Five Before Fifty – The End

final chart

I’m Glad I Did It But I’m Glad It’s Over

Today I’ve lived half a century on this Earth. After a terrible night’s sleep (thank you, Tropical Storm Nicole) I got up and fixed some coffee and started reflecting on these goals and my life thus far. This challenge of mine has also been a topic of conversation this whole week between my husband and myself.

I didn’t make the challenge. I fell short in everything except the paintings, which I far exceeded the 5. I’ve already shared why The 500 Miles and The 5 Scrapbooks were not going to reach the goal in detail. Here’s a quick summary of what I’ve learned from this challenge as well as the final status.

Lessons Learned

The 50 year old me. Pink hair to keep it from being boring!

The biggest lesson I learned was that I don’t like challenges this deep lasting this long. I’ve struggled this year with creating a ‘work’ day for my art and teaching. Life and all its maintenance creeps in and derails me a lot. As I got better at prioritizing, I had less time for ‘hobbies’ or this challenge. The main time was my coffee time in the morning. This is when I did journal writing and reading. All of this reading time during the challenge period was dominated by reading the Old Testament.

I love to read and I learned I didn’t want to give up my relaxation reading for the challenge. I’ve already blown through my 50 books in the 2022 challenge in Goodreads. I’m actually at 88 books so far on there, mostly light fiction though. Reading is more about relaxation to me in this season.

I already discussed setting miles as my health challenge. This should have been active minutes on my Fitbit or a certain number of days with activity.

Aside from the specifics I discussed with books, walking and scrapbooks, I also didn’t like my focus being so locked for so long. I know that this is the point of a challenge but I also love chasing figurative squirrels. There have been several ideas or things I’ve wanted to learn about or do that I’ve just set aside until this date arrived. I had no idea how irritating that would be to me.

I will admit prioritizing my focus does have its upside. Without the focus and public declaration of this challenge, I don’t think I would have ever finished the Old Testament. It’s been on and off my goals/resolutions for about 15 years. I still have the New Testament but I’m approaching it a little differently than ‘just get it done’ since over my life I think I’ve read probably all of the New Testament.

My biggest takeaway from this challenge is…

I need to figure out the balance of prioritizing and focusing with having freedom for new ideas.

5B450 Challenge Summary

Books – Read 5 significant books
Art – Create 5 complete paintings
Writing – Write 50,000 words
Health – Walk 500 miles
Family – Complete 5 scrapbooks

Read about why I chose these goals here.

Books – Completed 4.5 books

I almost finished this. I completed 4 and a half books. The big goal was reading the Bible. I changed that goal a month or so ago to just the Old Testament when I realized the version I’m reading, The Harper Collins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version (the 1993 version of that link), has more books than most versions of the Old Testament. This is on top of each page containing ¼ to ½ of a page of scholarly notes. So I did a LOT of extra reading. I also did a lot of fast reading through some of the later books. I didn’t want to rush through the New Testament like that so I changed ‘completed’ to mean the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament and the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books.

The other three I completed were Henry David Thoreaus’ Walden. I enjoyed parts of this book but there was a bit of rambling in this book. I took the advice of a friend and read a book of poetry when I completed Walden. Maya Angelou’s And Still I Rise was beautiful. I love poetry and thoroughly enjoyed reading hers. Today I completed Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’ve always loved Shakespeare and had never read that play. I enjoyed it as well.

The final book that I’m halfway through is Man and His Symbols by Dr. Carl Jung. This book is fascinating and I don’t want to rush my reading. A sporadic dream journal was part of my writing challenge so I’m very interested in studying interpretation and symbolism.

Art – Completed 20

I completely surpassed this goal and I didn’t count anything I created in Procreate. Most of these have been posted over time in my Instagram account but I’ve been slack on getting them on my website or Etsy site. I’m working on this now!

Writing – Completed 44,483

So very, very close! I ended up not really focusing specifically on this goal. I had a 2022 goal of increasing blog writing so that naturally helped with word count. I also did a lot of journaling over this time period. The dream journal as I mentioned above, a general ‘diary’ style journal, a new gratitude journal as well as a daily card reading journal. I am pleasantly surprised that I almost reached 50,000 without spending ANY extra time on this. I should have spent extra time on my writing but most of the time allocated was taken up by the Bible reading.

Health – Completed 400 Miles

Again, so close. But not completing this was out of my control at the end. This is one I was mostly on track for the entire time. It is what it is.

Family – Completed 0 Scrapbooks

I talked about this already but I left out another obstacle I encountered. I can’t blame my daughter for this one. I had worked on several books before our discussion about scrapbooking, but I was already behind on this goal.

I struggled with how to do digital scrapbooks. I have used several different online sites to build scrapbooks but over time books either disappear completely or are too outdated to show properly online. I also wanted to have a digital version as well as the option to print. I finally decided to create the pages in Canva and save them as both .jpgs and .pdfs. I can build a digital book this way and print whenever I want.

It took a bit of research to figure this out. Now I’m in a rhythm and getting digital pages completed fairly quickly. As long as I keep this a priority and work a little each week, I should be able to keep up with current books and start catching up on older books.

Indecision and research about digital took up the first couple of months of this challenge. I fully intended on catching up the last couple of months but that’s when I was frozen about the who/why of scrapbooking. The middle months were just plain procrastination and it bit me in the a** for this challenge.

I do have one spread out on my table in the studio that I MUST complete before I head to North Carolina in a little over a week. I’ve already told my grandmother I’m bringing it and I can’t disappoint Nanny!

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