Saturday, October 3, 2009

My birthday wish -- for you

Today is my 52nd birthday. I know--holy shit, right? So here I am in Boise with Mom and Stepdaddy and let me tell you how happy I am to be 52 years old and still have my mother, and in good health. Well, physical health.

I woke up today to the hum of the mixer and there was Mom in the kitchen making my birthday cake. On the kitchen table was a big-ass plate of brownies.

Me: "You made brownies, too?" Yikes, is Mom going a bit overboard on the sweets or what?
Mom: "Oh, they were supposed to be your birthday cake. I knew something wasn't right when I was mixing it up. The boxes look alike, you know. Not that I'm gonna make anything from scratch--ha!"
At least the physical health is still intact. Poor Mom, though--imagine what it must be like to have a kid who's 52? I'm freaked out that my kids are 30 and 31.

Birthdays are traditionally a good time to assess where you are in life and how close you are to where you want to be. But I'm gonna say F that. Why? Because when you frame your birthday in that way, it's nothing but a perfect opportunity to make yourself feel inadequate. Like surely you should have accomplished more by this age.

So let's shake the Etch-a-Sketch and erase any notions of how your life "should" look at this point. Instead, think about how it still can be.

Over the past several months, I've been doing some editing for Rudy Ruettiger, the man behind the hit movie, Rudy. He lives here in Las Vegas. One of Rudy's favorite lines is,

"What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"
Most people don't dig deeply enough within themselves to truly consider and come up with an answer to this question. But if you really think about it, you're sure to uncover a true desire. And under that, I'll bet you anything, lies a true God-given talent.

Talent. I believe we've all been blessed with it. But for any number of reasons, this talent often gets suppressed. A while back, I heard from a reader who said she always wanted to write, but gave up that aspiration long ago when a teacher told her she was no good at it. And I'm telling you, the email she sent to me was beautifully written. Forgive that stupid teacher and shake the Etch-a-Sketch, sister. And start writing.

Finally, finally, I've come to realize that my God-given talent is my writing (though Mom could have told you that years ago). I'm 52 and finally have a book for sale, an outlet for my writing, my humor, and a way to motivate others to make the most of their own lives by looking at mine. I've said a million times, "Everything in its right time" and I do believe that--the universe unfolds in divine order. But we also have free will, so why not make "the right time" sooner rather than later?

So my birthday wish is for you to take some time today to consider

What is your God-given talent? What do you do better than almost every person on earth? How can you share your talent with the rest of the world?
These are not rhetorical questions. I'm really asking you; I expect answers (even if you answer in your own head). I want you to tell me what your talent is because by telling me, you're also proclaiming it to yourself.

Think about what makes you wonderful and have yourself an incredible day, knowing that in your own unique way, you kick ass. That, beloved readers, is my birthday wish for you.


Anonymous said...

Hope this beautiful lady has a wonderful day! Congrats on your book as well!!

Ekanthapadhikan said...

Many Happy Happy Returns of the Day.

And yes, you're truly a gifted writer. I've been following your posts for a while now and I must admit, I picked up an idea or two from you.

And about what I'm good at, ah! that has always been a trouble with me. I write, sing, experiment with photography and even have acted on stage quite a few times. But after fiddling with a lot of things I still have not been successful in finding out what exactly I can do better than others. I think I'm that prodigal 'Jack of all trades and master of none'. Ahem! I think, a better way to put it is - "I'm a Jack of a few trades and master of none".

I've put up a short film that I acted in, in my blog and I do maintain a blog with my creative attempts at writing, another one with my photography experiments and also another one with my singing.

Would you be interested in visiting a couple of them and maybe, you could give me some directions.

LeeAnn said...

Congrats on the book! And have a very Happy Birthday!

Hurricane Mikey said...

Congrats, Linda, for seeing this book project to fruition--I hope you make a million dollars and dance on Oprah's couch.

And a happy birfday to you, too. I'll raise a glass of the good stuff in your honor tonight.

