As I step ever so lightly toward another birthday this week, the one that comes “after” the milestone one we all remember our parents getting to. I am reminded again of how very different perceptions of youth, not to mention birthdays can be.
I honestly don’t think about growing older. I don’t think I would trade all that I have learned, for the chance to go back and relive it. Besides, I’ve far too many adventures ahead of me yet to want to return to the blossom of my youth.
Nevertheless, to each his/her own; though we joke about it, I have a dear friend (who looks much younger than I look, but is, only by a month and killer genes, I’m guessing) who has made me swear I must never allow her to be placed in a nursing home. She claims *GASP-those are for old people. She isn’t going to get old. Given that, I should never have to worry seeing her in a home for the aged, since she never plans to be old. Her humor and attitude though, is what I admire and emulate. We see ourselves as an aging Thelma and Louise, making our spur of the moment road trips, creating havoc wherever we go, and enjoying the ride. (Our husbands, btw, just shake their heads and offer wry smiles.)
Old to me is more of a ‘state of mind’, than candles on a cake, (which btw, I prefer not to have anymore after the last one where the fire department accidentally showed up at my door. Hysterical, not.)
It’s less about how others see my age and more how I see myself. The gifts that are unique to me, the experiences that have given me every laugh line (or every gray hair.)
And no, btw, I’m not yet ready for silvery doos just yet. Look at George Clooney, Richard Gere, or how about Sean Connery and Harrison Ford? These guys make growing old a pleasure!
Perceptions are an integral part of the reason I chose to write DIARY OF COZETTE, (HQ-SPICE 10/08) a story about a young English girl, orphaned by poverty and caught in the dark side of Victorian England. To survive, she must face and deal with the prejudices and perceptions of a very constricted society with a great many double standards. In young womanhood, fate takes her hand and walks her across the line into the lives of the affluent of London. Yet, even here, she encounters the stilted perceptions and prejudices on all levels of the household. As the year’s progress and her experiences serve to give her greater insight, she soon realizes that no matter what your social rank, people will always believe what they want about you, but what is most important, is how you feel about yourself.
And me? I plan to have a wonderful birthday, surrounded by my family and the many memories of experiences, places and people that have shaped me into the person I am, with one open as I jostle up the next hill of this great roller coaster ride called life!
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