Stop whatever you're doing and get ready to celebrate! It's my birthday today, which means I'm now 39. It's the last year of my 30s and I officially feel old. Then again, my grandfather lived to be 98 1/2 and my grandmother was 96 when she died last year. So in my family, at least, I'm not even middle aged.
I'm all for growing old gracefully, but I do have mixed feelings about being 39. On the one hand, I'm still pretty young and have plenty to look forward to. So far, I've done most of the things that I've wanted to do: I've traveled, I married a great guy, I put out an album, I started my own business, I published a book. On paper it sounds great, but I do sometimes feel that I haven't accomplished enough. Yes, I reached all of these goals, but my jewelry isn't being sold at Tiffany's, nor is my book a best seller. I have really high expectations for myself and I haven't yet reached them. As I push toward 40, should I get more into the mindset of being satisfied with what I have -- or am I still young enough to be an idealist and to keep hoping for big dreams? I had a vision of where I'd be at 40 in terms of my achievements and I don't think I'm there yet. I know, this probably sounds like a silly problem, but there are days when I'm very down on myself because business is slow or I feel like I haven't written enough. I think that I'm my own worst critic; maybe this is what I REALLY need to work on as I finish out this age decade.
Since this is a blog about writing, I do have to say that being older does make a difference. When I started BAND GEEK, back in 2002, I was 28 and thought I knew it all. I didn't; I was still just a kid. That decade makes a difference. The best parts of that book came to me when I rewrote sections and was in my late 30s. I just knew the world better and had more insight as to how people interact. I could look back on my teens with both a teen and adult perspective, whereas when I was 28, I was still too young.
I think I have a lot more to learn and hope that my life -- writing and otherwise -- continues to get better. The 30s were much happier than my 20s, and my 20s bested my teens. Maybe the 40s will be my best decade yet!
Please give me THE BEST birthday gift you can give and read my novel REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD, just 99 cents this month!