Today was supposed to be Judging Covers but things happen so we’re talking about why I quit my 40 by 40 instead. Judging Covers will be here on Thursday.
Like every good blogger, I established my 40 by 40 list and shared it for all the world to see. I think I created it when I was 37, almost 38, giving me more than 2 years to accomplish it (although I put that I had 52 months. I should have put “relearn math” on the list). It wasn’t a difficult list, with mostly easy items to check off or accomplish. I made some progress and then, about a year ago, I said fuck it and quit the whole damn thing.
Deciding to quit it wasn’t something I hemmed and hawed about. I didn’t work through all the pros and cons or have a long, drawn out discussion with friends or my husband or even here. I simply decided I didn’t want to do it anymore and let it go.
But since some of you asked why, here’s the main reasons:
- It was too much pressure. I started to feel obligated to do things that maybe I didn’t care about anymore and that didn’t make them fun.
- I hated most of the items. Admittedly, it was a stupid list and at this point, almost nothing on it seemed either feasible or like something I wanted to do.
- It was arbitrary. When I created it, I threw things at a wall to see what stuck. Sort of like I do with spaghetti. I didn’t spend much time thinking it through and what came out was a big old mess of shit. This is probably what led me to hate the items.
- It was impractical. There were items on there that had absolutely no way of coming true given my propensity for laziness and introvert tendencies.
- I don’t think of 40 as a deadline. I know it’s one of those milestone, big deal birthdays but honestly? I’m totally fine with turning 40 and I certainly don’t think that I have to stop trying new things because of my age.
- It seemed too final. Like, what do I do when that’s all done? Goals and new things should be fluid rather than fixed. Crossing off the items gave me a sense of accomplishment but then what? Is this list really all I want to do?
- It was too bucket listy. I don’t believe in bucket lists and a 40 by 40 made it sound like my life was ending (see explanation #5). If I had a list, it needs to be more of the to-do type and without finite deadlines.
- I usually forgot about it. When making decisions, I rarely referred to the list. I did what I wanted with no regard for any type of progress.
- I didn’t care anymore. Honestly, it stopped being important to me to work through it.
So there you go. That’s why I gave it up.
I don’t necessarily feel freer that I don’t have it anymore but I definitely feel less obligated. I still want to do check off many of the items but I’ll get to it when I get to it and that’s fine by me.
How about you guys? Do you have a 40 by 40 or 30 by 30 or any other age related goals list? If you had one and quit like I did, why did you?