January 29, 2010

Goals for my 40th year: Jo navel-gazes.

Not one of my goals.

Yeah, so. I'm turning forty. In about three weeks. This is not a huge deal, anxiety-wise; I had more worries about turning 25. The way I see it, if my forties are half as good as the last half of my thirties were, they'll kick some serious good-times butt.

Still, good times don't just happen. You gotta make 'em happen, and one of the ways to make 'em happen is to make sure that all your ducks are in a row as far as what you want goes. So I've made a list of five things I intend to accomplish this year, most (but not all!) of them health-and-fitness based, and I'm going to share them with you.

Check it out...

Goal the first: Lose this other twenty poundses.

I've lost about twenty pounds (give or take) since April, but I have twenty more to go. If it takes me all year, fine. If it happens faster, fantastic. I'm still doing the DASH diet combined with Weight Watchers, so I figure it'll happen, slowly--but it's still a goal to keep in the front of the ol' brainbox.

Goal the second: Drop my blood pressure by another 20 points.

Thanks to DASH, two things have happened: my systolic BP is down 20 points, to 130, and I can no longer tolerate processed food of any sort. The BP, like the weight, still has to come down some more, though. It's ironic that it skyrocketed *after* I reduced my weight, but I guess I'm in that minority of folks who are sodium-reactive.

*sigh* No more pizza for me, I guess.

Goal the third (not health and fitness related): Buy some real damn cosmetics.

I have to wear makeup to work. It's not a requirement of the manglement, or anything, but I find that it makes people both take me more seriously and not ask me if I'm feeling poorly.

I also work twelve-hour (more like thirteen-hour) shifts. Hot, nasty, messy, sweaty, dirty, blood-soaked, sputum-ridden shifts. At the end of one of those shifts--oh, gosh, let me be real: at the two-hour mark--my makeup has melted down my face or disappeared into the creases of my eyelids, regardless of the primer I've used or the skill with which I've applied it.

If I'm gonna have to wear (redacted) (expurgated) (deleted) paint on my face, I'm goin' straight for M.A.C.

Goal the fourth: Go back to doing yoga.

My flexibility is cruddy right now, and it shows. It's time to get back to yoga so I don't stiffen up and become like Colossus.

Goal the fifth: Have a life outside of work.

For the last year or so, all I've done is work. The past three months were spent training for this CCU job I've got; the nine months before that, my previous work situation was so miserable that all I did on my off-days was curl up in a ball and whine. It's time to have a life, defined as going outside during the daylight hours, going to bookstores, talking to real meat people, and occasionally going with friends to, say, get coffee. Having a life outside of working, blogging, and working out is a prerequisite for mental health. My mental health, once as cruddy as my flexibility and my makeup, has taken a definite uptick. It's time to reap the benefits.

So whoop, there 'tis. I'm thinking numbers three and four will be more-or-less immediately attainable, while numbers one, two, and five will require work (and, in the case of the last one, getting off the night shift). I'll keep you all updated as to progress this year. I'm also taking longer-term suggestions of Things Not To Put Off Until I'm Fifty.


  1. I believe in you, Jo!! you're already halfway to your ultimate goals, which is great. :)

    My dad was in the CCU in dec after his heart attack.. Mom and I spent quite some time talking with the staff while Dad was chilled with the Artic Sun procedure. What you do in the CCU is amazing, hon. Thank you and everyone else that does such hard, stressful, and meaningful work!

  2. Happy 40th to come.. I'll be in my last 40th year.. I'm turning 49 on April 24th..

    I feel great..

    Eating organic mainly.. exercising (easy program which I should gear up)...and being more spiritual too now.


    Happy 40th.. I had the best years from 41 to almost 49 already of my life.. The best... ever.. the most learning; growing; adventures; job career changes; friendships (men).. etc.

    My goal is to do a harder work out..

    Betty Ann

  3. I'll be 45 this March (so you are just a baby in my mind!) The loss of flexibility after 40 was a real surprise to me. I wish I'd done what you plan to do and take up yoga. Now that I'm stretching more regularly, I've seen some nice changes-an no more knee pain. Yippee!

    Happy almost birthday!

