Today is my birthday. 28 years ago, across the world, my mother jettisoned me from her body like so much ballast from a hot air balloon. I have been cold ever since.
That’s a bit unfair to her. I always feel guilty writing about bad moms, actually, because mine is a loving mother and a kind soul. Maybe she didn’t mind nine months of waddling all over the island.
This year my birthday feels completely meaningless, it must be said. Maybe that’s because it’s arrived in the wake of the bleak midterm elections, or because the sky turns to ash every day at the stroke of five, or because the weather man is forecasting wind chills in the teens for next week, or because I feel, for the first time since getting my own place, stagnant. The past few days I’ve been getting tired early, around 10:30, and I’m having trouble waking up on time the next day.
I’m not depressed, but I share that acute sense of wonder with the depressed about how some people manage to accomplish so much with their day. I honestly don’t understand the math of it all. In a perfect scenario, I’m up at 7 to go running before work. I get home around 6. I’ve made and eaten dinner by 7:30. And then I have three hours to be productive before I read and go to bed. Is that where the difference lies, then? In those three hours, and how other people use them? Do productive people not watch basketball or check Twitter or participate in funny text groups? Do they stay up later? Wake up earlier? It’s a riddle to me, and I often feel wasteful for how little gold I wring from my time.
Anyway, I wanted to write down some goals for the coming year. Goal making has always seemed lame to me, the kind of thing that student council members are fond of, but now that I’m old and not long for this world, I figure it couldn’t hurt to try. So, here are some things I’d like to accomplish in my life, take 28.
- Start a magazine
- Publish a story
- Always listen—and defer—to my body
- Run a marathon just kidding
- Record family stories from aged relatives
- Make a new friend
- Think about things before agreeing to them; pause before answering; do not nod or shake my head mindlessly while someone is talking to me
- Bulls championship
- Be more aware of my surroundings and responsibilities
That’s a heavy workload, but I am to knock it out. One three-hour chunk at a time.