Sep 16, 2014

Before 40

Tomorrow is September 17, 2014. It will be exactly 1,000 days until my 40th birthday.

I used to make more life lists, birthday lists, all sorts of lists. And then I had kids, and my lists took on a much more day-to-day look – groceries we needed, baby items to grab at Target, what to pack for our family visits to Chicago, etc. About two weeks ago, I realized not only did I no longer have an official Life List written down anywhere, I had no big goals for the next chunk of my life, excepting my 10,000 hats quest. For someone who has always loved having multiple goals and lists going at a time, this felt foreign, and more than a little sad.

So I’m remedying this, in large fashion. I’ve made a list of things I want to accomplish in the next 1,000 days. My hope is to have a life full of new experiences and completed mini-goals as I blow out my candles on my 40th birthday. I’ll document these here on the blog, of course, with more or less words depending on the goal.

Many of these goals I'll also document on Instagram, with hashtags used to help me keep track of it all.

Here’s my goals:
  1. Get to 1500 hats donated.
  2. Knit through the wool stash for nest: Maine.
  3. Use up my leftover bits of yarn.
  4. 100 Sandoval Hats.
  5. 100 Waffles Hats.
  6. Knit one sweater for each of us. 1. Lou's Owlet 
  7. 25 hot yoga classes.
  8. Live in the home where we'll have our kids' high school graduation parties.
  9. Insta-Life book for each year (including finishing the one for 2013).
  10. Read 100 books. (Instagram #robynreads100 to see where I'm at with this one.)
  11. Take Owen on a "real" train (not the one at the zoo).
  12. Capsule wardrobe project through 2015.
  13. Get a passport. Travel somewhere that uses said passport.
  14. Go on an adults-only vacation with friends.
  15. Get my teaching certificate. 
  16. Donate 25 large priority flat rate boxes full of hats to various charities.
  17. Stand on the bridge where Iowa and Nebraska touch.
  18. Finish the 40 Golden Pear hats.
  19. Raise $5,000 for Pencils of Promise.
  20. Finish getting my teeth taken care of.
  21. Watch 10 documentaries.
  22. Write 15 letters to Hababo. 1/15 done.
  23. Sponsor a second child.
  24. Take Lou to her first football game.
  25. Toes in the ocean.
  26. Donate blood 10 times.
  27. Honeymoon. Finally.
  28. Read three chapter books to Owen.
  29. 10 real push-ups.
  30. Hat-tember project again, this time knitted hats.
  31.  Learn about humanism.
  32. Try every flavor of Baskin Robbins ice cream.
  33. Library cards for the whole family.
  34. Try 25 new beers. 1. Zombie Monkie.2. Laguinitas Censored. 3. Arcadia Rapunzel.
  35. Practice public gratitude for 30 days (at least).
  36. Donate baby hats to the hospital Grandma Corwin used to donate to.
  37. Get our will in order.
  38. Watch the kids eat chicago-style pizza for the first time.
  39. Finish all the half-done patterns.
  40. Stitch Dictionary Project.


  1. you have some great goals on this list! good luck and have fun accomplishing all of them! you can do it!

  2. I'm looking forward to following the next 1000 days. You certainly have a lot of get up and go!

  3. You continue to inspire me. Last year, wait now that is is 2015 I guess it has been more than a year... so in Oct. 2013 when I attended your book reading / signing at Hill Vintage and Knits in Des Moines, I was inspired to get writing. There you were so humble and accomplished, so "I did this, thanks for supporting me," in attitude, and there was your book so engaging and straightforward. I was thrilled to be in the periphery of such everyday greatness - you know everyday people doing things they are passionate about and sharing it with other everyday people. Well, I think that is the moment I committed to writing my book, which I completed within the year. Now I read this post on your blog "Before 40" and I realize I need to be creating the moments I want to experience. I need to be opening my life to adventure, the unknown, the possible, rather than being complacent or lamenting that I am not adventuring. So thanks Robin, you put yourself out 'there' through you words - blog, book, interactions...
    I am thinking on my own lists, my own possibilities, my own power.
    I share one here - I will sell 100 copies of my book Wren & Ignacio. thanks for helping me begin that journey.