The Big Birthday Next Year.

So tomorrow, I turn 39, which means I’m entering my 40th year. To honor that and to try to make the most of it, I came up with 40 things I want to do. Here is the list I put together over the last few weeks:

  1. I will take a trip with Mom in honor of our 40 years together.
  2. I will create a 40-minute wind-down routine for my evenings to set myself up for quality sleep.
  3. I will spent 40 minutes each Sunday looking at the week ahead and setting up a game plan for how to make the most of it.
  4. I will do 40 Bikram yoga classes in 40 days.
  5. I will read 40 books that I already own and haven’t yet read.
  6. I will hand write and snail mail 40 letters to 40 different people.
  7. I will ride my bike at least 40 miles 40 times this year.
  8. I will take 40 spin classes. (Yes, I realize this is a lot of cycling, but I’m doing an Ironman in June. I need to log those hours.)
  9. I will watch 40 movies through Netflix – and by this, I mean that I will sit down and watch movies and do nothing else. No multi-tasking.
  10. I will schedule and protect 40 nights where I schedule nothing and allow myself either to be spontaneous or have a quiet night at home.
  11. I will donate 40 pieces of my clothing.
  12. I will give away 40 non-clothing items that I own.
  13. I will donate $40 a month to the Calling the Circle Foundation.
  14. I will write 40 poems.
  15. I will go 40 days without spending money on anything but utilities, gas and groceries.
  16. I will give away 40 books I own.
  17. I will submit 40 queries to magazines.
  18. I will spend 40 hours in state or national parks.
  19. I will read a book about Ronald Reagan, our 40th president.
  20. I will try 40 new recipes.
  21. I will do 40 pushups and 40 crunches a day.
  22. I will send thank you notes to 40 people I don’t know – writers, musicians, artists, people on the street who randomly do nice things, etc.
  23. I will have a drink one-on-one with 40 different friends.
  24. I will go media silent (no Internet, no TV, no cell phone) on 40 days throughout the year.
  25. I will read 40 short stories.
  26. I will try out 40 new coffee shops.
  27. I will visit South Dakota, the 40th state to join the union. (Anyone up for a trip to sort of a random place?)
  28. I will solicit postcards from 40 friends.
  29. I will get rid of 40 items from the various “miscellaneous/junk” drawers in my house.
  30. I will get rid of 40 items from the “miscellaneous/junk” closet in my office.
  31. I will put 40 cents each day into my change cup and buy something fun for myself at the end of the year.
  32. I will make 40 cards, in the fashion of SoulCollage.
  33. I will do a 40 day fast from television.
  34. I will do a 40 day fast from all sweets.
  35. I will start 40 conversations with strangers.
  36. I will make a list of 40 things I like about myself and post it on my bathroom mirror.
  37. I will identify 40 marathons I’d like to run in the coming years.
  38. I will make a list of 40 cities in the United States that I’d like to visit in coming years.
  39. I will make a 40 item bucket list and do one item on it.
  40. I will write a mission statement for myself for the second 40 years of my life.
Exhausting, right? That’s what I thought too. What was I thinking weighing myself down with such a list?
 
It’s been a hard few months. I’ve felt somewhat alone and without direction. I’ve taken some great trips and done well at work and had a wonderful week celebrating my birthday over dinner with a different friend or two each night this week. (Thank you, friends.)  But this list – I think I was trying to distract myself from the fact that I’m aging and how I alone I feel by giving myself an enormous list of things to do. They’re good things, but I don’t think this list will change anything. It won’t change how I feel. I think only time will.
 
So here’s to the start of my 40th year. So much could be different a year from now. I look forward to being there and looking back on what time offered in that year.  My fingers are crossed that it’ll be amazing.

22 thoughts on “The Big Birthday Next Year.

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