Malu Silverman said...

A super happy birthday to a beautiful person - you. May you have more fabulous birthdays to come. Thanks for the inspiration. You're young as a spring chicken!

My friends and relatives always thought I could write. Nah, I told an editor friend before. I'd rather do photography/picture editing. I could do both :)

Lorraine said...

Happy Birthday and congrats on the book! And thanks for the birthday wish. I just left someone else's blog and commented on a card she made with my favorite quote - "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song". You're right, we need to all find "our song".

Mandy said...

Happy Birthday! How dare ye make me think deeply though on a Saturday and when I've been sniffing Lysol and Windex all day long too.... I am so impressed by your wonderful attitude and outlook. You are an inspiration. And I hope to find the answers to your questions really soon. I'm asking myself in my head and I'm taking the rest of 2009 to assess it before I'm ready to say it out loud. Enjoy your special day and your plate of brownies!

sheila said...

Happy Birthday! (I came over from 47). Hope you have a great year and sell lots and lots of books.

LOVE the brownie story! that's cute! Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, my special friend!!

Carol said...

Happy Birthday Linda. I hope you have a truly fabulous day.

I read your blog all the time, but never comment, but on this special occasion, I thought I would.

Carol :)
Western Australia

Kim said...

One of my favorite quotes says something to the effect that every child is born knowing he is an artist until the world tells him otherswise. (Picasso) I've always known what I was meant to do, it's just been a matter of clearing out a lifetime of bullshit so that I can start believing in myself. Happy birthday!

ExtraO said...

So let's shake the Etch-a-Sketch and erase any notions of how your life "should" look at this point. Instead, think about how it still can be.

That's perfect! I love it. Happy birthday. :-)

linda said...

Happy Birthday Linda.

Elizabeth Patch said...

Happy New Year Linda Lou! I did a huge etch-a-sketch shakeup on my 50th (something about now or never made me overcome my doubts) and ended up with a published book as well. Congratulations on the book!! I look forward to reading it.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Vegas.

Words are my gift. And my devil if you know what I mean.

(No one ever wants to argue with me... I wonder why?)

The Peach Tart said...

Happy Birthday Linda Lou. May this next year bring you more love and fabulous success with your book.

Fragrant Liar said...

Never been any doubt: I am writer.
More specifically, a humorist.

Methinks you are one too. Happy birthday, sister.

Tara said...

Sorry I'm a day late here, Happy Birthday Linda Lou! And maybe I'll post something about my God given talent once I figure out what the heck it is :) Hope you had a great one!

Liz said...

Happy belated birthday!
Hope you enjoyed family time,cake, and brownies!!!

I'm not sure what my "talent" is but I think it's acting. I've been on stage, been good at it, and loved it more than anything else in the whole world.

However, living in Wisconsin does not lend itself to getting on stage in a Broadway play. And, in my 40s, I'm not exactly "prime" material for a leading lady!! :-)

My Moon said...

Happy birthday Linda! I ordered my book. Can't wait to get it! Love this post. You gave me a lot to think about... ~C

classicrockforthesoul said...

I'm so glad you had a nice birthday! You more than deserve it.

Hmmm what's my God-given talent? I think I'm still trying to figure that out. :/

K A B L O O E Y said...

Happy Birthday (belated, sorry) and I've got to say

I LOVE shake the Etch-a-sketch -- that's terrific!

Caz Wilson said...

Belated Happy Birthday!

Honestly, I read your post on Saturday but have been thinking about it ever since. I'm gonna take time too and think about what my talent is... I'll let you know!!


Sue said...

Here from Julies blog because we have the same Birthday, so I hope you had a good one! I turned 40 this year, but I agree, no life assessments for me. Just booze. ;)

Rochelle said...

OMG - Happy way-belated Birthday Linda Lou! Wishing you all the best this year and beyond.

I hope my talent is writing funny stuff because, if it ain't, I don't know if watching lots of TV counts as a talent.