Sunday, April 01, 2007

From 40 to 50

So in more mulling about this upcoming birthday, I started thinking about this last decade. What happened between the landmarks of 40 and 50?

I'd been excited about turning 40. I fully expected a new tier of ease and self-confidence. Instead I ran into a brick wall. Ruptures in my marriage, the first serious seam I wasn't sure we'd recover from, then health problems and general disorder. 1997 was a difficult, painful year but I came through fine, stronger, better. This last decade an amazing one.

Some Highlights:

- Fell deeper in love with email. Hardcore. (Though surprised to just learn that my beloved Highland Chain provider actually started in Sept. 1994. Before that I wasted hours with the more often than not, dysfunctional AOL. Not sure exactly when email entered my life but it took with a vengeance. I remember when my neighbors brought up the Highlands Chain idea, the concept of a local internet community with email, I said, "what a stupid idea." Then I became the poster child, an intense power user to this day. (Thank you Richard and Susan Bates.)

- Mothered my daughter from age 9 to 19. My son from 7 to 17.

- Created and produced our IFC cable TV series Split Screen with John. Four years, 66 episodes, over 100 active filmmakers working. A true joy. Terrific entertainment. Spawning features The Blair Witch Project and How's Your News? while providing early first looks at American Movie and Waking Life. Tim P slipped out of our lives for awhile but in walked Amy Elliott and PH O'Brien in a big, big way. And Mike LaHaie. And Josh Braun. And too many others to mention. A wild ride indeed.

-Taking the plunge to direct and loving it. (Thank you Miranda.)

- Curated a night at The Moth in June 2001. In the Dark: Filmmakers Illuminate with storytellers Peter Hedges, Bingham Ray, Caroline Kaplan, Darnell Martin, Pam Yates. (Thank you Judy Stone.)

- Spent years getting a local school referendum passed. Personal power politics in a small town. Learning how to build coalitions and get things done. Along the way some surprising, deeply satisfying friendships.

The small town love and beauty of Garrison and Cold Spring, NY. Understanding what it's like to be in a place where parents and friends really look out for one another. A real community. A rich home while it lasted.

-Discovering the mind/body connection. (Thank you Healers: Mhairi, Karen Gorney, Linda Blaikie, Teresa Peppard, Karen Greathouse, Allison Anderson.)

-A serious committment to yoga and now pilates. (Thank you Magda Schoenfeld, Kate Graham, Shelley Gilbert, Angela D. Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle.)

-Cannes 1999 with IFC. An unforgettable night celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary. Attending the Dogma midnight premiere at the Grand Palais, the after party at the Hotel du Cap, the sunrise on Paul Allen's yacht. Spike, Jarmusch, and the Blair Witch guys in town in a big way too.

- Actually everything with Kevin Smith. The Movies. The Family. The Friendship. Hanging at the House.

-Natalie Goldberg's workshop at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos in 2000.

-Paris for my 45th birthday with Nan and Beau. Amsterdam a few years later.

-10 days in Fiji. Then a year. Every second of it.

- Reel Paradise.

-New Zealand. And yoga for 30 days with Philip & Coral Savage.

- Cleaning the house to move first to Fiji, then again, more permanently, to Austin. Torture til I discovered the joy in dispersing our material goods. Christmas in July.

- Wireless internet

- Gaining weight steadily. Losing 30 lbs in 6 months in 2001-2002. Yea!!! Gaining it back in 4 years.

-Moving to Austin. Coming from a place I loved to a place I love even more! The easiest transition ever. Loving Austin with its great energy, wonderful people, and quality of life. All my wonderful good new friends here. Immersing fully into the Austin Film Society, proud to be part of its rich history and vital present.

-My friends. Those of you who see me through. Turn me on. Make me laugh. Make me think. Help me feel connected. Make everyday worthwhile. Thank you.

- John. Ever mercurial and exciting. Brilliant. Impatient and confrontational. But funny, and kind, and loving too. At the center of it all.


S said...

Hey J, super rich life so far don't you think? Happiest of birthdays to you today, thank you for the years of insight and easy love!
50's are great, sort of relaxing and free .... kind of weird as it is all mixed with the truth of mortality ...... "hey, I'm still that crazy 20 year old, right?"
Anyway, thinking of you, you're the best ........ XXXOOO S

Bryan P said...

A wonderful summation of a decade. Hope my 40-50 is as rich. Sorry I missed the celebration last night. Happy Birthday!