part two of two. Read part one here.
Start Date: 21st February 2010
End Date: 18 November 2012
Tasks completed: 53/101
Tasks failed: 48/101
050. Celebrate our anniversary every year – completed.
051. Watch less than 4 hours of TV together each day – completed.
052. Do 4 fun activities together that we haven’t done for ages – failed.
053. Refuse to allow my jealousy affect our relationship – completed.
So the relationship in question ended before the 1001 days did, which is something I never would have predicted when I started the challenge! It ended before I got a chance to complete #052, but I completed the other tasks. Looking back on #053, I realise I have a lot of disparate thoughts on jealousy that I want to focus on in its own blog post – this will be published soon.
054. Wear makeup once a week – failed, 11.04.10. When my mental health was at its worst, I didn’t put any effort into my appearance, especially when it came to wearing makeup – I went for weeks at a time without so much as a slick of eyeliner. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this – on the one hand, I felt better about myself when I wore makeup, felt less self-conscious of my plainness, and more “normal”, which lifted my mood. On the other hand, makeup is an effort, and an unnecessary one at that… as long as I’m clean and neat, I don’t really need makeup, and generally I’d rather have that extra 5 minutes in the morning to read, or sleep. It’s also a bit problematic from a feminist perspective – we’re often fighting a losing battle insofar as if we don’t wear enough makeup we aren’t considered “pretty” or even “presentable”, yet if we wear too much makeup we’re called “sluts” or are said to be “trying too hard”. Many would argue that it is a tool of the patriarchy used to oppress women and remind them that their primary duty is to look good in order to please men, and the fact that men don’t waste their precious time and money on something so unnecessary just goes to show how important it really is… [DISCLAIMER: despite this, I would never shame/judge women for wearing make-up because I think that is totally anti-feminist!] Well, after plenty of umm-ing and ahh-ing about why I would want to wear makeup, I decided to set myself the goal of wearing makeup at least once a week, every week, to see if it would make me feel a little better about myself. I also figured there was something to be said for the creative process of applying makeup, experimenting with colours and styles, etc. Anyway, I failed this challenge within the first 3 months. I just couldn’t be arsed most mornings, to be honest. I don’t feel bad about failing this one though. (As an aside, since then I’ve gone through phases of wearing lots of makeup, and hardly bothering at all. At the moment I’m wearing quite a lot of it, but my enthusiasm for it comes and goes).
055. Get my engagement ring re-plated – completed, 15.01.11.
056. Make sure my roots don’t get any longer than 2 inches – completed. I didn’t prioritise taking care of myself when I started this challenge – taking care of my dyed hair and making sure it was well-maintained seemed like a realistic habit to keep on top of.
057. Don’t straighten my hair any more than once a week - failed, 17.03.11. This was a bit of a silly goal. My hair looks much better when straightened, even if straightening does damage my hair over time. I try not to do it too often, but I think once a week is a little too infrequently!
058. Keep my hair re-dyed and looking tidy – completed. See #056.
059. Buy some new pretty underwear – completed, 26.08.10. It may seem like a silly goal to set myself, but I always feel good and sexy when I’m wearing pretty underwear. When I started this challenge, I didn’t prioritise things like this because I was so skint, so it felt good to buy myself something nice.
060. Get rid of all old unflattering clothes and donate to charity shop – completed, 13.04.10. I now do this regularly; I go through all my clothes every few months and donate things that no longer fit, or are worn out (even things like old – clean! – underwear, because although charity shops can’t resell anything tatty, they can make a little money by sending them off for recycling).
Food & Drink
061. Bake a cake – completed, 28.10.10.
062. Try to eat at least three portions of fruit and veg every day – failed, July 2010. I try my best to be healthy, but I can never consistently stick to these healthy habits!
063. Drink at least a pint of water a day – completed.
064. Take lunches to class, not snacks – failed, 13.03.10.
065. Try lobster – completed, 17.12.11. Bit disappointed by it, if I’m honest.
066. Cut down my tea drinking to three cups a day – failed, July 2010. Ha. A noble challenge, but I have to admit that tea is one of my few vices! I have managed to replace my breakfast tea with other, less caustic teas, like peppermint and camomile.
067. Vote whenever I can – completed. I voted at the General Election in 2010, Election and Referendum in 2011, and the Local Election in 2012! Success!
068. Continue going to Feministy events with the Women’s Network – completed, 2011. Check out the Women’s Network tag to read my previous entries on the topic.
069. Read 10 books on feminism – completed, 2011. This seemed like a fair challenge, though I actually completed it far quicker than expected! I think I definitely could’ve stretched to 20.
070. Attend Million Women Rise – completed, 03.03.12. Blogged.
071. Attend another Reclaim the Night – failed. Bit disappointed that I didn’t get round to attending another RTN, though I am planning to attend this year.
072. Go to at least one gig a year – failed, 2011. Couldn’t afford to go to many gigs during my skint uni years, plus most of the musicians I like don’t tour the UK much.
073. See The Vagina Monologues again – completed, 21.02.10. The Women’s Network put on a production of the show, and it was amazing!
