I have never been too hung up on age or bother by aging; I believe this is mainly because I grew up with my grandmother and in my twenties I lived with both my paternal and maternal grandmas. I’ve seen life at an older age and I’m not afraid of it, if anything I think it has given me wisdom to make the most of my youth. That’s why I want to celebrate in a big way in 2017 since this is the year I turn 40, and it’s a milestone birthday, as they call it.For me, 2016 was a year of very important changes that have positively impacted my health and my live overall. It was the year that I started practicing awareness and mindfulness, which has led me to reflect on my life up until now and being this the year I turn 40, it is the perfect time to celebrate my life in a meaningful way.
If you are 40 already (or close to that age) and have searched online for ideas on things to do before your turn forty or as a gift for your birthday, you will find a very long list of options that range from the exotic to the extreme to the excessive and luxurious. I have to admit that some of the options are really cool and worth considering, but I wanted to really dig deep on my desires and things that would have a meaningful and lasting impact not only during the year I turn 40, but as a baseline for the decade ahead.
With that in mind I have come up with xx ways to celebrate the year I turn 40; things that touch different aspects of my life. Some of these things are for pampering, with some I’m taking care of what’s important, and the rest is to experience living at its best while reminiscing on the memories of my past.
As a way of committing to achieving all of these and taking care of things that are overdue, I decided that’s going to be my celebration: a year-long mindfulness exercise to experience life fully, to be generous to myself, to start a new journey of being more loving, more caring and more present for me and for those I love the most.
The Gifts I’ll Give Myself The Year I Turn 40
- Sharing the gift of storytelling through my story. This is on the top of my list because it is already in motion. It all started as a personal project to give my kids an album with pictures of my childhood accompanied with essays telling my children the stories of my life. I’ve always been interested in stories and I remember recording my grandmother, asking her about her own childhood and youth. I want to leave this legacy to my kids, and even though I’m young, I want to do it while I still remember many things clearly, and while my own parents are still healthy and can help me with details I can’t remember. Then it was obvious that I have to share this with all of you, so you get to know me better.
- Traveling to a new continent (or two, lol). As a mom, this is harder than it may seem. Planning to travel solo is an act that makes me feel selfish, even though I know that it is rather self care. Still, it took me some time to decide on this one. There is a trip to Europe that it’s way overdue, for different reasons I have cancelled going there in the past, but this is the year to go, the year I turn 40 will mark as the first time I visit the old continent. As for the second one, I’m releasing it to the universe to see if it will granted. 🙂
- Running a 5K with my dad. During 2016, I’ve been committed to my health, to being active and that has made me very happy. This year I will continue my journey to better health, to get to a healthy weight, and to start running. My father has always run and I’ve always loved going to watch him run. That’s why it will be such a treat to go and run next to him, a great gift to share a moment like that with my father. So it is set, the training has started with baby steps, but I know I’ll make it, and I am so excited!
- Getting affairs in order. For the longest time I’ve been meaning to take care of things in case of my dead, but always leave it for later. This year I will revisit my life insurance policy, create a Living Will and a Last Will. I’m not planning on going anywhere for a long time as longevity runs in my family, but I know is important to prepare in the event of one’s death, especially when we have children. I’ll be doing that this year.
- New year, new look. I haven’t touch my hair in a very long time; no coloring it in almost 8 years and having it long since I was a teenager. For my birthday, I will cut and donate my hair and get a new color, just to make it exciting!
- Doing yoga regularly. I’ve practiced yoga from time to time but it has never been a regular thing. I will integrate it to my regular routine, at least once a week, as a gift that will connect my mind and body in a holistic way.
- Getting a massage once a month. I love massages and I even have a membership to a spa, but somehow I haven’t made it a priority to treat myself. This year, I’ll go get one each month.
- Sponsor a child. As a part of living a mindful life I intend to go back to my roots; when we get confused by the noise we forget to take care of what’s important by only taking care of the urgent. I used to sponsor a child and somehow along the way I stopped, and got carried away by the routine of life. No more.
- Learning with my daughter. Since we put so much focus on bilingualism here at home, my girl has taken an interest in learning another language. I’m planning to get back to Portuguese or maybe starting to learn Italian with her via Duolingo. It will be an awesome bonding experience, and learning is always good.
- Girl Gone Reading. I’ve always been a bookworm, but honestly, since moving to North Carolina my reading habits changed, and not for the better. I’m committed to reading daily as I used to do in New York. Like everything else, I need to make it a priority, because it is. This is a gift for my soul that I know will provide so much joy.
- Paint my nails often. We all know that life is about the little things. I love painting my nails, but is one of those things I haven’t been doing a lot. I’ll file this one under the gift of beauty.
- Supporting friends & colleagues. One of the privileges I have as a professional is to be surrounded by talented individuals that have created amazing things. Every time a friend had published a book, created a new video or accomplished something I have been meaning to support them. I haven’t been as consistent as I would like, and that’s another area in which I will be more mindful and active. We all know about the joy of giving and supporting others, so this goal is filed under the gift for my soul kind.
- Connect with my spirituality. I’ve never been a non-believer, but I’m not very religious either. During 2016 I opened up to being more spiritual through practicing mindfulness and positive thinking. Also, my daughter has shown interest in religion and spirituality and I really want to be able to guide her and help her in whatever I can. I’m committed to learning and connecting with that side of myself I haven’t allow myself to explore.
- Taking more pictures with my DSLR. I love pictures, being on them and taking them as well. With how good smartphones have gotten with pictures, I have neglected my camera and I really want to get back to it. I want to learn photography and I know the way to do that is practice, practice!
- Throw myself a party. If you know me, you know I love a good party! So, of course, the year I turn 40 I’m planning on having my BIG 4-0 celebration. I don’t have anything planned yet, but I must definitely have my cake, and eat it too!
I’d love to hear from you! If you are 40: What did you give yourself when you turned 40? If you are turning 40 this year: What are your plans for this amazing milestone? In any case, happy birthday to you, you’ve made it!
Follow updates about my BIG birthday on social media, hashtag: #TheYearOf40
Remember we have the same birthday… the big party idea is also for me.
Maritere Rodriguez Bellas
This is the #TheYearOf60 for me! #roadto60 on Twitter!
LOVE your post! I love, love, love my 40s! I hope you will enjoy them too! I picked up tennis and I still play! I made amazing friends that are still my friends today! I started writing! I learned fundraising skills and to advocate for my children’s education. I was president of the PTA, fundraising chair, room mom, library mom, columnist for La Opinión newspaper and other publications. It was a memorable decade and I have so many wonderful memories…
Disfruta mucho! Besos! Mari