back to top
Community

40 Things I Did 40 Times (or More) Before Turning 40

The first-ever mid-life crisis played out as a two-part series of Buzzfeed list articles

Posted on

I’m probably the last Gen X-er to turn 40... and the first millennial to turn 40... BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. It’s equal parts empowering and daunting. And as I reach this milestone, it's important to take pride in what I’ve accomplished, and reflect on the unfulfilled promise.

In Part I of this mid-life crisis in list form, I calculate, celebrate and commemorate a bunch of things I've done. And done. And done again.

Some are experiences you'd want to have (seeing Bruce Springsteen in concert almost 70 times); Others are things I wish I'd never experienced even once (getting caught in a downpour without an umbrella). But such is the life of a 40-year old suburban dad...

(Also see Part II: 40 Things I Didn't Get The Chance To Do Before Turning 40.)

1. Regretted a Decision

Via giphy.com

They say you should live your life without regrets. I'm failing at that. I can think of at least 100 things I've regretted saying, doing, making or trying. Fuck it - if you don't have regrets, then you're not learning from mistakes.

Also: Agreeing to write this post may be my most recent, though certainly not the biggest.

2. Injured Myself Putting Something Together

Via giphy.com

I swear, I'm very handy. Yet almost every appliance, piece of furniture, game, kid toy or any other purchase that has required assembly has resulted in some sort of injury.

Reco: ALWAYS pay to have something pre-assembled, delivered or installed.

3. Consumed More M&M's Than Initially Intended

Via giphy.com

FACTS: Fun-size packs are too small. Vending machine-size packs are too small. Movie theater-size boxes are too small. 2-pound bags are too small.

4. Embellished a Story for Dramatic Effect (to Make a Point)

Via giphy.com

I've done this millions of times!

5. Shaved My Back

Via giphy.com

At some point, we all care less about how we look with our shirts off. But I haven't given up completely just yet.

6. Thought of Something Brilliant in the Middle of the Night... Only to Forget it the Next Morning

Via giphy.com

For the life of me, I'll never remember any of those billion-dollar ideas I come up with when waking up in the middle of the night.

7. Burned the Roof of My Mouth

Via giphy.com

"Wait until it cools off. Wait until it cools off. Wait until it cools off."

Can't wait... take a bit... AHHH HELL THAT'S HOT!

8. Inaccurately Self-Diagnosed an Ailment, Illness, Injury or Fatal Disease

Via giphy.com

Do you actually need a doctor to tell you it's strep? Or the flu? Or a concussion?

Actually, probably, yes.

9. Thought About Starting a Podcast...

Via giphy.com

...only to think "Who the fuck listens to podcasts?" or "I have nothing relevant to say" or "Why would anyone listen to me?"

10. Complained About Going to the Beach

Via giphy.com

I don't mind the ocean, but I hate sand. It gets everywhere - like EVERYWHERE - and you are still cleaning out your bags, shoes and other places for days on end.

11. Swept the Leaves Out of My Garage

Via giphy.com

Despite a 15+ year break while living in the city, I've been fighting a losing battle to keep the damn leaves out of my garage. They somehow always find their way back in. Stay on the lawn, for crissakes.

12. Arrived At the Airport More Than Two Hours Ahead of Time Before a Flight

Via giphy.com

Yup, I'm THAT guy. The one who'd rather be early than late. The one who fears long security lines. The one who waits for more than two hours at the gate jus to be safe. And no, I've never missed a flight...

13. Eaten a Cheesesteak Between the Hours of 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Via giphy.com

Also filed under: "The College Years."

14. Watched The Shawshank Redemption

Via giphy.com

Flipping through the channels quickly, catching Shawshank about 1/3 of the way in, watching diligently through commercials until Red finds Andy on the beach in Zihua.

And repeat.

15. Been Flummoxed by a Jam in the Office Printer

Via giphy.com

How many times have I hit "Print," walked over to the printer/copier only to see that someone else didn't clear a paper jam? Or refill/roload an empty tray?

16. Woken Up Early, Then Been Unable to Fall Back Asleep

Via giphy.com

Just wait until you have kids. This will be a daily occurrence.

17. Papercuts

Via giphy.com

On average, I get one paper cut per week. Multiply that by 52, then again times 37 (because i wasn't getting them before age 3), and it's fair to estimate that I've gotten roughly 1,900 papercuts in my life. So far.

18. Lost in Fantasy Sports Due To a Bad Move

Via giphy.com

Sometimes mistakes on Draft Day can have devastating consequences. Sometimes, starting the wrong WR in the flex spot at 12:55pm on Sunday leads to a 2-point loss. Either way, it's not good. So why do we torture ourselves with this again...?

19. Apocalyptic Experiences on the Long Island Railroad

Via giphy.com

I ride the train twice a day. And it's almost always miserable. In just the past month alone, I've experienced "Peanut Guy" and "Popcorn Man" - and that doesn't even account for the "2017 Summer of Hell."

