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40 Things I Didn’t Do For My 40th Birthday


IMG_0871Well, here we are… it’s been over a year since I compiled this epic list of 40 things to do for my 40th birthday. So, how many of them did I accomplish? Two – just two on that list. I painted a self-portrait and I befriended a horse (sort of). So, what the hell happened?! Life happened… other things became more important than whether I walked over the Bay Bridge or finally played my first round of golf.

One of the biggest roadblocks in completing many of these items was due to spraining my ankle exactly one week after I turned 40. A very nasty fall down a set of basement stairs resulted in less mobility for me  all summer and indeed most of that year. There would be no splunking or hiking bridges for me.

Sure I had lots of other items to cross off my list, but they paled in comparison to what life was about to offer up. Shortly before I turned forty, a long time family friend, and someone I considered a business mentor, passed away. Around this same time, one of my family members was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. These two events changed my perspective on life last year… and that list quickly became a afterthought.

Do I intend to keep crossing things off that list? Probably. Will I do everything on that list? Probably not. Why? My perspective has changed and some things seem less intriguing than they were a year ago. That’s how life works.

FotoJet CollageAnd yet, while it seems that I didn’t accomplish much if I were to simply look at that list, I realized how much more I did last year than I ever anticipated. I had my first surgery experience in a hospital. I finally allowed a dentist to remove two of my wisdom teeth. Both of these were huge fears of mine, but I overcame them this last year! I wasn’t expecting to, but that’s how life works… expect the unexpected.

And because I was unable to move around as easily because of that silly sprained ankle, I spent a lot more time painting. So much time, that it became a full-time gig and I discovered a hidden talent AND an immense passion. So, yeah, the list didn’t get completed, but I found myself anyhow. Now, I am actively working to promote my art and I spend most days splashing colors onto canvas. It’s delightful!

Yes, life rarely ever works out how we planned, but there is always an opportunity to move forward, even in the midst of failures and chaos. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a different path, a delightfully unexpected path… and if you are really lucky, it may just show you your true colors.

M. xo

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