Forty by Forty: A Birthday Quest
The curse of a dormant blog is that I frequently get hacked and spend a night drinking a bottle of wine trying to rid the blog of malware (I’m sure I’ve wiped out important technical components of the site because I have no idea what I’m doing). But more disappointing is when I don’t write on a regular basis, all motivation goes out the window and I soon realize it’s been more than a year since I’ve written anything. For a while I blamed the fact we hadn’t traveled abroad for two years or that our lives weren’t as interesting anymore. Since my last post in April 2015 though, we’ve moved from California to Seattle and now to Portland, Oregon. We’ve gotten two more passport stamps in Iceland and Denmark and we’ve driven across the country twice. No excuses.
I’m back with a new mission. We won’t be traveling around the world anytime (soon), but as someone driven by to-do lists and spreadsheet trackers, I’ve got a new quest to share and hold myself accountable to making it happen. And no surprise, it involves a bit of travel. I turn 40 in October 2017 and today marks exactly 15 months to the big day. I love celebrating my birthday so to commemorate four decades of a great life, I’m starting a list of 40 things I want to do before turning 40. The list has been generated by things I’ve always wanted to do, suggestions from friends and random things I’ve come across in articles or books. Some are serious, others are silly and many are going to require significant investments of time, energy and in some cases money (sorry, Dave).
Without further ado, here is my #40by40 list:
1) ______________________ (this one is blank because I want your help. If you have ideas, throw them in the comments!)
2) Learn how to fix my bike by taking a bicycle repair class
3) Take a surfing lesson
4) Spend a weekend on a houseboat
5) Do a multi-day snow shoe hike from cabin to cabin
6) Stay a night in a lookout tower
7) Go horseback riding on the beach
8) Take a multi-day train journey
9) Stand on the 4 corners
Go to Banff National Park – completed with a trip in July 2016
11) Have a destination chosen for me by other people or show up at the airport and buy a ticket that day
12) Take a Yoga Teacher Training course
13) Learn a language for a purpose
14) Give a large sum of money to a stranger
15) Do a digital detox for two weeks
16) Build something
17) Learn to cook Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon
18) Ferment or can something
19) Make something I can wear
20) Finally take real guitar lessons and learn at least one song well
21) Take a wilderness outdoor/first aid class
22) Do a keg stand (plenty of people have already offered to help with this one)
23) Learn how to brew beer
24) Go on a backpacking camping trip
25) Drive a race car
26) Milk a cow
27) Be an extra in a movie or TV show
28) Watch a roller derby match
29) Take a Bollywood dance class
30) Have a bonfire party on the beach
See a show on Broadway – completed June 2016 by seeing “Beautiful” in NYC
32) Learn how to make roli-poli (something my grandmother always made for us that no one in the family has been able to replicate)
33) Do a century (100-mile) bike ride
34) Learn a martial art (and/or break a board)
35) Be able to do a head or handstand in yoga
36) Summit a mountain
37) Swim across a lake
Walk the 30-mile Wildwood Trail in Portland in one day – completed August 2016
39) Take a rock climbing class
40) Celebrate my 40th birthday in Africa!
In New York City a few weeks ago, I was able to cross #31 off the list by seeing “Beautiful” on Broadway with my cousin Gretchen and am headed to Banff National Park (#10) in a few weeks.
Fifteen months to cross off 39 more things. I’m certainly not the first to try something like this, but I can use all the encouragement and help you can provide. In a time of madness and chaos in our world, I’m ready to focus on something fun that I can do with my friends and family over the next year.
You can follow along here on the blog or on Instagram where I’ll be posting in real-time from here on out.