Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Birthday

My Birthday

Today is my birthday so I am taking a day off from blogging about history, politics and all those important, yet unimportant, things I normally go on about.

This particular birthday is a rather significant one because of the number that keeps coming up when I subtract the year of my birth from this year. Somehow I feel certain I must be doing it wrong because the number is preposterously high. I mean, it just can not be that I have survived that many years.

Of course, this is an annual moment of celebration (which increasingly has the shading of a moment of despair). In an effort to avoid admitting the truth to myself I stopped having “birthdays” quite some time ago. Instead I'd say it was the “X” anniversary of my 27th birthday. I stopped doing that when even those numbers became a little depressing.
-O.K. for those of you dying to know, this is the 33rd anniversary of my 27th birthday –you do the math if you must.

Birthdays are usually a kind of fun time. Everyone slaps you on the back and smiles and says “Happy Birthday”. You get cards and congratulations in the mail and via email, all generally meant to convey best wishes and confirm friendships –and they mostly do just that. But birthdays are also a time when we often take stock of our age, which makes us face our aging. In my case I truthfully do not think of myself as being particularly "old" or  “senior”. I stopped aging mentally sometime in my 30’s and still think and feel as I did then. Some of my friends would be quick to say that I stopped maturing long before that –and they may be right.

Although I now spend more time with various doctors in a month than I did the entire first 40 years of my life, and I take more pills a day then my mother could get into me while I was growing up, somehow I just don’t feel the way I expect older people to feel. I think what it boils down to is that I refuse to surrender to the pre-conceived concepts our society puts on aging. I just refuse to think that there is anything I can’t do now that I could have done 30 years ago (of course it may take longer, not get done as well, and I may physically pay for it more afterward).

For example, I love the ocean and I love swimming. I also go to Hawaii as often as I can (another of my loves) and I spend a lot of time on the beach there (I have a couple of secret ones on Oahu that are beautiful and not crowed with tourists –something else I refuse to admit being, lol). While sitting on those beaches I spent years wishing I had learned to surf and wind surf. One day I was watching a guy wind surfing and I thought, what the hell? Why not? The next day I got an instructor and many long hours later I found myself out in the Pacific Ocean looking back at the beach with the wind driving me along on a surf board (by the way, they are a lot smaller when you're standing on them). It was great fun. It was also my 52nd birthday.

Now, the rest of the story is not pretty. The next day of my “vacation” was spent in recovery. I was thoroughly sun burned and every muscle in my body was screaming for some Ben Gay….. And I have never even considered going Wind Surfing again. Now I just sit on the beach and watch them flying by, having fun and saying to myself “I could if I wanted too but it's so comfortably here in the shade. Another Mai Tai, please.”
Yeah, Hameed, I know, I know...

Well, all that be as it may, I guess the important thing is to celebrate beating the odds for a while and to know I feel good enough to keep it up for a while longer. If there is anything "normal" about getting older, it does not have to apply to me. After all, I always tell people, there is absolutely nothing average or normal about me…. (no cracks here either, please).

Today I am going to go to one appointment (I could not put it off) and then I am going to spend a nice quiet evening with the TV set and my dog (and some good Whalers Rum). I'll go back to blogging tomorrow -- 'ya all have a nice day now, hear?

Live Long and Prosper……….

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