40 Before 40

I turn 40 on February 27th, 2028 (which still seems like a weird year to me…)

But I decided to take a page out of Katie from Runs for Cookies’ book and start my own 40 by 40 goals list. I wrote an entire blog post about how I started following Katie and how she’s inspired me to start my own list and you can read that here. As I complete them, I’ll do a blog post about it and link them below!

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1.Run/Walk a 10K

I’ve signed up for an 8K but I need to take the plunge on a 10 K

2. Run/Walk a Half Marathon

This feels like the most impossible goal ever but I’m determined to make it happen somehow before I’m 40.

3. Travel Out of the Country 

I’ve been to Mexico but other than that, I’ve stayed firmly in the USA. That super needs to change.

4. Have Another Novel Published

My first novel, The Awakened, was published in December 2015 and the sequel, The Sanctuary, was published in January of 2017.

5. Hit My Goal Weight – 130

This one is possible – I know it. I had topped out at 185, lost enough to hit 160 and then gained back to 172. I’m down to 170 so that’s 40 more pounds. Once upon a time, in my early 20s, I was 95 pounds so I know its possible. 130, here I come.

6. Finish all the movies on the AFI Top 100 Movies

This has been a goal of mine for years and I’ve done a lot of them. I go off of this list – there was a ten year anniversary list done in 2007 but I go off the 1998 list. I’m currently up to 66 movies watched so only 34 more to go.

7. Get Up to 1500 Books on GoodReads

I think this is absolutely doable but that means reading at least 100 books a year until I’m 40. This is what I normally do so again not totally crazy. I’m currently up to 707.

8. Go on a Cruise

I live next to the ocean. I’m less than an hour away from Long Beach port and about two hours from San Diego – where all these cruises leave from and I’ve never been on one.

9. Cook an Entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself

I’m not a cook. I’m not a chef. I can barely make food for myself most days. But I do think it would be super excellent to make Thanksgiving dinner – everything – one year. I think if I do it once, I may feel more confident in doing it more often.

10. Make a Significant Dent in my Debt 

I have a lot of medical debt from when I didn’t have insurance and I had kidney stones all the time. This has kept me from doing a lot of things so I really want to start tackling it.

11. Buy Myself a New Car

I had the same car from 2007 to 2019, the only car I’ve ever owned. I passed it along to my younger brother because it just wasn’t going to do it anymore. My boyfriend and I share a car for now but I would love to have my own car again.

12. Get a Breast Reduction  

I’m 4’11 and I have a very small back and virtually nonexistent shoulders. I started developing breasts when I was 9 years old and they just got bigger and bigger over the years. I’ve wanted a breast reduction since I was in high school and I want to make it happen.

13. Ride a Horse 

I’ve never ridden a horse and this makes me so mad. I want to live out my fantasy lifeI want to be every single fantasy character that ever lived.

14. Do a Boudoir Photo Shoot 

This is something I keep thinking about over the years and I’ve gotten close to doing it but I just don’t think I’ve found the right photographer to go to. But the better I treat my body and the better I feel about it, the more I want to do this.

15. Go to a Drive in Movie

I’ve obviously done this before but not since I was a real little kid, I barely have a memory of it. I want to do it again and go all out, blankets and snacks and the whole bit.

16. Learn Spanish 

Being Mexican and not knowing Spanish is actually something that super irritates and disappoints me. I hate that I don’t know and I really want to sit down and learn.

17. Visit 5 New States

I’ve only been to ten of the fifty states – I want to add five more to that list before I’m 40 years old.

18. Buy a Custom Lightsaber 

I told myself I would splurge for a custom, hot pink lightsaber when I got published – which was nearly four years ago and I never did it. So…yeah, I want to do that for sure.

19. Go to a Convention Out of State 

Technically I’ve already done this – RT Convention in Dallas and ALA Conference in Las Vegas but I want to do a big con like Phoenix Fan Expo or a Wizard World Con or Emerald City CC or even NYCC.

20. Learn to Swim Properly 

I’m nearly 32 years old and I can…doggy paddle? Barely? I want to learn to swim properly. I live in California, its ridiculous that I can’t swim.

21. Tip the Bill at a Restaurant

I’ve worked in food service for majority of my life and I know how hard it is and how crap the pay can be. I want to tip the bill for a server one day – and not just a $10 tip on a $10 tab but something significant.

22. Have Lunch/Dinner at Club 33 in Disneyland 

I had a ticket to go, and I got food poisoning and wasn’t able to go and I am literally heartbroken still about it. I hope I can eventually go because its my number one Disney bucket list item.

23. Learn to Make Chilaquiles, Homemade Salsa and Fideo  

My favorites and I only get them if my dad makes them – which was often enough when I was living at home but now? I never get to eat them and I know I need to learn!

