Not only did I never think I would turn 40, but I was shocked to make it to 27. So when this happened, it was quite a surprise. I had a 2-year-old and felt so happy. But at the same time, it really hit me hard. Where did the last 40 years go? What had I done, and what had I accomplished?
I really thought about it on the day and realized 40 years hadn’t flown by; it’d been an eternity. And I felt like I had lived a truly full and funny life, which made turning 40 not as bad as I had thought it would be. But I will say this: The day after you turn 40 is when the time flies, so enjoy every second of your life because it only happens once. Well, at least that we can remember. If you’re turning 40 this year, make the most of it. Here are 40 things to do in your 40s.
Host many parties at your home, and really go for it! Make them all special so people who come appreciate spending $100 on a sitter.
Flirt, even if you’re married; it’s innocent and can make you feel alive again.
Throw yourself your own 40th birthday party.
Make new friends.
Take care of your friends’ kids for the day.
Volunteer once a week, no matter what.
Take one hour a day, once a week to do something for yourself.
Take a nap during the day, or at least shut your eyes—and don’t be interrupted.
Go somewhere international that you’ve never been.
Do something you’ve always wanted to do but were too scared to.
Take a trip with your friends—no kids.
Plan your retirement: Start saving money or buy real estate.
Drinks tons of green tea and pineapple juice.
Put cream all over your body and face overnight before bed.
Accept the fact your eyesight is going, and wear those glasses proudly.
Get weekly acupuncture or massages.
Take a sexy weekend getaway and have sex like you did when you were in your early 30s.
Don’t give a damn what anyone thinks: You’ve gotten this far.
Go for it, whatever that is, without any hesitation: You’re halfway done.
Stop buying unnecessary things.
Don’t hoard. Go through your life’s possessions and edit.
Give more compliments.
Get dressed up more often.
Print photos and create beautiful photo albums to remember and reminisce about your life.
Hang with your family more.
Be friendlier. Say hi to people, and shock them!
Apologize to that person you’ve owed an apology to for a while.
Start a weekly card game.
Do whatever you want to do always, not what people want you to do.
Do something in the bedroom you’ve always dreamed of but have never done.
Write your will.
Handwrite thank-you cards. (You should’ve been doing this throughout life, but it’s never too late to begin.)
Build something—even if it’s just with Lego bricks.
Spend more time with your kids if you have them.
Really quit that bad habit for good (or quit quitting).
Start your midlife crisis, freak out, and then move on.
Wear sunscreen every day all day, and keep reapplying—it doesn't last long in certain conditions.
Next up: how to take care of your skin in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond.
This story was originally published on February 4, 2015, and has since been updated.