I had another cycling lesson tonight, and it was great. I spent the week dreaming that perhaps one lesson would be enough and that today I would just cycle off into the sunset, but I know it will take more work than that. Already I’ve learnt that good things are worth working for, and have certainly reinforced the old saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. I did well today, and still no injuries, but I do have a long way to go.
My cycling teacher said something tonight which really rang true, and I don’t know if she realised how deep and meaningful it was when she said it, or if she was simply offering me cycling advice. To paraphrase, she said, “It’s no good looking in one direction forever as you’ll only go that way. You have to remember to look where you want to go.”
Those are the words I’m going to take with me this week as I ride in to the second half of the year. I have a very different perspective on life now than I did when the year began, simply because I started looking in a different direction, towards where I wanted to go. I’m quite happy going the way I’m going at the moment, but I mustn’t forget to look around me too, and to keep my eyes open for all opportunities that come my way, whatever the direction.
The other day, I was reading an article in the Evening Standard called 30 things to do before you’re 30. The article referred to the now grinning with pride Beyoncé pictured below, and how she had managed to get pregnant just in time – she’s 29.
See how she glows? She’s glowing with relief because, at 29, she must be feeling the pressure. There are just so many things one must do before turning 30 – everybody says so.
According to the article, when people are faced with turning thirty, they think they ought to have bought a property, had a baby, co-habited, owned a designer handbag, written a book, dropped their last “e” (what?!), learnt a language and lived abroad. Phew. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Given that I only have just over 3 months before the big three-oh hits, I don’t think there’s much chance I’m going to cross everything off the list.
But, you know what, I don’t really care.
I used to have this feeling that turning thirty was the be-all and end-all. I know people who still think this – friends who are getting their knickers in a twist because their birthdays are approaching and they’re not married/up the duff/living in their dream home/all of the above.
I had one goal this year – one “thing to do before I turn thirty”. It’s proving difficult, and I’m not sure if I’m going to have achieved it 100%, but my goal was to be financially independent by thirty. By “financially independent”, I mean that I don’t want to be taking any hand-outs and I don’t want to be relying on credit cards.
I’m living in a really shitty little flat at the moment. It’s worse than some of the places I lived in when I was a student. But, you know what, I can afford it. My salary is low, but I’m budgeting my living expenses to match. For once, I’m not living beyond my means.
My twenties have been about working out what I want from life. I hope my thirties will be about achieving those things. I don’t think I need a list though, do you?
I just moved into a new flat in London. It’s a teeny, tiny studio flat – basically a room above a shop with a small kitchen and small bathroom. I don’t mind that it’s teeny tiny – that’s not what’s rubbish. What’s rubbish, is the rubbish situation…
I can’t figure out where to put my rubbish. Before I moved in, I casually asked my letting agent as we were walking to the flat, and he pointed out an alley way. He told me to just put it in there, which seemed a bit strange to me.
Not sure about the alley way situation, I decided to email the council. They replied promptly and politely, and informed me that I should have a wheelie bin. They also told me that if I put my rubbish in the alley way it could be considered fly-tipping.
I have no wheelie bin.
I’ve looked around, and there isn’t even a place where wheelie bins for the five flats in this building could be. What’s more, the council website says that waste is collected every two weeks. So, does that mean I am supposed to store up my rubbish in my teeny tiny kitchen for two whole weeks until I can run outside and dump it in the alley way? If I dump it in the alley way before it’s due to be collected, foxes will probably open it up all over the street.
The council did very kindly provide me with a phone number which I could call to order a new wheelie bin. However, even if I did decide to splash out £15 for a bin, I would still be stuck for somewhere to put it.
On another rubbish-related point, I also asked the council what I should do about recycling. I was informed that, as I live in a flat, I am “not required to recycle“.
This was quite a shock to me. I thought we were supposed to be upping our environmental-consciousness and recycling more. I had already started separating out my paper from plastic, but no one cares – because I’m living in a flat.
Has anyone else in London experienced a similar problem? Can anyone offer a solution?
I want to be the kind of person who wakes up early in the morning to practice tai chi, yoga, or meditation.
I want to travel, explore, take photos and write about it.
I want to have a high-flying career which I adore and am successful at.
I want to wine and dine with friends, family, someone special…
I want to cook, and invite people over for dinner.
I want to study languages. (I want to be fluent in Japanese.)
I want to take workshops and short courses and learn new skills.
I want to write.
I want to sleep.
I want to dream.
…but there’s not enough time in the day.
One rainy afternoon an inspired 15-year old boy named John Goddard sat down at his kitchen table in Los Angeles and wrote three words at the top of a yellow pad, “My Life List.” Under that heading he wrote down 127 goals.
These were not simple or easy goals. They included climbing the world’s major mountains, exploring from source to mouth the longest rivers of the world, piloting the world’s fastest aircraft, running a mile in five minutes and reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.
Now, a generation later, he has accomplished 109 of these quests, and has logged an impressive list of records in achieving them.
(Quote from: http://www.johngoddard.info)
Today I went to a meeting at my company’s head office. Part of the meeting was about setting goals. First, my trainer asked us “can you remember the goals you set when you first started at this company, on your very first day of training, when you had just arrived in Japan?”. Only one of the ten or so people present could remember and actually had her list with her. I made my list almost 22 months ago, and I have no idea what they were or where my list is. I’m sure “improve my Japanese” would have been on there, though!
Next, my trainer said “reach as high as you can”. We were sitting at this point, and I was the only person who stood up straight away (seemed obvious to me!). Then he told us to try one more time, and then asked us “did you reach higher the second time?”. We nodded. “Why didn’t you reach that high the first time? I told you to reach as high as you could”. Interesting.
Then, my trainer told us about John Goddard, who I had never heard of before. As you can see in the quote above, John started out as a 15-year old boy with big dreams. Now, he is “the world’s greatest goal achiever”, and an actual paid adventurer!
You can see John’s list of 127 goals (of which he has achieved 109 so far) here: http://www.johngoddard.info/life_list.htm. His goals are many and varied, but all thoroughly inspiring. So inspiring, in fact, that I have decided to write my own list…
My list is here: http://muskett.wordpress.com/my-life-list/, and I will update it as and when I think of new goals (these 40 are just the first ones that spilled out of my head today!), and also when I have achieved goals I will cross them off and make a note in red.
I will aim to always reach as high as I possibly can! がんばります！:D