March 15, 2012

Birthday Smirthday

 “The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age." - Lucille Ball

So, today happens to be my birthday. Yes, Happy Birthday to me. Clichéd as it sounds, I’m not that excited about it. (Well, I take some of that back.  I might be a teeny bit excited about the prospect of guiltlessly being gluttonous for a day or three.)  Up to this point I’ve always indulgently relished in the birthday experience, whether they were my own or those of my friends and loved ones, but as I get older, I’m beginning to feel a little eh about it, like I almost wish it would just stop coming so I could stay young forever. (I’m learning that willing something does not a wish make. Isn’t that unfortunate?)

My husband said to me this morning when I pouted, “It’s okay – you can be 23 forever if you want,” to which he added, “Honestly, if you were 93 right now, it wouldn’t make a difference to me.” I have a hard time believing that one, but he’s one of the Rare and Great Species of Men such that he might actually mean it.

What he doesn’t understand -- because he is a man, though yes, of the Rare and Great Species variety -- is that growing older is a really difficult thing for many women. It’s not something I want to care about or have anxiety over, but I'm sorry, I do.  I’m an imperfect angel, just like Mariah. I worry about it the way that some worry about the world ending (which I also worry about) or whether I’ve hurt someone by something I’ve said (which I also worry about). I worry about it the way I worry about things I can control, only this is something I can't have control over, so as Stevie Wonder says, “So what the fuss?

But that is life – we inevitably grow old and we age and all the while, we are hopefully evolving in the meantime. While we can only have the perspective we're granted, life experiences inevitably teach us that things like age, which at times seem monumental (either for the better or for the worse – usually for the worse – we always seem to be either too young or too old), in the grand scheme of it all, these things only matter if you let them. So, for the rest of today and hopefully the rest of my life going forward, I am going to work on altering my perspective – age ain’t nothing but a number.  Trite but true, right?

Photo Credit: Pinterest

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