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1 Day ’til 40: Lessons Learned on my 400 Days ’til 40 Journey

20 Feb

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This is IT – my 400th post!  I have now officially blogged the 400 days ’til my 40th birthday – AND I am still here to tell about it!  Tomorrow is the day that inspired this 400 day writing journey.  It is hard for me to believe that the time has passed as quickly as it has.  Was it really 400 days ago that, on a whim, I thought it would be fun to blog the 400 days before I turned 40?  (What on earth WAS I thinking?!?) It seems like only yesterday……… they do say that time starts to slip away faster as we age….

Blogging for 400 days in a row is not easy, and I have learned a lot of amazing lessons along the way.  It takes an incredible amount of diligence and dedication to meet a daily blogging goal – and the rewards are endless.

Lessons I have learned about blogging as I blogged for 400 days:

  1. Without readers, blogging is boring.
  2. Very few bloggers can expect to have their blog frequented by just posting in cyberspace – if you want people to read your blog, you need to read other blogs – lots of other blogs – and let other bloggers know when you enjoy their work.  Blogging is a conversation within a community – in order for you to be part of the conversation, you must also engage on many different levels.
  3. While I did not follow this advice, if you are a daily blogger, it is good to always have a back-up blog or two ready that you can post when you are ill (great idea, I know – wish I had actually done it!)
  4. Keep your camera with you at all times, you never know when you might happen upon something interesting that you will want to capture for your blog.
  5. The posts you think your readers are going to like are not necessarily the ones your readers do like.  I have always been surprised by what my readers like and do not like.  The posts that made me laugh seemed to often bomb, the posts that were deep and self-help focused often did the best.
  6. The blogging world and the “sharing” world can be very different – sometimes my posts that had the most “likes” were not shared on social media sources.  Other blog posts were shared through a variety of social media venues but got few “likes” by my fellow bloggers.
  7. There are a lot of issues plaguing our society today – and a lot of wonderful bloggers attempting to tackle them.  Together we really can and do make a difference.
  8. Blogging is therapeutic (something to remember when there are not a lot of readers yet – consider blogging like an online journal…. okay, that sounds a bit exhibitionist, but perhaps we bloggers are exhibitionists – at least with the written word!)
  9. People really do read my blog – and it has been delightful when a member of my community approaches me to tell me they read my blog.  I feel honored, really, genuinely honored, that you all take time from your day to read my musings.
  10. Most of my daily readers were NOT people I knew – this surprised me – and fascinated me, and was a huge compliment and blessing.
  11. People do not always agree with what I say as a blogger and this is a GOOD thing – even people I am close to, even people who I respect and who respect me.  We are all different and have unique life experiences, opinions and beliefs – that is what makes the world such a fascinating place to live in.  If everyone agreed with everything I say, life would be boring and I would not be challenged to personally learn and grow.

Lessons I have learned about myself:

  1. Numbers feel good, but ultimately, my writing and blogging self-esteem had to come from me, from within.
  2. I need to follow my own advice and not let the “no’s” in my life get me down – I must be willing to keep on knocking on doors until I find that right “yes” for me – in whatever context it may arrive.
  3. At times we really need to take control and create our own destiny when other options do not pan out.  Part of my journey apart from my blog has been to really evaluate all that I want to do in my life and the best path to take to get there.  This journey was not specifically documented on the blog, but was inspired by the blog nonetheless.
  4. Taking risks can be scary, but the lessons learned are usually worth it (even when painful and humbling).
  5. We gain deeper learning experiences when we grow through our mistakes than we gain from doing something right the first time and basking in over-confidence.
  6. Eating humble pie is something we can all get used to – and set an example for others – it really is okay to take responsibility for our own shortcomings and we are usually more highly admired and respected when we do.

Did I learn what I set out to learn in my blogs purpose?  Do I feel that I have “arrived” in this game called “life” any more than I had felt 400 days ago?  Yes and no.  I do feel more focused than I was a year ago, and I certainly have clarified things that I need to do in order to better focus my career path and my professional goals.  I have also set family and friendship goals which have been healthy.  I am learning balance, it is a skill I have to practice (ie: I still come home and work at night and I am working to disengage after hours!)  I am more keenly aware that life is an evolutionary journey and, for the most part, most of us do not ever feel as though we have arrived.  Perhaps this is critical – if we feel we have arrived where we need to be, maybe we would stop searching, stop striving, stop living.  I always want to live my life to the fullest.  I think I am more comfortable with uncertainty than I was a year ago, knowing and sensing in a deeper way that somehow things all work themselves out in the right time.

