My grandmother used to tell a story about an incident that happened when she was in her early twenties. She was on a riverboat cruise with other employees of the firm she worked for. She was in line with a few other people waiting to use the restroom. One of the stalls became available and another young woman started heading for it when my grandmother stopped her. She pointed at a woman who had been there first. "The old lady is next," my young grandmother told her. The old lady promptly whirled around and spat out, "Well if you don't want to die young, then you have to get old." Of course it sounds a lot better auf Deutsch.
I remember when I was 20. A friend at work had just turned 31. I distinctly recall thinking, "Oh man, if I ever get to be that old...!" Guess what? Now it's 28 years later and I'm still around!
Getting older really isn't all that bad. I'd say the worst part of it is the physical part. It's a lot more difficult to lose weight and way too easy to gain it. I have to wear glasses to see the tv clearly and for when I drive, especially at night. I'm taking pills for blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. When I wake up in the morning I can't just spring out of bed like I used to. I have to warm up my stiff joints. I never thought I'd have teeth problems other than the cavities from when I was a little kid. Yet I've had one crown put on a tooth a couple of years ago and I'm in the midst of having another (yesterday was the crown lengthening and post and core put in--ouch!).
And the good parts about getting older? For me personally I have to say I've had a pretty good life. Montgomery Gentry has a song out now that makes me think of myself. It's called "Lucky Man". If you haven't heard it yet, basically it's a man talking about how he used to curse the rain, then complain when the sun shone too hotly. He'd be jealous of his neighbors and all the stuff they had. Then he stopped to think about all that he had and he realized he was a lucky man.
While I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth I'm doing okay. I have a couple of good kids, my dogs, sheep, cows, and other creatures. Best of all I have a handsome husband who for some unknown reason really seems to adore me.
If I cry today it will be tears of happiness.
Birthday card from Papyrus: "The Individualist" by Ronald Searle 1977; Camden Graphics Ltd.