Tuesday, August 21, 2012

730 Days

Today is my birthday, always an occasion for taking stock of one's life and charting one's course for the coming year. I've decided to chart my course for the coming TWO years, as in 730 days I will have a significant milestone birthday, so that means I have 730 days to do whatever I need to do to salvage this decade and position myself to have the best decade ever coming up in 2014.

I know that I want to try to pay down my mortgage so that I can have more work-related options in the decade to come. Maybe I won't want to be a professor AND a writer any more, but will want to see what I could achieve as a writer if I devoted my energies to it not just for an hour a day but for eight hours a day (well, at least two or three). Maybe now that I've experienced the fun of living somewhere else, during this enchanted hiatus in Greencastle, Indiana, I'd like to live for a while in an intensely urban environment like the Upper West Side of New York City - or live abroad - on a Greek island? - or - ???  But the key to this kind of geographical flexibility is greater financial independence. So I didn't spend money to take myself out for lunch on my birthday, but ate a most tasty lunch that I found in the Prindle Institute fridge, left over from a Prindle event yesterday.

And I know that I want to write more books, and better books - maybe even one truly wonderful book that will be read by many children for many years. So this morning I got up early, made myself my mug of Swiss Miss hot chocolate, and wrote page one of Izzy Barr, Running Star. What better way to begin a birthday than that?

I know I want to build my life more and more around what I love, and what I love is children's literature, so I spent the rest of the morning finalizing the syllabus for the children's literature class I'm teaching for the first time ever this semester, which starts TOMORROW - as well as dealing with some emails connected to the major conference I'm hosting on Ethics and Children's Literature next month. That was a good way to spend a birthday, too.

This afternoon I'll take part in the orientation session for the new crop of Prindle Institute student interns. I think we're going to be drawing pictures of what we did over the summer, so I need to be thinking of what I can draw that will have anything to do with China, or the Betsy-Tacy fandom convention I attended with Cheryl in Minnesota; I guess if all else fails, I could draw a big Sudoku puzzle to represent my writing of Anniza Riz, Math Whiz.(Self-congratulation time: I haven't done a single Sudoku since returning to Indiana last Thursday - am I cured of that addition?)

And pictured above is the cake which just arrived at my desk, as a gift from our wonderful assistant director Linda. It's made completely out of flowers so won't cause me to gain a single ounce.

So I am having a very pleasant birthday - not only pleasant, but productive, and non-fattening, too. Because after today, I have only 729 days to launch my best decade yet.

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