September 15, 2019

An Update on my 40 Goals by 40 Years Old List (Part 2 of 2)

This is Part 2 of 2. I'm starting with the same intro as the first post, in case you read this and not the first part. Here is Part 1

A little over a year ago, at the ripe old age of 36, I decided to write a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish by the time I'm 40. And naturally, choosing 40 goals seemed appropriate.

At the time, I had nearly four whole years to check them off, and it seemed like it would be no problem at all. Some of the goals are things that I have to work on for a long period of time and others are just a "one-off"--something that I do once and it's done.

Lately, I've been working more toward the goals that are going to take a while, because I now only have two and a half years until I'm 40. WHAT.

Now, I did not say that these are very meaningful goals--some of them are silly and some of them I just wrote on a whim. Some are very important to me. (When you have to come up with 40 goals, you lower your standards, let's face it.)

So, here is my original list. I've crossed off the ones that are completed:
  1. Watch all of Tom Hanks' movies
  2. Read 40 books
  3. Pay off debt (including car and house)
  4. Visit the 48 contiguous United States
  5. Read the Bible cover to cover
  6. Get back to goal weight (133)
  7. Go to a concert (I've never been to one!)
  8. Learn a new skill
  9. Watch Star Wars with Jerry
  10. Handwrite a letter to each of 10 friends
  11. Write letters to Noah and Eli
  12. Watch a documentary to understand something I don't know much about
  13. See a movie at a drive-in movie theater
  14. Complete a saved project on Pinterest
  15. Have my dad teach me to change the oil in my car
  16. Knit something
  17. Crochet something
  18. Leave a very large tip for a server having a bad day
  19. Create a vision board
  20. Build a bat house
  21. Write Jerry a love letter
  22. Read a classic novel
  23. Cook a recipe with ingredients I've never heard of
  24. Make a time capsule with the family
  25. Go fruit picking
  26. Attend a murder mystery dinner
  27. Take a class of any sort
  28. Take each of the kids on a "date"--just the two of us
  29. Do an "Escape the Room" challenge
  30. Try Thai food
  31. Read a book out loud with the family
  32. Grow a vegetable or herb
  33. Learn about (and start) and investment account
  34. Go on a road trip
  35. Go camping
  36. Go to a state fair
  37. Develop one life-changing habit
  38. Commit to a 30-day challenge
  39. Travel abroad
  40. See an orca in its natural habitat

For the update on the first 15 goals, you can read Part 1 of these two posts. Here is the update on goals 16-40...

#16. Knit something

I haven't been knitting or crocheting much. I do have a hat that I started knitting about eight years ago, so maybe I'll finally finish that! (It's made with sock yarn and done on tiny needles, so it is taking forever. Also, I only work on it about once a year, haha.

knitting a hat

#17. Crochet something

I've made a few simple things. The most useful are these dish scrubbers that I started making years ago. When we redecorated, I wanted new ones to match the kitchen, so I ditched the old ones and made these instead. I need to make a few more.

crocheted dish scrubber

I also crocheted this Swiffer cover for my friend Emily...

swiffer cover

#18. Leave a very large tip for a server having a bad day

I've been waiting for a good opportunity to present itself for this one. I've left good tips here and there (even a couple of 100% tips) but those were on smaller tabs. When I say "large", I mean that I want it to be memorably large. And when the server really looks like he or she needs it.

bullet journal page

#19. Create a vision board

I have attempted this SO many times I've lost count. I think that I'm just being too perfectionist about it. I need to just start slapping some things on a poster board and stop worrying about making it perfect.

bullet journal page

#20. Build a bat house

I printed off the plans for this, and I'm excited to make it. I thought it would be rather small and cheap, but the plans that I printed are going to be more costly than I anticipated. I will do this soon, though. I'm looking forward to it!

bullet journal page

#21. Write Jerry a love letter

I can't remember the circumstances around this, but it wasn't that long ago. I handwrote a letter to Jerry telling him all the things he does that I am grateful for and why I love him. 

bullet journal page

#22. Read a classic novel

I read The Catcher in the Rye, and didn't love it. You can read my thoughts on this post. 

bullet journal page

#23. Cook a recipe with ingredients I've never heard of

I haven't done this yet, either. I'll need to scour Pinterest and find something appropriate.

#24. Make a time capsule with the family

This is something the whole family will have to set aside time for. We need time to think about what to bury and gather it all together. Also, we need to pick a good location. 

bullet journal page

#25. Go fruit picking

In May 2018, I went strawberry picking with my friend Emily. We had so much fun! We picked a ton of strawberries and then came to my house and made homemade jam and finished off with homemade strawberry margaritas. 

bullet journal page

strawberry picking

#26. Attend a murder mystery dinner

I know what one I want to go to (it takes place on a train). I'd like to go with another couple, and since it's pretty expensive, we may have a hard time finding someone to go with us. But we'll do it.

