Making It So

“Make it so,” is the often-heard directive from Captain Jean Luc Picard on the Star Trek series The Next Generation, and I am more and more inclined to make it my own.

This week marks my 45th anniversary here on planet Earth. If you’re anywhere near my age, you know this feeling: things are beginning to feel a little familiar. The things I’ve always wanted to do, the places I’ve always wanted to go, the hopes and dreams, follow me along like a satellite on a fairly consistent trajectory. Round and round they go.

But for several years now, I have made it my mission to boldly go where I have not gone before—those places I’ve always thought about or talked about or dreamed about.

In 2006, it was le grande voyage—a two-week adventure in France. “For my fortieth birthday,” I told my friend DeLinda, “I want to go to Paris.” And somehow, we planned and saved and took the time off and made it so.

Since then, my adventures have been a little closer to home. I travel as I can, where I can. But, each birthday, I ask myself: what new thing do I want to do this year?

“I want to explore New York City more,” I said to my friend Martha a few years back. So, for my birthday in 2008, I hopped on a train and spent the day in Central Park and the halls and galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2009, I stood at the top of the Empire State Building, and this year, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge with my dear friend Tara.

It may sound a little pompous, but as I stood at the center of the bridge yesterday I thought: I am here because I said so. And that is the key!

I have spent a lot of time these past few weeks thinking about the familiarity of my life; the constant of those hopes and dreams that remain just that. What I realized (read: remembered) yesterday is that if never give them the directive—if I never say “I am going to France,” or “I am going to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge”—I never will.

“To seek out new life,” reads the Starship Enterprise’s mission statement. Starting this week, so does mine!

“It’s kind of symbolic, walking across a bridge mid-life,” noted my friend MaryAnne. Indeed—about as symbolic as this message I spotted on the other side of the bridge: Seize the day. The Hour Flies.

24 thoughts on “Making It So

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  1. Carpe Diem indeed! Happy Birthday Jen. Sounds like you had a great one. I’ll be there in 2 years- yikes! Time flies!! Love the post and images.

  2. Glad you are taking time off for yourself–you spend so much of the rest of it giving to all of us, your talent, your impeccable sense of art and design, your poetic literacy, your supportive affection….Love always, Dale

  3. Carpe Diem was my high school motto, never forgotten.
    (They didn’t clinch it with the Fugit Hora—)

    Each year of your life you do it with more strength, more experience, more determination, more confidence. Onward!

    And happy, happy birthday to you, Jen!

    1. Onward and upward then? Indeed, there is a certain sense of accelerating enthusiasm about things. Perhaps it is because the time shifts – suddenly there is more and more to fit into less and less time!

      (Thank you for the birthday wishes!)

    1. Ah, yes. The Picard Maneuver. I had to look it up, but actually…I did respond to a gaggle of (work) emails in the morning, then stealthily warped myself into the City and back in time to answer some end-of-the-day correspondence. No one knew I had left – whoosh! – and there I was home again! Does that count?

  4. wow – is that photoshop or did we really go into outer space? hey – it was a privilege to spend the day walking across that historic bridge with you, jen-bayne (and we’re walking… and walking…) you took it all in stride (pun intended) and we survived! we had water, we had a breeze and (finally) we got to sit down, relax and have a few laughs at the other end (thanks, marc & andrew, brooklynites extraordinaire!) and made it back home safe and sound (thanks, steve!) and a special thanks to you, jen, for inviting me to be part of the adventure – now show us more pictures!! (because i know you have lots more, you picture-taking fiend!)

  5. aha – i just discovered that means “seize the day, the hour is fleeting” (i knew the first part, never heard of the second part)

    pretty good quote – and you have a photo of it – awesome!

    we are the knights who say “neet” (movie quote – sorry!)

    so i leave you with this:
    It’s never too late to be what you might have been. ~George Eliot, French authoress…

  6. Happy Birthday!
    Love your posts. Also looked forward to every day during postcard week.
    Thank you.

  7. uuummmm live long and prosper! had to say it. happy happy birthday. we watched the old ones with william shatner and lenord nimoy growing up. as always so very well written. looks and sounds like you had a great day in the best city in the whole wide world!!!!!

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