20. Vomited

Via giphy.com

Without exaggeration, there were probably single months in college where I vomited at least 40 times from excessive drinking. I'm not saying this with pride, but certainly with a small bit of nostalgia.

21. Quoted Entire Episodes of Seinfeld

Via giphy.com

It's not a lie if you believe it.

22. Panicked When my Phone Battery Dips Below 70%

Via giphy.com

Without question, this is the single greatest source of personal anxiety.

23. Not Realized That Something I Was Eating Contained Garlic in it... Until it Was Too Late

Via giphy.com

While it's not an allergy, per se, what do you call it when your body simply refuses to digest and metabolize an entire type of food found in 80% of cooked meals.

24. Read a Presidential Biography

Via giphy.com

When you bring trashy magazines or mystery novels to the beach, I bring 1,000-word hard cover biographies. In fact, prior to starting my current project -- a sequential reading of presidential bios (I'm up to Nixon, #37) -- I had read dozens more out of order. So when it comes to presidential expertise, it's Douglas Brinkley, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Edmund Morris and me.

25. Jaywalked

Via giphy.com

Honestly, every day crossing the street in NYC successfully is akin to cheating death.

26. Exaggerated the Effects of Drunkenness

Via giphy.com

Not proud of this, but when others keep going strong and ordering more shots at the bar, the only way to respectfully slow down is to fall off the chair, stumble backwards and disappear into the bathroom for a few minutes.

27. Kicked People Out of my Seats at Mets Games

Via giphy.com

They're my seats. I paid for them.

28. Leave a bar AFTER closing time

Via giphy.com

I'm not saying I miss nights like these in my 20's with friends, at a dive bar just a few blocks from my apartment, but... well, yes I do.

29. Lost at Blackjack with 20 When The Dealer Pulls 21

Via giphy.com

You're sitting there feeling pretty good about yourself... a King and a Queen staring back at you... while the dealer has a 6 showing. They turn the other card over to reveal a 5... and you know what's coming next...

30. Mosquito Bites

Via giphy.com

Yes, we've all gotten hundreds of mosquito bites in our lives, but I'm actually referring to an even more annoying type of mosquito bite: the ones you get when you step outside for less than 30 seconds, yet they still manage to find the small patch of exposed skin, latch on and suck long enough to draw blood.

31. Absolutely Nailed It In Karaoke

Via giphy.com

You choose a song you know everyone will like, you hit all the high notes, land every syllable, even throw in some choreography for good measure. But halfway through yet another epic karaoke performance, you realize either they're not paying attention or they just don't care.

32. Blown Through A Stop Sign

Not to make light of safety, which is serious, so Stop signs do serve a purpose when there are multiple cars or pedestrians at an intersection. But, like, 90% of the time, when it's just you at the corner, slowing down for a few seconds is totally good enough.

33. Left the House Without Wallet, Phone or Both

Via giphy.com

When it hits you...

34. Farted On a Plane

Via giphy.com

Yes, we all do it. But the key is to keep it quiet, and look accusingly at others BEFORE they smell it so that you always have the upper hand.

35. Written a Questionable Tweet

Via giphy.com

There are only two kinds of tweets:

1. Tweets you didn't realize people would find offensive.

2. Tweets you think might be offensive but post anyway.

Of my almost 30,000 tweets, I'd say they are split pretty evenly down the middle.

36. Voted

Via giphy.com

As a property-holding white male, you'd think that I would take the right to vote for granted. But in the 22 years since I turned 18, I've probably voted 100 times. Primaries, general elections, state, local, federal, school boards, budget votes, buzzfeed polls, you name it. And while I won't say this next election matters more than ever... this election matters more than ever.

37. Been Wrong

Via giphy.com

There. I said it.

Yes, I've been wrong WAY more than 40 times in my life...

...though this may be the first time I've ever admitted it.

38. Felt Gratitude

Life isn't about what you do, but with whom you do it. There are always going to be people that help you along the way, people who care: parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, total strangers. And while being appreciative to those people is important, so is expressing it (which I'm not nearly as good at). So to anyone and everyone who has done something good or kind for me along the way, thank you.

39. Said "I Love You" Before Bed

Via giphy.com

When I was a kid, I remember hearing about a friend's dad who passed away overnight. It haunted me ever since... Now, every night with my kids when putting them to sleep, the last thing I tell them is that I love them. You know... just in case I don't wake up. Then I usually fall asleep in their bed and wake up in the middle of the night with a stiff neck or sore back.

40. Celebrated a Birthday

Via giphy.com

Well, today is the day. 40th birthday.

40 years of accomplishments, 40 years of laughs, 40 years of emotions, 40 years of mistakes and 40 years of hopes and dreams, some of which have been fulfilled, but lots of time left to check those boxes and knock things off the bucket list...

41.

42.

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!