"How are you two doing today?" My neighbor
enquired of Wagsy and me, as we met on our morning stroll.
in a most excellent mood, both of us have birthdays next week," was my cheery
"Gee, I wish I were as smiley as you are about birthdays,"
she said looking down at the ground.
Thus began one of several
rather similar conversations I've had of late. Being a baby boomer, many of my
friends seem to be having some difficulty as we all approach retirement age. The
woman in the above exchange is fifty-one, and I am turning fifty-nine. This last
weekend, the forum was a garden party with other members of my junior high
It's noteworthy that most of us are pretty spry.
Indeed, there's even a subset who go hiking every few weeks. However, there
certainly is a lot of grouching about getting older. Okay, we do have our
wrinkles and various infirmities, yet I sure wouldn't want to be young
You know what? After a bit of thought, neither would they.
All it takes is a look back twenty or thirty years to show how much better off
we are now.
The most important thing we've learned is that, if we
are alive, nothing can ruin our lives without our consent. Whatever disasters
befall, we'll get by, and there are always more pleasures to come. I don't do
the stroll all night on a dance floor, but can still stroll through gardens and
galleries to enjoy the beauty all around, even if it's in a
Some of the beauty of any setting is on me. As a young
woman, my clothing had to be discreet, lest anyone receive a mistaken impression
as to my respectability or lack thereof. Now, my dresses are in bright colors,
there are gold shoes to wear when the mood strikes, and plenty of costume
jewelry. Of course, the lot is topped with a red hat, the now universal emblem
of a gal who is aging happily. Don't I worry about looking disreputable? Heck
no; I am the only person who must be pleased with my attire. This holds equally
true for men who are fond of loud shirts, big belt buckles, and hand painted
Do we worry about our children? In a word, no. We are
concerned, and do our best to be helpful, but they are now old enough to take
care of themselves, and would resent any active interference. We know
that, "Worry is the interest paid on a loan which never comes due." If action is
required, we'll do whatever is possible, but fretting is
Allowing for practicalities, we can do as we like.
Younger folks feel pressure to see the latest films, and listen to top 40 music.
My latest Netflix video is the La Scala performance of Rossini's La Donna del
Lago, and the CD to which I shuffle around this apartment might be Los Panchos
or Smokey Robinson.
Our relationships are comfortable, or they
don't exist. We know that people only change in their own good time, if they so
choose. There is no reason for us to exert or accept pressure from anyone, with
the possible exception of medical personnel trying to limit our cholesterol
intake. It sure is nice to just relax and know that the people in our company
enjoy us, or they wouldn't be there.
After I ran down some of the
things above, my neighbor decided that some crinkles and creakiness were a small
price to pay for such freedom. So, how will I celebrate my birthday?
You'll find me at Disneyland, probably on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride or sailing with
Peter Pan. I've been there every year since it opened. You see, some things just
keep getting better every year.
Copyright 2009 Eddy