And now…..  Alas, all good things must come to an end and 400 Days ’til 40 has run its course.  This moment is bittersweet.  I will miss 400 Days ’til 40.  The daily blogging and interactions with my readers was a very significant, meaningful, and satisfying part of my life during the past 400 days.

Today, 1 day ’til 40, I know the one question on most of your minds (because you have been asking it in comments for days now) – Where am I going from here???  Will I continue to blog after I turn 40???

Stay tuned until tomorrow – for my encore post – I am 40!  :)

Thank you from the depths of my heart and soul for joining me on this amazing journey – It would have been insignificant without you all.

With an abundance of love and gratitude,

~400daystil40 – signing off!

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112 Comments

Posted by on February 20, 2013 in attitude, Inspiration

 

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112 responses to “1 Day ’til 40: Lessons Learned on my 400 Days ’til 40 Journey

  1. TreeHugginVamp

    February 20, 2013 at 00:08

    Happy birthday and thanks for sharing your journey to 40 with us :-)

     
  2. Chatter Master

    February 20, 2013 at 00:10

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! (tomorrow!)

     
  3. Sandra Madeira

    February 20, 2013 at 00:13

    I’ve been dipping in and out of your posts and have enjoyed what I have read – thank you for the entertainment. Also, WELL DONE for keeping it up all this time – I know how hard it is as I did 366 days in a row ending just under a year ago. I haven’t blogged much since, and I do miss it. Best wishes for your 40th birthday tomorrow. Sandra

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:33

      Thank you so much or your kind words! I hope you will get back to blogging soon!

       
  4. Ray Laskowitz

    February 20, 2013 at 00:14

    Happy birthday and great job. — Ray

     
  5. Toni

    February 20, 2013 at 00:18

    Just think of it this way, only 3650 days til 50. I enjoyed your ramblings also. Don’t stop now. Let me know how 40 feels. I recently turned 60 and it still feels great!

     
  6. stephaniehurt

    February 20, 2013 at 00:19

    Happy 40th a little early. 40 was a biggie for me, but honestly it didn’t hurt as much as I figure 50 will:) But now I’m 44 and enjoying life. I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow and remember you’re only as old as you feel and act.

     
  7. Lisa

    February 20, 2013 at 00:21

    Can’t wait for the celebration of your day & new blog! Welcome to the club…40 is amazing!

     
  8. 2unpublishedgirls

    February 20, 2013 at 00:23

    Thank you for the blog learning lessons. They are helpful for a new blogger like me.

     
  9. ruthcatchen

    February 20, 2013 at 00:25

    I have enjoyed your journey and respect your commitment to creatively write and express. Please continue! Happy 40th Birthday. The best is yet to come – I promise.

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:29

      Thank you so much!!! I will definitely keep writing!

       
  10. doubleinvert

    February 20, 2013 at 00:31

    My fingers are poised with a happy birthday comment.

    -Connie

     
  11. jensine

    February 20, 2013 at 00:37

    I’ll miss you and I hope that tomorrow brings joy, happiness and so many surprises your eyebrows are always stuck high up on your forehead. Lots of hugs and kisses and of course a dream come true.

     
  12. Lara Johnson

    February 20, 2013 at 00:41

    I found your blog late in your journey. Having just turned 40 myself last month, I loved that you were writing it, and have loved reading it. I hope to go back and read from the beginning since I came in at the end. I hope you don’t disappear after your birthday. Whatever you do, Happy Birthday! and this has been quite an accomplishment. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:28

      Thank you so much! :) I won’t disappear! :)

       
  13. Laura Conowitch

    February 20, 2013 at 00:46

    Following your blog has been a good journey and I wish you a most blessed new birthday year!

     
  14. wherethedaytakesme

    February 20, 2013 at 00:47

    Awesomeness. Keep on keeping on, you are an inspiration.

     
  15. knitxpressions

    February 20, 2013 at 01:01

    YAY! You made it! Congratulations on your birthday and of course your wonderful blogging journey. Thank you for sharing your wonderful musings and I wish you a lovely lovely birthday! Can’t wait to find out what you get up to (blogging wise) from here! @)-`——

     
  16. Laurie Buchanan

    February 20, 2013 at 01:09

    Well, how darned COOL is that?! CONGRATULATIONS! Whoohoo!

