40 Before 40: Final Roundup


Well, we’re here at the final roundup for my 40 before 40 list. It’s been three years of new experiences, fun adventures, and figuring out what matters now and for the next 40+ years of my life.

One thing I learned from this process is the importance of priorities. Some larger items on the list didn’t get done because I didn’t apply consistent effort. While I was able to give attention to developing a course, working this list, planning my 10th anniversary, and expanding my involvement with foster youth, I didn’t prioritize practicing Spanish, writing a personal owner’s manual, or writing an 80,000-word novel. That’s OK.

Remaining items that are important to me will be transferred to my 40 After 40 list. Here’s an overview of these past three years, with emphasis on the remaining open items:

1. Try Peruvian food – check!
2. Sponsor an elephant – check!
3. Visit Seattle – check!
4. Complete a 10K – check!
5. Wear my joy – check!
6. Play tourist in my “home city” – check!
7. Try Scandinavian food – check!
8. Develop a free course for my readers – check!

9. Expand my involvement with foster and at-risk youth – check!
Last year, I began working with two more teenagers through my local CASA program and I was asked to serve as vice chair for the organization’s board. If I were less committed, I’d call this goal complete based on that alone. However, this is such a passion area for me, I decided to enroll in a Master of Social Welfare program. Through the program and additional studies after it, I plan to become an expert in programmatic interventions benefiting at-risk youth, particularly those engaged in the foster care and juvenile justice systems.

10. Attend an NFL game – check!
11. Exhibit my watercolor paintings – check!
12. Fly in a glider – check!
13. Attend Holi at Stanford – check!
14. Celebrate 10 years of marriage – check!
15. Dance in the rain – check!
16. Try Stand Up Paddling – check!
17. Attend a concert at Mountain Winery – check!
18. Visit Mendocino, CA – check!
19. Start a personal photography project – check!

20. Do a color run – check!
I had some difficulty completing the more physical aspects of my 40 before 40 list due to an injury I developed training for my first 10K. It took almost two years to get a diagnosis (rupture of my plantar fascia and tearing in my peroneus brevis tendon, plus some inflammation in other areas of my ankle and foot). My podiatrist put me in a walking boot after I’d signed up for the 2017 San Jose Color Run — so I walked the race. In the boot. Good times!

Color Run San Jose 2017

21. Wear yellow – check!

22. Fly a kite – check!
In June, we got together with some friends to fly kites and drones at a local park. It was a bit windy for the drones that day but I had a great time flying my kite. Have you ever flown a kite? It’s a relaxing, almost meditative (and certainly mesmerizing) experience. It was so cool to see the kite soar, bounce, drop to the earth, and soar again in response to the changing winds.

Flying a Kite

23. Visit Europe again – check!
24. See Stonehenge – check!
25. Travel the Chunnel – check!

26. See Rent – check!
#26 was originally attending a fancy-dress ball. I couldn’t find what I was looking for so I swapped in another idea: attending a musical. Although Rent debuted more than 20 years ago, I’d never seen either the musical or movie so, when the touring company came to San Francisco, I snapped up a pair of tickets for hubby and me.

27. Take a sushi making class – check!
I’d been trying to schedule a sushi-making class since announcing this list three years ago but it kept falling through. Finally, I turned to my husband’s coworkers and got together a group to fill a class at Sushi Confidential in Campbell. It was a great time—really interesting and tasty!

Sushi making class

28. Do a mud run – postponed due to injury – transferred to 40 After 40 list
29. Write a 80,000-word novel – transferred to 40 After 40 list
30. Do something fun with my hair – check!
31. Participate in a flash mob – transferred to 40 After 40 list

32. Finally get a wedding album – almost done
My husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this year and we still don’t have a wedding album. I decided to remedy this as part of my 40 before 40 list, and we’re definitely making some progress. We reviewed our wedding photos and chose an album vendor. Now all that’s left is to submit the album for printing and production. Because we’re moving this summer and our album vendor is half a world away, we decided to postpone ordering the album until after our move. Once we’re in Los Angeles, a wedding album will be ours.

33. Have a 5-minute Spanish conversation – transferred to 40 After 40 list
34. Drive a dream car – check!

35. Write a personal owner’s manual – in progress
I’ve learned a lot about myself over these past three years. While I don’t have much of an owner’s manual yet, I have a lot of components for it and that’s enough for me for now.

36. Host holidays at home – check!
37. Get certified in CPR & first aid – check!
38. Visit David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – transferred to 40 After 40 list
39. Stay in a 5-star resort – transferred to 40 After 40 list
40. Buy a house – transferred to 40 After 40 list
41. Write my 40 After 40 List – check!

So, there you have it. I checked off 31/40 items on my 40 before 40 list. Two of the remaining items are in progress and seven will be transferred to my 40 after 40 list. More thoughts and notes about this journey to come.

Kate Watson

Sally Rorer - This is an amazing journal of your activities. All I can say is that it is fantastic. I congratulate you on all of your accomplishments. Yeah!