[I] may be crazy but I'm the closest thing I have to a voice of reason.

16 February 2010

My Zero Birthday

Dear Readers,

It is two weeks, exactly, until my next birthday, a zero birthday, and this birthday has me by the balls. Fine, maybe what it has me by is the mammaries, but fact is that while I love my birthday, and I mean LOVE it, this year I’m also afraid of it. I’ve never been afraid of a birthday before. I don’t see why people insist on feeling this way about their birthdays. It’s an awful, awful way to feel. But I have a plan.

I just finished watching Julie/Julia. I enjoyed the movie so much that it made me want to learn how to cook, and I hate cooking, but I understand the need to live life in the midst of doing what you love. Julie, the main character, is facing her 30th birthday and she’s scared. It’s a zero birthday. Now thirty is not the end of the world (I’ve seen it), but Julie is an unpublished writer who lives in a crappy neighborhood with her cat and commutes each day to a cubicle job as a government secretary. Already Julie is two up on me: she has a job, unhappy or otherwise, and she’s married to a great guy. My great guy and I are divorced, my cat is feral, and my neighborhood is filled with discount grocery outlets and thrift stores. I’m a writer; I don’t actually MAKE any money. Oh yeah, and I’m unpublished.

Julie decides to deal with the approach of her zero birthday by cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s culinary classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. For one year, Julie blogs about her experience of cooking 524 recipes in 365 days. I can’t cook, but due to my eating habits this past year, I have gained the requisite ten pounds that comes with the first year of cooking. Score one for me. Here’s my plan. No, I’m not planning to learn how to cook. I come from an Italian American family and it is a point of pride with me that I’m the only woman in the family who doesn’t slave away in the kitchen. I don’t cook; I chop. At my house, dinner for two is always wine and cheese. Now I don’t have a year to contemplate the approach of my birthday, the way Julie did, but I do have a year in which I can learn to be comfortable in my skin while living in a brave new decade.

If I am to settle into this next decade of my life, then I need to feel that the decade is worth settling into. Otherwise, I’m planning on having the second anniversary of my thirtieth birthday next year. Just saying.

According to the horoscopes, all signs point to a banner year for me in 2010.

In love: “You're about to get some fabulous cosmic rewards for all the hard yards you put in, in 2009. It’s your lucky year!” About damn time, I say.

In work: “Want to get published? [Seriously. It said this.] Go for it. If you've been scratching around with barely a bean to your name, you’ll be happy to know that 2010 sees you able to generate a lot more income. Increase your faith in the Universe and trust that all will be well.” Awesome. Where do I sign up? You know, for the money back guarantee.

Oh, yeah, the stars also say this: “To ensure you get the job you want (or the qualifications you need), get into a stable routine. Draw up schedules and timetables and stick to them. You could meet some amazing new people in 2010.” ....There is no emoticon for the sound I make when I read that last little tid bit. Schedules? Timetable? You must be joking. I’m pretty sure such things include the use of numbers and graph paper. Numbers are not my friend. Just ask my checkbook. Or my bank. But I do know how to write. And I can do it everyday, at least I think I still can. This past twelve months has been spent learning to navigate my way through social media, which hasn’t left me a lot of time for the real task of writing. So I’m committing to write my way through the next year. I am not committing to the full 365 days because THAT is a number, but I can commit to writing again tomorrow. See you then.

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  1. 4Sins

    Hey, @razofire from blip here. I can identify with this quite a bit (less than 2 years till the ultimate zero for me, 40, 2012, next best hope for the end of the world.)

    It is a lot about developing the discipline, becoming professional. A really good book to reado n this is Stephen Pressfields's the War of Art.


    He talks about becoming comfortable being uncomfortable. and becoming true profesional. and offers great quote by Faulkner

    Novelist William Faulkner once said, "I only write when I am inspired." But then he added, "Fortunately I am inspired at nine o'clock every morning."

  2. Thanks Rob. My first reader, awesome.
    I was glad that a) I felt inspired by this film to do what I wanted, and that b) I sat my ass down and just did it. This year my new mantra is: What is the very least I can do and still get this thing done? Lower standards, that's how I'm gonna get where I'm going. No joke! Thanks for the quote and the book recommendation.

  3. Routine? Routine?

    Isn't routine just a really nice way to say 'rut'? Seriously.

    Screw your horoscope. You may be having a zero birthday, but that doesn't mean that you need to play it safe, does it?

    Go forth, be your glorious self.

    You do that very, very well.


  4. Babe, CELEBRATE the zeroes! To be honest, I'm a way better woman at 46 than I ever was at 26. I'm wiser, more confident and have learned to love every, sick, twisted flaw I have. Own it. Own that ZERO ;)
    As for your writing every day goal. Excellent! I applaud it. I also applaud lowering expectations. I read someplace people who live in Switzerland are happiest because they have no expectations. Let's live by that. Hell, maybe THAT is what I'll give up for Lent ;) Great post. Truly enjoyed it. Happy early birthday!