  4. I love your goals ... doable (not like scale the North wall of the Eiger) and worthwhile. I'm 55 - don't wait until then. But it's never too late!

  5. Those are some great goals! Please do keep us posted...would love to hear how they turn out :)

  6. Those seem like pretty decent goals to me :)

    Don't fret about age...it's all abotu how you feel if you ask me...

  7. Happy pre-birthday, Jo! I hear ya on the life outside work. I can't imagine how you could ever feel like socializing after your job. Good luck with the rest of your goals!

    PS: Bobbi Brown cosmetics are magical and stay on forever.

  8. You are going into 40 with a great attitude. I turn 41 in 3 1/2 and I laugh at how worried I was about turning 40. You have great goals! I am now off to check out the DASH diet!:)

  9. Great goals, fantastic attitude. My parents said through most of their lives that things just kept getting better - while they had always been happy, there was no time they'd go back to, no time they preferred to the present. Oh, well, my mother did say that she'd been fine with all her birthdays, but having her first daughter (me) turn 40 did get her attention! I'm 58 now, and so far I totally agree. Worrying about that number is silly. It just takes away from our ever-more-precious good times.

    Have a great birthday and a wonderful year!

  10. Love the goals.
    Love the 40.

    I turned 40 and a half last week and it rocks.

    Ill be back as I need some "things to do before Im 50" tips as well from your loyal readers.


  11. I'm looking forward to my 40th (next year), too. And those are some totally realistic goals. Isn't it interesting how naturally your fits more naturally in the right place than when we were in our 20's and 30's?

    Oh, some makeup advice: Mineral foundation. Bare Minerals or even the cheap Ulta brand holds up pretty well.

  12. I'm 43 and I love it. If you're in good health, age really is just a number.

    As for cosmetics, I've heard good things about mineral makeup, but never tried it. I started using Origins skin care products in this past year and I'm totally hooked on what they do for my skin.

  13. Those goals seem doable and admirable.

    Just went to check out the DASH diet on Wikipedia since I'd never heard of it; I'll have to check out some of the recipes.

    Manglement? Love the word...

  14. I'm 58! I barely can remember my 40th birthday party! LOL Good times in the 40's...seriously!

    I HIGHLY recommend not MAC, but Bare Escentuals make-up. It's the ONLY makeup that doesn't melt off my face; lasts ALL day! Seriously!

    Good luck!

  15. Happy Birthday, Jo - the 40's are great (says this 46-year-old)!!!

    I like #5 best - it's time to start living!

  16. I am always pushing swimming to people, But swimmers have the lowest blood pressure and I think it has to do with the water pressure on your entire body. Like its very difficult for me to even get my heart rate up above 130 in the pool sprinting all out even. You might want to consider adding the water to your routine and see what happens.

    Happy 40th! I posted my glamour shots I gave myself for my 40 on my blog the day before yesterday.

  17. I did a sub-internship in CCU in medical school. Not only did I learn so much from the nurses, but the whole atmosphere with the dim lighting was very relaxing :-)

  18. Happy birthday. You are on a great track. Hope you throw yourself an awesome party.

    On the makeup front, I just wanted to drop in and make a plug for the Stila brand. They really excel in the foundation and powder realms. Great texture, exceptionally neutral colors, good endurance. I regularly use their tinted moisturizers and finishing powder. Many swear by their compact foundations. I also really love the lipsticks from Benefit, again because their neutrals are so neutral I can literally wear all of their colors. But yeah, Stila is one of the actually-worth-the-money brands.

  19. Jo -- your goals are great and i'm glad you're working towards better physical AND mental health! i'll be hoping alongside you!

  20. Life outside work, blogging, and exercise? What's that like?

    I've just turned 57. Since I turned 40 I've been in SO much better health than in my twenties and thirties I don't know what it's like if you were healthier when you were younger, but my forties were just great.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  21. Happy Birthday Jo. I turned 80 in August and, you know what? I'm still waiting to grow up! I keep wondering at what age that will happen. I got my first tattoo at 75 to celebrate that birthday. I still do a weight workout 3 days a week and either walk to do an aerobic workout at the gym 2 or 3 times a week. Lots of stretching too. The weight problem never goes away, though. Every year I gain and lose 10 or 15 pounds. Does all this sound like 40? or 80? Age is a fiction; sometimes a romance, sometimes a mystery, occasionally a tearjerker. Happy reading Jo!

