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Forty. It’s nothing to dread. It means we’re funky, spunky, and fabulous! We should, however, make some goals we can accomplish before the big FOUR-OH gets here. Things don’t get accomplished without goals, and before we let life get all muddy and in the way, there are some things we can achieve before … you know … life happens.
To keep us moving forward I give you …
FORTY THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE YOU TURN FORTY.
Ride a horse – There is something about having an animal in control of your life. Don’t get me wrong, I know you hold the reigns, but it is ultimately the animal that decides your fate. So, ride. Ride with the wind in your hair!
Own a dog or cat – You may already own one, but if you don’t, research the animal you want, go to your local shelter, and get one! There’s nothing like the unconditional love of a pet. Just remember, this love works both ways. Treat your new best friend like the sweet thing they are.
Ride a train – Admittedly, I have not done this as of yet. It is on my bucket list! People say there is nothing that compares to riding on a train, and watching the landscape move swiftly by. My bucket list includes riding the Alaskan rail system, in one of the dome cars, feeling like I’m in the heart of the wilderness.
Go to Disney world – Be a kid! Feel the fantasy, the magic, the wonder you were able to experience as a kid. Let yourself just go with it, and immerse yourself in The World.
Learn to cook – You don’t have to be a four-star chef. Just get good at a few recipes. Have something you can pull out when company comes to visit. Get your kids involved, and just have fun.
Go to a rock concert – There is nothing like being swept up in the experience of a live rock concert. Pick a band you love, and go for it.
Go to a symphony – Let the live music wash over you. Enjoy it for what it is, for its complexity, for its genius.
Visit a retirement home – Visit the residents. Talk with them. You will make their day, and you may just have a perspective change. They are a wealth of knowledge. Remember, they were once forty as well.
Go Christmas caroling – Or something else out of your comfort zone. Do something purely for enjoyment, and you just might bring someone else joy as well.
Read To Kill a Mockingbird – This is one of my favorite modern classics. There is something very fulfilling about having read a part of history. FYI: you might need tissue to catch the tears.
Go take pictures of natural scenery – Just experience nature. Be a part of the majesty. Catalog your experience and the beauty on film.
Do that internship you’ve wanted to do – For me, it was the Disney College Program I let slip away. Grab what you want to do by the horns, and don’t let it get away. Don’t live with regret.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen – It is humbling, it is rewarding, it will change you. Yes, you will be helping people, but you will be changed too.
Take a road trip to as many states as you can – Get familiar with the country you live in. Roll down those windows, and let your hair blow in the wind. It’s a beautiful world out there.
Hold a snake – Or do something else that terrifies you. You can defeate your fears, if only for a moment.
Swim with dolphins – The sea. Wild animals. Swimming with them. What a rush! You have to try it at least once.
Try eating vegetarian food for a week – Gross, you may think. Just try it! You may find something you like, and it’s just one week out of your whole life.
Go to a movie by yourself – There is something freeing about enjoying something on such a grand scale all on your own.
Write letters to your living Grandparents They will cherish the letters. Trust me on this one.
Forgive your parents/siblings – Life is too short to live it angry or upset.
Visit the ocean – It’s the ocean. It is so much more magnificently bigger than us. Close your eyes. Take in the sounds, the smell, the breeze.
Go camping – Not my favorite, but everyone needs to try it at least once. Live the rustic life. Commune with nature.
Dress out of your comfort zone – For me, that’s a dress and heels. For you, that might be shorts and a t-shirt. Go out, just once, out of your comfort zone.
Watch Schindler’s List – At this point, this film is old, but it is a stunning work of cinema magic, and it’s an important part of history.
Make a short documentary about yourself It’s called a Personal Narrative, and it’s a little piece of your history in this world. You really don’t need fancy equipment!! Use your Camcorder (Do those still exist?) or even your cell phone.
Sit down with an elderly family member, and REALLY listen to their story – You can learn a lot from the elderly. They’ve already experienced the life you are trying to live.
Run/walk a 5K – You may be like me, and hate running for exercise (or sweat in general). I have done this, however, and it gives such a feeling of accomplishment.
Babysit for a friend so they can go out – They will love you! Don’t expect anything in return, but if they reciprocate, BONUS!
Speak in front of a crowd – Does this scare you to death? Good. Everyone needs to face this at least once. Grab that confidence, and don’t let go.
Travel overseas – Pick a place and go. Don’t let life stand in your way. There are so many cultures and places to experience besides your own.
Have a best friend – Have a REAL friend. One that you can confide in, trust, and be yourself with. Have somebody that is “your person.”
Make cookies from scratch – Do something from start to finish with no shortcuts. Do it longhand. You will love yourself for it.
Walk barefoot in the sand – Feel the softness of the sand between your toes and under your feet.
Ride a gondola up mountain – This is scary, beautiful, and something you should experience at least once.
Dance like you don’t care – Free yourself!! Let the life force flow from your feet, to your core, and out your fingertips.
Sing karaoke – You know you want to. Let yourself go, and just do it!
Volunteer at a Hospice home – Help out, and do what needs to be done. Just be there for the residents and the families in their time of need. Talk about fulfilling!
Keep a journal – This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. It can be a few words a day. It can be doodles. It can be lists. Not only is this extremely therapeutic, you will enjoy looking back at this in the years to come.
Walk in the rain – Let it wash over you. Don’t run from it, revel in it.
Pay it forward – Simple as that. Be kind. Be generous. Be giving.
To be fair, this is MY list. I love to share things, though! Let us know in the comments what you would add or change on the list.