Fun: 40 things to do in your 40th Year

Wedding day Triathlon training

The Big 4-0.

Ordinarily, I get quite embarrassed when it comes to birthdays.  I usually make very little noise about the whole affair.  This year however is a big one, the last one I think I’ll really feel like shouting about: I am going to be 40 year’s old.

Forty, 40, four-tee (writing that felt like I was outing myself at Birthdays Anonymous). Already finding myself quite flustered at having to think how best to spend this monumental occasion, I was quite relieved to find some inspiration from a rather creative friend of mine, who is choosing to do 40 things for her 40th year in celebration. So of course I have stolen her wonderful idea and have endeavoured to create my own list, which I thought would be good to share.

This was surprisingly cathartic to create. It’s actually really good to have a physical list of all the fancies, dreams and aspirations you’ve had along the way. It’s so very easy to lose sight of these and actually provides focus on planning how you might actually achieve them. It feels quite self-indulgent, but there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s just a list! I was thinking of things to do, questioning whether I had included Dan, or Teddie in enough of them but actually there is no harm in taking a moment to think about what it is you would really like.

So here, in no particular order is a list of ideas that I will endeavour to make happen, and that may inspire you:

  1. Do the splits: Perhaps not top of everyones list, but choosing to take up any activity that helps to maintain/increase mobility is great idea at 40. This particular one is related to a hobby of mine – aerial hoop.  In October of this year there is a showcase that I have avoided so far on a yearly basis until this year, when I shall participate and I shall do the splits like all of my 20 something counterparts!
  2. Sing somewhere live: I don’t think I’m alone here. I think we all have a little inner diva in us, just waiting for their moment. I always thought that I would be able to torture my future (captive) wedding guests, however this does not look like a possibility until 2018+ so it might have to be Karaoke in front of an equally captive pub audience.
  3. Plan a trip to South America: The land of music, passion, and good food. I say plan for this one, as its probably a lot to throw in to a years celebrations, but good to plan and perhaps pay a deposit.
  4. Have lunch or dinner in a fancy restaurant: I must confess I was angling for a trip to The Fat Duck, but my other half surprised me with a trip to Noma in Denmark earlier this year, to kick off the 40th year celebrations. It was bizarre, lots of fun, and certainly memorable, although we were still hungry after out 16 courses!
  5. Learn to DJ (and other midlife crisis stuff). I love dancing but struggle to find a place that plays my perfect early 90’s sound track. Time to take matters into my own hands..
  6. Launch own business: 40 is the age at which you will be at your most confident, and still in good physical and mental shape, so make the most, and make it happen. This year I’m determined to conquer my own self-doubt and go for it.
  7. Use experience to help others/raise money for charity: Volunteer, mentor, do a sponsored event, what ever works and has meaning for you. I am hoping to start my own small fund to help the families of sick children following our experiences in hospital with Teddie over the years.
  8. Get married: Ok so this is a more personal one. I’ve been engaged for 6 years, but keep going on holiday with the wedding budget….
  9. Start that first book: Get off social media, and tell your story. Technically I have written first page, so just need to write the rest.
  10. Write 40 blogs: I’m 9 down, 31 to go….
  11. Learn to play an instrument: Playing an instrument can improve cognitive ability, memory and reduce stress. Time to dig that recorder out of the attic…
  12. Learn a new language: It’s not only useful, learning a language is interesting, social and helps the grey matter. I have just started learning Mandarin, so far, so so hard.
  13. Spend Christmas in the sun: Opt out this year. Say no to presents, giving and receiving. Use the cash you would have spent on a holiday, and go find some sun.
  14. Make those family videos: Time slips by so quickly and those well intended family videos remain a selection of clips in your iMovie library, so go get creative.
  15. Have a go at archery: No real reason, I just like the whole Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) vibe.
  16. Start Vlog: Even if no one ever watches, you have a virtual video library of yourself in your prime. So far, I have practised and cringed at myself  many times, just need to crack on with this one.
  17. Give up sugar: Sleep better, age more slowly, reduce risk of a plethora of nasty diseases. Sugar is my nemesis,  the evil over lord of my life. I am addicted, but determined to give up.
  18. Have a party: I haven’t had a party in my adult years. I think it’s about time.
  19. Learn how to make soup:  I literally have no clue, and love soup so it’s a win-win really.
  20. Walk the great wall of China (or any global wonder). I am mysteriously drawn to China, and  is a great opportunity to practice the Mandarin (see learn a new language).
  21. Go to LA: Take a slow drive from San Francisco to San Diego. It seems so far away, yet financially is not so different to a week in Europe given the current Euro value.
  22. See the northern lights: Remind yourself of the magnificence of mother nature: You can actually see them in parts of Scotland, but Iceland would be a good excuse for travel.
  23. Learn how to actually use a camera. I am guessing that I am not the only one with a fancy camera and no idea how to use it? Go book that course and channel your inner David Bailey.
  24. Revisit a youthful happy place. I worked a season or two in a ski resort almost 10 years ago. It was great fun, and would be good to go back with the family.
  25. Try a triathlon (or other competitive race): Have done a 10km, half Marathon, and full marathon, so time for a triathlon although the thought of swimming in open water above fishy monsters terrifies me, and I am not sure that my lady/city bike will do, but will pursue regardless.
  26. Take kids on a trip to wherever their hearts desire: Slightly risky, but if possible, good to indulge their wondering minds once in a while. Fortunately my daughter’s repertoire is quite small at this point, so we are fairly safe from a budget perspective.
  27. Be an extra on TV or Film: One to tell the grandkids. Have done this during my student years, but would love to have another go now more over my stifling shyness.
  28. Apply to be on a TV game show (and win!): You get to have your 5 minutes and maybe win some cash. Yes literally a win, win. See BBC, ITV, and Channel 4.
  29. Join a yacht racing crew: No experience required, just be willing to roll up your sleeves and have a go. I have heard that the after parties at Cowes aren’t too bad either.
  30. Go to Stonehenge for the summer solstice: Time to get spiritual and celebrate the longest day of summer. Heading down on June 20th (weather permitting).

