Saturday, September 8, 2007

Don't Just Stand There - Jump!!

Tomorrow is my birthday - my 49th birthday. I stand poised at the edge of the pool and wonder about diving into the last year I can claim to be in my 40's. Am I going to do this gracefully or am I going to belly-flop?

Up until recently I hadn't really given my age a whole lot of thought as I've always felt that age is more a state of mind and my mind sure doesn't grasp the concept of being 49 at all! My Mom said something the other day about how my father never acted his age in respect to realizing that he was older and there were certain things he just flat out couldn't or shouldn't be doing anymore but still he did them. Therefore I have come to the conclusion that my state of mind is genetic as Dad appeared to never give his age much thought either; apparently I inherited this from him right along with my Yankee stubbornness!

Not that I am not fully and oftentimes painfully aware that there are things I can't and shouldn't be doing anymore, however that awareness came several years ago in the form of a couple of herniated discs that continue to wreak havoc on my left leg when the weather turns. I don't believe it really had anything to do with my age as I had been flirting with back issues from the time Michael was barely two years old. Apparently it's another one of those genetic things as out of my three brothers, two have back issues also. Not sure whether to thank Mom or Dad for that one, though.

The only thing that bothers me about 49 is that I sometimes feel like I am facing the final frontier ... I have one year left before I turn a half a century old and I get the sneaky feeling that one last year is going to pass in the blink of an eye as they all have done since I turned 17. I've always thought of 50 as the age of maturity (even though Senior Discounts don't start until your 60's - damn the luck!) and I guess I'm just not so sure that I'm ready to enter the age of maturity yet. I'm not sure what my life expectancy is (not that any of us are ever sure of that) but I'm pretty confident that I have lived more than half of my life already and what on earth do I have to show for it? How can I possibly enter maturity when my life is still such a mess?

I cannot keep my financial ducks in a row at all, my potential for retirement at a decent age is slim to none, my pancreas is entertaining the idea of diabetes, my blood iron levels fluctuate much like the stock market, and I obviously suck in the personal relationship department. I lie awake at night sometimes and wonder/worry about these things along with a myriad of other smaller things such as did I remember to put the recycling out this week, how much milk do we have left, and is Grey's Anatomy really going to bite this year or will Shonda Rhimes manage to save it after last year's horrendous season finale?

What have I accomplished during my time on this earth and what else do I want to accomplish before I leave it? I guess there comes an age when we all sit back and ask ourselves those questions and it appears I have chosen this age to ask them. Why? I don't know, maybe it's that whole maturity thing again! Besides, it's probably better to ask yourself what else you want to accomplish while you still have the possibility of actually doing it. Better to ask myself when turning 49 rather than when I'm turning 79 - provided I am around that long! Of course, the way my memory is going here lately even if I'm still alive and kicking in another 30 years I'll sure as shootin' have forgotten what the question was!

So, during the next 365 days I will be giving thought to what I want to do with the rest of my life. What opportunities do I want to make for myself? What trips do I want to take? What places do I want to see? What skills do I want to learn? Where do I want to be in another ten years? I figure I've got a year to sort these things out before I really have to get serious about them and that seems reasonable to me.

In the meantime, I do know one thing I want to do in the next year and even though it sounds pretty impossible right at the moment it's one of those things I've always wanted to do and never got the chance ... I want to learn to play the drums ...

That should really drive Amanda crazy if I ever actually follow through on wanting to do this!


  1. happy birthday honey!!! hope your day is wonderful and you have lots and lots of cake... and all that life stuff? i don't know, i just always let the chips fall where they may and sort of thought this was what was supposed to happen. but the drums?? you go girl!!!

    smiles, bee

  2. Anonymous10:57 PM EDT

    Linda, this was an excellent post. I understand all of it. I am 38. I'll turn 39 in about 4 months so I'll start my last year of my thirties. I'm really, really excited about my 40's. I want to really live life for a change.

    I cannot locate your email. Wanted to send this privately ... but could you email me your address? I have a little magical polliwog with your name on it. Happy Birthday my dear friend!

  3. It's just a number.

    I was talking with a former co-worker yesterday who is 26. She was lamenting that she'll soon be 30 and how old that is! Sigh ....

  4. As long as I never go anywhere near a mirror or attempt climbing stairs without saying "OW!", the following is my mental attitude which you are welcome to share:

    Repeat after me:
    I won't grow up,
    (I won't grow up)
    I don't want to go to school.
    (I don't want to go to school)
    Just to learn to be a parrot,
    (Just to learn to be a parrot)
    And recite a silly rule.
    (And recite a silly rule)
    If growing up means It would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree,
    I'll never grow up,
    never grow up,
    never grow up
    Not me!
    Not I,
    Not me!
    Not me!

    I won't grow up,
    (I won't grow up)
    I don't want to wear a tie.
    (I don't want to wear a tie)
    And a serious expression
    (And a serious expression)
    In the middle of July.
    (In the middle of July)
    And if it means I must prepare
    To shoulder burdens
    with a worried air,
    I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up
    Not me,
    Not I,
    Not me!
    So there!