     
  17. fransiweinstein

    February 20, 2013 at 01:27

    I have enjoyed getting to know you through your blog; and hope you will find a reason to keep blogging. If not every day, than as often as you have time for. Have a fabulous birthday and enjoy being 40! For the next 365 days.

     
  18. rmiles

    February 20, 2013 at 01:34

    Congratulations and happy birthday! Cheers.

     
  19. jcmarckx2009

    February 20, 2013 at 01:49

    I am sorry that I came upon your blog only recently. I would have enjoyed the whole journey, but I am glad that I did find you. Congrats on your 400 days. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

     
  20. Sid Dunnebacke

    February 20, 2013 at 01:57

    Heh. I purposely avoided asking the question, as I was sure you were getting it from every side.

    More importantly, well done. The thought of being clever enough to write or photograph every day is daunting, and not only did you do it, but you pretty much did it with panache every day. I’m happy to have joined in at whatever middle point I did – I’m sure I’m a little wiser now by association.

    Lastly – happy 40th!

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:23

      Thank you so much – I really appreciate your words of encouragement. :)

       
  21. michaelanson

    February 20, 2013 at 02:00

    I came to your blog late, after you commented on one of my blogs. You’re right! Blogging involves a lot of reaching out, embracing social media, and interacting with other bloggers. I myself am lucky to post once a week, but I certainly appreciate all my followers. Your blog reminded me a bit of the Julie and Julia blog that evolved into a novel. Bravo on keeping it interesting for your readers.

    I will definitely check in tomorrow to see your observations about the “dreaded 40.” Is it going to be a “Sex in the City” kind of anxiety, a kind of oh-my-god-I’m-halfway-to-the-end-of-my-life, or is it going to be a more reflective, contemplative kind of blog.

    Inquiring minds want to know,

    Michael Anson
    http://www.michaelanson.wordpress.com

     
  22. ag

    February 20, 2013 at 02:14

    Congratulations and happy 40th! Having started my own photo/day blog for 2012 at roughly the same time you started writing yours, I know how challenging it can be to maintain this discipline for months on end. When New Year’s Day rolled around in 2013 and I realized I didn’t have to post any new photos that day, I was ecstatic! And you took on a much more formidable task using words instead of images.

    You’ve created a huge body of work that should be fascinating to look back on as time progresses . . . if you’re not too busy taking on another new project :)

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:22

      Thank you so much! Yes, I have this strange mix of being happy for the freedom and sad – but I will continue to post (but not with the daily commitment anymore!) :)

       
  23. SkiDaddy

    February 20, 2013 at 02:14

    Kudos go out to you, on so many levels. Keeping up the hard work for 400 days had to be onerous at times.
    You said above,
    “I am more keenly aware that life is an evolutionary journey and, for the most part, most of us do not ever feel as though we have arrived. Perhaps this is critical – if we feel we have arrived where we need to be, maybe we would stop searching, stop striving, stop living. I always want to live my life to the fullest.”
    I couldn’t agree more, we must always strive to improve and enrich our lives.

    All the best to you in whatever you do next!
    Dwayne

     
  24. hookandply

    February 20, 2013 at 02:19

    I loved reading this honest and sincere ending to your 400 days. I will re-read it when I am less tired. There is so much you have written here that I am able to relate to. It is very reassuring in life to hear others confirm values that you yourself hold. I look forward to the next episode in your blogging life….:-)) Happy birthday.

     
  25. chidiwashereandthere

    February 20, 2013 at 02:46

    “We gain deeper learning experiences when we grow through our mistakes than we gain from doing something right the first time and basking in over-confidence.” – quite possibly the most perfect sentence I’ve ever read!

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:20

      Wow, thank you for the compliment!

       
  26. Another Thousand Words

    February 20, 2013 at 03:14

    So wonderful, 400, and am sending much love and gratitude right back to you…for a ‘job’ well-done! You have grown since I began following, and the funny thing is, you have helped ME grow in understanding! Much appreciation, and I truly hope you celebrate with gusto! After all, 40 is the new…?

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:20

      Thank you for your sweet words – I look forward to continuing to be in contact with you!

       
  27. walkwiththerabbi

    February 20, 2013 at 03:53

    Even though we have never met “in the flesh,” I truly feel like I’ve been conversing with my “sister” all the while. The time invested with you has been rich on so many levels. I can hardly wait for tomorrow. This has truly been my joy. Hugs till then.

