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Hitting the Half Century - I'm halfway through my challenge!

Helmet on, bat up! I'm now very happy to be in the second half of my 100 Day Challenge and I am fully committed to getting the full ton by 10th April. Friday, 19th February was day 50! The number 50 always feels like a special number; it's the fifth magic number in nuclear physics, the golden wedding anniversary and the atomic number of tin.

I'm not sure what I'm more surprised about, the fact that I've been able to complete 50 consecutive days where I've done some form of voluntary work, or the fact that we're already 50 days into 2021. Similar to 2020, this year has been a bit of a blur where every day blends into one and you have to constantly remind yourself if it's a weekday or weekend. Despite this, I'm really pleased to have had this project to colour my days and keep me occupied during the most challenging of the three lockdowns.

Some milestones have been reached...

  • I've completed over 100 hours of volunteering, averaging 2 hours, 15 minutes a day, seven days a week

  • I've volunteered with 15 organisations so far, with eight more in the pipeline (so far)

  • I'm now a Level 5 Shout Volunteer - this means I've taken 100 conversation on the crisis textline

  • I've gone global - I've been working with students from four countries: Germany, The Netherlands, India and Spain. I've also been working alongside some wonderful New Zealanders on the Shout platform

  • I was Volunteer of the Week for Media Trust which was a lovely piece of recognition and actually happened on Day 50. Yay!

  • I've partaken in 30 Zoom calls. I can see why people would get Zoom fatigue. I miss people.

My focus has really changed in the last 50 days - in that now I have a much clearer focus than I did when I woke up of 1st January 2021 and decided that I wanted to embark on this challenge (for no real reason other than to give myself something interesting to do). I'm now at a point where I'm narrowing-in on what it is I want to do; at the very least, I have an objective which is allowing me to learn new things and help people at the same time. I'm doing a Google AdWords course, and putting my work into practise by running the ads of eight different charities. I'm really enjoying it and am formulating a plan as to how I can make it easier for charities to embrace this amazing tool. The sense of purpose is actually quite liberating.

Where the 100 Day Challenge has been most difficult is when I've had to juggle childcare. From my son popping his head into the Zoom call (making faces at himself and not engaging with any of the people on the call) to stealing moments during his lunch and dinner times to do some keyword research, it's been really difficult. I've been propping the laptop on my knees in the evening to get as much done as possible so that when I am able to steal a moment, I can use the time well.

I reckon I've made somewhere in the region of 50 new friends (circa one a day). It's difficult to count, but I've met so many people and made so many friends - young and old, and from all sorts of backgrounds.

What's in store for the next 50 days?

I don't want to put too much pressure on myself, because part of what I've enjoyed most about this challenge is that it's felt quite organic, and I've been ending up doing things I wouldn't normally have the time to do (e.g. organising a quiz and auction, joining the local veg and seed swap group) and making new friends (e.g. Mattchin Tendulkar from my favourite podcast Tailenders), so I'm actually feeling excited about the surprises that the next 50 days might bring.

By doing this challenge, I've been making my way towards a new meaningful path that I actually want to go down. If I absolutely HAD to set myself an objective to achieve by the end of my 100 days, I think I'd like to have made a solid decision on my career. I'm literally halfway there, like I am in this challenge, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I haven't made a decision - I'll still be closer to where I want to be than I am right now.

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