Every year in the days leading up to my birthday, I enter a period of self-reflection. I look back on the events of the past year and think about how they may have reshaped my life. In the years before we had our son (who arrived just over a week before my birthday back in 2004), I would often see my birthday as a milestone that marked another year of failing to achieve our goal of having a child, and of course, everything else just seemed to pale in comparison. These last six years with my son have been a gift that knows no bounds, and every birthday celebration of mine is now intertwined with the joy that his birth has brought me.
But I digress. The past year has been interesting, to say the least. I went from having two part-time positions in technical writing to becoming a full-time freelancer, having successfully managed to lose both jobs within weeks of one another. I’m certainly enjoying the variety that being a freelancer brings, not to mention the freedom to make my own schedule and do more of the writing that I actually enjoy (such as the pleasure I derive from writing poetry – a relatively new hobby, or the essays I submit to various anthologies); it also means that I have to work harder to ensure that I include social interaction with others. Of course, whatever my gripes might be with this new situation, it’s still infinitely better than my life before, when I was coming home every evening at 7:30, miserable and unable to find a satisfactory home-work balance. Now, my office consists of the corner of our blue, L-shaped couch (which is now at least several centimeters lower than every other part of the couch), and I’m trying to figure out which cappuccino maker to purchase (suggestions are welcome!), given that good coffee is missing from my life these days almost as much as good opportunities for social interaction. And, while I currently have a rather healthy load of writing projects, I’m always on the lookout for more, so feel free to give a shout if you think you’ve got something I might be interested in (end of professional plug).
One way in which I’ve grown richer this year is through the people I’ve “met”, and I use quotes because I have yet to meet many of them in person. However, these individuals (as well as those friends who’ve been part of this fascinating – if sometimes bumpy – journey for the long haul) have given me so much – they have helped me to grow and they have expanded my horizons. They’ve taught me to think about things differently, and through these connections, I’d like to think that I’m now in the process of becoming the me that I’d prefer to be. Sometimes they’ve made me laugh, and other times they’ve made me cry. I’d like to think, though, that no matter where we are in the relationship, these people have entered my life for a reason, and somehow made my life fuller as a result. For that, I’m grateful.
And the future? I’m really not sure at this point. Professionally, I’m hoping to continue to move in a direction that makes me happy, one that helps me to achieve that ever-elusive balance in my life. I’ve got some ideas for growing my freelancing business that involve poetry, so be sure to watch this space. Self-confidence is also a big issue for me, and while I’ve grown more confident in my writing skills during these past few years (due in no small part to wonderful friends who’d beat it into me on a fairly regular basis that I could indeed write), I know it’s something I’ll need to work on – both professionally and personally. And speaking of personal, we’re in for an interesting year ahead, as The Kid (who, at six, is no longer so little) gets ready to start first grade in the fall. He’ll be going to our local Waldorf school, and the list of people he’s promised to knit something for is growing longer and longer. I look forward to spending time with friends, and hopefully meeting at least a few of those who have yet to cross my physical path. My life would be so much poorer if you all weren’t such an important, amazing part of it. So, while I can’t tell you what the next year is going to hold (I’m not a fortune teller, you know!), I’m at least hoping that it will be something something.
Oh, and if it’s true that the
meaning of life answer to the ultimate question is 42, all I can say is, bring it on, baby! Bring it on!
Be sure to check out my birthday posts from years gone by:
This entry was posted in Family, Friendships, Self-Reflection, Shameless Self-Promotion, Writing and tagged 42, birthdays, Family, friendship, poetry, self-reflection, Waldorf, Writing by Liza Rosenberg