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:19

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I look forward to continuing the journey together and our blogging friendship. :)

       
  28. craftythriftydecoratingwifemom

    February 20, 2013 at 03:56

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

     
  29. Turn Around and Swim Life | Lessons| Laughter | Love

    February 20, 2013 at 04:46

    Awe! Can’t wait for tomorrow. I started blogging a year ago and somehow stumbled upon your blog. You were one of the first blogs I followed. I’ve read, liked and maybe even commented on a few of your posts. You set out on a journey 400 days ago and made it. On the eve before the big day, many thanks to you and your dedication. You were not alone on your journey. Happy Almost 40th and may the next 40 be all you want them to be! Thanks again!

     
  30. behindthemaskofabuse

    February 20, 2013 at 05:29

    A very Happy Birthday to you!

     
  31. Gwynne Jackson

    February 20, 2013 at 05:47

    Well done, and congratulations. I arrived at your blog late in the game, but it’s been no less enlightening and interesting because of it. In reading your first list, I’m most struck by #5 — the things we think people will like or appreciate aren’t necessarily the ones we like best personally. That seems to be true regardless of the platform we use.

    Happy birthday!

     
  32. appletonavenue

    February 20, 2013 at 06:02

    Congratulations on meeting your goal. Just doing that is something. And Happy Birthday!

     
  33. sapphospeaks

    February 20, 2013 at 06:52

    Congrats! It is no small thing to do what you have done. I can’t wait to see what’s next’

     
  34. thelastsongiheard

    February 20, 2013 at 07:06

    Wow, I feel like I’m watching a series finale of a favourite show LOL I’ve honestly been looking forward to finding out how it will all end LOL (But not looking forward to the end itself, if that makes sense LOL)

    Sincerely, I think you’ve achieved something truly amazing and inspiring and I think you’ve earnt yourself a well deserved rest. If you didn’t blog again, I wouldn’t blame you… but just know that there are many out here who would miss you.

    I hope you have a fantastic birthday… I’m 41 now… I’ll be 42 in June… I still feel like I’m in my 20′s… age is not a concern for me and I sense it isn’t for you either.

    Be young… and clear skies to you :)

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:15

      This post made me smile! :) Thank you so much!

       
  35. ghotiindustries

    February 20, 2013 at 08:56

    This was beautiful! Well thout out and written. Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts with us, and with me. And Happy Birthday for tomorrow!!! :D

     
  36. Long Life Cats and Dogs

    February 20, 2013 at 12:48

    Happy Birthday for tomorrow but NO – you cannot stop blogging now. We need you here in blogville.

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:12

      Thank you! Don’t worry, I am not leaving blogville! Stay tuned for more!

       
  37. chrisbrownfox

    February 20, 2013 at 13:04

    CONGRATS. what an amazing journey you have had. Its been wonderful watching you I hope that after some time of to celebrate that you will come back and join us again

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:12

      Thank you so much, Chris! Yes, I will be back! :)

       
  38. brightbluesaturday

    February 20, 2013 at 13:27

    Congratulations! I’m very impressed, ld never be able to keep up a post a day for that long!

     
  39. viveka

    February 20, 2013 at 13:35

    You have done very well … 400 days in a row that is a lot of thinking, writing and posting. I wouldn’t be able to do that – as I said yesterday I enjoy your posts, thoughts and issues – but what I can miss is that you don’t visit my world. I write about issues too .. and I have big thoughts too.
    Can’t wait to see what format you will come back with after tomorrow. And if I don’t see you before your BIG day starts .. have a fantastic day .. and delight yourself.

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:10

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Stay tuned until tomorrow to learn more about my future blogs. You are correct, I wish I had more time to read all of my readers blogs – I do read regularly, but with almost 3,000 readers, it is hard to get to them all!!! :) Thank you so much for your amazing words on this journey and I look forward to our paths continuing to cross.

       
      • viveka

        February 23, 2013 at 02:19

        I know it’s tough and very hard to keep up with all posts and followers. That is what I mean … that I rather have less followers and that they talk to me once in a while.

        Can’t wait to see what plans you have for your blog. Been over today – and it was very few words over there.

        I wish you and your loved ones .. a great weekend.

         
  40. RAFrenzy

    February 20, 2013 at 13:52

    Excellent points about blogging. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I enjoyed the journey with you and look forward to more whatever it may be.

