40 Before 40: a journey into the unknown

I envy people with bucket lists. (For anyone wondering, that’s a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.”)

I envy people with bucket lists because I love to cross things off of lists. I am a do-er. I like to get stuff done. I am the kind of person who does something, and then adds it to a to-do list, just so I can cross it off.

So here’s the obvious question: why don’t I have a bucket list?

The answer is simple: I have absolutely no idea what to put on it.

I have already done so many of the things that I think people put on bucket lists. I have gone sky-diving and hot air ballooning. I am certified for scuba diving. I lived abroad. I have felt true love. I completed triathlons. I hiked a 14,000 foot mountain. I swam with sting rays. I traveled to many amazing places — too many to list here. I ate grits with Bill Clinton.

In 27 months, I turn 40. (I know. I have several family members who just read that and gasped.) I have a crappy knee and I take a daily vitamin to keep my macular degeneration from progressing. I’ve said goodbye to friends and family who passed away as a result of both disease and accidents. I no longer feel invincible, like I did in my 20s.

My mortality is real, and while it scares me a little, it’s also a great source of motivation. Our time on this precious planet is limited, and that inspires me to embrace it.

But all of that doesn’t help put items on a bucket list.

So I have decided to start a bucket list the only way I know how– I’m going to do something and then add it to the list so I can cross it off.

My goal is to do 40 bucket-list-worthy items by the time I turn 40.

Is this backwards? I don’t know, and I don’t care. This way of doing things fits with my lifestyle. While I do like planning some things, like travel, I enjoy seizing life’s little moments even more. (Case in point: I signed up for a 10-week tap dancing class after a 3-minute conversation with a friend. I spent more time trying to convince another friend to join us than I did thinking about whether or not it would be something *I* would enjoy.)

It’s my bucket-list, right? So I get to make the rules.

I arrived at this idea earlier this week – and as it’s settled in, I’ve gotten more excited about it, mostly because I have absolutely no idea where this will take me. But what I do know is this: in just 27 short months, I’ll have done 40 new things.

I can’t think of a more awesome way to start a new decade.

3 responses to this post.

  1. […] « 40 Before 40: a journey into the unknown […]


  2. […] was proud of myself for doing it — and I think I owe that to this backwards “40 Before 40″ bucket list thing. It’s inspiring me in exactly the way I had hoped — to try new things on a more […]


  3. […] also have 27 more new things to do before I turn 40… in 19 short […]


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