Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Yesterday Was My Birthday.....

...and I started out feeling a little low about it. I thought about it for the better part of the day then, it came to me.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy neck, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio.

I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

And, I shall eat chocolate every single day if I feel like it.


Connie said...

I'm with you on that one, my lovely bird Bertie!! I actually love aging and don't give a fizz what others think.......... Happppppy birthday and every other day also, my sweets.

Miss Rhea said...

That is beautiful Bertie and should be published. :) Happy Birthday my friend !!!! :)

~Becca~Bluebird Rose said...

Happy Birthday to you!! Eat some more chocolate for me!! :)

rosechicfriends said...

Very well said Bertie...YES eat chocolate cake everyday!!!! Glad you had such a wonderful ephiphany! Words to live by!

Happy birthday....love ya...Lorena

Secondhandrose said...

Bertie, that is so well written. I'm glad the day did a turn-around for you and ended on a cheerful note. Pass the cake, please.

Katie said...

That was very inspiring Bertie! I can tell you I have eaten a Hershey's chocolate bar every single day since 2 days after the surgery. It actually does help. I highly recommend chocolate. You are one of the most young people I know by the way. So put on some MMiller and oh my! get yourself a KC and the Sunshine Band's greatest hits cd and rock out. Your "busted wing" chickadee friend, K

vickie said...

Beautiful blog, Bertie, couldn't agree with you more! Here's to many more!

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Happy birthday, sweet friend! Wonder at what age we can start getting away with EVERYTHING?!?!?!

Big ol' TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

celestina marie said...

HAPPT BIRTHDAY BERTIE! I love what you wrote and would love a copy of it. You are an inspiration and role model. Yes, eat chocolate and enjoy!! Hope your day was perfect!
Love ya,

Shirl said...

What beautiful words you have written Bertie, I do agree with you and I hope you enjoyed your birthday and your chocolate.
Blessings, Shirl

Garage sale gal said...

Hi Bertie, I just found your blog and HAPPY BIRTHDAY. When I turned,50, a few years ago, some friends came over and we ate chocolate cake first.So, that is my tradition, cake first. Come visit me if you please. Warmly, Deb

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

Bertie, this is so beautiful, just like you. I hope you had a good day and that you are a wonderuful inspiration to me.

Hugs to you and belated birthday wishes!

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Happy Birthday Bertie!!!!!! What a beautiful and positive post! I agree with the chocolate :) I hope you have your best year yet!

Lori said...

Happy Birthday you doll you!!!! I LOVE YOU ATTITUDE!!! Please stay just the way you are and rub off on all of us! Sending love,Lori

Susie said...

Belated Happy Birthday wishes Bertie! I loved your writing about your age. Oh how true! Enjoy life!
Susie of The Polka Dot Rose