Yesterday marked either the end or the beginning of my 55th year on this planet (I can never remember if a birthday means you've just completed another year or you're starting another one!) and it brought to mind the question - "am I there yet?" And where exactly is 'there'? Where better to contemplate that than on the blog I haven't updated hardly at all during this passing year!
I guess one of the questions a lot of ask ourselves when birthdays and such roll around is if we've managed to accomplish the things we had hoped to in life and as I look back over the more-than-half-a-century that I've been alive, I can only answer that with a 'yes' and a 'no'. Am I where I want to be in life now? Not exactly. Have I done the things I've wanted to do? Some - absolutely - while others are still in the hope-for stage. Am I where I thought I'd be when I got to be this age? Oh hells no!
First off, I have absolutely positively NO idea how I got to be in my mid-50s so quickly - especially when my mind is solidly stuck in my early 30s! Not that I feel at all like I'm in my 30s when I try to roll my oftentimes achy self out of bed in the mornings or when my back starts twinging and my joints start aching if a storm is rolling in but for the most part, I don't feel like I'm as old as I am. That said though, my memory has started to suffer from major lapses from time-to-time which I am going to solidly blame on menopause which I have the sneaky feeling I'm in. I'm definitely at the right age to start wading through the hormonal changes that we women go through in our advancing years but it's kind of hard for me to tell exactly what's going on as I had that ablation a few years back and don't have the monthly indicator that so many other women do.
Not that I'm complaining, mind you, as I don't miss that at all but as I've only had the occasional "gee, it seems kind of warm in here all of a sudden" flash and the "oh my gosh, I'm going to bust into tears over that?" sort of moments, I'm just not positive where I stand with my hormonal levels. If not remembering why I walked into a room, being unable to think of the name of someone I've known for years, and not being able to grasp the right word even though it's on the tip of my tongue are any sort indication of those levels, though, then I've been in menopause for over a year now!
But advancing years and menopause aside - am I 'there' yet? Am I at a point in my life where I can say that I'm satisfied with the way things are going? That I'm where I thought I might be when I was a young kid of 18 or 21 imagining what my life might be like as an older adult? Nope as I sure the heck never would have thought that at 55 I'd be twice-divorced with two older daughters still living at home who bicker with each other every chance they get while working in a stressful job where there was no hope of retirement other than whatever Social Security would provide as I live paycheck-to-paycheck. I don't believe that's exactly what I had in mind as I started down the path of adulthood.
That said though, life could be a lot worse and I am ever mindful of that. I could have NO job like so many others in this country (including those two bickering daughters of mine), I could have never fallen in love and had children that may or may not drive me crazy from time-to-time, and I could have a lot more physical ailments than a couple of herniated discs that like to predict the weather and allergies that seem to get worse as I get older.
I have had a lot of opportunities that others haven't had including the chance to travel to interesting places where I've met some terrific people along the way who have become dear friends; I have had the chance to not only enjoy my hobby of photography but to share that with others; I have made some fantastic friends though the miracle of the Internet; and I have a decent roof over my head complete with electricity and running water and never go hungry.
Those are things that I am thankful for so even if I'm not 'there' yet it's okay as I'm still moving forward and maybe someday I actually will get 'there'. Even if I don't though, for the most part, I've enjoyed the journey and I hope the good Lord gives me the chance to continue on it for a few more decades though guaranteed if I ever make it to 85, I'll be sitting there wondering how I got to be in my mid-80s when my mind is still in my early 50s!
Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday, I appreciated every single greeting and gesture, and now if you'll excuse me, I do believe there is some cake in the kitchen that just might be calling my name!