Today I turn fifty-seven. A lot of people my age aren’t that keen on getting older, but I’m kind of jazzed about my birthday coming around again. I'm still breathing! Other than experiencing some annoying hot flashes and an increasing number of arthritic joints, I’m happier now than I can remember ever having been. Of course, my mind these days is like a sieve, and the fact that I can’t recall ever having been in a better headspace might just mean that my memory isn't what it used to be. (Ha!)
Anyway, each year on my birthday I review my calendar to see what I’ve been up to during the past twelve months. In case you're curious, here’s the raw data from 2010-2011. (Skip this part if you're not interested.)
- Number of trips taken: 8 (7 domestic; 1 overseas)
- Number of days hosting overnight guests: 47
- Number of doctors’ appointments where I accompanied my mom to serve as her ears: 15
- Number of courses taken: 9 (flying lessons, still in progress; a television production course, still in progress; 3 writing courses; a One-Day University event; and 3 teaching in-services)
- Number of groups of which I’m an active member: 2 (my Creative Women’s Business Group, which meets bi-weekly, and my writing group, which theoretically meets once a week).
Finishing the second draft of my novel and knowing what I need to do as I move forward with the next revision is near the top of my list of accomplishments these last 12 months. Hosting a TV show has also been a hoot. But the best part of my whole year has been the time I've spent working at the Mercy Learning Center. ("Educate a Woman...Educate a family.") To help someone become literate is an amazing thing to see. And whatever I give in terms of my time and expertise, I get back in spades in terms of feeling appreciated. I'd like to do even more of this kind of thing.
I've also spent a lot of time with my family this year. My granddaughter turned one last July and I've been seeing her an average of once a month, watching her grow into a little girl. How great is that?
And finally, for my birthday I gave myself new headshots. I can't tell you how empowering it's been to see the photos my friends Suzanne Sheridan took of me. (Check out the new ones in the sidebar, plus the one at right.) She made me look like a star!
Amidst all this cheery stuff, do I have any regrets? You bet. I wish I hadn't given up on my novel for five whole months. Oh, and I also wish I'd spent even more time with my granddaughter. At least I haven't neglected my mom, though, who I check in on almost every day.
All in all it's been a simply "mahvelous" year, as Billy Crystal would say. Hopefully by next May I’ll be able to say that I’ve sold my novel, done enough hours in the air to be able to safely land a plane, and produced a TV show I’m proud for anyone to see. Most importantly, I hope I can honestly say that I laughed often and loved well.
And now, here's my birthday wish: May all of you be as lucky as I've been.
Happy birthday to me!
(Photo Credit: Jason's Celebration Cakes)