A 40 x 40 Check In + My Reverse Bucket List

Hello my lovelies! Yesterday was my half birthday (yes, I still commemorate those, to a certain extent lol) so now that we’re six months in, I thought it would be the perfect time to check in on my 40 x 40 list progress that I posted on my birthday (if you missed it, you can read it HERE). And while I’m at it, I thought it might be fun to do a reverse bucket list as well. To acknowledge all of the things I’ve accomplished and experienced over the past 35.5 years.

40 x 40 Check In

Ideally I would have given myself more than five years to accomplish a list of 40 items to do before I turn 40 in 2024. But alas, as with many things, I procrastinated. So after I wrote my 40 x 40 list, I chose 10 of the items to work on in this first year, giving myself a head start and a better chance to achieve what I wanted to. Which 10 did I choose? And how did it go? Read on.

  1. Stop drinking coffee every day – I tried this one almost immediately. And almost immediately I got such a severe headache that I could just about make it through the day, and the only thing that would make it go away was going to sleep. This doesn’t really work when you have a full time job, with set hours, outside of the home. I tried caffeinated tea in place of my morning cup of java, but it didn’t do the trick. So, after a week or two of trying to go without, I succumbed and started back up again. No regrets. Sometimes I drink two cups. C’est la vie!
  2. Become a fur-mama – I had planned to adopt a fur baby (of the kitten variety) or two around my birthday, but in a shocking twist I put it off, not feeling quite ready. I did inquire about a cutie patootie named Harley but I took too long and someone else had gotten her first. Then everything happened with my dad and his surgery and upcoming treatments so I am postponing this but hopefully it still happens this year. Maybe mid-September, early-October.
  3. Practice pilates again – I have yet to attempt this, mostly because my back has been all sorts of awful. PT, I know, I know!
  4. Become a member of an art museum – shortly after adding this to my list I received an offer in the mail from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for a special savings on a yearly membership. And then I proceeded to misplace the letter and forget about the whole thing until a few days after the offer expired. But I recently got another in the mail and I may take advantage of it this time… or, put it off til next year! We shall see!
  5. Write and publish an e-book – perhaps this will happen, or at least start it? Maybe? 
  6. Design/make/sell jewelry – I had goals for getting this going at the beginning of the month but I am behind.
  7. Learn hand lettering/ script handwriting – still to come, one of my hobby goals for the fall!
  8. Eat a mostly vegetarian diet – I sort of do this instinctually because I don’t like touching/preparing raw meat. So I usually only have meat if I eat out or at my parents house. But I want to be more intentional about it, for sure.
  9. Dye my hair..? If I go gray‚Ķ or maybe just for Halloween – I have not gone gray yet, at least as far as I can tell, and it isn’t Halloween yet, but I did attempt this, kinda. A month or so ago I tried oVertone… have you heard of this? I tried purple for brunettes, but it didn’t show up. I don’t think I did it correctly. Will try again. Maybe for Halloween, maybe before. Stay tuned!
  10. Read 12 books per year (ideally one per month) – I have been behind on the one per month, but I still have time to catch up and make this happen. When I added this to my list, I intended for it to be 12 books a year for each of the five years, so ultimately 60 books. So this will be a perennial task, but I’m on track!

There are two items on the list that I wasn’t actively attempting this year, but some how managed to kinda sorta achieve:

  • Grow a vegetable garden – if two potted pepper plants that are yielding actual peppers counts, then woo hoo! If not, I will reattempt when I have room to plant a proper veggie garden before the big 4-0. Or maybe I’ll do more container veggies next year, it’s exciting to grow something you can eat!
  • Develop a proper skin care routine – I have recently made more of an effort to stick to a regular routine, both AM and PM, to properly cleanse, tone and moisturize my face. I exfoliate and use masks once or twice a week. It’s quite nice actually. A small dose of me time after work is something I look forward to after a long day.

Reverse Bucket List

Visited Scotland…my very first plane ride for a spring break / study abroad preview in college. I never actually did study abroad though. But the trip was great, and a real bargain!

Cabo (x3)… my cousin has a time share and I was lucky enough to join him on three occasions. Once back in 2007 and then two years in a row back in 2012 and 2013. It’s a beautiful vacation spot, and a great time with family!

San Fran… twice, so far! Once as a day trip from Sacramento and once before going to Cabo the most recent time. Love!

Paris… and Italy… I’m hesitant to put this on my list because only a handful of people know about this, as it was with a relatively new boyfriend at the time (who is no longer in the picture) and I didn’t want them thinking I was insane (even though I kinda am, lol). But the experience was one I will remember, and is possibly once in a lifetime, so I have to include it here. The pappardelle in Milan was life changing… so much so that maybe it should be it’s own entry on this list lol…

UK/London… I surprised my mom with a trip to visit her British pen pal for their 60th birthdays back in 2009. A few days in northern England with Dianne and her husband and a few days in London. I would LOVE to go back… one of the best trips ever.

LA… it was a short trip, a west coast memorial for my cousin Johnny G. It was difficult, and emotional but it was filled with so much love. The service was beautiful and the tribute concert was beautiful and his friends and their love for him was beautiful.

BSB, Lifehouse, Michael Buble, Josh Groban and many more… I love music, and love a good concert. I’ve been lucky enough to see these shows at least once, most of them more than once.

Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney… wow! These were once in a lifetime shows and I’m so happy I got to experience them with my parents. So epic, so extraordinary!

Queen with Adam Lambert… technically twice, but the first time I was so sick during the show that I basically missed the whole thing. So we got tickets to the show in AC and holy moly, what a performer! I know he isn’t Freddie Mercury, and no one ever will be, but dang that boy can sing! We bought tickets to the August 3 show in Philly this year, but with my dad’s diagnosis and recovery we’re not going to be able to go. Next time!

Stood on top of the World Trade Center… on August 31, 2001…at the time this was just a part of the city pass we got during a day in NYC with my dad and his business partner at the time. We went to the top of the Empire State Building too. But the World Trade Center… little did we know that 12 days later…

Graduated 14th in my high school class

Got a scholarship to my #1 college choice… thank you Arcadia, for celebrating brains over brawn and making it possible to attend your institution for four years, earning my degree and making friends and memories.

Graduated from said college with a BFA with a concentration in Graphic Design and a minor in Business Admin

Paid off my school loans… at the time I was living rent free, driving a hand me down car… thank you to AU for the scholarship that made the loan amount much smaller than it could have been, and to my parents who didn’t charge me rent and thus made it possible to be debt free after five years (and a six month deferment).

Bought (and paid off) my first car… and shortly after traded it in for a new car lol, and a new car loan… the circle of life.

Saw an (off) Broadway musical… technically two, one with my mama in London (The Lion King, wow!) and one with my bestie in NYC (Rent, really fab!), so fun and such talent! Would love to see more!

Participated in a 5k… I do not run because of my knee and my back, but I walked a 5k and I didn’t finish last!

Bought a house! This is the biggest of my accomplishments for sure, I never thought I’d be able to afford to pay a mortgage and bills and all that fun stuff that comes with home ownership, but here I am! Exploiting it for all its worth here on the blog lol…

Went on a (mini) road trip… took my mom on a little trip a couple years back to surprise her with a visit to an old friend. Broke in the new SUV mentioned above. It was a fun adventure!

Started a blog! No explanation needed, right? Here we are!

What’s on your reverse bucket list?

Many thanks and much love,

Photo by Adriaan Greyling from Pexels

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