Andrea Askowitz

Author & Teacher

No. 50: Year in Review

number 50 list

A year ago, I turned 50. A few days before that, I saw a quote on Twitter attributed to Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451. He said, “Write a short story every week for a year. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.”

I didn’t see myself as someone who gave herself added challenges, but without thinking much about it, I wrote essay №1 about turning 50 and challenging myself to 50 essays in a year. A year went by and here it is, essay №50.

Writing 50 essays taught me some things. I learned I actually am someone who gives herself challenges. When I was in my mom’s pool with my son, Sebastian, he challenged me to swim the entire length without breathing. I did it, then challenged myself to swim up and back. Around Mother’s Day, I was hired by The National Council of Jewish Women to write and tell the story of the woman who founded the organization 125 years ago. My mom said, “If you’re impersonating Hannah G. Solomon, you know your story.” So, I challenged myself to tell the story without reading it. And sometime, midyear, I remembered that since I was a kid, I’d challenged myself to run a marathon when I turned 50. (READ FULL ESSAY HERE.)