Kate's No. 1 birthday--What's it all about?
Maybe, like me, you have noticed. A new wrinkle on your face? Or the tiny blue lines running vertically up your ankle line? Or the sagging middle that won't obey the command to stay tucked in? Eek! What happened? Guess I forget to look.
To take charge and camouflage the obvious I purchased the slimline Spanx undergarment (I remember them as girdles--new is still miserable), I increased my sleep and I pushed dessert away. I looked again. The issues were, well, still issues. My mirror and thoughts critiqued each one, hoping to find no more.
For me the big issue was a birthday. The numbers I counted used to belong to my grandmother or even mom, but me?
Then I thought, if we are fortunate to live we have birthdays. Yes, we have birthdays...
I counted the years and yep!, birth to now--s-i-x-t-y s-e-v-e-n! I still can't believe it and to add complexity to the math, I congratulated my daughter on her 30+ b-day. My mind KNOWS she is still 20ish? (her day is easy to remember--we share the same birthday!)
From morning to noon my denial of this infamous b-day year twirled around. Then the wisdom of my 4 year old grandson made the day. When my daughter asked Michael "how old do you think I am?" He smiled, "about six, mom?"
I like his answer. Six--it works. Because what is age anyway? In short, it is one day at a time, making life experiences. In the rear mirror I was perpetually middle-aged. It worked for years. I was an adult; the family and career in tow, each year much the same.
I guess the clock ticked by when I wasn't looking; now the physical evidence is in place.The daughter is grown. I am a grandmother. I live with a retired husband. And a few people introduce me as Mrs., not Alice.
My naiveté about this year's b-day number sunk deeper when I found an old birthday card note written by mom. In the 1980's she had recorded one of our random conversations: "How old is she?" mom asked. I replied,"Oh, I don't know. About a normal age," Mom's age- early 60's and my age, early 40's. Mom's comment in sidebar: "What's normal? me or thee?" I can only guess her opinion!
Yeah, the years have gone by. With some advantages I might add. The alarm doesn't go off as daily as it did. I have happy memories and God has blessed me with some "forgotten" memories. Time permits a book to be read, long girlfriend lunches and the skills of lifelong learning to play at will. I get the senior discounts without asking and matinee movies are easy. I get grand hugs and remember when stories, even an occasional hand-written letter from a dear history friend.
I like the way this age fits. Someone described this season perfectly: "In the late stages of autumn the best of aging is simply old enough to manage ones affairs and young enough to work wildly and passionately." The daily still works. I am blessed. The birthday year is six, sixty or one. It is perspective--the inside telling the outside.
But I can't help but ponder in my first week of a new birthday. If it all ended tonight --Did I give more than I received? Did I laugh and cause laughter? Did I give happy memories to the lives I touched? And did I walk with my Lord? ...for indeed, that is the essence of the years.
Best...and Happy Birthday,
a favorite read: I Feel Bad about My Neck by Nora Ephron (her funny approach to aging)
a favorite scripture: Job 12:12 "Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?"
a favorite blog: www.aprimitiveplace.org (if you like old)