If there’s something the past two months have taught me, it’s that I’m very loved. Or at least my words are loved.
When you have a project like 40 Before 40, it inevitably takes on a life of its own. As I trucked through the past 18 months, I felt a tremendous responsibility. Not to you — the family and friends who read these posts, although I certainly didn’t want to let anyone down. But more, I felt a responsibility to myself.
I started something big — a project to prove to myself that life doesn’t end at 40. That new adventures, new people, new sights and tastes and sounds — they always exist as long as you’re willing to embrace them.
So I would have been pretty upset with myself if I’d gotten to July 16 with 26 Before 40. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?
And of course, it was important to me that I do it right. You can do anything and claim it’s new — “I’ve never eaten dinner at 6:32pm on Wednesday, April 20, 2016!” Yeah, ok – that’s true. But not exactly in the spirit of a project that’s about pushing outside a comfort zone.
Anyway: I did it. I turned 40. I have a list of incredible new adventures, some of which I never would have tried if it weren’t for this project (paying someone to slap me with trees falls into that category). And I’m the first to admit, not having an active goal with a deadline has definitely caused me to slack in looking for new things to do.
So yes, to answer the question I am asked the most: there will be a 50 Before 50. I have not given up the blog. I did not turn 40 and stop doing things. I just needed a break from documenting them.
But with that said, I realize I have fans to impress! People to entertain! Ridiculous stories to share! (I’m writing all of this with tongue firmly in cheek.) But seriously, here’s a little taste if what I’ve been up to:
Kentucky and my 40th:
Our trip was amazing. Kentucky is amazing. Everything about this 10 days was bliss: it was relaxing, active, laugh-filled, history-filled, and memorable. Our rental cabin was on a river that was stunning at every hour of the day, and we took full advantage of the private boat launch. We kayaked almost every day, biked, fished, hiked, played mini-golf, visited my family’s ancestral lands, saw my in-laws, and of course, rolled down a hill in a giant plastic ball.
This was the view from our cabin:
My 40th birthday was incredible, and many of you helped make it so. I can’t begin to tell you how special your cards, letters, emails, and gifts made me feel. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Even the sign that greeted me back at home was perfect:
(For those of you who don’t know, this is payback for the sign I helped create 8 years ago for my beloved aunt Amy… who I might add, has now started a birthday embarrassment war that SHE WILL LOSE.)
And the birthday celebrations continued back in NY. My best friend from childhood, Emily, is a summer baby, too, so we spent a silly night in Syracuse celebrating our 4th decade of life.
If a picture is worth 1000 words, then let these explain most of my August to you.
Helping out at the farm:
We’ve been painting my brother and sister-in-law’s new house… and it’s almost done!
And I helped out by working (yes, WORKING — the cute animals are just my bonus) at a permaculture-themed weekend event.
Outdoor summer fun
The demolition derby has become an annual brother-sister tradition.
There have been lot of hikes these past few months, too. And weekly kayaks with my sister-in-law. We gossip far too much to stop and take photos though.
Here’s a photo from the Finger Lakes trail, which runs past our house and is great for an after-work hike if I’ve done nothing but sit behind a desk all day:
And finally, nothing beats summer camping… especially since Scott and I have been trying to go since June and we couldn’t find a weekend that worked.
If we could only squeeze in one trip before the start of fall, I’m glad it was on the banks of a beautiful river on a gorgeous night.
Till next time, friends!