Most people that I know disdain discussions about their age once they reach the more “exalted” ages. Oh I hear that “50 is the new 40″ and such gobbledygook but I don’t really buy it, do you? Really? I think we are what we are. For me, I am the age I’ve lived. I’m every moment, minute, month and year, every wrinkle, every bruise, every crack in every bone. I’m every white or grey hair (and in my case every purple and teal one, too). I’m every flake of dry skin, busted capillary, expansion joint and skin tag. I am who I have become. I do not pretend it makes me younger or older (though perhaps I am a wee bit wiser).
My physical age is but a number, yes, but it says “look I’ve been around the block.” The good news (or bad, depending on your perspective) is that I’ve probably lived more than many, given I’ve been blessed with a multitude of adventures and opportunities, loves and divorces, the love of wonderful parents and the joy of a corresponding childhood, plus finding a great love (despite the odds).
Mentally, I often joke that I am only 12. Perhaps that’s because I let my child come out to play often, I delight in her exuberance, I have never given up on “play,” I exercise my imagination daily and above all, I delight in laughing. I live for joy. I look for good things.
I wasn’t always this way. I’ve mellowed with time. This Aries is a true leader of her zodiac, but once the fiery short-tempered, grudge-bearing, stubborn, self-centered alpha, slowly became a wiser, forgiving, more moderate tempered, nurturing dragon lady who knew of and practiced compromise. Still an alpha, I have a temper but the fuse is longer. I have no time for grudges. The soap-box cheering dragon lady raises her ugly head now and again but is much more tolerant, informed, careful. I like to think smarter. But I have become a nurturer. I am a giver. I have a need now to do for others. This is where I get my joy.
And that brings me to now. My birthday. I rarely ask for anything these days. I have so much and want for nothing. I am truly blessed. I give back whenever I can, as often as I can. I desire only the love and joy of friends and family. I want to be remembered, yes. I want others to celebrate the joy of life with me, yes. To know they take joy in me (or I hope they do) is what birthdays are about.
I do not know if I have succeeded in this wish. This birthday is passing without the fanfare I’d hoped for after achieving my “great and exalted age.” But every day there are things to delight in and this is the message. Living every day fully, laughing, playing, and finding joy. In this way, every day is a personal gift that you can keep or choose to share.
Like writing a book. Keep it or share it. Like smiles or giggles. For those who know me, I think you know whether I prefer to keep or to share.
Once upon a time, long, long ago, a babe was born and delivered in a hospital by her mother. Gas was 22 cents. Movies were 70 cents. Children began getting vaccinated for polio. Father Knows Best was popular on TV. It was 1954. (It would be another five years before Barbie would be born and one week later, Swanson’s would produce its first TV dinner).
Hello 60! And the story continues….