A few years ago, I was obsessed with making a list of things I wanted to do before I turned 40. I saw someone do a 30 before 30 list and I really wanted to do one but I already was 30 so that wasn’t going to work. Thus I came up with the very unique 40 before 40 list.
In retrospect, this was a really dumb idea. You know why doing 30 things before one turns 30 is so much better than doing 40 things before one turns 40? Because 10 extra things might as well be 100 extra things when I have a kid and jobs and whatever else eating up my time. I should have put “go to work” or “feed child” on my list of things. Also, I had so much more energy before I was 30. Now at nearly 40, I laugh at how tired I thought I was at this time 10 years ago.
Below is the list from 3 years ago. With only 202 days to go, let’s see how I’m doing.
1. Run a 5k. What? No.
2. Run a 10k. Oh, hell no.
3. Run a half marathon. Was I out of my mind?
4. Lose 40 pounds. I tried. It didn’t work.
5. Make significant steps toward reducing animal products in my diet. Nope.
6. Finish my memoir. I finished a draft. Does that count?
7. Publish my memoir. This is really unlikely.
8. Buy Long Term Care insurance. What a fun concept! Also, yes, I have some.
9. Visit with a financial planner and map out a goal for retirement. I can’t even plan dinner for the coming week.
10. Create and utilize a budget. Nope.
11. Read 50 books. I don’t even know what to say about this.
12. Redesign my blog under my own domain name. Done!
13. Sort and organize my mother’s belongings. Nope. They’re still in the basement.
14. Live a more minimalist lifestyle. I guess so. How does one measure this?
15. Save enough money to purchase our next vehicle in cash. Uh, nope.
16. Attend another blogging conference. I did this!
17. Eliminate my dependence on caffeine. I am literally LOLing at this right now.
18. Unplug for one full week. Now I am dying from this.
19. Get a paid writing job. I did this!
20. Create a usable space in the home office. I did this!
21. Bag, Board and Catalog comic/magazine collection. I’m still working on this.
22. Organize CD collection. What’s a CD?
23. Organize DVD collection. What’s a DVD?
24. Create usable living space in attic. I suppose something could live up there.
25. Create usable living space in basement. The centipedes seem to like it.
26. Organize (digitize?) all old writings. Nope.
27. Make go-bags for all family members. Um…
28. Create an emergency bin with supplies. No.
29. Buy a really awesome, unnecessarily expensive pair of jeans that make my ass look amazing. I can’t see my ass so who cares?
30. Buy a killer dress – cocktail? ball gown? I don’t know. This is not very minimalist of me.
31. Go to some event that requires me to wear the aforementioned dress. I’m not really into “going places” anymore.
32. Go zip-lining. Except this. I still want to go zip-lining.
33. Get third tattoo. Done. And the fourth, too!
34. Climb a rock wall. I did not do this. I still want to.
Notice the list stops at 34. I couldn’t think of anything else.
Here’s the thing: Yes, I’m turning 40. Yes, there’s a bit of mid-life crisis happening. I’m getting the what have I done with my life and what am I going to do next sort of feelings and those aren’t so good. I feel like I should have done more things and better.
But here’s where turning 40 is awesome:
There’s a part of me that’s telling that judgmental voice, the one who compares me to everyone else, to shut the fuck up. It’s the same voice that’s letting me say fuck in a blog post, even though I don’t usually do this so I can appear professional even though the real me says fuck all the fucking time.
So the new thing I have planned for my 40th is to give fewer fucks. I don’t care if I haven’t met some arbitrary goal I may have set for myself three years ago. I don’t care if everyone else wants to do something – if I don’t want to do it, I’m not doing it. And if no one wants to do what I want to do? Well, fuck it. I’m going to go do it by myself then. I’m going to stand up for what’s right. I’m going to fight for important things. I’m going to work for the things I want. Everything else doesn’t matter.
I don’t need to do 40 ridiculous things to prove a point. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone.
I’ve spent most of the last almost-40 years doing what other people wanted and what other people expected. I’ve put others before me to the extent that I virtually vanished.
Those days are over.
This is yeah write’s nomo writing challenge Day 3.