Monday, June 27, 2011


seems like it was just yesterday that i was turning 30 and having a panic about it, and here comes 35 barreling toward me, reminding me that it could be so much worse. “wait until you turn 40,” i can hear my older friends saying, to which i reply, “ok, i’ll wait.”

of course, i know this birthday doesn’t have to be a thing unless i make it a thing, and clearly i am making it a thing. which doesn’t mean that i’m making it a bad thing. but i do rely on my birthday as a midyear checkpoint of sorts, a time when i take inventory, re-evaluate my goals, review the past year and prepare for the next one.

six months from now, i’ll be doing the same thing around the holidays, though i’ll likely add in a few laments about the cruelty of time, the solitude of winter and how i can’t stop eating all the fruitcake left around the office.

goal-wise, i think i am doing ok. not great, not horrible, but about average. long-time readers may remember a list of goals i made around my 30th birthday — and dumbly immortalized on this blog — that i intended to accomplish by 40, a list i review every year, cringing. it’s replicated below, with notes made in italics.
  • have a kid! maybe even two (three tops). maybe this won’t play out completely perfectly, maybe you’ll need to visit the sperm bank when you hit your “scary age” but have a kid at some point, even if it’s just one, because from the outside, parenthood looks interesting, exhausting, otherworldly and definitely worth knowing.
    let’s jump directly to the heavy stuff, eh? yeah, this one is tough because, halfway through my thirties, i’ve never felt further from this goal. parenthood is still very much something i want to experience, and intend to, but the hows and whens of this are still a mystery. thankfully, i’m not quite near the point of panic yet, despite my “advanced maternal age,” so i’ll continue to save this for later.
  • don’t get married just to have a kid or just to be married. honor the promise you made to yourself regarding marriage — that you’ll do it only if it feels absolutely right in your bones, your blood and your brain. and even then reconsider.
    still happily unmarried, so i’m doing great with this one. my dad said to me the other week, “i don’t think you’ll ever get married. but not because you can’t, but because you don’t want to.” and he’s absolutely right. of course, i could be persuaded if circumstances rearranged themselves, but i would never force it. and yes, you nosy bastards, i am still seeing the costa rican cutie, but i’m not telling the internet anything (yet).
  • write a friggin book! or two or ten. find the time and discipline and just write already. potential without action is worthless. publish or perish, bitch.
    shut up, slut! i’m working on it. sort of. ok, not really. fuck, i need to get on this. thanks for making me hate myself. but i know i’ll hate myself even more if i never really try to make it as a writer. to this end, i have enrolled in writing classes this year, which i’m hoping will force me to finally put the internet away so i can tackle the blank page.
  • quit being negative. we’ve gone over this before.
    yes, we have and i’m sooooo much better. all that meditation mumbo jumbo has really turned me into a pollyannish LA asshole. my moods and restlessness are much more manageable now. and on those rare instances when i do feel them running away from me, there’s always cheesecake.
  • recognize that everything that’s happened up to this moment, whether good or bad, is not as important as what happens after this moment. remind yourself every day that the past does not have to impact the future.
    yep, yep, yep.
  • get better at buying your own bullshit if you expect other people to.
    this is lousy advice that will be removed from this list. there should be no bullshit being bought and sold, because belief in myself should not be based on bullshit. it should be based on self-delusion.
  • buy some property. g-d ain’t making any more real estate. and then sell the property. paper equity is not as good as money in the bank.
    hurray for homeownership, though i’m not selling anytime soon.
  • dogs. have more.
    as this was written in pre-Pinko days, i’d say i’m on track with this one. and i don’t doubt there will be more dogs in my future.
  • all that adult shit that your pops has been telling you about for years — saving for retirement, insuring everything, maintaining good credit — subscribe to it. also, eradicate all student debt by 40.
    adult shit is in really good shape, with special thanks owed to that day jobby in finance i’ve been working at for the past six years. my credit is solid, my retirement is being saved for, and my debts are being eradicated (as long as we don’t count all that new home remodel debt i’m about to accrue).
  • prepare for deaths in the family. you aren’t the only one who’s aging.
    ok, but we don’t need to talk about that now.
  • don’t bother with people you don’t care for, tasks you don’t need to do and situations you’d rather not be in. you have the freedom to politely excuse yourself from all of them. up until you have that kid, your greatest obligation is to yourself.
    that is some solid, selfish advice. fuck ‘em all and get me a table for one!
my birthday weekend was nothing short of fucking awesome this year. i spent the days leading up to the annual party at the salon getting a haircut, facial and pedi. i did some shopping, met good friends for brunch and then enjoyed a rocking good time at a local bar where i didn’t have to clean up the mess the next day. and on the sunday of my actual birthday, i slept away my hangover, enjoyed a 90-minute afternoon massage and was taken to dinner by my parents. it was picture perfect in every way. photos to come.


Michael Landis said...

Good thing being a pollyannish LA asshole is positive!

And your "buy your own bullshit" advice is spot on -- because it gave you the out of not buying it. All good.

darknessatnoon said...

You oooold.

Anonymous said...

Party's over. Now focus on house.