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My 40 Before 40 List

By Isabel Kallman

Birthday-Candles.gifIt’s almost my 37th birthday and my friend Amy of Doobleh-vay asked for my Life List. That coupled by my admiration of Chris Jordan’s 40 Before 40 List, led to me finally think through what it is that I want to accomplish in the near future.
But in really thinking about it, I think I have accomplished many of the things that I’ve really want to do. (Except there is one major thing on my list below). Yes, I put my list together but it is very different from the mental list I kept during my twenties.
During my twenties, I was rah-rah-rah let me do this by the time I’m 25, this by the time I’m 30.
Now, I’m less accomplishment-oriented and more focused on making memories.
1) See the Grand Canyon.
2) Rent a convertible and drive through Big Sur.
3) Visit Jackson Hole.
4) Go camping with my family. Yep, I have never been.
5) Take trapeze lessons with my son.
6) Take a biking trip with my family along the Natchez Trace.
7) Learn to snowboard.
8) Read the Wizard of Oz with my son.
9) Read the first Harry Potter with my son.
10) Finish reading the Harry Potter series. I think I gave up at Book 5.
11) Throw my first Halloween Party.
12) Learn the recipe to my mom’s Tomato Rice with Shrimp.
13) Make exercise a regular part of my life again.
14) Watch Gone with the Wind for the first time.
15) Return to Portugal to visit family. It’s been way too long.
16) Take my son on a walk through the campus of my Alma Mater.
17) Take a hot air balloon ride.
18) Take my son to see the balloons being filled on the eve of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
19) Go sledding in Central Park.
20) Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens on Cherry Blossom Day.
21) Have my wedding album published. Shameful, I know.
22) Have my wedding video finished. Gosh, I hope the video company is still in business.
23) Catch-up on Family Albums for each year. Where did I leave off?
24) See fireworks for the first time through my son’s eyes.
25) See Madame Butterfly performed by the Metropolitan Opera.
26) Take my son to see the Nutcracker.
27) Visit New Orleans.
28) See my favorite ballet again, I’m Old Fashioned by Jerome Robbins. I sure hope NYCB performs it soon.
29) Visit Martha’s Vineyard.
30) Take my son to Ground Zero and (if he is emotionally ready for it) explain what happened on 9/11.
31) Spend the night at the Hayden Planetarium with my boys.
32) Throw my first Holiday Open House.
33) Set up a DIY outdoor theater and invite other families over for movies and popcorn.
34) Redo my home office.
35) Raise money for a cause that is important to me by walking. (Raised money for the March of Dimes by Walking for Maddie on April 26, 2009)
36) Re-read my favorite book, Song of Solomon.
37) Find a new favorite book.
38) Make a batch of fried green tomatoes.
39) Become a US Citizen. I was born in Portugal and never naturalized, though I am eligible. Please follow me on my journey to become a citizen.
40) Vote for the first time.
Since there are 36 months until my 40th birthday, I’m going to try to accomplish these at a rate of one per month. Are you with me?


Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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Kim/hormone-colored days

Great list, Isabel. I look forward to following along as you check them off. Have fun!


Love your list–though I might recommend reading Gone With the Wind rather than watching it. The movie doesn’t hold a candle to the book.
I never made lists to myself for accomplishments by certain birthdays. I’m thinking maybe I should have.
I have fewer months between now and 40. Off to ponder my list.


This is awesome. I totally need to make one of these…


Before I turn 40 list, great idea. I have plenty of time.

Veep Veep

Ahhh, Toni Morrison. I haven’t read my favorite book (also by her) in years. Time to find a new favorite book as well.
Your list sounds like alot of fun and so many wonderful memories waiting to happen.

Jessica Ashley (Sassafrass)

I am inspired and touched by your list. And as lovely as having the wedding pics will be, I cannot wait to see the trapeze photos!


Where are you from in Portugal? The islands or the mainland?

Shamelessly Sassy

Two things:
1.)I want so badly to take Trapeze lessons.
2.)My neighbors set up an outdoor theatre during the summer. I help them and it is a really fun activity for the children (and the adults as well). It is also pretty easy. I love watching the movies at night. We’re pretty ghetto so they just put the movie up on the side of their house since it is white. But yes, it’s a must do. Great list!

seeing the northern lights is on my list.


I have a forty before 40 list too!

Bill Starr

This is an awesome Life List! You may want to check out for a great new website that uses the power of social networking to help people achieve their goals!!
Would love it if you became a member and shared some of your Life List goals and stories!!
Bill Starr
CEO, My Life List™