39 things to do before I turn 40

Today is my birthday, my 39th birthday to be exact. That means I have exactly 365 days before I turn 40.

I’ll admit that makes a part of me uneasy. Forty has always seemed so…old. But it’s not really, not at all, though shaking that mentality is difficult.

I’ve got a year to get “okay” with it. And I’m counting on all my friends who’ve gone before me. They’ve told me their secret — that you stop caring what other people think, that you start a “live and let live” period of your life. THAT I am looking forward to. Unfortunately, I have spent most of my life as a people pleaser. It’s okay to a degree but it is often to my own detriment. I’m ready to let that go.

So what am I going to do in my final year of my thirties? I’m not entirely sure, so I made a list. It’s not a strict list. I have no interest in stressing myself out trying to cram all sorts of craziness into my life. Nothing happens if I don’t complete it. It’s things I’d like to do, things I should do, things that would be a good use of my time (ahem, see word of the year ).

Things to Do Before I Turn 40

Here goes:

1) See Hamilton on Broadway. (BA HA HA, yes, I know that is a pipe dream.)

2) See Waitress on Broadway. (See, I can be a little more realistic.)

3) See all the appropriate doctors (general practitioner, dermatologist, dentist, etc.)

4) Read at least 20 books.

5) Get in the ocean at least twice.

6) (Re)Learn some Spanish.

7) Have a spa day with some girlfriends. (I have always wanted to do this!)

8) Splurge on a meal with fancy wine.

9) Try a food I’ve never tried before.

10) Donate blood.

11) Document the year with LOTS of photos.

12) PRINT those photos.

13) Get in shape.

14) Find a local organization to volunteer with.

15) Get a will (I say this every year. It is unacceptable that we don’t have one.)

16) Build up to 15 regulation push-ups.

17) Have a girl’s weekend with friends.

18) Spend a weekend alone with my husband.

19) Find an outlet for my singing.

20) Tell people how I feel about them (positive affirmations).

21) Take a family vacation…just the four of us.

22) Learn to cook a “signature” dish.

23) Learn to fold a fitted sheet properly (just for shits and giggles).

24) Start practicing yoga again.

25) Archive this blog (ie. save all the posts that matter!)

26) Try a new lipstick color.

27) Clean out my closet. (There are plenty of things that don’t need to come into my 40s with me.)

28) Sing karaoke.

29) Learn more about foreign affairs.

30) Watch GONE WITH THE WIND. (No, I’ve never seen it.)

31) Learn to tinker on the piano.

32) Learn to sew a basic stitch (I should be able to sew a small hole in a teddy bear, for goodness sakes!)

33) Buy a bikini…and wear it! (Again, just for shits and giggles. And this is totally reliant on the getting in shape thing.)

34) Create more video – FB Live, IG Live, YouTube.

35) Buy a “good” (read: expensive) pair of shoes, just to see if there really is a difference.

36) Spend a day entirely alone AND offline.

37) Learn to let the past be in the past.

38) Do iFly with my husband.

39) Write a letter to myself to read when I turn 50.


What would YOU recommend I do this year?


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  1. says

    Happy birthday, sounds like you have a very fun year coming up!

    When I turned 40 (four years ago) I had a mini nervous breakdown that I never would have predicted, since I generally don’t care about that sort of thing. But I spent the few days leading up to my birthday in bed doing nothing, rallying only to go to a birthday lunch with some friends and dinner with my family. And then, as soon as the day was over, I was fine! It was the weirdest thing ever.

    Maybe if I’d given myself a year to consciously work up to it it would have gone better.

  2. Melanie says

    I’m with Andrea! I own Gone With the Wind — I can meet you in a place with a nice restaurant, a suite with a DVD player (or an HDMI hookup), and a spa. Wait I think I just suggested we go to wine country. Let’s do that.

  3. says

    Happy birthday, lovely friend – love the list. I did a number of these before I turn 40….but the ones I recommend the MOST – spending time alone and finding time to get away with girlfriends. The older I get, the more I value my own ‘gut’ and my desire to nurture my relationships. I PROMISE 40’s are good. I’e grown so much and feel mentally and heart stronger than ever before.


  4. says

    Happy Birthday! I turn 40 this year, so I have far less time. But I will also give blood, read books, take a spa day (with the GC I got for Christmas), sing karaoke LOUDLY, take a weekend with my husband (probably for our 15th wedding anniversary) and some other stuff too! Let’s hold each other accountable. I’ve got until July 30th!

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