Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hey, It's Just a Number...Isn't It?

Today is my birthday. I'm 59. Sounds fake, doesn't it? It sounds like I'm really 60 and just can't own it. But it's the truth. I am 59! 

When I was in my 20s, 30 was a death sentence. Seriously. I think there was even a movie about it--anyone over 30 was put down like an old dog. When I turned 30, I didn't feel--or look--any different than I had in my 20s, so it was no big deal.

I know most women fear 40. That's when everything starts to head south: boobs, butts, jowls, eyelids...the only thing headed upward is the number on the scale. But then, skinny women wrinkle faster, so a few extra pounds can be a blessing. In our 40s, we're inching closer and closer to (gasp!) menopause!

The 40s were a difficult time for me. I was approaching 40 when my father died. I was 45 when my mother died. My parents were mortal. That meant I was also mortal. I had to start taking this death business seriously.

At 46, I had a hysterectomy. I've heard that's a difficult thing for some women, much like a mastectomy would be. I felt liberated. At 46, having more children wasn't even a consideration. I barely managed childbirth at 24, for crying out loud! In my 40s, I would have been certain to screw it up.

I turned 50 in 2003. Wow...I'd made it into a new millenium! That was a big deal. I was feeling pretty good about that. People still mistook me for Collin's wife/girlfriend/sister. I must have been doing something right. Then one day, while tweezing my eyebrows, I put a hand mirror on the counter and leaned forward and...well, let's just say that experience is scarier than anything Stephen King has ever written. 

A bit of advice to 50-something single women: only date men who are much taller than you are so that your head is always tilted back a bit.

Now, the years are catching up. My eyesight is really bad. I literally am blind in one eye and can't see with the other. At church, I never kneel at the altar anymore because if I did, they wouldn't hear praying--just screaming. (I'm still trying to figure out how to skip the up-and-down music portion of the service and slip in just in time for prayer and the sermon.) I take so many prescription meds, I'm on a first-name basis at the pharmacy. I've had so many ECGs, I'm thinking of using them as my Christmas card photos. I watch reruns of The Golden Girls and can relate.

But I am not complaining. Yesterday, I got an email from a very close friend whose nephew had just passed away the night before. The young man was only in his 20s, a victim of cancer so advanced by the time it was discovered, there was nothing doctors could do for him.

Why did I get more than twice as many years on this earth as he did? I don't have the answer to that one. I haven't done anything to deserve it. Instead of whining about getting old, I am grateful for every day, every minute I'm given....


  1. What a great post today !
    I so agree with everything you said as I am much older and have/am living through all that stuff you have written about.
    Love the part where people mistook you for Collins wife/sister /girlfriend, that never happened to me... when I had my last two children about a year apart and welcome surprise I was told I would never have any more children... whenever I took them out when they where smaller everyone would always said "oh twin grandchildren your so lucky"

    So Happy Happy Birthday !
    I am so happy to have found your blog it is a much appreciated gift to me
    Let There Be Cake !

    cheers, parsnip

  2. I thought I commented earlier but anyway, I love being friends and I'm glad you were born so I could get to know you. Hope you have many more!

  3. Happy Birthday, Norma! I hope it's a good one.

    Age is just a number, really. It's how you live your life that really counts.

  4. Happy Birthday Norma! I like your philosophy at the end, and I hope I feel the same way in 30 years. Many of my friends are fearing their 30s, and while I can't predict how I will react, I found a quote a while back that I will try to remember: "Do not regret growing older. It is a privelege denied to many." I think you said the same thing in your post. :)

  5. Happy Birthday and many more to come.

  6. A nony moose, that's me Eleanor Wood Mason for short.

  7. Happy 59th, Norma! And many more.

  8. Happy Birthday, Norma! May you have many, many more:)!!

  9. Thanks, everyone! When I blew out the candles on my birthday donut, I made a wish--that a certain spammer will drop of the face of the earth ASAP!


Spammers and scammers will be deleted.