As birthdays go, this one sucked

catinthehataging

Aging is not for the faint of heart.

It takes guts to get up in the morning, mentally and emotionally feeling like you’re 35.  Then you walk into the bathroom and look in the mirror.  The horror strikes.

WTF?  When did that happen?

And it really is like that.  One day you’re young and the next day the cashier gives you the 5% discount on Senior Discount Wednesday at Kroger.  And you didn’t ask for it.  Or is Senior Discount Day on Tuesday?  I guess I should figure that out…

It all happened in the blink of an eye.  But I honestly don’t remember blinking.

Maybe it means that my life has been full and busy.  Time passed, but I didn’t notice.  Everything seemed pretty much the same day to day and year to year.  Yeah, and that’s exactly what the Grand Canyon said when it was little gully with a stream flowing through it…

I just had a birthday recently and turned 61.  Happy birthday to me!

But last year’s birthday was tough.  Not being one to really ever be age sensitive, the whole turning 60 thing last year kinda shook me. It took me nearly the whole of 2014 to get used to having a “6” in the first position of my age.  Now I’m very zen about it.

Not for the faint of heart.

And, not only do you age, those all around you are aging too. Friends, family, co-workers, TV and movie icons.  Except Meryl Streep.  My God, that woman must have a pact with the devil.  Did you see her at the Golden Globes?  So amazing…

As a Baby Boomer, I’m doing what all Baby Boomers are doing now. I’m “reinventing” myself in an attempt to defy the aging process. Becoming a massage therapist in my late 50’s, starting AGMA last year, going for my personal trainer certification in 2015, training to run a marathon next month, traveling overseas as often as I can. Didn’t you know, 60 is the new 40?  Yeah, right.

I’m running just as fast as I can.  But I can’t hide.

That was made brutally and tragically clear a few days ago on my birthday.

A woman in my running group turned around about a mile into an eight mile run saying she wasn’t feeling good and was a bit dizzy. Nothing she said gave anybody cause for alarm.  When we got back to the parking lot ninety minutes later, she was found non-responsive in her car.  One of our group immediately started CPR until the EMT’s came.  She was taken to the hospital and was pronounced dead.  Heart attack.  She was only a few years older than me.

Here one minute, gone the next.  Literally.

Two days later, the husband of another person in my running group died very suddenly, with no warning.  Seriously?  Has the world gone mad?  Maybe I should quit my running group.

Can’t hide.

But honestly, maybe I don’t want to hide.  If it’s my time, then it’s my time.  Frack the Grim Reaper…  Hell, I didn’t even eat the salmon mousse!

“Getting old is a privilege denied to many.”  It’s a corny saying going around social media, but it’s kinda true.  It was denied to my friend and my friend’s husband this week.  It was denied to too many generations of young people who dutifully marched off to war.  It was denied the victims of 9/11 and the Indian Ocean and Tohoko tsunamis.  It was denied to the staff of Charlie Hebdo.  You get the picture…

So I guess I’m actually feeling pretty good about this aging thing. Sure, some mornings the knees take a while to get moving and I’m getting cataracts and many times I don’t remember what I went upstairs to fetch.  But all in all, it ain’t bad.  Yet.

To celebrate, for the next week, I’m planning on eating some amazing food, drinking some outstanding wine and savoring some of the best coffee in the world in a city full of really old, ancient stuff. Way older than me.  Roma.  I expect I’ll feel like a tween at a Justin Bieber concert.  Oh Baby!

Ciao!

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95 thoughts on “As birthdays go, this one sucked

  1. If it makes you feel any better – I’m a year ahead of you. I agree that the big 60 can be a traumatic birthday. But I soon realized that since my mother lived into her 90s, I probably will, too. I figure that gives me another 30 years or so to get it right.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on galesmind and commented:
    yea that mirror crap is a real bitch but you are doing it in the best city in the world to get perspective on life. I love the forum walking through the ancient shops where people did exactly what we are doing now. We all have our place in the world enjoy yours. Always better than the alternatives. Have some carciofi ala judea in the Jewish quarter for me and an espresso in a cafe. There are worse things!!