  5. You are too funny! Age is a state of mind. . . sometimes I feel like I'm 16 and other times I feel like 116!

    When I was young, I wanted to die before I was 24 because I thought that was old. I tell you I had changed my mind about dying and prayed that whole year that I would not die after all. lol

    Now I am a senior and I still feel young most days. I used to kid my daughter and tell her I would be a Girl Scout leader til I died -- and visit HER in the nursing home with my troop! lol

    Love those drums!

    Stop by my photo hunt.

  6. A very happy Birthday to you !!! (here it's already sunday) Don't worry about jumping into the next half of your life next year, lol ! I remember I celebrated with a hamburger under a sequoia tree in the Sequoia State Park and just felt as good as the day before. And even worse ! I had to jump into the 60th too and even that had never bothered me. Make the best out of your life, that's the only advice I can give you. In a few years I will jump into the 70th ! But if I feel then like now it doesn't bother me either !

  7. Don't worry about it, Linda. 49 might have seemed a lot a few years ago, but now it's a new youth. Baby boomers have made them so. After all, you go to rock concerts with Amanda.

    Happy Birthday, Linda!

  8. Anonymous7:54 AM EDT

    Take heart, Linda. 50 isn't that old anymore! I'm serious...Just think -- in the middle ages you would have been a great-great grandmother (and probably dead), in the mid 1800's you would have been a grandmother... They say that the 40's is the new 20's? Well, hells bells, the 50's is the new 30's!!! And we all remember how much fun we had in our 30's....(wink wink)

    "Old enough to know better; young enough not to give a rip about what people think!" That's what I say... bring on the mischief and fun!

    This is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. Take that plunge, bang those drums and if anyone asks you why, just say it's because you wanna...that's why!

    Happy birthday and big Lois hugs!

    (see? I even put on my party hat for ya!)

  9. Anonymous7:57 AM EDT

    any advice for 45? I got that one coming up in a couple of weeks...LOL!

  10. Age is just a number, but if it bothers you start going backwards on birthdays until you reach the age that corresponds with your mindset and outlook - I'm 26!:)


    I hope you have a truly wonderful birthday and a very special year.x

  11. PS Forgot to say good luck with the drums. My son tried to teach me how to play them but I couldn't get my hands and feet doing different things at the same time. God knows how I manage to drive a car!

  12. Happy birthday, Linda! I'm sure that no matter what path you choose to take, you will succeed! Besides, you can't be all that old as long as you take your teenaged daughter to rock concerts!!

  13. To help you have an even happier birthday, stop by my blog and get the instructions there in how to participate in a new concept of promoting world friendship via blogging! You know you'll love it!
    Now, go have a great day and if you want drumming instructions, come see my son-in-law here - he'll gladly teach you!

  14. Anonymous10:20 AM EDT

    Jump in, head first those drums like there's no tomorrow!! You're awesome, Linda and I ♥ ya! Hope you have a great birthday today. I've got a little somethin' for ya over at my blog. ;)

  15. Happy Birthday my wonderful friend. There's cake over at my place (I stole it from you) and you probably need that before you tackle learning how to play the drums. Well, I too kind of did this type of soul searching at 49. The 50s aren't bad...really they aren't. Have a wonderful birthday and may all your wishes come true. :)

  16. Anonymous11:24 AM EDT

    Happy, happy birthday, Linda!! Hope your day is filled with laughter and great times :)




  18. Woot!! You'll be more than fine, Linda. I am a firm believer in the concept of age being just a number, and that you're only as old as you feel! I've got the big 3-0 coming up next year.. I'm a little nervous/wierded out, but I'm just going to go on enjoying what I enjoy and be damned to anyone who says I shouldn't!! *HUGS*

  19. THE DRUMS???

    uh, sure. As long as you don't bring them to work with you!

    Well, you may not THINK you have much to show for it , but take a look around you.... you have 3 great children, a great grandson, a good job that you do well, a place to call home, and a great group of friends. Take a look at some of the patients we pick up on a daily basis who only have their addictions and problems to show for themselves. Now I know you will argue that you could get Medicaid if you were like them, but myself, I think you're pretty swell the way you are.

    Oh my God, did I jsut say "Swell"?????? Ack.

  20. Anonymous12:59 PM EDT

    JUMP! JUMP! We'll all be here to catch you.

    Mimi singing Happy Birthday to you.....happy birthday to you....happy birthday dear Linda...happy birthday to you!

  21. I like the idea of retrospection. But I like that idea any time and not only in response to seemingly significant dates.

    I think the hardest thing is to figure out what we want to do. But once you know, then the rest is just about having fun getting it done.

    Jump in with your eyes wide open and have some fun!!

  22. Happy Birthday Linda! I'm "over 50" but it doesn't bother me.
    Just a few creaks here and there. ;-)

    Think of all the wisdom that comes with age.

  23. Happy Birthday to you.
    I will pass the same milestone in 7 days.
    I plan no grace - been lying about my age for so long - I almost forgot the real number, til I saw your post.
    ok, well, and when my evil older sister sent me a card with the YEAR printed in 4 inch letters on the front.
    Wish you the best for the next 365 days - and the next 49 years as well!

  24. well, apparently in my illness I missed your happy belated one.

    I suggest you install an on/off switch in the back of your head and quit all this thinking and get some sleep! ;-)


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