One Thing Before 40.

One Thing Before 40.

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.

Featured Image Credit.

23 Responses to “One Thing Before 40.”

  1. Stacie says:

    This is so funny Michelle! If you ever had doubts that you were funny, dispel them right now. Also? I’ll go zip lining with you! Maybe that can count as one of the 60 things I do before 60 😉

  2. Jennifer G. Knoblock says:

    #29 = <3
    also 30, 31

  3. PryvateLisa says:

    Aw hell yes. He’ll fucking yes.

  4. Zip lining is the only extreme thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my entire life. When I flip through other people’s adventure vacations all I can think is “why aren’t you just sitting by the pool/on the beach with a book in hand?” until I get to the zip lining pictures. Can we find somewhere around here to do it and check this off everyone’s list?

    • michellelongo says:

      There’s zip lining and a ropes course at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange which is only a few minutes past Montclair. I am trying to decide between that and the ropes course in the Palisades Mall for my birthday. There’s no zip line at the mall though. But the weather is unpredictable in May which makes getting a group together for the Zoo a little harder. I think I actually want to do both so I can keep you in the loop on plans and I would be so excited to hang with you! (literally hang. get it?)

  5. I love your list (the fact that you even made one), and spoiler alert, if you think you’re tired now, get back to me when you’re 50. Oops gotta go, time for my nap.

  6. c2avilez says:

    Oh, my God! I was cracking up. This would be me. I’ve come to realize I’m just more of an idea person. 😉

  7. Meg says:

    OMG, Michelle. I laughed at that entire list — you are so good at writing humor. And I can see myself saying I would do all these things and likewise fail. (My favorite: long-term life insurance. LOL. WTF.) And I’m so fucking glad that you aren’t editing the fuck out of your writing. Yay! Absolutely loved this. (Oh, and I still want to go zip lining too!)

  8. catchats says:

    Loved your comments in reply to the list. They cracked me up. Good for you not living for others so much as you get older. I hear ya about the tired stuff. I thought I was tired back in my thirties with a job and two small kids. Now I’m semiretired with young adult children and I’m still tired but not as stressed as those days. And the pondering your life doesn’t go away. I’m nearly 56 and still regretting and fretting. But I’m enjoying more and living creatively without worrying about others’ opinions so much so that’s quite freeing! Gee, you’ve made me so yappy. Guess I should do my own post on aging, too.

    • michellelongo says:

      I doubt I’ll ever become the type of person who isn’t reflective and constantly analyzing all of her choices, but stressing less and focusing more on living creatively sounds wonderful. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  9. Abby Boid says:

    This made me chuckle. 23 and 24 particularly. I’m 40 next year and yep – I don’t give a fuck!

  10. Beeray says:

    Reduce caffeine dependency, what the fuck for? I’ve just turned 40 and yes, I too give fewer fucks especially when speaking out my mind. Enjoy. 40 is awesome. You’d soon realise you are the only boss of you.

    • michellelongo says:

      It seemed like maybe I wouldn’t need to drink so much coffee to function if I didn’t drink so much coffee. But every time I cut back nothing gets done. :)

  11. Cheney says:

    I love absolutely everything about this post!

    It’s so funny and true, and another “funny” thing is that I’ve been re-writing my Life List for a future post and Give Less Fucks is on the top of my list. :-)

    You rock 40, girl!

  12. Natalie DeYoung says:

    Hey, you already did number 30! Don’t think I forgot.
    This post is actually really inspiring.

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