#27. Take a class of any sort

Haven't done this one yet, either. I'm not even sure what type of class I'd want to take. 

#28. Take each of the kids on a "date"--just the two of us

While I've gone out with the kids here and there, I haven't set aside time for a real "date" with them--to plan it out in advance, dress nicely, and spend some time together.

#29. Do an "Escape the Room" challenge

I did this in Kansas City with my girlfriends (Andrea, Caitlin, and Bonnie) and we had SO MUCH FUN. It was a huge rush! We finished in 59:59, with just one second to spare!

Escape Room in Kansas City

#30. Try Thai food

One day. Still haven't had the opportunity present itself.

#31. Read a book out loud with the family

My kids are SO not going to be excited about this, but hopefully they will secretly like it. Or, at least they'll be able to make fun of it when they are older. ("Remember when mom made us all sit down and read a book out loud together?" with an eye roll).

#32. Grow a vegetable or herb

I'm horrible at growing anything (just look at my bare fruit trees), but I think that next year I'll try a small raised garden with just a couple of things in it--maybe some bell peppers, or tomatoes and basil. 

#33. Learn about (and start) and investment account

I have every intention of doing this, and it's just one of those things that keeps getting put on the back burner. I need to make an appointment with our tax guy (who is also a financial advisor) to see what he thinks we should do. (I believe he and his wife read my blog, so hi guys!)

#34. Go on a road trip

I will definitely have to do this in order to get to all the states that I need to hit up. I will probably do this one down south (Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas). Time is running out! I need to plan this out.

#35. Go camping

I am NOT a camper. I hate bugs and not having a real shower and comfy bed. But, I want to have an authentic camping experience with the kids for memories. It'll probably only be for one night. Or maybe two ;)  Here is a picture from camping with my friend Shannon when I was a young teen. This was after my family went "fancy" and got a camper instead of this huge, heavy canvas tent that we used to use!

camping when I was a young teen

#36. Go to a state fair

I will have to look this up--I don't know anything about state fairs. The only one I had the opportunity to go to was in Minnesota when I was visiting my brother, but I was outvoted, haha. 

#37. Develop one life-changing habit
I'm not sure if this really "counts", because it was mainly a one-year challenge and I didn't intend for it to be a lifetime habit. But quitting drinking definitely feels like a life-changing habit. Even if I decide to drink again after the year is up, giving it up for this long has changed my life for sure.

Reading the book "Unwasted"

#38. Commit to a 30-day challenge

I'm always committing, but never following through. I will mark this complete when I follow through 100% on a challenge. 

#39. Travel abroad

This may not happen. I would have to do a lot of traveling in the next couple of years in order to get in all the places I plan on going. I will try to make it work out, but I'm not counting on it.

#40. See an orca in its natural habitat

When I go out to the Pacific Northwest again, I'm going to make it a point to go up to Seattle and go on a whale tour. The school bully in elementary school called me "Shamu" (the killer whale from Sea World) and of course it was mean back then. But I have since come to love orcas and they make me feel happy and not sad; it would be awesome to see one in the ocean.

This is when I was given the nickname "Shamu" by a mean boy named Richard. I don't remember disliking how I looked until he brought it to my attention. Interestingly, he apologized when I was 18 years old and a cashier at a grocery store. He came through my line, and I felt like I was choking. I was so nervous. And then he did the completely unexpected... he said something like, "I know that I was really mean to you when we were kids, and I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said the things I did."

It was then that my thoughts on orcas changed :)  Even bullies can change.

Fourth grade school photo

Please don't turn that horrible picture of me into a meme, hahahaha!

Anyway, here it is! A year and a half into my 40 Goals by 40 Years Old List, and I'm pretty happy with where I'm at. I've been doing the things that will take a while (like watching the Tom Hanks films, reading books, and reading the Bible). It's the travel ones that will be tough!


  1. For #12 I highly recommend the documentary "The Biggest Little Farm" - it was very inspirational, and it will make you want to complete #32!

  2. You inspire me to make my own list. You are such a cool, accomplished and interesting person!

  3. Travel abroad? Didn't you go to Punta Cana a few years ago?

  4. Sounds like you're moving right along! This really is an impressive list of goals! If you road trip towards the west next August and want to make a pit stop in Wisconsin, I would definitely take you to the state fair! It's a blast! ;)

  5. I love your list and all the thought you put into it! First off - that is not a horrible picture of you! You're a little girl and that bully probably had a crush on you and couldn't express himself nicely! I'm impressed that he apologized - obviously his own behavior and you made an impression on him. Now, I agree with Amanda - come to the Wisconsin State Fair. Even if you're not road-tripping out west, you could visit your sister in Rockford and go to Milwaukee for the day and go to the Fair! (August 6-16, 2020). Your Southern trip could be a nice circle - head to GulfShores, AL, then go along the coast to New Orleans, into Texas, up to Oklahoma across Arkansas and back to Michigan. I love road trips!


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