I seem to keep saying this, that as I do things it’s more than the activity or event that I’ve experienced. It was more than a tough mudder, more than doing up my garden, more than a girls weekend away, because these experiences are big steps forward in how I’m shaping my new life and future moving forward. I could write about how a lot of these different things have been more than just the event but for now I’m focusing on the two most recent projects.

The tough mudder taught me a lots, I was petrified of doing it. Being brutally honest and open, I felt too fat, unfit and self conscious. I wanted it to be an incentive to really kickstart me getting back to the weight and fitness I was at before. However, I didn’t, in someways my apprehension made me block out the event arriving, then BOOM! It was race day and I wasn’t anywhere as prepared as I’d set out. Turns out the friend I’d arranged to do it with was feeling the same. She was amazing though, she pushed me to keep going and to try things I was scared of and praised me for trying when I bottled it halfway through a high up obstacle. She taught me all sorts that day. She reminded me to laugh at myself and be silly again, that I should allow myself to loosen up and just enjoy living in the moment. She reminded me not to care about what people think and just enjoy myself and that people who care will only think positive, those that don’t aren’t worth it and anyone else you’re probably never going to cross path withs again. I’m grateful for the time I spent with her at the Tough Mudder because she reminded me of and taught me some vital lessons.

Most of all the tough mudder gave me a long awaited epiphany. My life now and the emotions I’m going through aren’t about my ex-husband or really what I went through. Yes those things put me into the mindset I’m working on coming out of and yes it’s important I don’t forget what I went through and how it made me feel, but actually what’s important is the mindset it gave me and how I alter that and become more positive. I can’t keep blaming what I experienced and what my ex-husband did to me or using it as excuse for how I think and feel, yes those things have and are shaping who I am, but it’s my mind set I’m changing, it’s my life I’m making more positive and it’s my future that I’m being ambitious about. I’ve never shared any proper details about my marriage and what I went through because actually that’s not the crucial part, the focus is on learning to cope with how that’s effected me and how I’m growing as a person moving forward. It’s all about me.

Now onto the epic project that’s my garden. This project has evolved, I started just by digging up some of the overgrowth to make it a bit bigger, more spacious and safer for toddler P to run around in. In doing that though I uncovered more to dig up. Then it looked bigger but unappealing, so I started making plans and designing. Then I got some quotes, sighed and dismayed that having a nice garden was just a pipe dream. My mum, my cousin and my friend all convinced me I could at least make it more child friendly and suitable for baby P to play in…then things evolved. Some of my mum friends were working on theirs and tackled bigger projects, I was convinced that they could do it because they had their husbands and partners at home to help. I chatted to them a bit and through finding out how they were doing it etc, I started to think I could at least do a little bit myself, just to make it nicer until I could afford the money to pay for someone. Then things evolved some more and now my pipe dream is becoming a reality. A very good friend has given me lot of support and guidance due to her expert knowledge, my best girls and their children have all chipped in and although currently I’ve a garden that resembles Tough Mudder’s mud mile, I’ve made some serious headway.

Like I said though, it’s more than just landscaping a garden myself. There was a time where I’d have never tackled such a project. I wouldn’t have believed I could do it myself, now I’m on Pinterest, YouTube and google, reading garden hacks and tips, learning how to level, cement bricks and lay turf. Doing my garden yes is to make sure I have a nice garden, I chose this house because I wanted a nice garden for my children to play in, to be enjoyed as a family. That family changed to be just me and my daughter but the desire for us to enjoy a nice garden is still there. So why not make it happen, in doing so I’ve made myself regain and remember the ambition and determination I used to have. As person, once I’ve set my mind to achieving something, I’ll do it. Ok I may need some help and support from my friends but that’s ok too-the sense of team work and camaraderie of the tough mudder also reinforced this, some mountains can’t be climbed without a leg up, shoulder stand or kick in the backside from some friends (yes at one point I was almost thrust up a tough mudder hill by my backside!).

Doing up the garden has taught me about independence as well as team work, it’s reminded me that I don’t need to be reliant on a partner or other’s to get what I need or want. I’m a strong woman that is intelligent and determined, and for all I may need the support of others both practically and emotionally, I can survive, cope and be happy on my own and there’s nothing wrong in that. This garden project has reminded me that I’m in charge of my own destiny and happiness and that going after a goal and then reaching it brings about such a sense of pride and achievement that it makes the hard work and striving worth it.

I guess that’s why I’ve decided to do my 40 things before I turn 40 because no matter how big or small these things are, they’re memories and the completion of 40 things alone is an achievement. I want to challenge myself, I want to enjoy myself and I want to take my life in my hands bloody well make the most of it! So it’s going to be more than just 40 things, I can guarantee that, some have already been suggested and a couple are snowballing into things bigger than originally planned, potential becoming more than one thing, but hey so what, there’s no rules. I’m here for a good time!

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