The year I turned 29, I made a list of 30 things that I wanted to accomplish before I turned the big 3-0. 29 turned out to be a pretty crazy year, so crazy that I must have just scrapped the list and thrown it out because I can’t find it anywhere. That being the case, I decided to start the 40/40 Project: 40 Things to Accomplish Before 40.

  1. Become a morning person. With enough coffee, I can do anything!
  2. Buy a house with a big yard. (See 6, 7, and 8.)
  3. Create a warm, inviting, comfortable home, where Scarlett, Leo, and their friends want to spend time.
  4. Become a good cook. This requires that I actually cook, but stranger things have happened.
  5. Write a recipe.
  6. Grow a vegetable garden.
  7. Raise chickens in a backyard coop. For eggs. No, no, not to eat. (Just discovered the smell of chicken poop makes me dry heave. This one has to go.)
  8. Grow orchids. Keep them alive.
  9. Learn to meditate, possibly getting it started with a silent retreat.
  10. Build a library. Brian and I both suffer from bibliomania. Needless to say, we have more than enough books already.
  11. Vacation in Mexico, preferably on a beach. This does not mean Cancun. Or Tijuana.
  12. Learn to forgive and forget.
  13. Let go of residual fears and anger.
  14. Practice yoga every day.
  15. Find a cardio routine and stick to it. (I got a treadmill, y’all. All my troubles are over, and I am at home—literally.)
  16. Take ballet class again (or barre, let’s be real). Be mistaken for a ballerina or an ortho wife.
  17. Learn to live on 80% of my income, save 10%, and tithe 10%.
  18. Pay off my student loans.
  19. Set up a retirement account.
  20. Start donating to my alma maters. I think it may be bad karma not to.
  21. Build a Habitat for Humanity Home.
  22. Put together my own cabaret show.
  23. Learn to play the guitar. And the ukulele.
  24. Buy a piano.
  25. Record an album of my own songs. Cultivate the courage to share it.
  26. Write and publish a book or memoir.
  27. Be myself.
  28. Find a hobby unrelated to music.
  29. Take French lessons.
  30. Learn to paint.
  31. Have a painting exhibited at the MOBA.
  32. Donate blood every 56 days.
  33. Read a book a week.
  34. Keep a daily journal.
  35. Create a personal uniform.
  36. Complete the Estill Voice certification.
  37. Raise well-adjusted, empathetic, independent children.
  38. Get legally married to Brian and go on a proper honeymoon.
  39. Sing a weekly gig.
  40. Work full-time as a musician.

Count: 22/40 with two years to go