What should I do for my Fortieth Year?
November 16, 2017 2:14 PM   Subscribe

What should I do for my fortieth birthday at the end of May next year?

Turning forty a the end of May next year and looking for ways to really celebrate before I descend into old age and madness. Could be going solo or possibly a ladyfriend, just depends on the mood that strikes when I book it. Would love to travel, but it's not a requirement.
posted by doogan nash to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have room in your life for a pet? Adopt from an animal shelter and, depending on if it is a dog or a cat (assuming you would choose between one or the other), and that you are not vegan or vegetarian, purchase for yourself and your new companion either the most massive, expensive pieces of dry-aged steak (e.g. a tomahawk, one each) or some magically fresh and ridiculously expensive super-fatty tuna belly from the fish market, and have yourselves a night of decadence and deliciousness.

Back to canned food for both of you the next day, of course, and if it's a cat it will still hate you the moment it finishes licking the plate, but still - imagine that!

Edit: also pets are for life, not just birthdays!
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:31 PM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is there something you've always wanted to do but just never gotten around to? For me that's SCUBA diving, and I'm looking into learning how to SCUBA in some exotic locale for my upcoming 40th.
posted by lunasol at 2:45 PM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding lunasol, do something that involves picking up a new skill and then traveling somewhere to enjoy it. For me, learning how to ice skate in the months leading up to 40 helped remind me I'm not descending into old age and madness – not just yet, at least. And then on my actual birthday, two of my travel buddies went with me to London so I could show off my new talent in front of the Queen. (Sadly, she was unable to attend.)
posted by roger ackroyd at 6:15 PM on November 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

I went to Iceland with a friend and her husband. Highly recommended. Even the waves of tourists can't change the nature of the place, and going somewhere so odd and extreme in landscape is good for breaking up mental ruts.
posted by praemunire at 7:13 PM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

If this is around Memorial Day weekend then I would go out of the country for travel. Every pretty or vaguely touristy place is going to be overrun with families.

This question is so very personal that it approaches chatfilter, but if it were me I would go somewhere alone. I prefer quiet contemplation in a beautiful natural spot. Camping, if you're into that, or renting a cabin if you're not. Gaze up at the stars and ask yourself where you fit into this universe. Leave your smartphone at home, or at least in your car.

What did you learn from your first 40 years on earth? What do you want the next 40 years of your life to look like? Write it down. Write letters to your 50, 60, 70 year old selves.

Buy or find something to serve as a talisman. Could be a pebble you found at a beach, or an old key you found at an antique shop, or something more luxurious. As long as it's something you can carry with you/look at every day, and something that will last the rest of your life.
posted by AFABulous at 9:10 PM on November 16, 2017

personally i plan to lay facedown on the floor and wait for death but ymmv
posted by poffin boffin at 11:40 PM on November 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

Spread it out over the whole year! (You could go Dec 2017 - Nov 2018, birthday in the middle.)

Do you have a hobby that's better with travel? A friend of mine fished 40 streams in his 40th year. You could ski the 40 best slopes, visit 40 art museums, hike 40 National Forests, ...
posted by booth at 1:26 PM on November 17, 2017

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