educator, writer, speaker, devoted family man, amateur philosopher, chess enthusiast, basketball junkie, connoisseur of fine hip hop, and purveyor of wit and wisdom

40 By 40

40 Things to Do Before I’m 40 Years Old

I turn 40 soon (October 30, 2012).

For most of my life, I’ve done things for others, and I’ve let others influence me a little too much.  I’m a different person now, and this chapter in my life will slowly come to a close.  The next 40 years are going to be mine.

This list represents the start of that journey by highlighting some things I want to have happen before my 40th birthday.    Each time I complete an item from the list, I’ll try to write about it here and also include the pics/videos/documentation/blood for verification’s sake.

Here’s my list of 40 things to do by October 30, 2012.

  1. Pay off all credit cards and loans and have zero debt (outside of school loans).
  2. Get back in shape.  This means getting back to the gym at least 3 times per week, getting back to 180 pounds, and getting back to running an 8-minute mile.
  3. Become a 5Linx SVP.
  4. DONE!  Take my son to Staples Center to watch a Lakers game.
  5. FAIL!  Complete NaNoWriMo
  6. DONE! Run in a local 5K race.
  7. DONE! New Year’s Eve in Vegas.
  8. DONE! Go to the  House of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch
  9. Play in a USCF chess tournament
  10. Tithe.  Many years ago when I began working in my first full-time job, my grandmother taught me how to tithe (and yes, it is more than just paying 10% of your salary to the church).  I enjoyed who I was back then when I tithed, and I want to go back there again.
  11. University of Redlands homecoming.
  12. DONE!  Go to the Baltimore conclave to celebrate Groove Phi Groove’s  50th Anniversary.
  13. Complete my will/living trust.  I looked into this several years ago after the birth of son #1, but I let it make its way to the bottom of my priority list.  It’s time to make this a priority.
  14. DONE!  Transfer my old TIAA-CREF retirement into a Roth IRA.
  15. Ride the new rollercoasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain
  16. Contact my father.
  17. DONE!  Visit the Lewis family in Pleasanton.
  18. DONE!  The SkyJump at the Stratosphere.  I thought about making the jump when we went two years ago, but it wasn’t the right time.  Now’s the time.
  19. DONE!  Retake my drivers license picture in a suit or tuxedo.
  20. Revive the Groove Phi Groove Summer Vegas trip.
  21. DONE! Teach my oldest son to ride a bike with no training wheels.
  22. DONE!  Go to the doctor and get a complete physical exam.  Go to the doctor and get a complete physical exam.  Go to the doctor and get a complete physical exam.
  23. DONE! Learn how to play Beethoven’s Fur Elise completely.
  24. Have a birthday party with an actual birthday cake and candles and presents and ice cream.  And maybe some music.  I celebrated lots of birthday parties for others, but the last time I had my own birthday party was in elementary school.  I’ve done several things since then for my birthday, but no real birthday party.
  25. DONE!  Read one novel per month (beginning October 2011).
  26. DONE!  Write one new blog post per week.
  27. Teach in a university’s school of education.
  28. DONE!  See the movies The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers and The Amazing Spiderman on their opening nights.
  29. Ride in a helicopter.
  30. DONE!  Play in a Hold’em tournament at Morongo Casino.
  31. Para-sailing, water skiing, and snorkeling on Catalina Island.  The last time I was on Catalina Island was right after Mrs. Brown and I got married, and I regret that I didn’t do all the water sports back then.
  32. HALFWAY DONE!  Have my windsheild and gear shift repaired in my car.
  33. DONE!  Watch the first seven seasons of the classic TV series “Columbo”.  Netflix is making this possible by offering a total of 47 episodes.
  34. Perform three new spoken word poetry pieces at “A Mic and Dim Lights.”
  35. Start a college/trust fund for my sons.
  36. I lost my round off back tuck.  I need to find it again.
  37. DONE!  Go an entire month with no fast food.
  38. Make twenty consecutive free throws. I don’t know if I can do them all in under a minute like Steve Nash here, but I’ll make 20 in a row.
  39. Learn how to play an instrument other than the piano.
  40. Watch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain

Check back here often, leave me comments, and wish me luck.



17 comments on “40 By 40

  1. Darlene
    July 18, 2011

    You are going to be very busy in the next year. Good luck with the crossing offs. I love the idea of having your drivers license picture taken in a tux! The Colombo series was one of my favorites. Walking away, pausing, turning back and saying, “Oh… there’s just one more thing…”

  2. Mr. Brown
    July 18, 2011

    Thanks for the good wishes. Keep checking back regularly…I’m all reved up about this list, and I’m already getting started on a couple of them.

  3. Karen Peterson
    July 19, 2011

    It’s going to be a great year for you!

    Something weird must have happened to your list, though, because I don’t see an Angels game on here anywhere. WordPress must be randomly deleting stuff again…

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  15. Rufina
    April 11, 2012

    I think this is an EXCELLENT list. Good for you! A varied mix of family/social/community/physical goals. That, my friend, is balance. The great thing is that it can continue even after 40 😉 New lists, new goals. Humans are in fact “goal-seeking organisms”; I’m reading a book called “Re-Invention” by Brian Tracy. I think you might like it.

  16. Dr. Brown
    April 12, 2012

    Thanks for the comments. I think my list is beginning to cause me more trouble than I originally anticipated. But I’m trying my best to stick with it for as long as possible. Keep checking in every once in a while to see what items I knock off my list!

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This entry was posted on July 18, 2011 by in 40 by 40 and tagged , .

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Soulquarian Quote of the Day

"There is no hip hop manual for growing old...The 22-year-old college grad who used to love the Roots in 1994 never left. He’s just 40 now and has a wife and kids and doesn’t feel like spending all night at a club."

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