Getting ready to leave for Birthweek 60 Sushi, the last meal of this most memorable week of spoil-age. I've had eleven days of doing what I wanted to celebrate this milestone and must admit - it's been terrific. I've enjoyed lunches, movies, concerts, shopping expeditions, explorations in the city and way too much chocolate with old friends and family. I've committed acts of extreme bravery (getting my portrait taken, for one, and driving the SoCA freeways and Los Angeles city streets). Saw some bad movies, heard some terrific music. Had a perfect day in my happy place and received some gifts beyond setting value.
As I've reconnected with old friends, they've noted that I'm not the same as I was the last time they saw me. I've used some of this week to reflect on this past year, keeping in mind that a birthday is not the beginning of a new year, but a celebration of the completion of one. So, in my case, this year's birthday - 60 - has been a celebration of the completion of my sixtieth year. This seems significant, because while I am excited to be in the beginning of a new decade, as I look back it really does seem that this past year has been very different from any other year of my adult life and - consequently - does seem to have been the beginning of the new decade.
I've been trying to come up with an analogy for the year. I'm thinking of it as domino art.
I feel like I've been stacking dominoes all my life. Not the black and white ones, and not even the white-with-colored-dot ones in this picture, but the multi-colored dominoes used for those gym-floor creations that spiral and climb and form complicated, intricate designs as they topple. And then, going on two years ago, the first domino was tapped to start the chain reaction and bring all those designs to life. I don't really know which strands will be successful, which designs will reach completion. It appears that some have already hit dead ends or failed to cause the next step in the chain reaction.
What I do know is that I am entertained by the sequence of events that are making up this decade, and excited to see what will develop and the dominoes continue to fall. I'm hopeful (if not optimistic) that some of the failed chains can be resurrected to complete their patterns, but if not, what had been completed already has value and I feel gratitude for what has already happened.
I admit to being a tad tuckered by the past week. Celebration has an element of work. I look forward to winding down for the rest of this summer break. I will finish another bed along the south side of my back yard. I will finish a quilted jacket for Christmas that has been waiting for almost 15 years for completion. I will write every day - morning pages and Rosedale and whatever else calls. I will make progress on the Brown genealogy. And I will purge this house and relegate something to the "move it out" area every day.
This new decade of mine will be one of clearing the decks to accomplish the tasks that I will look back on at the end of my life with a sense of satisfaction, pride and joy.