Every year between the ages of about 10 to 16, I would obnoxiously set an alarm for 4:36am every December 20th and excitedly wake the entire household up when it went off, reminding them at this exact moment, years and years ago, I entered the world, premature, bald, and screaming. I’d like to retroactively apologize for my enthusiasm and sleep torture, because I couldn’t muster that sort of enthusiasm today, on the 27th anniversary of my birth, if I tried.
That isn’t to say I’m not excited about my birthday in general. Presents! Dinner at Parc! Everyone is nice to you! What could be wrong with that equation? No, my lack of joy comes from the number this time: 27. WHEN DID I GET SO OLD? I was just 20 a second ago. Sure, I couldn’t drink, but I also didn’t need to spend $50 every two months on night moisturizers and eye creams. Heck, I barely washed my face every night (okay, I was stupid, but so young! oh, so young!). I also couldn’t drink, was broke as a joke, and pretty miserable. There needs to be a mandatory college course that tells 18-22 year olds over and over, every day for the entire semester, that you will not always be as broke as you are in college, and that one day you will be able to buy sushi and maybe take a nice trip somewhere. That would have been way more useful than the Geology course I scraped by in, but I digress.
Last year, I made a list of 26 really lofty, ambitious goals to undertake in the 12 months I would be 26. Some of them were outrageous and impossible, apparently. Also I’m lazy and resentful of lists now.
26 in 26 – A Year in Review
1. Go to Paris, twice –nope, just once.
2. Become fluent in French (join conversation groups and keep taking classes) – not fluent, but still taking classes and ever so in love with the language!
3. Finish the first draft of my book – ahahahahaha. no.
4. Rescue another dog (somewhere Boyfriend and Fitz are going, “WHAT?!”) – ahahahahahaha. no.
5. Read 26 books – YES! I did this. I snuck in just under the deadline this week, thanks to my friend Herbie who suggested I read some plays to up my count. Full re-cap next week.
6. Start doing Pilates again – half yes? I did Pilates over the summer but then dropped the habit once I hit my weight loss goal. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to work.
7. Eat a new food (oysters?) – I accidentally ate veal, so we’re calling this a ‘yes.’
8. See 2 plays – I saw one play in Paris and the ballet this fall, so I’m giving myself full credit because it’s my birthday and I can.
9. Run a mile (a whole mile! that doesn’t involve catching a bus!) – I managed 0.65 miles the first and only time I attempted running and I honestly thought I was going to die or that my head was going to fall off.
10. Enjoy a day at the beach (emphasis on the word ‘enjoy‘ not just ‘go to’) – no, beaches are terrible and I don’t need to like them. Beaches, like running, are for crazy people.
11. Take my nieces to the zoo – no, I am a terrible aunt.
12. Go ice-skating – no, but that would have been fun.
13. Go one month without buying anything (this is my Everest) – ahahahahaha. no.
14. Travel overseas somewhere new – nope.
15. Call my grandmother once a week – YES.
16. Attempt my 365 Project again (ahem) – I don’t want to talk about it.
17. Blog everyday for a year – I missed the day after Thanksgiving and a random Thursday two weeks ago.
18. Visit at least 5 museums – I went to the same museum at least 10 times, does that count?
19. See 2 movies in the theater by myself – nope, not even “Paranoia“! :(
20. Cook one meal a month (an upgrade from the current 0) – I will have you know I am now an expert at microwaving Boca Chik’n patties, thankyouverymuch.
21. Curse less – fuck no.
22. Paint the living room – OMG HOW HAVE WE STILL NOT ACCOMPLISHED THIS.
23. Attend Synagogue services at least once (23a. find out what the actual name of Synagogue services is, you awful Jew) – no, but thank goodness Jews don’t believe in hell!
24. Volunteer at a women’s shelter – okay, so I tried. But given the nature of women’s shelters, any volunteers need a plethora of background checks before being even shortlisted to volunteer, and then there’s an entire approval process. This year, I was able to serve dinner to cancer patients at UPenn Hospital, help raise $1000 for Programs Employing People, and participated in several donation drives for homeless veterans. That has to count, right?
25. Attend a writer’s conference – no.
26. Land my dream job – with all this newfound wisdom that comes with age, I’ve learned there is no such thing as a ‘dream job,’ unless a career exists wherein I can hold hands with Gary Oldman all day every day.
I’ve learned my lesson this year, and will therefore not hold myself to 27 unachievable tasks. Except for #5, only I’m upping it to 27. I could have read many more books than I did this year if I hadn’t decided to start in like June. Oh, and #3. That needs to happen.
I leave you today with this video, which is so appropriate and accurate I can’t believe no one made it sooner. Happy birthday to me, and to all the other holiday babies (Roothers! my best friend Aidan!).