40 Things I Want to Do Before I’m 40

I turn 39 today, and by next year, my 40th year, likely my life will be about half over. This isn’t a bad thing; I have very few regrets about how I’ve spent my one precious existance. But there is still a lot to do. I don’t fear dying, just not having lived enough. So here’s my list of things I want to accomplish in the next 365 days:

  1. Spend an evening in a fancy restaurant with friends.
  2. Travel to a country I’ve never visited, preferably in South America or Africa (the only continents I haven’t visited).
  3. Go on a long (multi-day) hike.
  4. Make a really cool piece of interactive art.
  5. Play a movement of one of the Bach solo cello suites reasonably well.
  6. Buy a nice watch.
  7. Put myself on the bone marrow transplant donor list.
  8. See a product launch that my company designed.
  9. Eat at Burma Superstar.
  10. Do 100 pushups in a single session.
  11. Get my second tattoo.
  12. Set up a real retirement savings plan.
  13. Lose 10 pounds.
  14. Read Bleak House.
  15. Give blood.
  16. Teach Fiona how to ride a two-wheeler bike.
  17. Do 200 situps.
  18. Spend a day doing service.
  19. Visit a national park.
  20. Go on a decent vacation with my family.
  21. Do 20 pullups.
  22. Get an interesting new pair of glasses.
  23. Go wine tasting.
  24. Build a robot.
  25. Hire an employee.
  26. Discover an amazing new band.
  27. Have a spa day with Rachael.
  28. Listen to a live classical music performance.
  29. Write for, or at least be mentioned in, a major media publication.
  30. Find another series of books Fiona and I can read together, then read them.
  31. Buy a piece of art.
  32. Make a new friend.
  33. Buy a coffee table for my living room.
  34. Go to the real Northern California and see the giant redwoods.
  35. Buy a new desk chair.
  36. Do 30 minutes of exercise every day.
  37. Eat at The French Laundry.
  38. Give Rachael an unexpected gift.
  39. Speak in front of a new audience.
  40. Perform a cello/violin duet with Fiona.

6 thoughts on “40 Things I Want to Do Before I’m 40

  1. The redwoods are spectacular. I took a road trip up there last summer. Try to go midweek and you’ll find lots of spots along the road to pull off and be completely alone in the forest. It’s a wonderful experience.

  2. A lovely list – I especially like the last one for its touching quality. Being a parent – and especially a dad – is a hugely important role, and you’re a good one.
    You know, a really cool piece of interactive art” makes me think of Burning Man…heh. Your goals are good here – they’re very SMART oriented, which means you’ll probably achieve them. Might be a good session for a talk – how to make your design goals achievable in the face of constraints (not sure if you’ve written something like that).

  3. I like number 40 – I’ve been playing violin for a couple of years now, and my fiance has just started playing cello (we’re talking last week). We have a similar aspiration – to play a duet by the end of the year. Fortunately, that’s still a couple of months off, and we’ll need every one (this fretless string instrument thing is *hard*)!

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