By Corinne Wnek
I recently celebrated another birthday. A really big one, I might add, but, unlike many past birthdays, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Not because of the surprise party my family set me up for or even because of the nice gifts I received from everyone who came. No, I had a great birthday this year because for the first time, in a very long time, I prepared myself for the arrival of the day I would officially be deemed ‘old’.
So, this year I didn’t dread July 20, the date etched in my mind as a reminder that it’s getting harder and harder to convince people that I’m still 38. How true it is that time flies but does it have to take a NASA rocket? And if I hear one more reference to me and fine wine, well you know where that’s going. No, these days, I admit that I’m more than just a little smitten with those people who like to tell me that ***** is the new forty. “Reeally, you think”? Not that I’m vain or anything like that.
I now believe that as we age we should be entitled to some perks that younger people just can’t have. One I’d vote for is to be able to force our opinions down the throats of other people whether they asked for it or not. And damn the facts because, well, we’ve been around longer. Another perk would be that, on the road, we seniors would always have the right of way because everyone knows our eyes just aren’t what they used to be. The same deal goes for running traffic lights.
Alright, so maybe I’m over reacting just a little bit because I feel like the only one who showed up for my pity party, but I do feel a little different now than I did on July 19. It also didn’t help that I had a salon appointment that day for a root touch up, another reminder that I was slowly but surely going to the dogs. Like the old song says, what a difference a day makes. Suddenly, all my mental and emotional preparation for turning ***** seemed to disappear quicker than dinner at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Now, I think I am a genuinely happy individual who usually doesn’t have any problem chasing those storm clouds away. But this was different. So out of the blue it hit me. I needed to find that ‘silver lining moment’ that only a pep talk to myself would eventually reveal. “Think positive!” I told myself. “Birthdays are great! And the gifts”! I became so caught up in the moment that I could practically hear that proverbial drum roll go ‘kaboom’ in the background as I suddenly answered my own question about why aging is not so bad!
It hits me that younger people will now think that that the universe has officially instilled in me all the wisdom, insight and answers to life’s most compelling questions. Didn’t I think so way back in the sixties when a cool cousin turned thirty? And if you were fifty then, you were practically on borrowed time so you had to know it all. I am starting to perk up and begin to think of ways that I could milk my new sense of reverence for myself. I could take a risk and fail, so what? I could mediate a conflict between ‘30 somethings’ because I know there is rarely only one correct answer to a problem. I might even wear those fashionable big print dresses and be looked upon by some as chic.
I could feel my confidence growing and my mood soaring to new heights as I realize I am very comfortable with who I am. You know, sixty’s not so bad. In fact, it seems like it was just yesterday that I was fifty-nine. But please, hold the fine wine comments.
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