My 100/100 challenge – I’m halfway there!

My 100/100 challenge – I’m halfway there! April 30th 2021 would’ve been Captain Tom Moore’s 101st birthday and his family announced a new challenge. They challenged people to complete a hundred somethings to raise more funds for The Captain Tom Foundation. I think the idea was something which would be completed in a shortish amount of time, for example, they mentioned you could – ‘bake 100 cupcakes or walk 100 laps to help celebrate Captain Tom’s achievements.’  Iwas intrigued by this – in many ways Captain Tom reminded me of my own dad, although he died long before reaching a century. I wondered what I could do – what would be possible for me to and what would actually challenge me to do it. If I baked a hundred cupcakes, what would I do with them? I don’t have that number of friends to give them to or sell them to, I’m not really in a situation where I have any other purchasers. Walking a mile a day would not really challenge me, walking ten miles a day wouldn’t be possible, and anyway I wouldn’t feel particularly challenged. I racked my brains to think of something feasible, something I could push myself to complete, that involved a certain discipline and determination.

I decided I would write every day – well, I do that anyway so the actual writing would not be a challenge. One of my weaknesses as a writer is knowing when to stop, I always write far too much and end up having to slash away the overgrown undergrowth of words, pare it back to something reasonable and readable. So I came up with a challenge – a 100 words exactly, every day, for 100 hundred days. A day would count as from when I got up to when I went to bed, and I would write it here and share it. I also wanted to write properly and not just throw down any old hundred words, or nonsense, or silly careless scribble which contained those 100 words. I wanted to be pleased with what I wrote, and feel it had some merit.

Today is Day 52 and I haven’t thought about what I’m going to write for today. The first thing I wrote, on May 1st was a memory of the River Cam from when I was young; it always featured in my life, walking by it with grandma, watching the boats dad coached race along it, picnics with mum and my sister beside it, swimming along it and in it when I was older, being in a boat on it – canoe or punt, it was such an important part of my life, and an important part of my memories. Since that first one I’ve written about all sorts of things, about friends, about visiting the pub, about my childhood, my family, food, all sorts of things. I’ve written about writing and reading, about walking the dog, the pub quiz – it’s not exactly a diary, but a sort of commentary, so of course I have mentioned the present situation, somewhat obliquely and mostly about lockdown and emerging from it.

It has truly been a challenge, and sometimes I’ve really wondered what on earth I can possibly write, but it has also been satisfying, and if I’m honest, enjoyable. When I reach day 101 what will I do? Another 100/100 self-challenge this time, not to raise money or awareness, but just to do it? Wil I share it here? I’m not sure! People I know who keep diaries, a thing I’ve never managed to do in the conventional sense, although writing here is often a similar thing, say that writing in their diary is more than a habit, it’s almost a compulsion. Will my hundreds become similarly compulsive? I have no idea!

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