Birthdays were always a big deal in my family. Party hats for all, including the dogs. I can’t remember a year when I haven’t been excited about an approaching birthday, except for my 30th. Of the generation whose mantra was “Never trust anyone over 30,” when my time arrived to cross that threshold, I took to my bed with a bottle of tequila.
I look back at that silly girl now and want to tear off the covers, tell her to get her ass up and seize the day because they truly are numbered. I’d assure her that, while the 30s will continue to be a struggle to find herself, the 40s will totally rock. The 50s will bring some difficult lessons, but she will become like quicksilver in her ability to adapt, and nothing will be able to hold her down for long. Sixty will come in like a lion and, long before Katy Perry ever thought of it, she will hear herself roar.
She would probably respond, “Who are you, old lady?” And “Get the hell out of my bedroom.” But I will have at least tried.
I don’t understand those who say they hate birthdays. It was long my custom to announce on April 1st that there were only 20 more shopping days until mine. What’s better than being surrounded by friends with booze, gifts and cake? Sure, there is that getting older thing. Body parts begin migrating to places heretofore unoccupied. Crone hands make an appearance. And a “lube job” takes on a whole new meaning. But if those are the worst things happening, all the more reason to celebrate.
There are several milestone birthdays: 16, the driver’s license birthday; 18, the right-to-vote birthday; 21, the right-to-get-legally shitfaced birthday. Then that long road until 62, the-Social-Security Birthday. This year I celebrate the Medicare birthday. The last one with tangible perks.
Whenever I’m tempted to bitch about getting older, I think of those whose lives are cut short – who never get to realize their full potential – and I shut my mouth. I suspect that with age, we aren’t lamenting the loss of our youth, but rather the loss of our future. It’s hard to watch the years fall away with seemingly ever-increasing speed. Yes. What’s up with that Neil deGrasse Tyson?
I like it here. I want to stay. Another 30 years or as long as I can still sit a horse would be good. I’m enjoying the most creative period of my life with lots still left to learn and accomplish. This is not a time to rest on laurels. The Universe will think you’re done. Seventy. Eighty. Bring ‘em on. And ninety? That’s going to be awesome.
I’m booking the restaurant now.