Three months remain — will I check off all of my "40 before 41" goals?

Relaxation in progress, at Ojo Caliente in New Mexico, photo credit Kirsten Akens 2015

When I turned 40 and set out on this journey to try 40 new things before I turned 41, I had no idea how incredible it would be.

Now I sit here, with three months left. It's obvious to me I won't complete all the tasks, but I've given it a heck of a try — and I figure I can just add the few things I don't complete onto next year's birthday list, which I'm already starting to compile.

Anyone want to join me?

I love to learn new things. I love to challenge myself. And it's so important to me to make sure I'm exercising both my body and my mind. This helps me do that in all sorts of ways. So onward and upward! (For those new, you can find my original list here, and below you'll find sections labeling what I've completed, what's in progress and what's still to come. With notes.) Best!

• 40 Before 41 • 


• Develop a new website for my blog — Do you like? Of course, I'm already rethinking another design. • Have a tarot reading done — A friend read the cards for me on my birthday. They indicated a lot of challenge over the next year, but lots of potential success too. She offered to read my cards again for my half birthday, and then she had to take her daughter to urgent care to have a bead removed from her nose. The things you never consider when you don't have kids! We're setting a date to do a new year reading. • Find more opportunities to dance — Still trying to tap dance at Ormao (the evening changed so it's gotten a little harder, but now they've added a second class so we'll see if that helps) - made some new friends through it, which I wasn't expecting. Also still line dancing every Sunday. • Visit a hot springs in Colorado — I visited Mount Princeton Hot Springs in Buena Vista, Colorado, with my dear friend Jessica. It rained as we sat in the pools and it was a lovely, sensory experience. • See my byline in a national magazine — Woot! This happened! I've got a story in the Sept./Oct. 2014 issue of Spirituality & Health magazine. Find it here. I'm also working with on some travel pieces which is super exciting. • Climb Pikes Peak — My #CouchTo14er is complete. This was the biggie on my list. • Take a trip with a girlfriend — Not only did Amber climb Pikes Peak with me, but she and I travelled to Breckenridge for a training hike weekend, which was loads of fun. I am still hoping to take at least one more trip with a girlfriend who I don't see regularly. • Skinny dip — Ahem. Done. And I have photos to prove it. Whether or not anyone else will get to them remains to be seen. Lol. • Learn to make ginger beer — Haven't tried it on my own yet. I figure it's a good middle of winter thing to attempt. • Plant and grow something edible outside — One tomato plant, chard, basil, baby lettuce and mint made it into the pots. I feel like the herbs succeeded, the rest, not so much. • Intentionally play music in the house every day — This has been awesome actually. Somehow it makes the house feel more like a home. • Continue to reduce my wardrobe, a la Project 333 — This was my biggie for October. I joined in on the #33in33 challenge, and you can read more about my journey here, here and here• Take French language lessons — Attended the French MeetUp group this month with a friend! Left after an hour because we were both exhausted. Otherwise it was good and we hope to keep going and/or start a small group of our own. • Invest in a week’s worth of matching bras and panties (foundations matter!) — Done! Lots of lace. I'm learning how much I like lace in all of my wardrobe, though I don't have a lot. • Visit Ojo Caliente — Went for our anniversary. And it was amazing. Highly recommended. • Find the perfect red lipstick (and wear it) AND Get make-up tips from a pro — Thanks to my dear friend Joy, this happened! And I have a blog post scheduled to tell you all the finer details. But it was a lot of fun.

In Progress

• Yoga and meditation, daily — Proud of this change. I'm getting to my mat more and more. • Blog at least twice a week — Holy heck! I started blogging daily two weeks ago, and thanks to the #YourTurnChallenge have been keeping it up. Does that make up for the lower amount of involvement I had last year? • Read at least 52 books — Way ahead of schedule. Forty-six books down, four in progress. I've also listening to audio books more. It's a great way to "read" and clean or drive or do laundry. • Send a snail mail letter/card/postcard/gift once a month — On track. • Journal at least weekly — This is so not happening. I think I like the idea of journalling more than the act itself. • Participate in a stage show (play, musical, etc.) as cast or crew — I'm in conversation now about possibly assistant-stage-managing a play. More to come in January! • Play paintball — I recruited friends. Bought tickets ... and then the facility went out of business. Sigh. I think we're going to all go play Dart Wars instead. • Facilitate and participate in at least one improv writing session a month — This has trailed off... Hoping to get back on track soon. • Build a terrarium — Haven't built a full terrarium, but I do now have a mini hanging terrarium with rocks and an air plant. • Learn to bake French macarons — Looking for classes, have one potential option. • Plan my next trip to France — I've been chit-chatting and plotting and planning with my British friend Tamsin, owner of the Little French Retreat, about this ... • Make new connections with at least three bloggers I respect — In progress! Figure out my signature style — This is happening as part of #Project333 and thanks to Pinterest. • Take classes on how to use all the buttons on my DSLR — I've worked out a trade agreement with a photographer friend. I'm going to do some editing work for him and he's going to train me in my camera. Looking to make this a bigger part of my life in 2015. • Have at least one item of clothing tailored to fit — I've decided on jeans. And I'm currently saving to buy a premium pair. • Get will and living will in order — I've found a lawyer. Now, to make the call. • Take performance driving lessons — Super duper excited because I might be able to pitch this as a story and make it happen in early 2015. • Give generously what I want to receive — I'm learning that this means to others and to myself. I have to treat myself well for optimum functioning, physically and mentally. It's a life-long WIP, really. • Show up (my 2014 “one-word” soul mantra) — I kinda think all of this is about showing up. Right?

Ahead of Me Still

• Add a piece of original art to my collection • Stay up once all night until sunrise • Perform at a poetry slam/open mic  

And ... the Not Gonna Happen This Year List

• Attend the Santa Fe Opera — Unfortunately, I didn't jump on this, and it looks like I won't be able to attend until next summer, after my birthday. Kinda sad about that, but perhaps if I ask for tickets FOR my birthday that will count?

What have you been up to lately? Let me know in the comments!


(This is my Day 6 contribution to the Your Turn Challenge. Read others' contributions and learn more here.)