By this time next week, I will be 30. We were at a garden cocktail party yesterday evening where I found myself chatting about our upcoming trip with an older gentleman, who was on the verge of retirement. My husband and I had recently seen John Lithgow in The Columnist, the theatrical biopic about journalist Joseph Alsop and ironically the man with whom I was speaking was of that “new era” of journalist to which Alsop was vehemently opposed. In our discussions of the changing nature of language and writing, we came to the topic of aging and milestone birthdays. He agreed about the importance of taking trips both physical and mental on the eve of any milestone birthday. He offered this advice:
1) 30 ways of Gratitute- Find 30 people who have shaped your first 30 and thank them. This becomes exponentially larger and more difficult as you age (Ex: at 40, find 40 people who have shaped your first 40 years and thank them).
2) Begin making plans for your escape-Whatever it is that you don’t wish to carry with you into your 30’s, begin laying the plans out in six month strategic intervals; begin purging, now.
3) Meditate every day-Now he was not prostelatizing, but rather the idea that any great feat that we wish to accompolish necessitates a certain degree of attention and focus. Therefore, you must meditate and then exercise, everday for just a little bit. As a career journalist, he notes that the ritual of meditation and exercise not only improves one’s craft, but also enables one to perform their role as a writer.
And since we know that I cry every year on my birthday, I have officially decided to skip my thirtieth birthday in all traditional senses and am going away on a business trip, postponing any acknowledgement of my birthday until the weekend. On my next post, I will be 30.