As you all know from the big red circles on your calendars, my birthday is coming in less than two weeks.
Last year, year 40, was a big to-do, a huge she-bang. I was very dramatic about it all. It was a 10 meter dive (for all you Olympics enthusiasts) into all the things I hadn't done and all the time I'd wasted. I beat myself to a pulp for not having made more of a mark when half my life had whooshed by already; when I held so much promise as a Golden Child. But this year I hardly feel a thing, a virtual flat line compared to last birthday. What Am I Gonna Do seems to be this year's theme. As in, what am I gonna do about aging? (Can't do a god-damn thing.) More importantly, what am I gonna do as in next? What am I gonna do but just get to getting.
I wrote a list last year (actually not until January) of 40 Things To Do at 40, and proudly I really did do a lot of the list from participating in the LA Marathon to actually reading some books (Yup!), to giving my time (and my food) to causes and Mina's classroom, to getting the back tattoo finished. I have to say that the momentum of action squashed a significant amount of the It's-All-Slipping-Through-My Fingers panic. This momentum has made the pressing click of time more than bearable, but nearly adventurous. Or better yet, not such a big deal.
I didn't do all the things on the list. I didn't bake for a wedding though I did turn down a request to bake for a wedding. Turning down this job was actually a big part of my decision not to bake as a business. Because of this turning point, having this on my list, though unfulfilled, is still significant to me. I didn't sew aprons, or buy a sewing machine, but I did get a simple sewing lesson and I sewed a couple cloth napkins, which filled an eco-sewing hole. It proved to be enough on the sewing tip.
Most glaringly not checked off last year's list was the promise to write fiction 4-5 hours a week. And although I've let another big chunk of time go by without sticking to this commitment -- my most fantasized priority -- it's ok. It's ok because a good portion of this year's list revolves around just that, writing. In fact, it seems that this year's priorities circle around such a narrow scope of interests that I almost didn't write a list. But, please, you know I couldn't help myself. What am I gonna do?
1. Write fiction 4-5 hours a week.*
2. Join a fiction workshop.
3. Not drinking coffee works just fine for me.
4. So does eating a mainly raw diet. I'm sticking to that.
5. Catch a So You Think You Can Dance tour show. (Jea-lous?)
7. Don't make lists in everyday life; just do the damn thing.
8. Go back to Squaw.
9. Work towards getting Prop 2 passed.
10. Go skinny dipping.
11. Work on strength still (physical.)
12. Work on flexibility still.
13. Purge garage.
14. Make own pet food, vegan, maybe raw?
15. Take tennis lessons.
16. Get an ice cream maker.
17. Sew more cloth napkins for holiday presents!
18. Become a more proficient raw food chef.
19. Have the whole family take the train to visit Grandma Carmen.*
20. Complete a long-distance bike ride, a 50 miler.
21. Go camping!
22. Take girls to Griffith Observatory.*
23. Give the bedroom a makeover.
24. Submit two stories for publication.*
25. Give up patience this year.**
26. Win the lottery.
27. Make some raw dishes for people at my birthday party aka guinea pigs.
28. Don't give up on composting though it's scaring me to death. Dudes, I don't even know what's going on in that canister right now . . .
29. Ok, maybe one more tattoo . . .for my grandmother.
30. Don't clean up after family as much. Jeez.
31. Stay at the Standfor Inn.
32. Stay thankful for my job.
33. Successfully predict next year's college hoops champion for my own March Madness pool.*
34. Teach Maya how to bake and cook.
35. Teach Mina how to clean!
36. Teach pugs how to pick up their own poop.
37. Go apple picking this fall.
38. Try to grow a potted Meyer lemon tree and Kaffir lime tree on the patio.
39. Meet a blogger friend or three in person.
40. Drive my car less than four thousand miles this year. Bike power!
41. Finish what I start still.
* From last year's list
** Opposite of last year's list