074. See Amanda Palmer live again – completed, October 2012. I saw Amanda Palmer on her ‘Who Killed Amanda Palmer?’ tour in 2008, and it was by far the best gig of my entire life; I knew I had to see her again soon! I remember leaving that gig feeling so inspired and invigorated. I eventually saw her again in October at The Cathedral in Manchester, and it was sooooo good. I had every intention of blogging about it at the time, but never got round to it, what with my autumn being so damn busy. In brief: I was incredibly disappointed by her latest album, but she was incredible live, as she always is. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Amanda Palmer; I used to adore her music, and she was one of my few heroes. But over the years I feel she’s become a bit lazy with her musical output (what the hell was ‘Do You Swear To Tell The Truth…’ about?), and she’s said and done various things that have irritated me – notably, the ableist Evelyn Evelyn furore, the KKK ‘joke’, how she keeps referring to her relentless self-promotion and narcissism as “doing art”, and her general inability to apologise for her problematic behaviour, to the point where I had to unfollow her on Twitter. Plus, I’ve only really liked a handful of songs since WKAP. Big shame.
075. Go ice skating again – completed, 27.09.10. I adore ice skating, I need to do it more often (not that I’m much good at it, not having had much practice)!
076. Fly a kite – failed. I’ve never actually done this, I figured it would be a fun thing to do sometime. Oh well.
077. Read 10 classic books I haven’t read yet – completed, March 2011.
078. Watch 20 films from IMDBs’ top 250 films that I haven’t seen yet – completed, 26.05.11. Blogged.
079. Go to an opera or ballet – completed, 27.10.10. Blogged.
080. Go to one stand-up comedy show a year – failed, 2010. Didn’t make an effort with this, and so didn’t see any comedians in the first year. I did see some comedians live after that though – Josie Long, Dylan Moran, and some female comedians at Ladyfest Nottingham.
081. Identify 100 things that make me happy – completed, 05.06.11. See pic above.
082. Make a list of 50 things I like about myself – completed, 26.05.11. Too personal to share – suffice it to say that the exercise did make me feel good.
083. Brush teeth twice a day - failed, August 2010. I can do once a day, but sometimes I forget to do it twice!
084. Wash face every day – failed, July 2010.
085. Take a self-defence class – failed. I did attend the first Women’s Network self-defence class, but kept missing the subsequent classes. I am disappointed with this; I’ve always wanted to learn some self-defence but have been too nervous to go to a class alone. Will have to keep this one in mind for 2013!
086. Try yoga – failed. I do feel bad about this, as I’ve been dying to try yoga for years and years. It’s one of my resolutions for 2013, so here’s hoping that I’ll take a class soon!
087. Try to find a church to attend – failed. I wanted to join a church when I started this challenge. I was struggling with finding faith, working out what I believed. It sort of became less and less of a priority as time went on though… I’m still not sure what I believe… hm.
088. Run a mile without stopping to walk – failed. I tried Couch to 5k for about 3 weeks, but had to stop because I caught a cold and then the weather got really bad (excuses excuses)! Again, Couch to 5k is one of my resolutions, so I’ll definitely give this another go later on this year, when the weather improves and I have no excuses!
089. Eat less bad fats – failed. I wanted to set myself a health goal related to diet, but this was waaay too vague to be achievable. I have a fairly healthy diet anyway, so I couldn’t really accurately track if I was eating less bad fats or not… I know my diet is pretty much the same now as it was back then, so I’d say I probably failed this challenge. No big deal though.
090. Read a book on self-esteem – failed. As my mental health improved, I didn’t see this as much of a priority, plus I’d had counselling and therapy classes which focused extensively on rebuilding self-esteem, so reading a book about it didn’t seem so important.
091. Read a book on perfectionism - completed, 31.12.10. I read ‘Status Anxiety’ by Alain de Botton, which dealt with a lot of my worries surrounding success and failure, all-or-nothing thinking, and my place in the social hierarchy – I highly recommend it! I hear a lot of snark about Alain de Botton online from my academic friends, but I’ve always really enjoyed his work? I think it’s clear, well-written, and thoughtful, but maybe I’m not intelligent enough for “proper” philosophy, ha.
092. Watch less than three hours of TV every day - failed, 16.10.10. I very rarely watch 3 hours of TV in one day, but it does occasionally happen, especially when I’m feeling ill and just want to veg out in the living room. I think it’s ok to do so every once in a while.
093. Delete all out-of-date internet accounts – completed.
094. Go without the internet for a week - completed, 07.09.11. Blogged.
095. Go without Facebook for 2 weeks – completed, 14.09.11. Blogged.
096. ‘Unplug’ for one whole weekend – no phone, no internet, no TV, no computer - completed, 04.07.10. When I went away with my ex-partner to record some music in Leeds, we stayed at his new student flat, which had none of the aforementioned things set up yet. We spent the whole weekend watching films, going for walks, reading, writing, and having long, thoughtful conversations. It was great. I should do this more often.
097. Go a day a month without laptop or TV – failed, March 2010. I really should try to do this more often, but so much of my work is based on my laptop!
098. Update my blog at least once a fortnight – failed, 05.05.10. I’m getting better at this though.
099. List all my CDs and zines on my website – completed, 30.10.10. Check it out here (needs updating though, wah).
100. Write in my journal at least once a fortnight – failed, 06.05.10. Couldn’t manage this when life was super busy (especially exam time). I still write in my journal though, and have finally managed to get back into a routine where I write at least once a week!
101. Buy a pair of new glasses – completed.