Monday, September 17, 2007

Things To Do Before I'm 40

Yes, readers, it's come to that. This Jaded NYer, in her on-going effort to find true happiness, has been reduced to making one of those annoying "To Do" lists that can either be a great motivator or just another reason to be depressed. I'm hoping for the former; the latter would just be so pathetic.

Blame the degree; ever since graduation and panel, I've felt this surge of happiness, this sense that anything is possible, that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to. I've never thought that before- ever. But now, seeing that I actually graduated on time with quality material to show for it...the closeted optimist in me sort of woke up.

So, in no particular order, here's the list of accomplishments I'd like to be celebrating on my 40th birthday: May 23, 2015 (damn! That's like RIGHT AROUND THE FREAKIN' CORNER!)

1. Compete in an iron woman triathlon. What better way to tiptoe into my twilight years than with a healthy, bangin' body? I've wanted to do this for some time but have always found three trillion excuses why I can't. The number one reason being pure, unadulterated laziness. Well, I'm done with that- I really want the glory of it all, crossing the finish line, getting a little certificate or medal saying that I finished the race. That'd be a good legacy to leave my babies.

2. Get out of debt. My mom just accomplished this in her fifties and I applaud her. She makes great money, has zero debt and her credit rating is so freakin' enviable I can hardly believe it. So now I have to follow her example and do the same, a whole decade earlier. Because after all, parents always want their kids to do better than they did, and besides the freedom zero debt will allow me, I'd like to show her I can do it, too.

3. Publish at least two books. Very ambitious, I know, but that's my goal. I want two titles under my belt by the time I hit 40, and that's that.

4. Complete a novella in Spanish and have it published in DR. This is a vanity project undertaken specifically in my grandmother's name. To make her proud, even if she's not physically here to see it.

5. Sail throughout the Mediterranean. I want to see Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal. I want to dip my bread in fresh olive oil and tan on the beach with some sexy Italian/Spanish men. It's my destiny, I know it.

6. Start a cultural magazine based in NYC. I will see my name on a masthead above the title Editor-in-chief and that's just that. It will happen come hell or high water.

7. Meet John Cusack. Don't laugh; this is no joke. Besides having a huge, life-long crush on him, I also respect him as an actor/writer/producer, and I'd like to work with him one day. I think we'd be able to make great films together. Which brings me to number...

8. Start my own film production company. Based in NYC, of course. We need more quality films out there, and I'm not being a snob and saying that only I know quality movies, but I know of great projects that don't get made because no one will back them. Well, I'll back them. Every single one I can.

9. Own a radio station. Where there won't be a set format. It will be as eclectic as me and the city, and we'll give as much airtime to up-and-coming artists as we will established musicians. We'll sponsor events throughout the city and expose the public to as much music, old and new, as possible.

10. Own a brownstone in Brooklyn. This is going to be my very first real estate purchase, because I've wanted it ever since I was a little girl ogling the brownstones on my block when we lived in that great studio on Stuyvesant (between Hancock and Halsey) with the floor-to-ceiling windows and the decorative moldings everywhere...god I LOVED that apartment...

11. Learn how to drive. This might require some therapy, though, because the fact is just that I have a serious automobile phobia. Once I conquer that, I should be OK.

12. Be a regular contributor or columnist in The New Yorker or New York Magazine. Only until my own magazine takes off, of course. I respect those two publications immensely, and to be a part of it would just be heaven on earth.

13. Vote in a government election. But not just vote, but actually know what/whom I'm voting for; be educated on the issues and the candidates and make an informed decision on who'd do the best job for my city/state/country. That'd be cool.

14. Earn my Ph.D. I don't know in what subject, but I covet that degree like a fat kid loves cake. The prestige, the honor, the pomp and circumstance...I want it and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

15. Conquer my insomnia. I fear that if I don't it will dig me an early grave. So whatever it takes, I will have to force my body to get more than four hours of uneasy sleep a night.

I thought I'd have more things on this list. In fact it started out as a "40 Things To Do..." list, but when I got to 15 I realized that if I were able to accomplish even half of these item, the rest of my life would be Häagen-Dazs' Butter Pecan ice cream with hot caramel sauce, sliced bananas, whipped cream and three Maraschino cherries on top.

And isn't that all any of us wants?

* very certain- for the first time in my life- that happiness is right around the corner*
And all I really want is some patience
A way to calm the angry voice
And all I really want is deliverance...