24. Go Back to the Grand Canyon 

I visited at 6 am and it was incredible but I’d love to go back and take my time and really see it. I also want to go and make new memories with new people because I don’t speak with the people I originally went with.

25. Visit Catalina Island and Zipline

There’s an island right off the coast of California – I can see it every time I go to the beach – but I’ve never been. I really want to just take a trip finally and do the zipline over there, both checking off a goal and conquering a fear – I hate heights.

26. Run the Golden Gate Bridge 

I don’t know where this came from but I suddenly thought of it and was immediately like, YES, let’s do it. If you do an out and back on the bridge, its roughly 3 miles so basically a 5K. I’m in.

27. Start a podcast as an extension to What A Nerd Girl Says 

I’ve been considering this as a monthly feature in connection to the OG blog for awhile now – I even bought a microphone.

28. Visit a Disney park outside of California

Disneyland is one of my favorite places in the entire world – I actually get a lot of walking and exercise while I’m there – but I’ve never been to any other park, not even Walt Disney World.

29. Go on a Writing Retreat

I’m a pretty solitary writer, I’ve never even participated in the write-ins during NaNoWriMo, but I see so many of my favorite authors going on little writing retreats together and it looks fun. I may also just do it as a solo writing retreat – rent myself an Air BnB in the middle of nowhere and just WRITE.

30. Dye My Hair Pink or Blue

I finally have a job that doesn’t super care that much about what I do as far as my looks go. Its nice to walk around my office with my arms uncovered and my tattoos flying. I haven’t dyed my hair anything fun since 2014, when I got hired at Disneyland, and I’m so ready for some fun. I want to add some color and fun in my life.

31I Can’t Say LOL

Its not bad or anything – its just that its possible that my parents and other members of my family and maybe even coworkers read this and I don’t think they’d super LOVE this one so its on my list but for my eyes only.

32. Watch the entire Disney animated catalog 

This is actually one that I want to accomplish sooner, with Disney+ launching next month in November! I love to binge watch stuff and I end up watching stuff on my phone while I straighten my hair (a daunting task that I do 1-2 times a week), work out and what not so watching the entire Disney catalog is probably one of the first ones I will accomplish.

33. Learn to Sew

I can do very simple sewing things, like sewing up a hole or tear or a button, but I do it very very badly. Like, horribly badly. I want to be able to handle some simple sewing things so maybe, just maybe, I can start cosplaying!

34. Visit Yosemite 

I’ve grown to like the outdoors more since dating my boyfriend and I like hiking and camping and Yosemite is right here in California and I’ve never been.

35. Visit all 21 California Missions

History has always been my favorite subject and it constantly makes me sad that, in California, we’re constantly working at tearing down our history and putting up new things. Its so frustrating. So the California Missions are some of my favorite things about living here because they’re so rich and full of history, the good and the bad, that shaped California. So far, I’ve visited 12 of them.

36. Take a Sisters Trip with Jess and Dink

My sisters and I are really close in age – I’m currently 31, my sister Jess is 28 and my sister Dink is 26. We’ve shared a room for most of our life so even though we fought like normal sisters, we’re also really close. The three of us all have our own lives – boyfriends, apartments, jobs, etc – so we don’t spend as much time together as before, which makes me sad. I really really want to do a sisters trip with them and perhaps even get our matching sisters tattoos that we’ve been talking about for years.

37. Volunteer for Planned Parenthood

I love Planned Parenthood. I love everything that they do and the kind of work they put in to guarantee so many women and men healthcare that they can’t get other places. I have gone there mostly for reproductive health things, like birth control, but they provide so much more than that. I donate to them monthly but I would love to put some actual time into them and volunteer in some way.

38. Take Each Parent Out for a Fancy Dinner

My parents have done a lot for me, a lot for my siblings and even though I think they were absolutely insane to have six children, I think they’ve done pretty all right by us. There’s no way I could really pay them back for all they’ve done for me in my life but I’d love to take each of them out on a parent-kid date to a fancy restaurant where we have to dress up and all of that. It would give us a chance to slow down, talk and enjoy each other’s company. Both of my parents turn 60 prior to my 40th so perhaps those can be the fancy dinners.

39. Take a Tour of Angel Stadium

I have been an Angels fan literally my entire life. I have been to a million and one games and have run not one but two 5Ks at the stadium. I’ve even taken a picture on home plate and a picture with Santa in the team locker room. Yet I’ve never done an official tour. That’s so wrong.

40. Work at a Bookstore

Technically I worked at Barnes and Noble for one holiday season in 2013. But as soon as they realized I’d worked at Panera for 3 years, they stuck me in the cafe and I never got to actually work with the books. I want to work in a bookstore! Even if its just a part-time, short term thing, I think its wrong that I’ve literally never worked at a bookstore.

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