Countdown to 5-0

the author at four months, and her mom

My friend Josh, whom I've known for an it-seems-like-impossible 29 years, has pointed out that I perhaps speak overmuch of my age.

And he may be right. While I'm all about leading with the truth for the best of reasons, in this case, keeping the twin evils of ageism and misogyny front and center, I'm sure that all kinds of other not-so-best reasons are scrambled in there. Vanity, for instance, and a whole lot of nothin'-left-to-lose. Will I be as eager to trumpet my age when people stop telling me I don't look it, I wonder? Or if it somehow became in my best financial interest to hide it?

Well. No matter. For now, I'm a vainglorious, preening diva chock full of nothing-to-lose. Also, it's my birthday, and everyone gets a freebie or two on her birthday.

Also-also, it's a big one: as of today, I have just 12 months before I am a half-century old. And baby, that there is some serious gravitas and shit. Even if you don't give a hoot about age, if it really is just a number, if you truly believe you're only as old as you feel, 50 is kinda old. (Sorry, Joshie, I know it's not old-old, but it is significant!) I'm almost halfway to 100 (I hope) and, as of today, nine years from the age my mom was when she died.

It's that last bit, and the bit about having buried both of my parents too young, and of various other reminders over the past decade that this stay is not an indefinite one, that really got my attention. Not to make it all about me, but Mom died in September of 1994, right around my 33rd birthday. It's what kicked my decision to pursue art into high gear, just as Dad's death, in early October of 2003, finally got me thinking seriously about the kind of art I wanted to leave as a legacy.

the author in the fall of 2010

So, yeah. I've got a few big-ass plans in store for this coming 12 months, which I'll be sharing as the year unfolds. Most of them have less to do with going places than letting go of (even) more of the stuff I don't need anymore, both literally and metaphorically speaking. I'm excited and not a little terrified. But hey, what's life without a few thrills and spills, right?

Kickoff starts tomorrow. For now, by all means, say "happy birthday" here, if you haven't already on Facebook or email or whatever. I may not be into presents anymore, but I say you're never too old to have people make a bit of a fuss about you on your happy, happy birthday.


P.S. If you REALLY want to show your appreciation, go ahead and buy yourself that thing you've had on your Amazon Wishlist since forever through my shill link. Or sign up for Groupon, they have good stuff, cheap! Or go read about Smile Train and give them something, money, time, attention, whatever. But really, happy thoughts and wishes are just as welcome. Throw a few your own way, too!