At one point in my life, I took a course on life charting, which was interesting and fun, with a great bunch of friends, who together, we explored where according to the chart, our life had been since born and where we where going as we aged. It was a fun Tuesday night through a long cold winter. I have forgotten most of what the chart means now, and how to decipher it. However, a very knowledgeable teacher, took one of our charts which happened to be mine and used it as an example through the class nights. It was fascinating, and everyone of those little marks inside the chart, indicated a major event in my life which was always spot on!! She told me, I was very lucky to have such a wonderful chart and that my later life would be VERY happy. She was so right!!
Sixty-five! I’ve reached old age, at least according to the Government and some fellow back way, way back in the early 1920’s who deemed old age began at 65. People died earlier then and so, to make it to age 65, was almost one step in the grave. Now, age 65, is apparently the new early 40’s, with people living longer and healthier lives. I hope to heck these facts are true!!
However, no doubt about it, I’ve reached the second half of life’s journey and one of those life passages we hear about when we are young that seem too far off in the future to think about. In just a few hours, I will have ended up at the finish line of middle age, but certainly not without having gone through a few detours, hurdles and obstacle courses always ready to trip me up along the way and I’m sure will become more intense in the years to come as aging is sure to cause.
This morning, Tom and I went for our yearly physical. The nurse taking my blood wished me a happy birthday and I responded, with a thank you and commented that it’s not fun to get another year older. She said to me that she sees so many people come in, young and old, for blood work and tests, that likely will not possibly make it to another year, and to be thankful, for each and every birthday that I’m alive and healthy. She is so right!! Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many!
I am fortunate to have made it this far, as longevity is not a strong point in my family history. I keep glancing over my shoulder and also calculating how much further I’ve made it to those in the family, who sadly didn’t make it this far!
Through the passage of time we develop into stronger people, with deeper convictions and a surer sense of who we are. Looking back into my own history, it’s clear, it’s made me who I am. At 65, I’m suppose to have accumulated wisdom and the ability to embrace all good things and to have learned many of life lessons. Somehow, though, I still think I’m only in training, as there is so much more to learn and I’m not ready to step into this new role of old age. Hitting 65 hits a raw nerve and I have to think to myself and figure out if I feel like it’s a new beginning or the beginning of the end!!
So, where did that young girl who I once was disappear to? Who is this new, wrinkled face person staring back at me from the mirror? No, I haven’t changed overnight just because of this new birthday, this new person has been following me around for awhile now. I seem to be taking on this new person’s habits and I don’t like it!!!
She’s a forgetful old thing, who scratches her head and has a blank look on her face. If she was asked what she did yesterday, or when just introduced to someone, their name goes in one ear and out the other, unable to retain for a second the name she just heard! Yet, she can remember details from long ago, a conversation, what she served for dinner and even what she wore to certain occasions. Yeah, it’s me, and I know it and don’t like this part of the new person I’ve become! Suddenly, I’m into Ginkgo-Bilinko to jump start the brain, I take vitamins by the handful, and wonder each day, if I’ve had enough fiber!
I’ve got brain bloat! Too much stuff in the head…65 years of input and cramming stuff into my head. It’s overflowing, so the brain decides to dump stuff, but I can’t understand why it gets rid of the stuff I need now and instead keeps all that old junk I no longer need! Like High School poetry!! Why doesn’t that old crap I don’t need, dump out to make room for the stuff I have to remember now…..like remembering where my keys are, what did I do with that receipt, where my library card has disappeared to. All that old stuff is taking up much valuable needed space!! So, being 65 and onward, I guess, I just have to get use to a full but useless brain!! Such a happy thought!!!
Before I started to write my thoughts and feelings of this turning point in life, I was going to put some pictures from an early age, up to the present, on the blog, but I ended up getting lost in memories, as I turned each page of the photo album, as each flip of the page, brought smiles to my face. What fun, I’ve had through life, what great times, the most wonderful family I had growing up, great close and loving parents and siblings, opportunities, beautiful places to live and grow up. A job I loved going to each and every morning for almost 30 years. Great friendships that are still as close and precious today as they where through all those years. I’ve been so very blessed! I wouldn’t change one thing of my life, even the hard times. Going back to what I mentioned earlier, about living through all those good/bad experience’s really has made me who I am now…stronger, wiser, more tolerate, more patience, and still always with my sense of humour intact, the smile on my face always at the ready! Of course, Tom will tell you different….he says I turn into a whole different person between bedtime and when I get up in the morning. True…I talk, laugh, sometimes cry in my sleep, and admit to being a tad on the grouchy side of life during those hours.
I have two beautiful daughters, Lisa and Erin who fill me with pride and joy. Four fabulous grandchildren that I am filled with sadness with not seeing them grow up.Grow up!!! My goodness, I have one grandson Matthew, 19 years old, another, Brad who just earned his drivers license, a granddaughter, Erica, in high school and Sarah who will soon be reaching teenage years..and another cog of the wheel of life turns!! Where does the time go??
So, onward we move forward into my 65th year. How lucky am I spend it with the most wonderful husband anyone could ask for. Life will always be wonderful and fulfilling as long as we have each other. Tom makes every day, a joy to wake up to and every day is full of some kind of surprise, or a good hearty laugh between us. What more can one ask for!!
So, as the clock ticks me into an new age, this I will remember:-
"This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good."
Yesterday, I had a very big birthday surprise, when Tom’s family (and now my family as well) threw a wonderful surprise party and dinner with my whole West Coast family and friends included, standing there when I opened the door. The water works opened up as their warmth and love towards me overflowed into my heart. I am truly so very blessed!!!
I thought because of the distance and my own children not being able to be here, I’d have a lonely 65th. Not so!! Meredith, my step daughter and Joan, my step-daughter in law (such formalities…lets just say, my family, all included!) all got together, worked hard with a fabulous meal and threw a wonderful surprise, complete with my own sparkly “queen” tiara, and magic wand, presents, flowers and a beautiful birthday cake with money in it too!! Friends came as well and it was just a wonderful birthday!! Thank you all!!
Before I have written a novel, I better quit here!! Some days, I can write forever, some days, this aging mind of mine is blank. This is one of the write forever days!!
So thank you so much to each and everyone of you who made this day so special!
Wow….balloons too!!! Someone went to a lot of work!! I waved my wand and my wish was for everyone in the room to be as happy and healthy, wealthy and wise, and for all their dreams and wishes come true. (Then I slipped in another one for me, seeing as we had a 6/49 ticket for the big draw!) As I write this and know we didn’t win, I guess, I just didn’t know that kind of magic, or maybe I only got my first wish and that’s okay too!!
"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."
Mary Jean Iron
Thanks everyone for a Great Day, a Great Life and a Wonderful Tomorrow!!!