Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The year rolls round again . . .

I turned 35 today.
Not such a bad thing, really. I don’t feel any different than I did yesterday, of course, and 35 is still considered moderately young by today’s standards. I have a full decade before my supposed mid-life crisis.
Last year, I decided to look at my year as a whole, and see if I’d done anything with it. I thought I’d do the same this year, just for my own edification. So here we go:
Negatives this year:
My mother died. That’s far and away the worst thing that’s happened this year, and my whole family is still reeling from the loss, particularly because it was sudden and unexpected.
Clockworks has floundered. That’s really my own fault. I just haven’t had the time to do as much with it lately, particularly with all of the other work I’ve had. We are still selling books, but we’d hoped to put out several supplements this year, and right now we’ll be lucky to manage one.
Slammed doors. For whatever reason, it became abundantly clear to me that one possible avenue toward writing novels was forever closed to me. I’m not sure why—I’ve certainly had several friends sally through that same door over the past few years. But it seems to be blocked to me. I have my suspicions as to the cause, but I can’t prove it, of course. It’s not that I care that much about this particular avenue, either. It’s mainly that I devoted a lot of time and effort these past two or three years to getting my foot in that door, and to have it slammed on me makes all that a waste.
The usual. A few colds and such, a few potential projects that fell through. A few fights with friends and loved ones. Nothing serious.

Positives this year:
I got a full-time job. This is my first full-time job ever, which may seem a little weird but I’ve been a freelancer for a long time. I like where I work, I like my co-workers, I like the work itself, and I REALLY like the job security and the benefits. I even have my own office.
I bought a house. Well, just about. I was really hoping to close before my birthday, but it looks like we’re going to miss that by about a week. Still, all the house-hunting and all the paperwork took place before, so I feel justified in saying I bought it during my thirty-fourth year.
I sold my first novel. Not where I thought I would (see the bit about the slammed door, above), but it’s a very cool situation, and I’m psyched about the book itself.
I got to watch my daughter go from an infant to a toddler. Adara has taken up most of Jen’s time this past year, and much of mine, and we’re both thrilled.
The usual. Hanging out with friends and, whenever possible, family. Having some fun. Getting yet more freelance work—including several where people contacted me to offer me the project, which is always nice. Making a few new friends along the way. Spending time with my wife—and finally getting used to thinking of her in those terms.

All in all, I’d have to say that it’s been a very good year for me. But it’s weird, and almost frightening, to think about how different things were for me just two years ago. When I was thirty-two, going on thirty-three, I was single, lived in an apartment, was a frustrated novelist, and freelanced for a living. Now, having just turned thirty-five, I’m married and a dad, I’m (about to be) a homeowner, I have a full-time job, and I’ve got a contract for my first novel. In those terms, it seems like I’m a completely different person. I’m not, of course, but from outside it might seem that way. And certainly, when I meet new people, they must see me very differently than they would have two years ago.
I don’t know that I’m really doing anything for my birthday this year, either, in part due to those changes. I used to go out with friends on my birthday, for dinner and a movie of my choosing. But Jen can’t go with me, since one of us has to watch Adara, and we’ve got things to do to get ready for closing, and because I work all day now I have to do my other projects at night, and so it looks like my birthday may wind up being a quiet night at home. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. And perhaps, after a few things have quieted down here, I’ll get people together for a belated birthday bash, like David and I did last year. If that happens, I’ll let you know, and those of you who are close enough are certainly invited to attend.
In the meantime, it’s back to work for this slightly older, probably not much wiser guy.


  • At 10/13/2004 6:51 AM, Blogger martiank9 said…

    Congratulations on the book deal and happy birthday! I'd like to offer some clever advice, but I got nothing. Wait, maybe I have something... In the words of the immortal (immoral?) Eric Cartman, "Follow your dreams. BEEFCAKE! BEEFCAKE!"

  • At 10/13/2004 7:42 PM, Blogger Alexandra said…


    The past year, despite sadness and loss, you've still managed to make life-affirming for yourself and those around you. No small accomplishment, Aaron. Congratulations! And may the next year be only life!

    But since I'm only 3 years shy of 50, you're not allowed to have your mid-life crisis at 45 (whipper-snapper!) unless you think I'm havin' mine, now! ;->


  • At 10/13/2004 7:58 PM, Blogger Nina said…

    Happy Birthday! It sounds like you put a lot of thought into what happened to you this year. Most people tend to remeber the really bad stuff, so it's refreshing to see the positves listed here. Each day is a new beginning. I hope that doesn't sound as cornballish as it looks.


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