forty before forty one

Yesterday was my fortieth birthday. Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes!

I’ve been struggling (a lot!!) with the idea of forty. It’s just a number but there are so many things I wanted to do before forty. I achieved many of them but there are still few big ones. Over the last few days I have found some peace (most of the time). I’ve started to look at it like the B side of an LP. The songs are quieter and deeper, less flashy but more solid and self assured. I’m getting used to the fact that I will never be a young hipster (not that I ever was!) and I’m longing for the sophistication and grace that comes with age. I hope I can find it. These things don’t come easy to me.

A few months ago I read this post from the ever inspiring Abby Powell and it got me thinking about where I want to be in another year from now. This last year has been so big and full, so heart breaking and so wonderful. I’ve thought a lot about what I want to be doing and what is actually achievable. And I have always been fond of lists and structure, so here is my list of forty things to do before I’m forty one.

  1. take swimming lessons
  2. make a quilt for my bed
  3. paint the outside of the house
  4. take a photography class
  5. make pickles and preserve tomatoes
  6. meditate when life gets tricky
  7. go for a family bike ride
  8. learn to crochet
  9. keep a sketch book
  10. paint a water colour
  11. dance in front of other people
  12. be gentle with myself when I make mistakes
  13. spend quality one on one time with every family member every day
  14. keep up fitness routine (maybe get a personal trainer?)
  15. wear clothes that flatter my body right now
  16. write morning pages every day
  17. figure out my next career
  18. improve my French
  19. eat more veggies
  20. live within our means
  21. work on deepening my friendships
  22. find a mentor
  23. do yoga every week
  24. organize my digital photographs and print and frame the good ones
  25. focus on the positive
  26. take fewer and better photographs
  27. get a family photo done
  28. listen better
  29. play a little everyday
  30. update the boys’ photo albums
  31. set up a printing area in the studio
  32. recharge with a few unstructured weekends on my own
  33. make a pair of well fitting pants
  34. find a flattering bathing suit
  35. practice being assertive
  36. avoid those evening snacks!
  37. take ukulele lessons
  38. be present in each the moment
  39. accept things as they are right now
  40. watch less tv!
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3 responses to “forty before forty one

  1. I love your list, Amanda! It’s inspired me to write one of my own – right now. Happy fabulous 40th birthday – enjoy the beauty of the B side :)

  2. happy birthday and enjoy forty. despite a lot of searching and internal angst i’m emerging from my forties as the person i am meant to be, stronger, wiser and more self-reliant.
    life does change

  3. What a great list. At 42, I think I don’t worry about my age, but most things on this list… It inspires me to make a list, but the deadline would be hazy.
    When you are back in town, I’d love to have a coffee some time, when you have time. Life all goes so quickly. Too quickly.

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