Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me! — by Margaret Hart

In about 24 hours I'll be another year older, and hopefully another year wiser.  As for my age? Well...it seems like just the other day when I'd jokingly say that I was 29.  These days, I'm perpetually 39. I figured it was about time to add a decade. 
I'm flattered when people tell me I don't look my age. Sometimes I get that "deer in headlights" look when someone finds out and just doesn't believe me.  In fact, one of my physicians always remarks on my age when I see him:  he glances down at my chart whenever he's about to write me a prescription, looks up at me and just shakes his head in disbelief.  "You have good genes," he always tells me.  I hope that my outward youthful appearance parallels an equally youthful inward condition, because I'd like to stick around long enough to see my son have grandchildren.
But staying healthy takes so much work.  And I never thought I'd hear myself saying this, but some things really do start to go as one ages.  It's true that it gets harder to keep the body  you had when you were 20.  Workouts at the gym are harder now.   But it's satisfying to see that I can keep up with the 85-year-old-woman at the Zumba class!  
Memory is another area that gets old as you age. There was a time when I could remember everything  I needed to do in my head. I never needed a list and I didn't need a calendar except when I was working. Now I always make a list.  I am the queen of lists.  Actually, some people make a living developing lists for other people. So that's not such a bad thing.
As I get older, I've been frustrated with my vision. It was always 20/20, but now I need glasses to read. I know that's not so bad, but when you've gone your whole life not having to wear glasses, it's maddening to not be able to read close up. Good thing my son is reading like crazy now. He helps when I can't find my reading glasses, and I need to know long to cook something in the microwave! 
The silliest thing, I think, is when I get in the car and start to drive, and suddenly I can't remember where I was going in such a hurry!  This might also have something to do with multi-tasking, and trying to do too much! Sound familiar?
So for this birthday, I'm making a promise to myself to slow things down a little. I'm going to enjoy being taken out to dinner by my family, and I'll be thoroughly surprised with the cake that I know is coming.  I'm sure there will be a cute little present or home-made card from my son, and I'm excited to see the joy on his face when he gives it to me. 
Last year he gave me a beautiful necklace with several different colored sapphires in it (with assistance from daddy). He picked it out for me, he explained, because it reminded him of a rainbow.  I don't remember much else about my birthday's past, but I remember the story about the rainbow. That's all I need on my birthday.  A rainbow.

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