|My 2nd birthday, a few years ago, and the family dog, Poochie.|
Today I celebrate 45 years on this planet with a little sleeping in, a lot of chocolate, and a nap! Inspired by my writing friend, Nancy, I have settled on an interview with myself for my 45th birthday.
Q: Are birthdays important to you?
A: Not the actual day so much; certainly not the way it used to be. As I've written elsewhere this year, I tend to kind of roll my age forward with the year these days. I've been thinking of myself as 45 since the beginning of 2015. I do enjoy giving myself a day of pure leisure, though I try to make that happen a time or two a month year round! A birthday is a good excuse to be spoiled a little. I took the time to respond to every single note I received on FB today. It was awesome to think about the web of connections I have after 45 years on this planet. I am proud to be the age I am. I have never been a 20-something, 30-something woman. Every year is a badge. I wear it proudly. I will not waste time mourning the years that are behind me.
Q: What is the best thing about getting older?
A: Growing confidence. With each year, I am less concerned about fitting someone else's image of what a writer should be, what a woman should be, what a mother should be... and more willing to simply embrace and BE what I want to be, moment by moment. I don't look for a prescription anymore. I don't need someone to tell me how to walk the path. I am simply walking it. Taking my steps and choosing the way I want to go, even if it means backing up, turning around, skipping over or finding my way around an obstacle or two.
Q: If you had one thing to do differently in your life, what would it be?
A: This always feels like one of those really dangerous questions. Sure, I have ideas (what about all that free time I had pre-kids... why didn't I finish a book or two then?) but what it always boils down to is this... I love where my life is at right now. The problem with doing any part of it over is that I might change the course that got me here. And while it might be another acceptable place I get to, I don't really have any desire to give up this place, so I guess I'll leave the past as it was, embarrassing moments, wasted time, and all.
Q: Okay, but if you were to pass on some writing advice to your past self, what would you say?
A: Stop worrying about it; just write it. Have fun with words. Say what you want to say. Don't be shy. Get your stuff out there and write, write, write some more.
Q: If you could save time in a bottle, what would you spend it on?
A: My family. No contest. I fill a lot of hours of my day. I probably work too many jobs, juggle too many balls. But nothing -- no money, no book, no completed essay -- is worth the price of time with my family. I have raised three very busy and involved people, and I will drop everything/anything, just to spend a bit more time with any one of them. Hubby, too!
Q: And how about your future self? What would you expect her to say, looking back on you today?
A: I would expect her to admit that the second 45 years went a little quicker than the first. That seems to be the trend, anyway. Each year passes a little more quickly. I hope she says that I learned to be a little more selfish and less giving... but in a positive way. That I learned to guard my time and keep it mine, still willing to share, but perhaps narrowing the focus of what I am available to do for others. I hope she says that I finally learned to never commit to projects I later resented (maybe I am already there?) and that I was bolder in my second 45 years, and more experimental in my creative endeavors. Above all, I expect her to say, "No regrets." Life is too short for regrets.