Thursday, February 10, 2011

The picture of happiness

I feel funny putting a picture of myself into my blog. But here's why I did it: This picture was taken of me on my 50th birthday three years ago. It's also the picture my husband and I chose to put into the ad we're using for our business. He has tons of respectable pictures of himself, finding a good one of him was easy. For me, not so easy..."no, that makes me look too mean; no, that one makes me look fat; ick, who took that one?" We finally agreed on the above photo and sent off the ad.

But back to me...tomorrow is my 53rd birthday and I'm feeling...ambivalent. I don't feel bad about aging, although after having recently spent a week in Florida, aging is something I've considered with great apprehension. We spent a week with my parents and a couple of other friends and relatives who are well past the senior discount age and all of them are wonderfully healthy and vigorous. There are a few limitations that some of them experience; diminished eyesight, food restrictions and decreased hearing, but for the most part all of them participated in our celebration with a hearty appreciation for having a good time. No, it's not my family that gives me pause when I consider the next thirty years or so. It's those other ones. The white-haired lady who darted out in traffic and then slowed to a dangerous 20 miles per hour or the bent and wrinkled man who stopped his cart at the entrance to Publix to peruse the weekly specials flyer and blocked the entrance to anyone running in for milk and eggs. That kind of aging worries me a little.

But, again, back to me. My birthday is tomorrow and I feel neither anxious nor depressed. My husband keeps asking me what I want to do and keeps hinting at "errands". I don't want an expensive dinner out or a bunch of presents that I have to return. I had the big surprise party three years ago (which is why I look so happy in the picture above).  I think I've reached the age where all the expectations have fallen away. Societal imposed ones anyway. I am living the life that I want to live - for the most part - and there isn't anything that an upcoming birthday is signaling that I need; a license to drive, the right to vote, the ability to buy my own wine, the obligatory surprise party or some other random accomplishment. Once you're past 50, the expectations let up a little and you get to just have a good time. What ever that means. For me that means that I am perfectly happy with a fire in the fireplace, a bottle of wine and a pizza at home and getting a few nice cards from my kids. (Yes, that was a hint.)

And maybe I wish I could find a good picture.

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