On Rosh Hashanah it will be written and on Yom Kippur it will be sealed: how many will pass [from the earth], and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who at his time, and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who from hunger, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy peace and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be wealthy, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.”(translated by me and also, Wikipedia)
This prayer is a key part of both the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, and it never fails to make me freak out, just a little bit. Because it’s scary, for sure, but also, like I said, in conjunction with my birthday, it makes me get all reflective about myself. At the risk of boring you (you know, even more than I have already with THE QUOTING OF PRAYERS, MY GOD, I am sorry for that), I’ll just say that after thinking about my 28th year, there’s no denying that it was, well, a really good one for many reasons.
That being said, I must admit that I feel like kind of a lazy douche.
I realized that a lot of the things that made my year great were things that happened to me, as opposed to things I actively made happen for myself. (Again: Lazy douche.) After thinking about it, I started thinking about the things I want, and what goals I could accomplish if I actually…attempted them. I have a grand and storied history of flinging myself into random new hobbies with GREAT FERVOR, and then growing disinterested in a matter of weeks. Or—-let’s be honest—-days. The massive yarn ball, for instance, that was supposed to be a baby blanket (FOR MY FIRST BABY), and yet, there it sits in my nightstand, judging me silently, getting all tangled up in my defenseless beaded necklaces, and generally being a smug-ass metaphor for my tendency to abandon projects midstream.
And so, I figured I should make a list—I do love lists so!—to force myself to focus on things I want to do over the coming year. Some of the items on the list are silly (e.g., learning the Thriller dance), some are less so (forcing self to drink more water, showing the kids more of the city, etc.), but all of them -—for a variety of reasons-—are important to me. Simply writing them down, and having the stupid list staring me in the face, boxes unchecked, MOCKING ME, compelled me to start crossing shit off. “Perfecting key lime pie,” you are officially ACCOMPLISHED. And DELICIOUS.
One specific item on the list is Really Up There, as far as goals go, and that is, uh, writing a book. I never before considered this, ever, but this is a very specific book, and one that was directly inspired by a suggestion that Roxanna made to me. I did not and do not fancy myself any sort of author, or memoirist, or diarist or whatever the hell, but this book...I dunno. I kind of feel like I can...maybe do it? It’s something I know, it’s something different, and something I feel like I can (hopefully) do well. It’s flowing already, and I mention it here only because doing so makes it more real, more "official," and commits me to it even further. It’s probably misguided and naïve to bother with it at all, but I’m trying (trying!) to view my ignorance as optimism, instead of colossal, times-wasting stupidity.
There are a metric ton of quotes out there about trying and failing, but I’m going to tailor their general message for me and just say that this year, I'm gonna aim to be the pie and not the yarn ball. Here’s to 29.