This weekend I celebrated my 54th birthday. I am celebrating by doing something I find scary: I am launching this blog.
Last year, I fixed on the charming realization that 53 is prime. I hoped it would be a special year – indivisible, superlative, ripe, the drawing forth of a new and perhaps creative flow. My quixotic mix of math trivia, word play and midlife optimism.
It ended up being pivotal, that much is clear.
As I contemplated this approaching birthday, I thought about the significance of the number 54 and wondered what I could hope for the coming year.
Fifty-four is the number of cards in a deck, if you include the two jokers. That seems apt.
Fifty-four is a 19-gonal number [look it up here]. That’s cool and kinda cosmic since 19 has long been a lucky number for me.
Fifty-four is 6×9 which has a yin yang thing going on that pleases me.
And 54 is LIV.
So I decided I was going LIV(e). Liv(e): verb? adjective? Either way I loved what it confers on the year.
I figured I would use my birthday as the excuse to get off my duff and put this stuff out there. When I quit my job and promised to get a plan, I also committed to getting outside my comfort zone . What was the point of leaving a perfectly good gig to explore “paths untaken” if I didn’t actually venture down some of those aforementioned and unknown trajectories? I contemplated a blog to memorialize and process the journey, liking the idea of writing, self conscious that I might not have much to say, repeatedly pushing back potential launch dates.
That was two weeks ago. A little giddy, I dusted off drafts and set content to publish on April 4, feeling excited about what might come of it.
Then a week ago I stumbled on an article about Judith Rodin’s most recent work on the resilience dividend, which I found equal parts intellectually engaging and personally debilitating. I thought to myself: Whatever I have to offer is going to be very …thin…. by comparison. So I scuttled all the publication dates on the blog posts, slinking away from my plan feeling relieved that I hadn’t confessed my folly to anyone.
So much for all my mature resolve.
Then today, two days after my birthday, I find myself on a liquid diet, preparing for tomorrow’s colonoscopy. It’s a routine procedure and, other than a previous cancer diagnosis, I have no particular reason to be worried about it. But it is still a reminder that there are no guarantees. That life is short. So you should just do things and stop worrying about whether it’s good enough already.
Today I am reminded that my best decisions in recent months have all been about things that pushed me outside my comfort zone. That the universe offers up opportunities complete with encouraging messages more often than we realize — if we will only listen.
So here I am, taking a deep breath amid all my unvarnished work-in-progress dust, and plunging forward before I can second guess myself again. Spinning this out there among all the other stardust. Trying to listen when the universe talks. Trying to learn as I go.
I hope you’ll join me.
DO ONE THING EVERY DAY THAT SCARES YOU. Eleanor Roosevelt