Monday, November 17, 2014

Standing on Another Step

I had a birthday Saturday, and it was a big one.

I know, I know, once you stop counting age in months (and that should occur at approximately 18 months of age) every birthday is a big one, but this was a really big one in that my new age ends in a zero. That makes everyone do a nudge-nudge/wink-wink when they talk about the day, as if life is is measured on a series of seven or eight or nine huge steps, rather than seventy or eighty or ninety smaller steps that really look more like a slope.

This was the year that I hoisted myself up onto the 60 step, and full disclosure, I was taken a little aback by that ginormous leap.

Doesn't 60 sound old? It does. And while I'm in full agreement that 60 is the new 39, it still is...60. That's the age my middle school math teacher was when we called her "Old Miss Matheis" and thought we were being charitable by not calling her "Dead Miss Matheis." That's the age at which female movie stars have officially had so much work done that their faces don't resemble their names any more.

It is 60, and it is old.

In fact I went to bed Friday night sporting a little bit of an attitude. Husband and I had planned to meet Much Older Sister and her husband for lunch on Saturday but the snow that was forecast at the meeting place exactly halfway between where we each live scuttled that idea. None of the Boys would be home, and while that wasn't unexpected, I knew that Husband was fretting that he wasn't doing enough to CELEBRATE. (For my 40th birthday he arranged the biggest surprise party ever pulled off, and for my 50th he took me to Costa Rica for the weekend. Oh, yeah, the bar was high for decade celebrations.)

But in the wee hours of Saturday morning I woke up with the clarity of thought that only comes in the wee hours: This could very well be the best decade of my life. I have amazing family who love me, and friends who absolutely pickle me in joy. The Boys and Lovely Girl all are in good spots, which is a rare thing to be able to say for such a diverse herd. (Usually there's at least one who is underemployed or under-romanced or whatever.) Husband and I, thank you God, have each other and good health.

A few hours later I crawled out of my warm bed and made my morning cappuccino. Then I sat, in my ratty chenille robe, with an afghan over my lap in my favorite recliner, alternately reading a good book and drifting off to sleep for the next four hours. Over the course of the weekend Husband and I had meals with two of our very favorite sets of friends, I bought yarn, and I heard from dozens and dozens of people who love me to varying degrees, each of whom I cherish. As an eye-roller who had always thought Facebook birthday wishes were hokey, I found myself getting misty as I read through the lovely/funny/touching comments, some from people I've known pretty much for all 60 years of my life and some whom I've met in this very space.

The Boys called on a conference call and I remembered how much fun it is when they're all being idiots and talking over each other and we made plans for The Best Day of the Year which is coming up in less than two weeks.

And then, to put the maraschino cherry on top of this birthday Sunday of brilliance, I WORE A GIANT SOMBRERO! Oh, yes, I did. And the Mexican restaurant's wait staff "sang" a song to me in Spanish, a song of which I understood not a word even though I speak that language. (I believe I was distracted by the guitar, which until moments earlier had been wall decor and had not been tuned since...ever.)

I had never before worn a giant sombrero and been "sung" to on my birthday, even though I've had a whole passel of birthdays. It was lovely, and symbolic of other milestones that are still to be conquered.

I'm pretty sure--being old is going to be okay. I'm going to like standing on this new step.


  1. Happy birthday to you and the sombrero!

  2. Awesome post. I'm a few steps below you. It stinks sometimes getting older. Then there are times when I appreciate the accumulated wisdom. Love your way with words and thoughts.

    1. Don, I would never go back to any age I've been before!

  3. Happy happy happy belated birthday! I'm coming close to a step behind you -- just a few more month. So if 60 is the new 39, then 50 is the new 29? Oh yes... I think I can be 29 again. I'll have more fun this time.