Turning 40 in 40 Days

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It’s just a number. It doesn’t define you.

That’s what your friends tell you when they are YOUNGER than you. Then when you turn 40 they rub it in by decorating your office with black balloons and dead roses. They send you Hallmark cards with that snarky old lady who quickly reminds you that your boobs are dropping, your bladder is leaking and you’ll soon be on 20 different medications.

When I turned 30, a high school friend and I decided to spend a week traveling through Italy. We were both single, didn’t have kids and more apt to do things on a whim. Our trip was about seeing the sites, drinking the wine and trying to figure out Italian public transportation. Along the way we discovered that you can get sick of Italian food and that not all Diet Pepsi is created the same. I’m pretty sure I drank my weight in wine to help me forget that my 20s were long gone.


I’ll be turning 40 in 40 days and for this decade birthday, instead of dreading it, I’m going to embrace it. For the next 40 days, I’m going to challenge myself to do something new, something different, no matter how slight it may be. Because for me, getting older is all about experiences. I’ve learned that simpler can be better and that I don’t need to be defined by someone else’s standards. Turning 40 is something to celebrate and that’s exactly what I plan to do. Just follow the hashtag #40Before40 on Twitter and see that turning 40 is actually pretty awesome.

40 Things To Do Before Turning 40

  1. Give coffee a chance. A real chance.
  2. Learn how to shoot in manual on my DSLR.
  3. Go to Target and get out of there spending less than $50!
  4. Get in front of the camera instead of always being behind it.
  5. Not check email for 24 hours and live to tell about it.
  6. Hang a picture on my living room wall and leave it up.
  7. Ride my mountain bike down the first hill at Miller’s Meadow.
  8. Go to bed during the week before midnight.
  9. Camp with my daughter in the backyard.
  10. Wear a bathing suit…in public!
  11. Go to the movies by myself and eat the entire tub of popcorn.
  12. Complete a 40 mile bike ride.
  13. Master making sugar cookies.
  14. Clean my car. OK, not exciting but it needs to be done. ๐Ÿ™‚
  15. Mountain bike in Moab, UT.
  16. Volunteer…for anything. Giving back to the community rocks, or so I’ve heard.
  17. Tell the people in my life how much I love them.
  18. Read a book that has nothing to do with social media, leadership or any of that other business bullshit.
  19. Schedule an appointment with a personal trainer and keep it.
  20. Make Baked Alaska.
  21. Beat my fastest 5K time for the year.
  22. Make Julia Child’s coq au vin.
  23. Watch any movie that has won an Oscar for best picture.
  24. Actually print photographs that I’ve taken and frame them.
  25. Eat bacon and eggs for breakfast during the week.
  26. Program a country music station on my car radio.
  27. Get a manicure to prevent biting my nails.
  28. Try a new restaurant, preferably something ethnic.
  29. Attend a Zumba class.
  30. Sew something. Anything.
  31. Use a coupon.
  32. Perform a random act of kindness.
  33. Shoot a gun.
  34. Eat at a buffet in Vegas.
  35. Ride a roller coaster.
  36. Do a headstand for 15 seconds.
  37. Stock my refrigerator with real beer.
  38. Avoid checking Facebook for 24 hours.
  39. Talk on the phone to a friend instead of texting them.
  40. Eat and drink whatever I want on my birthday and not feel guilty!

ย What do you hope to accomplish before your next decade birthday?

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About Sarah

Mom. Blogger. Runner. Hiker. Insomniac. Not necessarily in that order.


  1. Oh wow, what a genius idea, love so much on your list! Good luck and happy upcoming birthday!!

  2. What a great list! 40 wasn’t that hard for me, but turning 45 was! Have fun with your list, and enjoy your birthday!

  3. My friend just turned 40 and has a great attitude about it! I’ll share this with her!

  4. I am just this side of 40 and I have lived to tell the tale. I cannot leave target with under 50$$ of merchandise not can u make cow SU vin. But I aspire to do one of those things!!

  5. Great list. My birthday is in about 3 weeks, I should make a mini bucket list of things to do before then.

  6. Emily T says:

    Love this! I can think of one that you should add, but won’t share here – hee hee. Wish we could do a decade bday celebration again – maybe not this year, but I def want to save up for another Euro vacation. I think you should attempt #20 while visiting home ๐Ÿ™‚

    How many have you crossed off so far?

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