  31. Organise family photo shoot (before we get too old): Already feeling too old but let’s do it anyway.
  32. Stop being afraid/ start believing in yourself : Some have a much easier time with this than others. I have started reading the odd self-help book. Will stop procrastinating this year (sometime, maybe).
  33. Become a chess master: OK so maybe just having a fluid game would be a start. Would like to teach Teddie this year so that she can become an actual grand master.
  34. Make a birthday cake: Nothing beats a homemade cake, and it’s a wonderful gift to give. To this point I have been an expert at commissioning cakes, now time to try baking my own.
  35. Turn off social media: Time to regain back life lost down social media rabbit holes.
  36. Go to Wimbledon: A very British institution. I’m actually not that into watching tennis but any excuse for a day of Champagne, strawberries and the odd celeb spot will do.
  37. Explore the Lake District:  Such a beautiful place, and so near that there is no excuse.I have been there once for a wedding and promised myself that I would return.
  38. Get a make-over: Most of us stick with the same style we settled on in our 20’s. I’ve actually had the same make-up style since I was about 14, so think It might be a good excuse to try something new.
  39. Make a move: A house move. a job move, even a desk a work move or just rearrange your bedroom. Disrupt your status quo, break your routine and push yourself out of that comfort zone. No need to broadcast it, just do it.
  40. Win the lottery: To pay for all of the above.

So there you have it, a pretty busy year ahead. It would be great to hear more ideas, and tales of wonderful years spent, so please share them so I can add to ‘the list’ (full credit given). And of course. please feel free to share with any friends who have the big celebration looming. or are looking for inspiration for someone else.

Happy planning!


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