40 For 40 Update: Some Progress Is Made, And A Poll!

So a while back I wrote about turning 40 this year, and how I’d made a list of 40 small “challenges” I wanted to complete before the year is out.  Well, since my birthday’s come and gone, I thought it was time to share an update on my progress and give you a look at the whole list.  (It wasn’t complete the last time I wrote about it.)

IMG_1628Here are the challenges I’ve completed:

  1. Memorize a poem (The Summer Day by Mary Oliver)
  2. Eat a salad for lunch every day for a week
  3. Meditate at least 5 minutes every day for a week
  4. Plant something new in the garden (watermelon and pumpkin)
  5. Read one book of the Bible (Mark)
  6. Don’t get on Twitter or Facebook after 6 pm for one week
  7. Do a three-star sudoku puzzle
  8. Thoroughly de-clutter my chest of drawers
  9. Drink 8 glasses of water a day for a week
  10. Work out in the 30 Minute Fitness area of my gym

Here are some challenges that I’m currently working on:

  1. Learn some ASL signs/phrases
  2. Watch all the Iranian films in my library system’s movie collection (we have a lot!)
  3. Get rid of 40 possessions (I’ve gotten rid of ten so far)

Challenges still remaining:

  1. Read a classic book that has intimidated me (I’ve not yet chosen which book!)
  2. Go see a play
  3. Bike from my house to a local landmark (I still haven’t gotten a bike yet!)
  4. Cook something that intimidates me
  5. Bake something complicated
  6. Take a dance class
  7. Start learning how to knit
  8. Get my passport renewed
  9. Go to Toronto to visit my cousin and sight-see
  10. Visit a church
  11. Go on a hike with my Dad
  12. Play with my son right after dinner every night for a week instead of immediately washing the dishes
  13. Camp overnight with my husband and son (I’ve never camped)
  14. Take a yoga class
  15. Read a book that my husband picks for me
  16. Volunteer with an organization for an afternoon/a day
  17. Write a paper letter to a faraway friend
  18. Do one random act of kindness every day for a week
  19. Call an old friend who is faraway
  20. Go to a museum
  21. Visit Parnassus Books in Nashville
  22. Take a class – art, cooking, gardening, etc.
  23. Begin learning Farsi
  24. Spend 15 minutes reading poetry daily for one week
  25. Bake bread (I’ve never tried)
  26. Swim with my son at the neighborhood pool this summer (I’m notorious for avoiding a bathing suit)
  27. Attempt to make tadig or tahdig (a Persian crusty-rice dish that’s very popular – and delicious!  My mom used to make it when I was a kid.)

Lately my attention to the list has been poor.  The first few months of the year I was gung-ho about the project, but I’ve slacked off the last couple of months. I still want to accomplish as many of the goals as possible before the end of the year, though, so I’m renewing my focus!

Here’s where you come in:  You get to help decide which classic book I read! Take a look at my choices, all books I want to read sometime in my life.  Vote in the poll!

If you have any tips on making any of my challenges easier, I’m all ears.  I’ll be sure to post an update later in the year, and I’ll let you know the results of the book poll shortly!


40 thoughts on “40 For 40 Update: Some Progress Is Made, And A Poll!

  1. I love the variety of challenges you have set for yourself, and how you have made them manageable by setting time limits or making them one-time events. I think you can do them all! I would love to visit Parnassus Books if I ever get out that way.

    I voted for The Master and Margarita in your poll because I hear it has a very memorable cat as a character — I’d like to read it too!

    I noticed a theme — do you have Iranian heritage?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. I think they’re doable if I get on the ball!

      I do have Iranian heritage – my dad is from Iran. He immigrated in 1969. I’ve never been there, and I don’t know any Farsi – my dad never taught me and as a kid I didn’t ask. I wish I had! So now I’m playing catch-up.


  2. You’re doing well! I like the idea of getting rid of 40 things – you may have inspired me with that one. I voted for the Bulgakov – I haven’t read it but was blown away by another of his, The White Guard, recently and immediately stuck this one on my own TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the poll strategy (even though Anna Karenina, my choice, is coming in third). Maybe we can help by voting once a week on your next thing to accomplish? But I think you are going to have to brave the swimsuit (or swim shorts/swim dress?) soon–summer is only so long.


  4. I love this idea, especially your resolution to get rid of 40 things. Best of luck with your challenge! I voted for the Bulgakov as well. I’ve been wanting to read it for ages, but I’ve always been a bit intimidated by it. Maybe I’ll give it a go as well. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You have made so much progress already and I like your list so I am sure that you will enjoy getting through it. All the best. I voted Anna Karenina since I have heard a lot about it though I am yet to read it. Its number 3 on your post though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like your goal of getting rid of 40 possessions – it even sounds like something I could accomplish in a year. I suppose I would have to make it 43. 🙂
    I was nervous about my first Yoga class, but now I love it and miss it when I can’t go.
    Looks like you’re making some good headway on your list!
    Happy Belated! I hope it was wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry friend, I voted for one of the super long classics. The Count of Monte Cristo is just so fun! I want that for you! As for intimidating dishes, are you intimidated by making French onion soup? I always was until I did it, and then I discovered that it’s super easy. So, maybe that?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s a great challenge, congrats on making progress on it, no matter how long it takes! If you’re anything like me, reporting on the various experiences through your blog (aka accountability) is a great motivation to follow up. And take pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you are doing well! I voted for Anna Karenina. Even my non-classics reading husband loved it, brought him to tears! It’s really good and if you would prefer it as an audiobook, the one narrated by Nadia May is awesome. Also, I highly endorse the cycling goal! As an alternative to purchasing a bike, you could always rent one, but once you get cycling you will love it so much you will want to have your own bike 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I voted for James Baldwin, as it would be a great pairing to then go to your library and rent the new pivotal film about him called I Am Not Your Negro. He was one of America’s greatest and most influential thinkers. I would recommend you clump together the cooking/baking stuff so that you have a theme. Also, making new dishes can require buying new spices, flours, etc. If you buy the stuff and get used to your oven (they can vary from house to house), you’ll feel more confident.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this idea! I personally would try and come up with a goal at the start of every month to complete 4-5 tasks (about one a week seems feasible) and plan out which tasks you will do each week of that month.


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