:: 41 x 41 ::

It has already been one week since I turned 40. Gah!

My productivity pity party showed up again yesterday afternoon as I started running down the mental list of the things I’ve not accomplished as I settle into this midlife state. I’m talking big things as opposed to the small tasks on my daily to-do list. Unpack from my trip, for example. I’ve been home for four days and my bag is still in front of my closet save for a pair of workout pants and socks I’ve taken out. I’ve also neglected to clean the bathroom or write a thank you note to dear friends who sent me a sweet birthday gift but they’ll get done eventually.

What I’m referring to is the unfinished manuscript that is a good eight chapters from completion. The half dozen or so articles that I’ve started with the intention of submitting to publications that haven’t been touched in months. The books I excitedly purchased and couldn’t wait to dive into that remain unread and are now covered in a nice layer of dust on my nightstand.

As if this weren’t bad enough, out of the blue I remembered my 40 by 40; a list of 40 things that I had hoped to accomplish or do before I turned 40. First of all, I never wrote down 40 items. I only made it to 19. (I believe there was another version of this list but I’ve lost track of it if there ever was.) Of those 19, I only completed five. Granted, a couple of them were a bit deal, like running the Boston Marathon. A handful of them are things that I no longer desire while others are mainstays; write a book, get published, etc. I wrote the list in June of 2013.

The moral of the story is that in more than four years, I only accomplished five out of 19 goals. It’s painful to admit that.

However, I feel some sort of resolve to try again. This time, giving myself only one year to accomplish 41 things. As it were, given that I’m already a week in, I’ve 51 weeks to get some shit done!

As of right now, my list is still only partially filled in but here are a few examples of what it includes:

  • Finish my book (duh)
  • Submit said book to publishers (double duh)
  • Get published in a magazine (print or online)
  • Backpack to Havasupai Falls
  • Visit Joshua Tree National Park
  • Explore Ojai
  • Visit Zion National Park
  • Hike to Angels Landing
  • Brew my own kombucha
  • Walk on my hands for at least 6 feet
  • Read/finish at least a dozen books
  • Continue to work to grow my business so my income is consistent at the rate I desire
  • Manage social media content for a small film/production
  • Invest in a good camera and put it to good use
  • Spend an afternoon in Venice and walk the canals
  • Go to Moon Juice
  • Increase the number of unbroken pull-ups I can do each month (I’m currently at one. Ha!)
  • Spend the holidays with family and friends

(I will note that one of my life goals is to visit all of the National Parks. I’ve been fortunate to visit a good handful of them already but have a long way to go before I can say I’ve been to all 59 of them.)

There are still plenty of blank spaces which I’m sure will fill in the coming weeks. Maybe even months. I will also make sure that I find a balance between some of the loftier goals with easy to accomplish ones, like visit such and such restaurant. For now, I’m trying to shake off the disappointment and refocus my energy so that I can move forward instead of remaining stuck in this paralyzing rut I’ve found myself in. It’s also nice to know that at the end of the year if I don’t accomplish everything I set out to, I can put them on my list next year.


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