The sense of fulfillment we get from doing something new is easily brought into our daily lives and has become my new year’s resolution for the past few years and I love it! Anyone who knows me knows I love my concerts and one of the bands I've seen the most often are the Script. For New Years in 2011, they posted a tweet for their new song titled ‘For the First time’ asking so what will you do for the first time in 2011, so this got me thinking…..
A year or so earlier I had started a type of bucket list after watching that great movie once again and thinking, yeah, why wait until the inevitable is about to happen, why not start now. So I did. In 2010 started saving jar for my first DSLR Cannon 550D camera which I wanted for so long but seemed to always get bumped with ‘more important things’ required. Took a while but I got there and one of the best presents I have ever given to myself. I can get totally lost on a walk with it, looking at things differently, really start you appreciating the little things that are there. It has become my escape so many times. I also lost my four-legged friend in 2010, Molly at an amazing age of 17yrs and I was heartbroken. So I decided to get a tattoo that I always wanted on my right hip with a paw print hidden in the centre as she will always walk by my side. I knew the ‘buzz’ I had felt when I achieved these things so seemed an obvious choice to make a promise to myself that every year I will do as much as I can ‘for the first time’, aiming at things I have always dreamed of and pushing my boundaries. It was the best decision I ever made.
So here are a few of my ‘first time’ memories. For 2011, I started to run. Very slowly at first, following one of the couch to 5km programs all over the internet. I posted this in Jan on my Facebook page that I was going to the do the mini marathon which was something I always had said I would do so that became my goal. As a result of the post, I also joined a group of friends in Belfast and my first race was the team relay in the Belfast city marathon. Brilliant! I couldn't believe I did it. A month later I ran the Dublin Women’s mini marathon, for the first time. My other main conquer I wanted to nail that year was jumping my horse in a derby (1.10m track) which included a house! Yes a house! I nearly died when I saw it but we jumped it. I managed to jump the derby and was on a high but the same week I had a stupid fall in the garden that summer and things started to grind to a halt as it kicked off my chronic pain problem.
On New Year’s day, 2012, I was still going through a very bad health spell, severe pain was really hindering my life, MRIs and consultants. I was waiting for the 10th of Jan to see the Rheumatologist but had already got a clearance from the Orthopaedic surgeon who said I was OK to exercise. My new year’s resolution came back again of ‘for the first time’ and a programme called Operation transformation was on TV. So I started this slowly, very slowly, listening to my body and started to run, despite having severe hip pain and a limp, slow running was OK (starting at 30s slow run and 3-5min walk at strong pace), with my new doggie Mise of course. I got there and ran my first half marathon in Dingle (one of the toughest routes I was told afterwards) in 2.5hrs. I was over the moon. That summer I turned 40 so to celebrate it (apart from an amazing party with best of friends and family) I did a tandem jump from a plane at 10,000ft. And survived!
As I couldn't keep that mad pace going, 2013 was more subdued but still kept to my promise of challenges for the first time and included climbing Blarney Castle which definitely challenged my fear of heights.Didn't kiss the Blarney stone as it involved letting go of the railing. With our great summer went camping (well in a caravan) and visited lots of new places. Tried aerial yoga, salsa dancing to name but a few. All adds up to great memories for the year. Over the Christmas with the storms, I decided to start painting/art again from a present I got (easel box). Got a great buzz from this so this year I have one more resolution for 2014, to revisit passions from my past that I have let go. Can be something as small as painting but camping this summer, which is something I did a lot as a child definitely brought a warmth to my heart.
So challenge #1 for 2014 has already been achieved, ice skating! Was petrified at first but got the hang of it and was back for another session before it ended.
So what will you do for the first time for 2014 and maybe look back to something you loved from your past and rekindle it….