40 Before 40

Today is my 36th birthday, and I’m feeling pretty good about it! I’m no longer a self-conscious over-thinker like I was in my twenties, and I’m not even in ‘finding myself’ mode like I was in my early thirties. For the first time in my life I’m happy with my career, family, and self at the same time.pink chai living, raj thandhi, 40 before 40{Random photo from earlier this year…}

So to celebrate my big day and my eternal quest for new adventures and experiences, I’m sharing my 40 before 40 list. I wrote a similar list before my 35th birthday (you can read the results here), and I’m excited to start on a fresh list!

Full disclosure: there are a few things on this list that I didn’t get to before my 35th birthday & still want to do.

  1. Take a cooking class in Europe
  2. See the Northern Lights
  3. Treat myself to a designer bag
  4. Get in the best physical shape of my life (not very difficult, since I’ve never worked out!)
  5. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in a foreign city
  6. Write [and submit] a book proposal
  7. Fill my home with art and pictures I love
  8. Watch a Broadway play in New York
  9. Sew a dress for Zara
  10. Learn to do more than one make-up look
  11. Visit Portland (and the bookstore everyone keeps telling me about)
  12. Read [or re-read] everything written by Jane Austen
  13. Take an intensive Ayurveda course
  14. Buy a new tea set
  15. Take an epic Canadian road trip with the kids
  16. Ride in a hot air balloon
  17. Buy a DVF wrap dress
  18. Perfect the art of making dahi (yogurt)
  19. Paint a piece of art and display it with pride in my home
  20. Grow fresh herbs
  21. Visit Pacific Rim National Park
  22. Start a yoga practice
  23. Learn to make naan
  24. Print my own fabric and sew something with it
  25. Master hand lettering
  26. Perfect one mithai recipe
  27. Move my business to a creative studio space  Done! We moved into our office on March 1, 2017
  28. Hang a Moroccon chandelier over my dining table
  29. Learn how to take great photos
  30. Spend a summer re-reading all of Shakespeare’s work
  31. Learn how stocks work [& maybe make an investment]
  32. Make a 3 tier cake
  33. Decorate an entire room the way I want
  34. Visit Las Vegas with Mr. T
  35. Start a weekly video series on YouTube
  36. Take a family vacation [that requires flying somewhere]
  37. Watch a movie alone – in a movie theatre.
  38. Master time management [and kill my procrastination habit]
  39. Make scrapbooks of my kid’s art/school projects
  40. Blog consistently for one year


  1. October 13, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    Such a great list! Good luck with it and happy birthday <3

  2. October 14, 2016 / 5:27 pm

    What a great list! I too turned 36 earlier this year. Happy birthday!
    Been a reader of your blog for some time, but commenting for the first time. Love the desi vibes on your blog!

    • November 7, 2016 / 9:48 pm

      Hi Shuchita! Thank you for taking the time to comment & for the kind words 🙂

  3. October 22, 2016 / 7:03 am

    Wow Raj! Happy Birthday! And I LOVE this list! And you are doing No. 40 well so that’s one down =)
    Keep the pink chai spirit going!

    Aamna – http://www.whilethebabynaps.com

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