Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On Turning 63

Yesterday was my birthday. I wasn't much looking forward to it except for the opportunity to talk to my sister, who was born on the same day seven years after me. It turned out to be a pretty nice day.

I'm on Facebook, and I was super gratified to receive over 55 birthday messages from friends and relatives old and young, near and far. I know all they had to do was click in the upper right corner on my name and post a quick message, but it was still a very warm and fuzzy day that way. I felt surrounded by friendship. I even got a birthday card from my cat!

I got to spend most of the day with my sweetheart husband. We walked to the gym where the owner and the trainer both wished me a happy birthday. We walked to our favorite neighborhood restaurant where I got a free bowl of vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce. I went to meet with my writers group and they bought me a frosted brownie for the five of us to share. We had houseguests last night, and when I came upstairs from checking the laundry, everyone in the room sang to me. Nice!

Still, there's a downside. Though I was actually only one day older than the day before, I now have a number one digit higher for my age. I'm aware of my body getting older - I'm a little stiffer, a little less flexible, I have a little less stamina. I think back on the 14 trips we've taken in the last 15 months and I don't think doing it again this year sounds all that tempting! And, of course, my back is recovering more slowly than it would have 20 years ago.

But when I considered my life, yesterday, as I usually do on my birthday, I can't think of a thing I want that I don't have - besides a younger body. And I wouldn't trade the wisdom, or the experience, or the memories I have now for anything in the world - including a little more flexibility and stamina.

Still - how on earth did I ever get to be 63?

Oh, well. I got here, and that's better than the alternative.


24 comments:

Lynilu said...

Linda, don't forget the adage that age is just a number. I know what you mean about the unfortunate slowing and stiffening of the body, but here is how I look at it .... although I wish I could have the 30 year old body with its strength and stamina, my slower pace these days is really a blessing. The slow-down has made me more observant of my surroundings and the blessings I have in this life.

I've quit worrying about many of the things that I used to; I enjoy the smaller things much more now; I'm not is such a rush to be "there," and I can take in and enjoy "here." Honestly, this is one of the better times in my life, even though my budget is more limited, I tend to enjoy what I have a great deal. My birthday wish for you is to find your grove, too. :)

Welcome to my side of the hill!! (I'm 67!)

Lynilu said...

And Happy Birthday!

Chantel said...

I think your 63 is lovely. Seriously, I'm a tad jealous of your travels, but to be able to say, "But when I considered my life, yesterday, as I usually do on my birthday, I can't think of a thing I want that I don't have" is deliriously wonderful! Congrats and happy day!

Dee said...

Happy belated birthday from someone who's not on Facebook! I am in total agreement with what Lynilu said. And I'm 75.

Life just keeps getting better even though my body keeps reminding me that we've lived together many years.

Peace, Linda.

Rita said...

You have more freedom now to go with all that wisdom! If I had to give up everything I've learned and lived through to go back and have a younger body...well, I'd pass. It was hard work to get here. This old achy body is like a trophy or the age medal for getting this far. :):) Enjoy!!!

Happy belated birthday!!

Dee said...

Dear Linda, Thank you for your recent comment on my Meniere's posting. I had an earlier vertigo problems also--benign positional vertigo-- in the early 1990s.

Peace,
Dee

DJan said...

Birthdays! They come and go, we all have them. I have more than YOU, and I always will. Sixty-three actually is beginning to look young to me. I was still working and traveling, but now I feel so glad to let the circumstances of my OWN life dictate what I do or don't do. I am so happy to know you, and I hope for the next decade or so, we can commiserate about our aches and pains. And have fun, too! Happy birthday!!:-)

Teresa Evangeline said...

I hope you had a wonderful day, Linda, with many more to come.

#1Nana said...

There aren't many people who can say that there isn't anything that they would change...you are very fortunate. If only I had the wisdom that comes with age when I was young enough to maximize that knowledge. I hope you enjoy your last year in the early sixties!outten

#1Nana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sandi said...

I totally understand your thoughts on "getting there". Whenever I lament the weaknesses I have now, on the uphill side of 60, I immediately think of the alternative. I am where I want to be, and it sounds like you are too. I think that's the beauty of the 60's. We're no longer wishing and hoping, we're just being. And, it is good.

Linda Reeder said...

At 67 I am where I want to be too. I can't make my body younger, but I can make it healthier, and I'm working on it.
We traveled a lot when I first retired, but now we've slowed down on that too. We find ways to enjoy each day, and with family nearby nw, we're busier than ever.
May your 64th year be full of joy!

Georgia said...

A nice post! Altho our bodies do not respond quite as competently as we would wish the experiences and memories of friendships and family times are such a treasure. And may I say that you are a very young 63!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Happy belated birthday, Linda! It sounds like you're truly blessed. I wouldn't trade a young body for the wisdom of age either, though it would be nice to get up in the morning without various body parts hurting. But you're right: consider the alternative! We're all very fortunate.

Dave Brown said...

Happy birthday for yesterday... same age as me except I am a couple of weeks older. Enjoy...

Out on the prairie said...

Happy belated!I remember wanting to be older and soon got my way. Now I wish to reverse this, but it doesn't work that way.I have one approaching but don't hear much revelery.

Grandmother said...

Happy birthday! I'm a little further into the 60's decade and having a good time. Do whatever you have to do to keep healthy so that you can do everything else you want to do at 63. And those things will be different than when you were younger but rich and rewarding nonetheless. You're on the right track!

Nance said...

Happy Birthday, Dearie, from a new fan! We're the same age, you and I. My motto: "I've never been this old in my life. Surely, I'm too young and inexperienced for this." Says so right on my blog t-shirts.

Happy for you that your day was well-remembered and topped with caramel sauce.

Retired English Teacher said...

I'm off the grid in the woods of Vermont, but somehow I was able to pick up a few blog posts. You, dear friend, need to add that many who read your blog have embraced you and your wisdom this past year. May the next year bring you fewer aches and pains and continued personal growth. Your ability to connect with others and reach out to support others has blessed me. Happy belated birthday.

Deere Driver said...

Linda- Sorry I am late to send good wishes. Been a little out of the loop. Catching up soon!
Rose

Barb said...

Just found your post. lOVE THE NAME. And such truth. Thanks and may you have many more birthdays.

Sightings said...

They say your 60s is the happiest time of your life. Happy birthday!

FrankandMary said...

I know a few people who dreaded the 60s ...then embraced them once they realized they were having a great time. I hope it works that way for you in the long-run.
Happy Birthday. ~Mary

Deb Shucka said...

It sounds like you had a lovely day. And that you're living this part of your life as fully as it's possible. I'm inspired by your attitude (and just three years behind you).