by Janis Patterson
Yesterday was my birthday. I won’t tell you which one, only that it’s a big one – one of the ‘0’ ones. An entire new decade lies before me, and it’s taking all my courage not to turn around and attempt to run the other way, back through previous decades which, no matter how scary they seemed at the time, suddenly seem safe and easy.
Every birthday is a step into the unknown; if you want to be picky, I guess that every day could be regarded the same, but a birthday – especially an ‘0’ one – is so much more cosmic. It’s a new beginning, much as the beginning of a new book.
Now that’s not so big of a stretch, to compare a birthday and a book. A new book is a completely different world, and world-view, and commitment. Your life will never be the same once you type ‘Chapter One’ or do your outline or whatever it is you do to start a new book. You are committed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, to a new state of being that will affect your life majorly for a while and minorly for the rest of your life. The actual length of time is immaterial, because when the project is over, you can’t go back to being the way you were before. You will be irrevocably changed.
Life is constantly in flux; each day is different, just as each page in a book is different. It’s just that milestones – birthdays, beginnings – always seem so much more noticeable. Especially the birthdays. Especially the big birthdays. The ‘0’ birthdays. It is a literal change in your life. But – whether it’s writing, or birthdays… it sure beats the heck out of the alternative!