    Like

    • So true! No eye rolling – you’re probably an old soul… My son is like that. And at 24 I had no idea either. Still don’t, but I’ve let myself move with the tides of life. Give yourself time – you’ll figure it out! Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  3. 61? Is that all? You’re a baby. Me? I’m just happy every morning when I wake up, realize that I’m still alive, and can get out of bed. I just don’t bother looking in the bathroom mirror anymore. Some old fart is hiding out in my medicine cabinet.

    Sorry about your running group friends, but, yeah, that kind of stuff happens to us aging baby boomers. And that Cat in the Hat poster. Fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m half your age and already do the whole ‘now why did I get up from one room to purposefully go into another’ thing all the time! Sounds to me like you’ve chosen to get the most out of life at whatever age and things like reevaluating to decide on starting as massage therapist a few years ago and going for personal trainer qualification this year is inspiring to anyone at any age.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Turning 60 was hard for me, too. Something about that 6. Yep. So, I’m gonna be 62 in May, and the big discussion between me and the hubs has been, should I apply for the big Social Security check (it won’t be big) now, or wait a few years and let it build. We didn’t truly “need” the extra money right now, so the decision was to let it ride.

    Meryl obviously is in league with the devil. She looked the best I’ve seen her look in years! Maybe it’s nip/tuck, but I don’t think so. She seems like such a Zen person, so I bet that’s it. She looks like she never gets ruffled about anything. Stress is a killer. The obit section of our paper has been filled with 50-somethings in the last couple of weeks, well, since Christmas. Mostly women. Mostly cancer. It effing sucks.

    I can’t wait to hear about your trip, especially with the AGMA spin. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s that “6” right? Ugh…I don’t want to even start thinking about SS. I’m sure that Meryl and I would be BFFs if we ever met. Right… 🙂

      I hate cancer. We’ll just leave it at that.

      I hope something “blog-worthy” happens on the trip, ie funny! Stay tuned…

      Like

  6. Hey there, I love this!
    I hated turning 40, loved turning 50…it just felt so liberating, I was free to be anything I wanted to be and if today I wanted to be grumpy then so what! Now chasing down 60 and you know what? I’m not bothered, I still look at the word through teenage eyes though with the cunning and guile that comes with age; oh did I tell you that you write a brilliant blog?
    Meryl Streep, I’m more the Sean Connery look myself!
    Age on!
    Dookes

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, I LOVE you name. Now I want to change my name to Hogrider… Thanks for sharing your aging “evolution” and for you kind, kind comment! I think you have a tagline… “Looking at the world through teenage eyes but with the cunning, guile and wisdom that comes with age” Methinks you’re the brilliant one Sean! Thanks again!

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  7. I remember in my 20’s 60 seemed so old. Now that I am over 60, I know for a fact that it is a very youthful age. Other than increased aches and pains as well as much greater wisdom I still feel like I graduated high school just last year. I would not want to relive my 20’s or 30’s but I know that 62 is not old.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The mirror of horrors made me laugh. Mine actually fools me. It’s the photographs that get me. Who is that old woman wearing my hat and jacket? And being offered senior discounts I’m not entitled–to for another 21 months.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey, I’m a high school student and I’m currently doing an assignment that requires me to get followers on my blog. I really need you to follow me back so I can get a good grade. Please and thank you. 🙂

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  10. What a wonderful humorous writing style you have! (envy, envy!) I too stumble around the blogsphere, don’t know a lot of the terms, saw the big 60 a couple, 3 or 4 .. years ago. Keep up the excellent writing; I look forward to reading more of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I posted a thank you for the nomination over on your blog Katho! And thank you so much for your nice comment! Only two people in my sphere of family and friends know I have this blog, and when one read it for the first time she said, “Oh my, you write just like you talk!” I think it was supposed to be a compliment but I’m still mulling that over… 🙂

