Wednesday, March 29, 2017

the 40 challenge

I’m turning 40.

This is not a huge deal. GenX has been 40 for a while, I’m one of the younger of our generation. Some of us are turning 50 actually. And ouch. Just ouch.

But I mean to mark the date. To do that Over the Hill retrospect crisis thing where I take stock of where I am and demand of myself that I do better. Like now.

Except I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done so far. I met some goals, missed some others, lost some weight, gained it back, learned a lot, forgot some of it. I’ve marched and run and swam and competed and collaborated.

So I’m pretty good.

Marking 40 then has to become a year-long challenge. What will I do in the year I’m forty? And, of course, it’s got to have the number 40 in it. But when you start counting things you’d like to do, 40 turns out to be A LOT. 40 push-ups a day, run 40 miles a week, attend 40 live music events. Painful and expensive.

So 40 is going to be painful and expensive.

With some revisions forthcoming as I think up new challenges, here’s my list for the next 365 days of 40:
  • Swim 40 50s – going to do this on my actual birthday, that’s the workout. 40 X 50 meters.
  • Read 40 books – ambitious but not impossible, I read 60 last year, but I’m making this caveat: by female authors. Last year’s list was diverse, but this year I want all the wimmens.
  • Send 40 Thank You notes – not Jimmy Fallon-like to random shit, but to actual people and organizations who have helped me or are helping me to reach my goals.
  • Visit 40 new places – new restaurants, parks, and stores count.
  • Visit my Papa 40 times – I used to go see Nana weekly, it’s time to resurrect that habit.
  • Donate 40 articles of clothing – might surpass this with one closet, but purging is a good habit
  • 40 pages in Hollie’s scrapbook – we’ve fallen so far behind I think we’ve only gotten up to kindergarten, time to catch up
  • 40 live events – ball games, theatre, concerts, art shows; do something besides hold down the couch
  • 40 submissions – queries, agents, publishers, literary magazines, fiction or non-fiction
  • 40 blogs – between Life on Clemson Road, SCWA, and UnapologeticallyX, this should be a no-brainer.
  • 40 for fitness – While I want this to be a weight-loss goal, I’m going to put 40 for fitness and push through some different 40-centric programs like run 40 minutes 4 times a week. Run a 10-minute mile 4 times. Run 40 miles worth of races. Swim 40 minutes 4 times a week. Swim at least 1 meet in the 40-year age category. Take 40 runs with friends.

Going to buy a journal today to keep track of all this 40 awesomeness.
All the painful and expensive.

Happy Birthday to me. The view from the top of the hill is hellagood.


  1. Ouch, just ouch? Some of us turned 50 and survived... me thinks you will survive 40 and from the looks of tour list be glad you did Happy birthday beautiful!

    1. Thanks for visiting Clemson Road. The 41st year is going to be an Odyssey -- a way to freshen the blog and rediscover my purpose in writing it. I hope you'll hang for the ride!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! I like journeys and milestones and measuring progress. Here's to a full year of doing just that!

  3. Methinks there's a book in here...

    1. There might be, Jenn. Thanks for visiting Clemson Road. Looking forward to The 41st Year journey.


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