40×40: The Thrilling Conclusion

40×40. Let’s start with the low lights, shall we?


What I Didn’t Accomplish

Complete a crochet project – I have the project – bought as a kit to make it easier to achieve – ready to go, but it’s been sitting in my closet for…a long time.

Complete the Couch to 5K program – I got through week three, even though it took me about three months, but then it got harder to use the high school tracks (lacrosse and soccer practices start crazy early and I don’t need an audience of parents watching me) and it got hot, so I took a long break. I’ll restart sometime.

Organize idea binders – I’ve done part of this by organizing the many magazine pages I rip out for future reference. I need to put them in clear sleeves and organize them in the binders. Again, it will happen, some day.

Learn to hem pants, rather get the courage to touch Kevin’s hems – Technically it happened because I have the courage to do the hems, but the time has been the thing that’s hard to find. Maybe by the end of summer?

Eat at Foreign Cinema – This should have been the easiest item to cross off the list. The problem is that my parents are our main babysitters, but they give late notice on when they’re available, and every time Kevin and I had a night out, we couldn’t get into Foreign Cinema at a reasonable time. Reservations at 5 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. aren’t reasonable for me. I’m 40, after all.

Get the journals for the kids up to date – didn’t even start to do this.

Clear out the pre-marriage boxes in our garage – nope. And the sad thing is that it’s only three or four boxes.

Listen to the Spanish language CD with the kids – No lo hiciste. The CDs sit untouched in the console table drawer.

What I Accomplished: A Lot



My mid-term review pretty much covers most of my progress, although several smaller projects were crossed off the list since then. The one goal that was most vague was accomplished, but in a sappier way than expected. When I wrote “go on an adventure,” I had something very specific in mind: a secret trip to Cuba. That hasn’t happened, no laws were broken, so I don’t have to fear being interrogated by the CIA in the middle of the night while wearing old pajamas. (The real penalty is typically a $10,000 fine.)

I’ve wanted to go to Cuba forever. Probably since I was in high school. It’s beautiful and mysterious and not opened to American tourists, making it even more appealing to me. It hasn’t been invaded by McDonald’s and Starbucks. They still drive 1950s American cars. I cannot wait to see it and I want to do that before it is fully opened up to American travel.

Through the years, Kevin has always been the reluctant one, afraid of getting into trouble with the government and wary of the amount of trust it takes for Americans to sneak into the island (we have no family to visit or other legal ties to get us in). That was the adventure part for which I was aiming. It was going to be my 40th birthday expedition. But there was one concern which did get me: money. It’s not like we could whip out the American Express to pay for hotels, travel or food. We had to carry cash and that concerned both of us. I gave up, and when I did, the universe did one of those funny things where it finally provides the answer: I was offered to participate in a legal Cuban trip. It’s a long story not involving a religious missionary group.

But as with life, when a long held dream is finally there for the taking, it may not be right for the time. In this case, the timing was wrong. I’d have to go in May or December and neither time works at all. The plan is that I will be able to go next year, but it’s sad knowing it’s not happening sooner. (Plus I’m a little worried travel to Cuba will loosen up even more by next Winter and Taco Bell will beat me to the island nation. If you think I’m overreacting, go to the great pyramids in Egypt and then turn around facing across the street. Pizza Hut, anyone? Or would you rather have KFC?) This is the downside of being a responsible adult: I could drop everything to go, but my responsibilities are too great. So, the dream remains.

Here’s the sappy part: it was all an adventure. The last 12 months were filled with travel, fun, and new experiences. Even though it was mostly spent watching from my couch, the Giants winning the World Series was such a far off dream, full of ups and downs that ended with a conclusion I never dared expect. I launched a blog with my friend Robyn that was more tense, stressful, and filled with anxiety than one would ever guess. People actually paid (with real money) for my photography this year. I milked a cow! One year ago, I never thought those things would have happened, but they did, and charting the new territory was an unexpected adventure.


I’m a goal setter and a list maker, thus the 40×40 project was perfect for me. I could draft up a 50×50, but that’s too far away, and I feel the same about a life list. I need a near term deadline lest I procrastinate. For this year, I want to accomplish one new thing: quilting. I have boxes of the kids’ baby clothes too sentimental to give away, stored up the attic, waiting for me to get the courage to make memory quilts.



  1. You accomplished a whole lot! Congrats on having such a wonderful and fun filled year.

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