40 Before 40

40 before 40

A new project 

I'm turning 39 in the beginning of August, and I'm not entirely sure how that happened! I've been so busy enjoying life and accomplishing things that the years have flown by. 

I'm in a decent place at the moment. Everything that I set out to accomplish 10 years ago, I've accomplished. I have my own business, I have a successful (and interesting) career, I finished grad school and received an MFA, I moved out of Pennsylvania, I live at the beach, I got myself into better shape than I've been since high school, I've run a bunch of races (including a marathon), and I even got a little more than I planned for with my sweet, spunky 4-year old son.

remember when you wanted everything you currently have

Of course, since I accomplished those things I have a whole new set of goals. Because I'm never finished and life is always evolving. 

But this post isn't about those big goals. I'm working on them, you can be sure of that, but most aren't the type of goals that I'll accomplish in one year. And I've also done a big "number before age" list before. 

This time is different. This time I'm less focused on accomplishment and more on enjoyment (in fact, I've already done most of the things on this list many, many times). This post - and this list - are about the little things. The things not related to my career or money. The things we miss when we're consumed by the busy-ness of the big things. But those little things are often the things that create the biggest memories, right? 

Background photo by melissa Griffin Photography

Background photo by melissa Griffin Photography

This list includes lots of beach activities, art, and family, and nothing about my career, monetary goals, or racing PRs. 40 is a transition, for sure. Time flies. But I'm hoping that some of these goals will help me slow it down, at least for a few moments.

So here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Watch a sunset at the beach with my family
  2. Catch fireflies with my son
  3. Play in the sprinkler (or the rain)
  4. Watch a sea turtle release
  5. Make sand angels
  6. Beachcomb for shells on a Saturday morning
  7. Make art with a sand casting kit from the beachcombing findings
  8. Go kayaking at a lake
  9. Read a book that makes me cry
  10. Read a book that makes me laugh
  11. Read a book that teaches me something new
  12. Make a fluid acrylic painting
  13. Tie-dye pillow cases and t-shirts
  14. Run a race with my son
  15. Make paw print watercolors with my dogs (I did this for Meadow and I'm so glad I have it)
  16. Visit a new-to-me city
  17. Paddle surf in the ocean
  18. Visit a place in the Charleston area I haven't been to yet
  19. Print and hang family pictures on our walls (they aren't meant to be stored on a computer somewhere!)
  20. Play mini golf
  21. Make s'mores over a camp fire
  22. Go on a hayride
  23. Paint pumpkins
  24. Take my dogs to the beach
  25. Take my dogs on vacation
  26. See a play or musical
  27. Make some kind of Christmas craft (like the dinosaur ornaments I started last year and didn't finish)
  28. Bake Christmas cookies with my son
  29. Take my son to see The Nutcracker
  30. Have a backyard glowstick (or sparkler party) with the family
  31. Go to a baseball game
  32. Ride a rollercoaster (or a ferris wheel)
  33. Make friendship bracelets and/or other jewelry with beachcombing finds
  34. Go on a whale watching tour
  35. Crack open "the good wine" for no good reason
  36. Paint my nails (seriously, I haven't painted my finger nails since before B was born)
  37. Conduct a fun science experiment with my son
  38. Go on a waterslide
  39. Play "Clue" and "Monopoly"
  40. Take more pictures with the good camera (my DSLR that replaced my sad, old one) - I have to capture all of these memories, right?

Basically this list is about stepping back from the business of busy-ness, focusing on people over paychecks, and living more, loving more, and worrying less. And, yes, I know this post (and specifically, this paragraph) is filled with clichés, but I'm approaching a milestone birthday. Clichés are allowed, right?

Have you ever made a list before a milestone birthday? What did you include?