 41st birthday. 
It’s not quite one a week, but hey! Some new things need more than a week to get to grips with. This isn’t just a taster session, although I am sure some of it will involve food previously un-devoured by my lips. 
This is experiential learning, moments of madness, memories in the making. A year of fun.

What is a birth after all? It is the beginning of something. So for my 40th, I will be starting on a journey of 40 birth days of something new.

I don't want to spend a fortune, this isnt about jetting around the world to new places, that would be easy, although expensive! This is, what can I find on my doorstep? What should I do seeing as I have lived in Scotland for 19 years, I am an honorary Jock! What simple things in life, as well as some adrenalin pumping adventures can I find in one year?

So the list begins...

No1  - learn how to throw a small party. Not a house party – done, easy, tick! Not a huge year to plan, week to pull together, two day venue dressing event - done, not so easy but incredible, tick! A small venue related, power to the people, non obsessive, simple party. Learn to stand back and let it happen. I can feel my brain twitching nervously at the impossibility of turning off my control freak and questioning me with “What is this? Just let it roll? But but but...”

So that’s mission number one. Throw a party, not an event! Less is more. 

Then in no particular order at this time:
1. As above
2. Publish a book
3. Fly in a Glider
4. Volunteer at the South of Scotland Wildlife Hospital
5. Go into an airport and just fly somewhere for weekend
6. Get into a car and drive somewhere new
7. Go to Wales
8. Eat a deep fried mars bar
9. Bungee jump
10. Climb Criffel
11. Learn Aerial Skills
12. Master two new Hula hoop moves: off body move & slow mo turning
13. Make a mermaids lapghan - 
14. Go on a falconry day
15. Climb an actual outside rock face
16. Eat snails in France
17. Go ‘man suited’ to work including moustache
18. Go fishing at sea
19. Walk bare foot in the rain
20. Bake my neighbours a cake each
21. Read Pride and Prejudice
22. See Madonna in concert
23. Watch The Apartment
24. Travel alone
25. Wear a kilt on Burns Night
26. – 40 still to be found

Suggestions from friends I will not be undertaking:
Take this stick, and jam it up your peehole!
Jump out of a plane – done!
Watch Apocalypse Now – favourite done.
Break a bone. Seriously? But done!
Scuba dive – done.
Learn a Robert Burns poem – Done, (Willy Wastle when I worked in Primary schools)
Go to West End show – done, Chicago, loved it!

I will be keeping both lists updated as the year moves on. Publication of the final committed list will be on the day of my 40th Birthday. October 8th 2015.

So for now, this is an open invite to you the public. All ideas and suggestions welcome...

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