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.
Start a new workout program—try something you’ve never tried before.
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.
Accept the fact your eyesight is going, and wear those glasses the doctor gave you.
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.
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.
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 only lasts an hour.
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.