Forty Is the New Black

Hello and happy New Year, everyone! I hope y’all had a great holiday season and are gearing up to make 2011 a fantastic year. Gasp and sigh. I’m now 40. I achieved that milestone birthday on December 12th, and while others may lament turning 40, I’m very proud of the “salt” starting to sprinkle in with my “pepper.” Forty is, indeed, the new black!

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Hello and happy New Year, everyone! I hope y’all had a great holiday season and are gearing up to make 2011 a fantastic year. Gasp and sigh. I’m now 40. I achieved that milestone birthday on December 12th, and while others may lament turning 40, I’m very proud of the “salt” starting to sprinkle in with my “pepper.” Forty is, indeed, the new black!

However, my 40th birthday has been full in introspection, prayer and relief. Thanks to a health scare and subsequent hospital stay in early December, I have a slightly different perspective today than I’ve had in months past. I’m lucky to be here on this planet and I thank God and the spirit of my mom, JoAnn, every day for that (moms are always there when you need them.) Sometimes, we just need things to happen to remember to both take proper care of ourselves and make the most of the time we have so that way down the road when we’re 95 we can all say that we made the most of the lives we have.

A while back I wrote about a list of 40 things I wanted to do now that I’ve reached the awesome age of 40: my 40/40 list. That’s right, I’m embracing things I’ve always wanted to do and am no longer wasting time. I’ve even knocked a couple of things off my list already (which I noted below). So, check out my list (even though I’ve only come up with 28 or so.) I intend for them all to be done by December 31, 2011 and the remaining 12 are coming (it‘s hard to think of 40 things!)

  • Read a book a month
  • See 1 Best Picture Oscar winner per month I’ve never seen before
  • Finish writing my book
  • Skydive
  • Be in a movie or TV show as an extra
  • Run up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum like Rocky Balboa
  • Use my passport to travel someplace in the world I’ve never been
  • Volunteer at a food bank or shelter for a day
  • Meet James Earl Jones to tell him how much he inspired my career as a communicator
  • Write and record an original “Star Wars” audio book (including music and sound effects) for my friend’s new son
  • Learn how to drive stick shift
  • Visit a monument or national park I’ve never seen in the U.S. (Done December 2010)
  • See a concert in a city I’ve never been to
  • Design a piece of clothing
  • Practice random acts of kindness each month
  • Floss my teeth at least once a day
  • Shave my beard and mustache to remember what my face looks like (Done January 1)
  • Visit the real “Jersey Shore,” not the one vapidly portrayed in the TV show
  • Paint a picture
  • See a Cubs game
  • Take a cooking class and cook a challenging recipe from scratch
  • Beg to visit George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch and take a tour
  • Dedicate a park bench to my mom in Chicago
  • Frame one of my vintage movie posters
  • See a bald eagle in the wild (Done January 1)
  • Walk across the Ben Franklin Bridge (from Jersey to Philadelphia)
  • Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Learn how to do simple home repairs (like fixing a leaky faucet)
  • Think of 12 more things to do this coming year

Now is the time to seize life and not take it for granted anymore. I’m going to write today, take care of a few errands and just be thankful about the ability to go workout. Oh, and if you know and/or feel something is wrong go see your doctor! I can’t stress that enough.

Blog written by Bill Larson
Bill Ivory Larson has lost a total of 175 pounds, without surgery or a special diet. In 2005, when he moved from Chicago to...