Saturday, 1 July 2017

Quarter-Life Crisis Challenge: The Finale

So it turns out that cooking really isn't my forte...


I think I should start by saying that I tried; I really, really tried. It turns out that 30 days later and after a real concerted effort to improve I am just as bad at cooking as was in May. I still have little to no confidence in the kitchen; knowledge of herbs and spices elude me; if I can't follow a recipe to the letter and/or it doesn't go to plan I don't have a clue what to do; spitting pans on the hob scare the life out of me, and I accidentally set fire to the grill (oops).

However, on a more positive note, I did try out a few new recipes - and aside from a Lean in 15 turkey burger that fell apart they all worked rather well; I finally mastered the art of a casserole (my parents' favourite meal); and I attempted a roast dinner that miraculously didn't vary too wildly in temperatures by the time it reached the plate. I did play it rather safe, and I had a bit of a break in the middle for my birthday (I figured there was no point stressing myself out in the kitchen when I should have been relaxing!) but I still did my best to push myself out of my comfort zone and embrace the challenge. I've viewed it more as a starting point and a way of getting me into cooking rather than a neat 30 day challenge with an end point, as I saw it at the beginning of the month. I need to cook more and stop relying on easy meals, and knowing that I can get stickers for good behaviour will definitely spur me on! So all in all I'd say it was a semi-successful month, and a good foundation for any future cooking endeavours!

(gold stars - reading / silver dots - film / red dots - cross-stitch / green dots - saving money / green stars - running / silver stars - brain-training / blue dots - learning / red stars - social media / yellow dots - organisation / round weights - fitness / black dots - cooking)

Furthermore, this month I haven't managed to see many films, I've only read one book (the deeply moving When Breath Becomes Air) and my gym-going has been derailed recently due to a chest infection that is refusing to disappear. However, I have upped my organisation, tried my best to limit my social media usage and almost finished my cross-stitch.


So, that's it! I've adored doing these challenges since April 2016, and as I turned 25 this month I decided that my Quarter-Life Crisis Challenges should draw to a close. Over the last 15 months I've completed the following:

April 2016 - reading
May 2016 - cross-stitch
June 2016 - yoga
July 2016 - film
August 2016 - brain-training
September 2016 - colouring
October 2016 - calligraphy
November 2016 - saving money
December 2016 - Christmas
January 2017 - learning
February 2017 - limiting social media
March 2017 - organisation
April 2017 - fitness
May 2017 - TED talks
June 2017 - cooking

It's quite a list! There are a number of challenges that I don't intend to do ever again - yoga, colouring, calligraphy - as they just weren't for me at all. On the other hand, I've incorporated others into my routine and are now hobbies I'd be hard pressed to give up: I always have a book on the go and a 'to-watch' list of films to get through each month, I religiously do a cross-word every day, I now relish attacking my cross-stitch in the evenings (in the full knowledge that I'm slowly turning into the spinster in every BBC period drama who sits in the corner sewing), I love nothing more than saving money for a rainy day, learning something new, and being organised, and scheduling in regular sessions in the gym is working wonders for my fitness and my head.

This has been such a fun series, and I'm so glad I read Debbie Black's article all those months ago in ELLE! I've done exactly as I set out to do by trying new things, rekindling old hobbies and establishing new habits - what a resounding success! The inevitable quarter-life crisis hasn't happened yet and I'm pretty content with where I am at 25 (standard levels of age/career/life related stress aside) and I like to think these challenges have kept me on track.

Here's to the next adventure!

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