      Like

      • You’re welcome! Well, from what I see, it certainly is a compliment, because when you’re talking to me through your words, I feel more personally connected to your writing (am I making any sense?). Anyways, you certainly deserve this award 🙂 Congrats to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Ageing Gracefully My Ass | Hogrider Dookes

  12. Great article with serious elements too. One of the great things about getting old is you start to be able to see beauty in older faces. I don’t mean ‘a kind of’ beauty – it’s the exact same beauty you somehow ignore because of a few wrinkles when you’re young.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the lovely comment! We see with different eyes when we get older as you so aptly put it… There’s still the common “beauty” (for those who are blessed with those beauty genes), but there is also the uncommon beauty that comes from life who has seen and lived it all. I guess it would be more of a holistic beauty. Great thoughts – thanks again!

      Like

  13. Beautiful! Check out Hokusai the great Japanese woodblock artist: ” Everything I did before the age of 70 is worth nothing” and at before he died at 89: “If only heaven would give me 10 more years…5 more years, then I might become a real painter.” Or something like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, I’m sorry it has taken me so long to reply. You know, Rome and all… Back home last night so instead of unpacking and doing laundry, I’m on WordPress. Of course. That Hokusai was pretty intense! But I do get it – we have such a different way of looking at things as we age.

      Like

  14. Pingback: Weekly Digest | Alpha Female, Mainstream Cat

  15. Love this post! I had never seen the Dr. Seuss poem before, so reading that was a great start to my day.
    I can’t believe you are finding time to post (and having the internet connectivity) while traveling. I am in awe.

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    • I can’t accept the awe… 😦 I did the post before I left and replied to some of the comments at the airports we were at in the US before crossing the pond. HOWEVER, I do have T-Mobile and they give their customers free international data (I guess it’s to make up for the not-so-great data at home!) It’s pretty awesome… So I could post and reply if I wanted to, but my finger are too fat for those little keys. I keep mis-typing stuff!

      Like

  16. That would be freaky and upsetting to know someone who was jogging then…shortly died. 😦

    Glad 61 is sitting gently with you.
    Meanwhile 12 months ago, I celebrated 55 yrs. by cycling on snow dusted winter bike paths. Fast forward, on Jan. 1, 2015, I ended with a head injury when another cyclist crashed into me … I’m just lucky since I can write, no double vision, speak and think normally.

    I hope.

    Yes, be in awe of life every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Jean… I hate to hear that you were in an accident. But I’m so glad you are okay. You are okay, right? You sound a bit unsure…

      Yes, it’s so easy to slip into that complacency, and lose the wonder and appreciation of just being alive. Mindfulness.

      Awe indeed.

      Like

  17. I don’t know you but I’m laughing right along each of your words. LOVING your site. I’m in Italy – are you still trekking about or are you already back to the grind? If you were traveling up the near the border of France, I’d say pop in for a cafe’ and we can commiserate on blogging nightmares.

    Like

    • I WISH I was still in Italy! So you’re Australian but living a split life between France and Italy…. It’s tough but somebody’s got to do it! I LOVE those Aperol spritz things that they have in Italy. And Vin Santo. And the coffee (any style). And the pasta. And…. I’ll quit now. 🙂

      Like

  18. So you’re a January baby too huh? My birthday is tomorrow. I’m a crazy Aquarius 😉
    I just wrote a post on birthdays and disappointment.

    I think we all have to grab our fun and laughter where we can get it because we’re all closer to the imaginary precipice of death than we’d like to admit.

    I’m so happy to read about your ambitious and motivated life. It’s inspiring!

    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

      • You are more than welcome.. I just started into the world of blogging – haven’t really found my direction yet..although I look at a lot of successful blogs and they are really “directionless” as well..but I can definitely write about all the joys of getting older…

        Like

  19. I also had a much harder time with a milestone birthday than I would have imagined and also came out the other side with not just acceptance but gratitude. When I lamented about another birthday to my hairstylist, he countered, “Well, what’s alternative, honey?” That put things in perspective. Also, if you are a fellow Capricorn, our sign is rumored to age backwards, becoming less serious and more playful with age! Great post!

