|His smile keeps me young|
|But I liked 51...|
I have just 73 days to come to terms with the fact that I am no longer close to 50, just past 50, or able to convincingly lie about being 45. Just a couple of years ago, I could actually get away with lying about being 35. Those days are gone, my friend.
As this birthday creeps up on me, I'm keeping my sense of humor. Hell, it's just about all I have left.
I accept that I am about to be 55 years old. I accept that:
- Young people consider me to be ancient. Some of them consider me a miracle. I've had little kids give me the awe and respect they would give a unicorn.
- At family gatherings, I'm going to sometimes be the person everyone turns to for answers about presidents before Nixon. But, first, they are going to ask me which presidents came before Bush, Reagan, Carter, and Ford. The subject will only come up after the kids have seen some documentary about the Civil Rights movement or have been studying the American slave trade.
- Dating looks semi-ridiculous for someone my age. How the hell can I look dignified asking for help with signing up for Match.com? And, if I do win the mystical lottery of love, how do I introduce the lucky fella to people without using the silly-sounding title of "boyfriend"?
- I will no longer be able to proudly proclaim my love for cats without either gaining the wrong kind of sympathy or hearing stifled snickering.
- Somehow, someway, I am going to be the subject of a meme or Pinterest board, or viral video. Probably when I get in a defiant mood and decide to start wearing loud colors and dying my hair in Kool-Aid color of crazy.
- Speaking of hair, mine will no longer be so much as convincingly Dark Brown, Muted Auburn or Natural Black as it will be Suspiciously Not Grey.
- No matter how great I look, I'm never again going to have that 20-ish single gal vibe of being the dessert every guys is drooling over. Being single at 55, society will make me feel like the left-overs guys either take out of desperation or just toss in favor of some fast food.
- As far as being single and looking, the guys my age have choices I don't. They can, after all, change their minds about wanting kids. Dudes can "daddy up" when they should have their old behinds showing women their own age what old and sexy is about. Meanwhile, I didn't want kids when my eggs were willing, and still don't now that my eggs have atrophied.
- If I go "cougar" in my maturity, I better find the one young dude that a) doesn't want bio kids; b) already has kids; c) won't change his mind about kids five years down the road and; most importantly d) won't hate me for wanting no part of full-time kids unless those kids live in some imaginary world where I have the patience, time and perseverance to deal with kids full-time.
- I have all the best friends I'll most likely ever have. That's fine with me. Anyone else coming along at this point better come as an in-law, out-law, or someone who can adjust to me very quickly as if we've known each other for a lifetime. I have no time for new drama, new heartache, or sharing my clothes, advice and a lifetime of wisdom with new people.
That all sounds dire, but there are some really good things about hitting the milestone of 55:
the going gets tough!!!
- If I have lived the best of my life, then I've most likely also lived the worst of it. Even if life starts to suck now worse than it ever has, I have lots of experience with surviving it. Also, I know what is and is not worth going to jail over. The not worth it list has grown over time.
- I'm way more comfortable with all that is good and all that is not-so-good in life. When you've been indescribably happy (as I have sometimes been), being sad is just another day that gives you a chance to hope for something better. It's like sex. If you know how good it can be, you're all right waiting for it to be that good again. If you don't know, you don't miss it. I'm fortunate enough to still be waiting for the next time.
- My mother always said I was an "old soul". Now my age fits my soul a little better!
- I don't care as much. I really don't. When I was 20, 30, and even 40, I cared way too much about things. I cared who looked like they were living a better life, I cared about who looked better than I did, I cared too much about people who didn't care enough about me. Now? Now, I can give a crap for about 10 minutes. Two craps for about 20 minutes if I ever thought you were a better person. And, then, in spite of you (or whoever), in the words of Louie Armstrong, I think to myself, What a wonderful world...
- At this age, because I know what real sadness and regret is, I also know what real joy and peace is. If I'm never going to taste another fine wine or travel somewhere amazing, I'm okay with that. Give me a really good cup of coffee and half an hour of quiet to think my own thoughts, and I'm happy enough.
- When it comes to regrets, I've finally realized that they only have power if I dwell on them. So I don't. They cross my mind every now and then, but I no longer let them park and take up space.
- I look at young people the way my mother must have looked at me, and it makes me smile. Or laugh really loud. They don't think that I have ever felt they way they feel. They don't think that I have ever had secrets, deep sadness, amazing joy, wild and crazy sex, or done things that made me later wonder how I could possibly be alive to remember. I look at them and think, "Oh, you just wait for your later years".
Being so close to 55 makes me think not just about the life I've lived, but the death that's surely coming. Being older makes me more thankful for things I never would have noticed when I was younger. This is not "old" age, it's just another age. It's also another mood, another taste of life, another freedom and prison. This age is just another step on a journey that is life.
Someone asked me a while back what I wanted for this birthday. Don't ever ask me that kind of question unless you are really ready for a list! LOL
Actually, most of this is just a re-hash of what I was taught. Trying to pass it on to other people. If any of it applies, own it and don't let it own or define you. So. For my birthday, I wish more people would work on the following:
- Give the courtesy of acknowledging or responding when someone is talking to you.
- Saying "Good morning", "Please", and "Thank you" would be great.
- Drive as if other people have a right to be on the road. Really.
- Moving out of the way when someone is trying to pass would be nice. What are you, the planet that all the rest of of must orbit around???
- Like music? Great. I do, too. I might not like yours so try to keep that down when I'm sitting in the car next to yours at the traffic light.
- Being considerate to others. Realizing that their time and their need for "a moment" is just as vital as yours is. Everything is reciprocal.
- Don't take advantage of people's time and patience. That goes for being late, never being ready, and just plain old bad manners that say your time is more important than everyone else's time.
- Actually making eye contact when someone is talking with you - not looking at your phone or TV or anything else as if all that is way more important.
- Or, just don't talk. Don't start a conversation that you don't have the time, patience or courtesy for.
- Does something frustrate you? Guess what? Whatever you find frustrating, others might also find frustrating. Practice that whole "Do unto others" thing, please.
- Again: Don't do to others the same kinds of things that you find so very annoying when done to you. (That might require putting thought into the things you do.)
- Don't believe that no one notices (or probably comments on) some of the negative things you do. Don't. Believe, That. Ever.
- Smile more, It doesn't hurt (and, if it does, get that checked). Don't wait until life is perfect or you're in the best mood. Just smile. It really does activate something chemical that causes joy in other people.
- If you hate control freaks, don't be a control freak. (I have a theory that control freaks are actually out of control of something in their lives.)
- Treat people as if they are able to do something for you. One day, they might be.
- Talk to adults like they are adults - not your kid, your servant, or someone inferior to you.
- Do what adults teach children as far as not interrupting, not butting in, and using your "inside" voice. Talking into the middle of someone's phone conversation is a really bad habit that says, "Screw you and your need for boundaries and respect." Yeah.
- Laugh more. Dance more. Sing for no reason. Be a little silly. Be happy.
That hoodie in any of those colors. The Yellow one if I lose weight!
|This would make me SO happy|
|This or something like it|
|Get it here|
But, yeah, I'm not picky. I'll just be glad to start getting some of the senior citizen discounts! Hahahaha
Here's my favorite song when I think of aging. Wish the video were better, but I had to find one with the lyrics. I do want young people to take a look at those lyrics! LOL