  22. DASH is great! I'm glad it helped your blood pressure!

  23. Nursing jobs have a way of sucking your soul, don't they? But I guess we can't say our work isn't meaningful. Happy 40th! May it be a wonderful year!

  24. 20 points? Huzzah! Great work. I'm impressed at your commitment.

    I wear Physician's Formula brand mineral makeup, and patients and family members consistently tell me I have beautiful skin. I love that I can buy "fancy" mineral makeup at Target.

    You can read about my goal over at my blog.

  25. Happy "prelated" Birthday Jo. If you're thinking of getting back into yoga, you might want to look into pilates as well.

  26. Great goals, very balanced.

    And, how old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

  27. Good luck with the goals.

    I am sure you will attain all of them


  28. Love your list!

    And I have to echo what a lot of other folks have said: the 40's are a great decade. I'm just about done with mine, and I felt healthier, stonger, and more energetic than any previous decade. (Though the crow's feet and the need for reading glasses suck).

    I'm sure you'll have a great time, and it's cool that you're going in with important, achievable goals.

  29. hmmm-i wrote a book when i turned 40. sounds easier than your list.

  30. I turned 40 last July, and it rocks!!!! The only drawback is that I still feel 12...

    Happy (almost) birthday!!!

  31. Gilda: Wherever you are, when I go there, I am *so* buying you a cup of coffee.

    Little-known story: my grandmother, at the age of 91, was still throwing parties (for the Young Democrats organization in her town, no less) that made people call the manager of the apartments where she lived. I want to be just like her.

    Messymimi: On a more serious note? If I really think about it, I don't feel any different--physically or mentally--than I did at 27. I haven't started to "creak" yet when I get out of bed, and I'm much more fit. I wasted my skinniest years in a marriage that wasn't much good in retrospect, so I feel like I'm getting a second chance at my twenties and early thirties.

    The only thing that sucks, as Crabby mentioned, is the need for bifocals. *sigh*

  32. I to made a list of goals on my 40th birthday and I laughed to see your cosmetic goal because I have a similar goal on my list - I somehow missed the "girly" portion of teenage life and never really learned the fine points of putting on makeup (especially to cover up those under eye issues) and couldn't use a curling or straightening iron to save my life! As I will be returning to the workforce soon (goal to complete my degree is well on target) I want to look grown up and put together. I went to the cosmetic counter for lessons but we weren't on the same page - I wanted natural (accentuating the positive and hiding the negative) not a relative of the clowning industry!
    I divided my goals into categories: budgetary and retirement savings, education, fitness/health, personal growth, hobbies (got to finish some things that have been started) and family relationship building.

  33. Great goals! I turn 40 this year too, Fabulous at Forty!

  34. My 40th is coming up too, and I hope I can have your attitude about it. Good for you!

  35. Go, Jo!!! I just set my own goals (40 lbs - yikes!) Maybe we can trade tips. Check out my new site at losinwithsusan.com. Good luck!

  36. I am 41.It is a relief after you turn the big 30, 40, etc, because you can relax for 9 years. I will not let it bother me until I start to creep in on the next big milestone. Like my mom told me, it certainly beats the alternative. What has helped me lose weight in the past was 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week and light weight training 3 times per week. For aerobic exercise, I walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then ride the bike for 20 minutes. The time went really fast combining the 2 activities.

  37. hank you and everyone else that does such hard, stressful, and meaningful work!
    how to grow taller

  38. Wonderful goals you have there. I know you can do it. No matter how cranky you get, you still keep your eye on your goals. And don't worry too much! 40 is just a number.

  39. Hi there,
    really nice job,There are many people searching about that now they will find enough sources by your tips.
    Also looking forward for more tips about that

  40. The Big 4-0. I hit the Big 6-0 next year. I can hardly believe it. My goal? Never ever open mail from AARP. Also, get rid of my final 25 lbs. I am a new reader to your blog. Love it!


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