    Like

    • Thank you! I AM a Capricorn and you’re right – I’m becoming more fun than a barrel of monkeys… Doesn’t hold true for every Capricorn though. My dad was one and he was a cranky butt all his life. I guess there are always exceptions to the rules.

      Acceptance with gratitude – that just might become my new mantra. Love it! And I don’t know what milestone you hit, but I have no doubt you look fabulous! Thanks so much for stopping in for a visit and please drop in again!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. “Getting old is a privilege denied to many.”

    yes..it was denied to a generation of young men in the 1980’s and 90’s. I feel as if my life has been a preparation for what I’m doing now. I don’t know that I’m reinventing myself. I think I’m letting myself be.

    Like

    • You’re right – life builds on your past experiences. If you are paying any attention at all, you progress and move onto the next “phase” of you. Sounds like you’ve been paying attention!

      For me, almost 10 years ago, I had to leave my “life” of the previous 30 years. I left everything – friends, places, memories, work – that was familiar behind and had to totally start over in my 50’s. I had two choices – to feel sorry for myself and withdraw, or to “reinvent” myself and NOT age gracefully. I chose the latter. Ha! I know that if I had never left my former life, my life now would be very, very different. Like the oyster, I needed that irritating piece of sand to help me create a pearl!

      And you’re also right that the loss of all those young men in the 80’s and 90’s as well as the other masses of people with diseases and virus’ who would not be lost today, is tragic. And innocents lost in senseless wars. And preventable famines. And ethnic cleansing. And because the don’t have clean water. And the list goes on and on and on…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely–To think of it is overwhelming. I have to remind myself that my most sincere and passionate writing will only change a few minds or open a few eyes. I’ve watched the ageist and sexist reaction to Madonna’s decision to continue to perform. It’s fascinating, we now live at least three times as long as the hunter gatherer tribes that were our ancestors and yet social structure is still constructed as if the only period of life worth living is between 16 and 30.

        It’s ridiculous. It sounds like you did the right thing. My life was changed for
        me by an illness that I didn’t know I had…But I’m glad it changed…thank you for your reply…:)

        Like

      • I will always reply to such thoughtful and sincere comments!

        It’s how we survive – we make changes when we need to whether we want to or not. On a long term basis, it’s called evolution. Those who can adapt do and those who can’t become “extinct”. I pray that I can always keep evolving! Thanks again for your comment and for visiting AGMA! Warning – sometimes I can get pretty silly!

        Liked by 1 person

  21. OMG AGMA! I just found your blog and I love it! So nice to see someone else become a massage therapist later in life! I’m turning 55 in May AND starting a 16 month massage therapist college course. I’m loving the chance to have a second career after a 35 years in banking. Thank you Bank for making my job redundant. It truly was a gift, or like winning the lottery 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the “OMG AGMA” in caps! It’s like the ultimate compliment! Thanks, thanks, thanks!

      And I LOVE that you’re staring an MT course at double nickels (55)! Wow – 16 months…how many hours is the program? Sound’s like it’s going to be a really in-depth course of study which will be a great foundation. Congrats!

      I left my job of 20 something years because a move for my husbands job I didn’t want to make. BUT had it not been for that, I would have never, ever dreamed of becoming an MT. Things happen at the right time and for a reason don’t they?

      Thanks again for stopping by and the lovely compliment and for taking the time to comment!! Keep on checking in now and then… 🙂

      Like

  22. Ain’t it the truth!! Excellent perspectives!! I still remember the first time TJ Maxx offered the Senior Citizen Discount when I went there on a Monday. I was insulted, then later I thought why can’t I remember to go shopping on MONDAY!!

    Liked by 1 person

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