“Carpe Diem” 2014 Planner by www.papaya

2014 marked the 5th anniversary of Facing Forty Upside Down (I named it when I was 39 and thought I’d try blogging for a year or two – and here we still are, facing our metaphorical “40” yet again! I won’t tell if you won’t…). I particularly loved this year at the blog because so many of you shared your stories of facing fears or trying new things – THANK YOU! I wasn’t able to narrow it down to a Top 10 list so I’ve made an index of highlights instead.

If you need a dose of inspiration read about these brave people: 

Goodbye Fear of Driving” – Kris P. hits the road

Finding a Tribe, Finishing a Triathlon” – Catarina Cabrera

I started Tae Kwon Do when I was 4 mos Pregnant with my Third Child” – Eileen W.

How 2 Friends became Entrepreneurs” – the story behind Momentum Cycling & Fitness

Life begins Outside Your Comfort Zone” – Mary-ann Mastreani, Hastings Yoga

Transforming I Can’t into I Did It” – Fran dives, Elizabeth paddleboards

Trekking in Memory & Hope” – Mina prepares to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro

Who’s got Crazy Friends?” – In praise of the instigators

How to Conquer a Fear of Improv” – a music teacher’s story

Happier, Braver and Here” – thanks to Aidan Donnelly Rowley

Please Remember Sam

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So many experts shared their advice this year:

How to Overcome Fear of Water and Prevent Drownings” – Jeff Krieger, Strategies for Overcoming Aquatic Phobias

How to Succeed in Publishing Today” – Book Expo America panels

Can One Learn to Love Exercise?” – Michelle Collins, Fit & Happier

Do You have a Fear of Being Stylish?” – Advice from Bridgette Raes

Overcoming Obstacles – when the Obstacle is You

In my personal life, Some Nerve came out in paperback, I turned 44, fulfilled a dream to lead “A Retreat to Remember“, criss-crossed the country giving speeches, and as usual DH, 13 yo G and 8 yo R reminded me of the important things (“What Weekends Are For” and “Love in a Lunchbox“).

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I learned to ride a bike and run a race, which are both more fun with friends – I hope you’ll join Team #SomeNerve for an event in 2015! Check out our team highlights:

Team #SomeNerve rides the TD 5-Boro Bike Tour” – 42 miles, 5 bridges, 32K riders – what a day!

Team #SomeNerve runs Tunnel2Towers 5K

769437-1005-0037sunnamed5 Boro Bike Tour

Some of the books I loved and blogged about this year include: Unremarried Widow” by Artis Henderson. “Eating Wildly” by Ava Chin, “A Chinaman’s Chance” by Eric Liu.  And “My Writing Process” by Una LaMarche and “My Writing Process” by Tamara Linse revealed the real-life practices of writers who are also balancing motherhood and jobs.

For someone who started blogging as a path out of loneliness the community this has become is beyond anything I could have imagined. I encourage you to continue reaching out to me and to each other, and to people you think who could use a little push to come out and enjoy the sunshine. Thank you for an exhilarating and unforgettable year – and wishing you a New Year that is happy, healthy, and brave!










  1. Love it! Hope 2015 is a great year for you. Happy New Year!
    Teresa from

  2. What a wonderful recap! Thank you for posting all these links. I’ve bookmarked this page so I can come back and read more. Happy New Year!

  3. I thought I was the only kid who read encyclopedias for fun! (page 64 of your book). When you think about it, it’s no different from the internet. (Well, a little different.) – John K.