I’ve got a healthy Jewish spirit. On Friday nights, you’ll find me romantically dining by candlelight with the Shabbat Queen.
That said, I could get right behind most secular holidays, too. I’m a fan of good marketing. For example, I love “the spirit” of Christmas. It’s the one time of year when everyone I meet is courteous. They should just call the holiday “Courteous” – all the songs would still work. Of course the day after, it’s back to road rage Wednesdays, but that’s to be expected.
In the spirit of “when in Rome,” this January, I’d like to extend a Happy “neither-Chinese-nor-Hebrew-calendar” New Years to you all.
As I understand it, you’d like to eat more from column A and less from column B. You want to quit something and start something else.
We’re three weeks in. How’s that going?
Not great? Don’t feel bad. It took me four years to get this next one off the ground. In 2004, I undressed my career in front of the mirror. It didn’t have the definition I wanted – things were sagging. So I decided to send my skill set to boot camp and resolved to make a feature film from the bottom up.
On Jan 30, that film, Summerhood, will premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Four years. That’s some diet. I’d often measure myself against the efforts and accomplishments of friends and family, but this was my resolution.
Be mindful of the goals you set. Results do come in time, but time can take four years. Patience is a combination of managed expectations and DVD box sets.
Maybe we shouldn’t compare our goals to others. My sister had two babies while I worked on this film. Two babies. Talk about glowing validation from Saba and Bubbie. My verbal art piece verses her biological enterprises – hard to compete with. Mind you, mine is a totally original work while hers, though crowd-pleasing, are merely reproductions. Plus, she only co-authored that deal.
Either way, it’s still a lot to compete with. And now that even my mother surfs the Internet, I’m in desperate need of a tangible, Googleable accomplishment.
It took me four years keep this resolution, and every year Dick Clark was there to remind me that I had not yet reached my goal.
These were trying times.
With deadlines looming, I dug in deep this year, committed to completing the odyssey. Getting two hours of sleep a night through the final weeks of post-production, my body – not unexpectedly – buckled, and I got my first cold in decades.
My father’s last words of 2007 were, “You disgust me.”
He asked me late on a Sunday afternoon to go buy chicken soup. It wasn’t going to fit into my Sunday schedule, however. I’d planned to be bathing in chicken broth on Monday, but this wasn’t soon enough for his liking, and so he was disgusted with me. Which had me curious: of all the offensive things I did last year – and they did add up – this by no means seemed disgusting enough to elicit the camel’s bite, yet it seemed to be the straw that broke its back.
As of the end of 2007, I am disgusting. I can’t even get myself soup. And even though I managed to do so hours later, in 2007, I disgusted my father, which I figure is par for the course.
I hope that this year, with soup in my belly and with Summerhood, my heartfelt film, on screens, I will have earned back my place at the family table with my sister, her two babies, my father’s bike trip around Israel and my mother’s new laptop skills.
Heaven knows that my body needs the nutrition.
So, if your ambitions are deeply rooted, don’t give up. Some goals take more than 30 days.
And if you find yourself in Santa Barbara on Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m., consider yourself invited to my finish line.