Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Goals Upon Approaching 50

With only 2 months to spare:

Lose 10 pounds.
Get teeth whitened.
Get hair permed and colored.

Now, lest someone reading here think, "Oh my, how shallow..." Well, I've already, at nearly 50, done the Big Stuff that I had any personal control over. I've:

Gotten my Master's degree.
Lived in both San Francisco and New York (the only two places I ever had any serious desire to try out, though I did once have a minor fantasy about living in Germany--in my aunt's house after she died).
Written two screenplays (on my own time, of course).
Written 600+ poems (only 7 published in small national mags).
Published a local lit 'zine with a group of friends (3 issues of "Trash Soup" in Austin in the early '90s).
Written to and gotten responses from 2 of my most meaningful authors: Ted Hughes and Mary Gaitskill (whom I met in person after exchanging letters and tapes).
Created from scratch a website for Joan Crawford (currently over 1,000 unique views a day; 3.1 million visitors since 2004).

What I most decidedly have NOT "accomplished" by 50:

A love of my life with whom I've traveled the world.
A publishing job in New York City.
A poem in the "New Yorker" or a book of poems.
An Oscar-winning screenplay (or even a screenplay optioned!).

But note what I mentioned in the intro: "that I had any control over."

I certainly can't control who falls in love with me and wants to travel. Or who hires me. Or who chooses to publish my work. I've TRIED in all of these areas, which is all anyone can possibly do. Sans a benefactor or mentor (which I have never actively sought, preferring/hoping instead that it would happen organically), I think I have done pretty well on my own.

And so, approaching 50, what I wish for is... Make those teeth and hair appointments, girl! And quit eating fries at lunch! (RE the latter: I've never dieted before in my life. Ever. But I'm up to 162 pounds at 5'8", and I feel noticeably sluggish. I need to be at least under 150 so I can MOVE properly. I hate schlumpfing around and wearing saggy clothes.)

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