Tomorrow is my birthday. It is one of those n-zero birthdays, and the one that officially takes me out of middle-aged and into old. Phooey. How did this happen? Oh, I remember now -- I kept having birthdays and continuing to wake up in the morning. Funny how that works...
I have never had any trouble with getting older, maybe because people generally didn't believe how old I was. Vanity lurks, no matter how much I try to suppress it. The only birthdays I had any trouble with were 17 (I liked being 16) and 58 (that's the one that mentally tipped me over into old).
True story: A couple weeks ago I was in a drug store, the kind that stocks everything under the sun. There were some 10-yo boys playing in the toy section, bouncing balls around and back and forth. One ball got away from a kid and rolled between my feet. Because I am being extremely cautious since my last disastrous falls, I managed to stay upright. Gave the kid a dirty look and walked on. But a store employee, and a middle-aged one at that, told the kid, "Be careful! Keep those balls away from the old people!"
That hurt a bit. But when I told Smokey about it, he reminded me that we ARE old. Sixty is the beginning of old age. (He is a year older than I am and so has had longer to get used to this. Although given his everlastingly sunny outlook on life, I doubt that he has ever worried about it.)
I know some of you will say that a person is only as old as they feel/think/act. There is some truth in that, but one aspect of good mental health is to have a firm grip on reality. And my reality says that sixty is the beginning of old.
So be it. I intend to continue to feel (mentally, at least; I certainly have my share of physical aches and pains), think, and act like I am much younger.
Not that I have much choice in the matter; I keep remembering hearing older people say things like, "How did I get old? I feel like I am still 40/30/20/16!" Funny, no one ever seems to want to be much younger than that. In our inner selves we know that childhood wasn't necessarily the best part of our lives, and that growing up was A Good Thing. We just don't want to continue the process that inevitably follows, and we certainly don't want to think about its unavoidable conclusion.
In honor of tomorrow's monumental significance I think I shall have a contest. Don't know yet what it will be or what the winner(s) will get, but the latter will probably involve yarn in some form. Perhaps there will be chocolate, too...