40 for 40

I’m shamelessly stealing this idea from a good friend of mine who does an annual list on his birthday. I’m doing this this year as a one off for no other reason than I’m turning 40 today, and over the past 12 months or so I’ve pretty much turned my life upside down with buying a house, a new car, and changing employers for the first time since graduating university (over 15 years in one small business). I’ve never been a big birthday person, I never liked being the centre of attention. I always just think its just another day and I’d almost rather it pass me by.

That said, 40 is a significant round number, and if the past year qualified as a mid life crisis turning everything around, then my 40 for 40 list is about putting the proverbial pen to paper to lay out a lot of things I think about, but in a way where I can hopefully look back in a year and feel I’ve kept making steps forward to being the me I want to be for the next 40 years of my life, as I feel it’s taken me the first 40 to have any idea of who that person is.

Begin Here on May 9th, 2019

  1. Listen to 1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins, because, 40 years ago…yeah, I know. Was best song I could think of that’s either about the year or got 40 in the title.
  2. Followed by the best 4 albums of 1979 – Damn the Torpedoes by Tom Petty (RIP), London Calling by The Clash, Highway to Hell by AC/DC and The Wall by Pink Floyd
    • Bonus for on Vinyl
  3. Actually post this on my Blog and acknowledge that I’m setting myself out on some mid-life ish year goals.

The Easy

  1. Thank my friends for being there, through good and bad, thick and thin. I’ve not always been the greatest ray of light in the room, but you’ve all stuck with me, here’s to many more good years!
  2. Continue with the decisions made as a 39 year old to put myself first and hold onto the work-life balance I’ve found for the first time in my adult life.
  3. Continue to get 7+ hours of sleep a night, fight the urges to keep puttering at 11pm just because I don’t feel tired.
  4. Continue to get up when the alarm goes off (6am seems awfully early after a decade plus of 7:30-8:00am most days) and have the time to start my day properly rather than straining for every last second of not getting up and then struggling to start my day.
  5. Continue to eat breakfast everyday (something I only started to do at 39 because of a high blood sugar diagnosis).
  6. Keep reading at least 2 books a month making good use of my subway time commuting.
  7. Watch the 40 Year Old Virgin (I haven’t seen it, and I couldn’t think of any other movies about being 40).
  8. Read a Harry Potter Book. I’ve never read any of them.
    • Bonus for each book beyond the first read.
  9. Watch a Harry Potter Movie. I’ve only ever seen the first one, and honestly I wasn’t paying attention when I did.
    • Bonus for each movie beyond the first.
  10. Watch Dirty Dancing. No seriously, I haven’t watched it, I’ve steadfastly refused to.
    • Bonus if I watch it with my wife.
  11. Attend a concert/show at 4 Toronto Music Venue’s I haven’t been to before.
  12. Actually cook some of the recipes from one of the cookbooks I own.
  13. Secret
  14. Go Skating, I haven’t gone skating in several years, and I miss it.
    • Bonus if a return to Friday night High Park shinny happens.
  15. Visit the ROM. I realized I still have not been since before the Crystal Expansion opened, it’s a bit past time.
  16. Try a beer from 40 Breweries that I haven’t tried before.
    • Bonus if all 40 are Ontario Breweries


The Obvious – Train/Model Railroad Related Stuff

  1. Run a train from one end of my layout to the other without it derailing or losing power. What? It’s taken me 40 years to actually be building a real layout, that’s a decent goal!
  2. Learn or make major improvements in at least 4 new model making skills/techniques
  3. Ride a steam excursion at the South Simcoe Railway, Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway or Waterloo Central Railway. I travel to the UK and US for steam, but never visit those in my backyard.
  4. Go railfanning once a month, somewhere I haven’t been (recently or regularly at least) and outside of Toronto (camping out along Lakeshore photographing GO Trains doesn’t count).

The Challenging

  1. See a CFL Game in Montreal to complete the Eastern Division Stadiums.
    • Bonus if somehow I tick off any of Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton to have been at games in all the western CFL cities.
  2. Make a batch of Home Brewed Beer.
  3. Ride my bike at least to the subway once a week from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving (3.5km each way on the route that avoids the busiest streets, 2.8km each way most direct).
  4. Walk home from the subway at least two nights a week through the summer, and find an alternative walk for the winter when walking in the suburbs isn’t pleasant.
  5. Ride my bike from home to work (26.7-29.2km depending on route and major road avoidance) at least once in the same summer season.
    • Bonus: Ride home the same day
  6. TBA Health Goal
  7. End the year in a more secure financial state where I have at least two month’s worth of mortgage payments in a TFSA.
  8. Do something to raise funds for a Charity.
  9. Score two goals in a Rec Soccer game. I’ve done everything else I’ve wanted to do, scored left and right footed, a header, a penalty, but I’ve never in my life scored twice in a game. Given I play over half my games as a keeper, and, to be honest am not particularly fast at running, scoring goals is a rare occurence for me.

The improbable/Travel (because this is my way of having a mid-life crisis)

  1. Take a lap of Mosport (in a car, I’ve walked the track before after racing was done for the weekend).
    • Bonus if it’s in my car.
    • Double Bonus if somehow I get an IMSA Hot Lap during the Sportscar Grand Prix Weekend.
  2. Drive a Corvette.
    • Bonus if its somehow integrated with a lap of Mosport.
  3. Attend a 24 Hour Car Race, or book tickets to attend Le Mans 2020.
    • Half Point for attending Petit Le Mans or Sebring 12 Hours or a World Endurance Championship race (mostly as they would involve lengthy travel).
  4. Drive & Fire a Steam Locomotive for a day.
  5. Attend a Railway Prototype Modellers Meet in the US (Napierville/Chicago, New England or Cocoa Beach).
  6. Finish my provincial checklist (Alberta and Newfoundland) so I can move on to the North (Northwest Territories, Yukon & Nunavut).

End here on May 9, 2020

  1. When the birds can be heard above the reckoning carts doing some final accounting…own up to how well I did come May 9, 2020 (RIP Gord).
  2. Arrive refreshed and ready for the next 40+ years of my life.

5 thoughts on “40 for 40

  1. Fantastic list. I went skating for the first time in years this winter and had forgotten how much fun it was. Perhaps you could combine Newfoundland with the Targa? It’s more than a 24hr event, would that knock out 35 & 38?

    If your looking for an alternate event you can substitute in and you have any interest in dirt sprint cars I’d be happy to invite you to a race at Ohsweken Speedway or Brighton Speedway. You can knock changing tires on a sprint car off your list.

    Happy Birthday

  2. Good thing that your loving wife took care of #17 for you, eh?

    And I’ll do my best to get #32 checked off for you.

  3. Thank you all for the kind comments. I’ve had plenty of off-line feedback from people as well. I had a very good birthday a week and a half ago now, and feel refreshed and motivated.

    Mike, going to Oshweken to see the dirt track action has been on my to do list for some time. When the World of Outlaws guys have been coming up it has always seemed to conflict with something else. Maybe this will be the summer I get back out that way, I haven’t been down that way in many years since I was down there for work and meetings with the planners of the Six Nations band council over one of my clients at the times projects near the reservation.



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