     
  41. sued51

    February 20, 2013 at 14:59

    Congrats! And Happy Birthday! :-)

     
  42. jillybean2

    February 20, 2013 at 15:20

    I love your advice in number 2 about reading other people’s blogs. I agree with number 8, blogging is therapy. And I agree with number 8 in lessons I’ve learned about myself. Being humble is an excellent quality but for most hardest to accomplish. I am new to your blogs and I enjoy your blogs. Please keep blogging!

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:08

      Thank you so much! I will keep blogging!

       
  43. kenthinksaloud

    February 20, 2013 at 15:24

    Congratulations! AND happy birthday for tomorrow! Having passed forty a little while ago I know how big an occasion this is and wish you a wonderful and joyful day.

    You’ve done a remarkable thing here and I am looking forward to an awesome post tomorrow where I hope you’ll give your avid readers something wonderful to read about the future of your blogging!

    Here’s hoping!

    Once again, happy birthday and congratulations on an amazing achievement :)

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:07

      Thank you so much for your kind words! The blogging will definitely continue!

       
  44. erinluong

    February 20, 2013 at 15:27

    I’ll miss this too. What a great idea you had

     
  45. Deborah

    February 20, 2013 at 16:12

    You make so many great points in this post, in terms of blogging lessons and personal discoveries. What a gift to have given yourself and your readers. Even though I joined late, I feel honored to have been a reader along the way! Thank you!

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:06

      Thank you so much, Deborah! I look forward to continue reading your blog! :)

       
  46. saymber

    February 20, 2013 at 16:41

    Happy birthday! I am going to reblog this because I think a lot of folks who visit me can relate to what you write here. I enjoy your blog and look forward to 41′s posts! :-)

     
  47. saymber

    February 20, 2013 at 16:42

    Reblogged this on saymberblondi and commented:
    My friend 400 days til 40 has reached the end of this part of her journey and what she outlines here about what she’s learned about blogging and herself are things I think many of you can relate to! I know I can.

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:05

      Thank you, Saymber, for all of your amazing support during this journey!

       
  48. thispastorspensieve

    February 20, 2013 at 17:39

    May today, the end of one journey, and tomorrow the beginning of another, both be blessed days. Thank you for the incredible effort and some very good words along the way.

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:04

      Thank you so much. I am looking forward to the new journeys.

       
  49. Anonymous

    February 20, 2013 at 18:25

    Inspiring! Great advice to those of us starting out. Thanks!

     
  50. Shawn

    February 20, 2013 at 18:56

    Way to go! You did a fantastic job and I’m sure 40 feels lucky to have you.
    (We will miss you here in our 30s, but will join you soon enough) anyway…
    Congratulations on meeting your goal and Happy Birthday!

     
  51. countingsheepstudio

    February 20, 2013 at 19:24

    Some really great points in there are posting. I realized a while ago that I was just doing this solely for myself, and just putting it out there. Getting anything back is just the icing on the cake. Happy Birthday to you! You can’t stop now, congratulate yourself and keep on going :)

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 20, 2013 at 20:03

      Yes! Exactly! Thanks for your kind words!

       
  52. vern901

    February 20, 2013 at 19:52

    Happy Birthday! To more years of childlike happiness, abundant blessings, cherished relationships, and overflowing love — cheers!

    Being comfortable with uncertainty is a great state to be in. I super have a lot of back-reading to do. Thank you for sharing your lessons in blogging.

    Looking forward to your encore post.

     
  53. evilnymphstuff

    February 21, 2013 at 04:06

    I can’t believe it’s already over so soon! You’ve learnt a lot indeed in this journey and let me tell you that about these lessons you learnt about blogging… I’ve found myself in them too! It’s been a wonderful series of posts and a great voyage :)

     
    • 400daystil40

      February 21, 2013 at 21:11

      Thank you so much for your kind words – I am so glad you could relate!

       
  54. jeaninerenzoni

    March 1, 2013 at 18:18

    I have enjoyed your blog posts, even though I dropped in late on your 400 days. I’d like to offer you the REALITY Blog Award based on my admiration of what you have posted. Drop in to see the details, if you’d like. All the best to you.

     
  55. Quirky T

    October 1, 2013 at 19:57

    I just found your blog. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for the 400 days but I will read your past posts and catch up. Anyway, thank you for the great list of blogging lessons in this post. It is helpful and handy to see them in a concise list.

     

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