Update: 20 things to do before I turn 40

June 26, 2019

mission akilah

Today is my 40th birthday, which means it’s time for me to do an update of my big list as well as talk about next steps.

A ✅ means I did the thing.

  1. finish reading the entire Bible
  2. go on a Disney Cruise
  3. go see Hamilton ✅ (I didn’t write a post about this, but. It was amazing. Duh.)
  4. go to Harry Potter world in Orlando ✅ (Okay, I did half of this because I went to the one in LA, which is not the same, but is almost there. I bought a wand. It counts.)
  5. take a knife skills class
  6. ride in a hot air balloon
  7. go to a taping of Price Is Right ✅ (went and was a contestant)
  8. take surfing lessons ✅ (I also didn’t post about this, but I should have. I did this in Santa Cruz where the water was FREEZING, and I was exhausted. If I do it again–which I probably won’t–it will be somewhere like Hawaii where the water is warm, and I will be well-rested.)
  9. go to Hawaii ✅ (you can see pictures here)
  10. do NaNoWriMo ✅ (I realized that I have done some version of this before, so I’m counting it as done.)
  11. complete blog series on 40 books that shaped me like Myra did
  12. see Bruno Mars (and any other musical act I’m interested in that tours) in concert ✅ (AMAZING. Also: the bomb. I also got an opportunity to see Patti LaBelle and Babyface [separately, not together] which was just…whew.)
  13. finish a screenplay and submit it ✅
  14. learn Spanish
  15. do a bunch of tourist stuff in LA ✅ (this is too vague, but yes, I have done this )
  16. publish a book
  17. go on a date
  18. take one of those wine and paint classes ✅
  19. learn to sew on a sewing machine

Halfway there!

Anyway, I have decided that I’m going to take up until my next birthday to accomplish the rest of the things on my list so now it’s my 20 Before 40 (Is Over) list. So here’s what’s left with some revisions:

  1. finish reading the entire Bible
  2. go on a Disney cruise
  3. take a knife skills class
  4. ride in a hot air balloon
  5. blog about 40 books that shaped me
  6. sell a screenplay
  7. learn Spanish
  8. go on a Magical Mystery Tour
  9. learn to sew on a sewing machine
  10. get out of debt
  11. go visit my daughter in Japan


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  1. The Widow Badass

    Happy birthday Akilah! It just keeps getting better from here (says someone turning 60 next month).


    • Akilah

      That’s what I like to hear! And thank you, Deb!

  2. Myra Garces-Bacsal

    Happy 40th! Hope it was a blast for you. Celebrated in Maldives for my 40th. 🙂
    I hope you have a glorious celebration. Hugs!
    Looking forward to your blogpost on the 40 books that shaped you!

  3. Bryan G. Robinson

    First, happy belated. Second, you did better on your list than I did on mine for my 50th… And reminds me that I need to redo mine too. But congratulations on your accomplishments and here’s to your 40th year being great!

  4. Sharlene

    A very happy birthday to you!
    Great work on the list! And yes I reckon Wizarding World in LA counts!


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