Yes, I can.
There is only one more day left to my
astrological Leonine birthday month. Being the proud Leo that I am, I
make each day count.
Normally, I do not count up my age numbers because I am
too busy bouncing around looking at cards, prettily wrapped prezzies and
drinking my free birthday latte from Starbucks.
birthday, I did count and decided to count up the advantages of being
eligible for AARP. I am now an official member for the next three years
(Does that mean that after those three years, I might be sent back a
grade or two and suddenly be too young?).
For my birthday
this year, a very dear friend, we lovingly still call Squeaky, convinced
her husband to literally go fishing and she invited Kelly, Teri, Denise
and me--all of us who have been friends since sixth grade --up to her
home in Eugene, Oregon for a slumber party! All that was missing were
rollers in our hair and those funny little baby-doll nighties that stuck
out like an inflated tutu.
The first night, our
hostess made a delicious meal for us to share out on her deck. Squeaky
had even pre-ordered a gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cake for my
birthday. Total yum.
We ate, drank, laughed, sang, danced and laughed a lot more. It was a great night. Except for one tiny thing...
Or should I say, several tiny things.
turned on the lights in the backyard so we could take a movie of me
blowing out the birthday cake candles. No one thought twice about that
until about an hour later when I started to turn red, itch and swell up.
Yes, much like most of my childhood, my sensitivity reactions were
flaring up again and I turned out to be the cake for mosquitoes and
ready to party again that night when we went to see a local production
of the musical, "Leader of the Pack". Although, that era was slightly
before us, we knew all the songs from the oldies radio station and it
inspired us to do our own singing and dancing to the oldies later that
night--until 2:30 in the morning, I might add.
shan't make this a 'blow by blow' account of all the zany things five
girlfriends did, but I bet some of you want to know, don't you (Rob
Bleck?), or the other ways in which I celebrated my special day?
The real thrust of this essay is more about the interesting and delicate view I now have on being young.
Oscar Wilde was quoted as saying: “Youth is wasted on the young.” In some ways, I must agree with him. I
imagine that most young people --who don't consider themselves young
because they are too busy wanting to be old(er)-- rarely appreciate the
delicious perspective and opportunities they have merely by being young
and cocksure even within their insecurities.
beauty of evolution. Each generation does indeed improve with age. And
although my generation could look upon our predecessors with a certain
disdain because we were so much smarter and cooler, I watch current
generations and muse at what they must think about my fellow Baby
Last night, we were watching my new favorite television show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
where he shared a news piece on a young woman, Mo'Ne Davis, a
13-year-old Little League pitcher, who threw a complete shutout Sunday
advance her team, the Taney Dragons of Philadelphia, to the Little
League World Series. Wow! And John Oliver showed a clip of an interview
of this young girl, who as he noted, was strikingly confident and clear
for her age. 'For her age'. Doesn't that sound like a grown-up type
sentence used to describe behavior that didn't match our own at that
marvel at her athletic prowess--none of which I had. Or maybe, I could
have if I wasn't one of those fair-skinned, allergic, over-protected
kids who wasn't allowed outside to play because she could get sunburned
or hurt. Not much has changed about all that-- I still wear SPF +++ and
prefer to stay indoors rather than fight the heat or the elements.
week, school is back in session after summer break. As I was leaving
the local high school track, where I go to walk my laps in the early
hours of the morning to avoid heat and crowds, I could feel the
different energies. Not just younger energies but the atmosphere of
what it is like to be that age and returning to school and social
interaction and all the emotions that it encompasses. Even though I am
officially closer to grandparent age than student age, the flashback of
awareness and emotions from that time had not dimmed. The difference is
that I see it from both sides now (wait,
let me dig out my Joni Mitchell album) and I can deeply appreciate the web of life.
evolution of which I spoke fortunately works in my favor now, too. The
cliche is that being in your 50's is really the new thirties; and then
in your 60's is the new forties; and then I hope it continues that type
of math as my age climbs up the spiral. Because right now, I am in a
wonderful place where I can indeed see both sides of life--one side
being the Emily Webb of "Our Town" purview but not yet into the other side of the Lady Grantham of Downton Abbey perspective.
things are different. Yes, my body has changed but so has the world. I
shall always be the 'young at heart' type even if the body may feel like
Beta instead of a Blu-Ray HD.
So, where was I? Oh yes, AARP. I can spell that.
A = always
A = anticipating
R = remarkable
P = possibilities
(Thanks girls! Love ya.)
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